THE top five competitors of the 2010 Australian Universities Crops Competition (AUCC) have returned home after being rewarded with an International Study Tour to New Zealand.
Over forty competitors took part in the 2010 Competition, which was held over three days in Temora, New South Wales. The top five placegetters won a four day, fully funded New Zealand study tour in recognition of their achievements, courtesy of Grain Growers Limited.
Four of the top five placegetters jumped at the opportunity, with Cindy Martin (University of Adelaide), Andrew Gillett (Charles Sturt University), Max Baka-Koch (University of Adelaide), and Dwayne Schubert (Charles Sturt University) travelling to New Zealand last week.
Competition winner Cindy Martin said the trip broadened her knowledge of the grains industry and gave her a greater appreciation of the opportunities available in Australia.
“The trip gave me the opportunity to learn about different aspects of the grains industry,” Miss Martin said.
“The lack of competition and high transport costs is one of the biggest issues facing New Zealand producers. By maintaining a diverse variety of marketing options, the future of the grains industry in Australia is more secure.”
The study tour provided competitors with the opportunity to broaden their understanding of the grains industry, learn about different growing environments, and investigate issues that are impacting grains industries in other countries.
The tour group met with New Zealand grains industry stakeholders, including the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research, Syngenta NZ, the Foundation for Arable Research, South Island Seed Dressing & Storage, and PGG Wrightson Grain.
Competitors also visited Lincoln University and a number of New Zealand farming operations in the Canterbury region, allowing students to compare the different approaches taken by the Australian and New Zealand grains industries.
GrainGrowers Business Manager – Industry Services Georgie Aley, who also attended the tour, said the tour was a good eye opener for all participants.
“The study tour gave the AUCC competitors an insight into different production practices and research being undertaken in New Zealand,” Ms Aley said.
“GrainGrowers provides the study tour not only to reward AUCC competitors but expand their knowledge and understanding of the industry and highlight the opportunities available to them as they complete their studies and enter the industry.”
The 2010 Competition was supported by GrainCorp (Major Sponsor), Syngenta (Founding Sponsor) and a number of technical sponsors.
GrainGrowers is committed to building a stronger grains industry and the AUCC represents only one of a number of programs that GrainGrowers invests in through its Capacity Building portfolio.
GrainGrowers has already begun planning for the 2011 Competition and encourages more businesses to become involved and support the next crop of agricultural graduates.
For more information on the Competition visit www.unicropscomp.com.au
Click on images and Crop Competition logo to download high resolution versions:
Photo One: Study Tour at Earl Worsfold's Greendale farm, Canterbury NZ in a milling wheat crop; L- R Dwayne Schubert, Max Baka-Koch, Andrew Gillett, Cindy Martin
Photo Two: Study Tour inspecting miami white peas with Earl Worsfold at Greendale farm in Canterbury; L-R Cindy Martin, Max Baka-Koch, Dwayne Schubert, Andrew Gillett
Further information and media inquiries:
Suzanne Lewis tel: 02 8204 3853
Note to editor
The AUCC began in 2009 and is an initiative of GrainGrowers aimed at improving the connectivity and engagement between Universities and the agricultural industry. The AUCC is a valuable opportunity for University students to take their learning beyond the lecture theatre and gain vital hands-on experience.
Cindy Martin completed a Bachelor of Agriculture at the University of Adelaide in 2010, whilst working as a part-time Junior Agronomist. Cindy will continue her studies in 2011 having enrolled in a Diploma of Education. A highlight of the tour for Cindy was learning about the production of small seeded crops in New Zealand.
Andrew Gillett completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science, specialising in livestock production and agronomy, at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, in 2010. Andrew is currently working on his family’s 2000 acre irrigation property in Jerilderie. A highlight of the tour for Andrew was visiting various farms in the Canterbury region and seeing first-hand the seed production of carrots, radish, garden peas, ryegrass and clover.
Max Baka-Koch completed a Bachelor of Science (Agricultural Science) at the University of Adelaide in 2010. Max will continue his studies in 2011 by undertaking an Honours program at the University of Adelaide, where he will be researching the pre-steeping of malting barley. A highlight of the tour for Max was being able to see the diversity of crops grown in New Zealand.
Dwayne Schubert is in his fourth and final year of Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. Dwayne also works as a casual Field Officer with Agrisearch Services in Wagga Wagga. A highlight of the tour for Dwayne was being able to see the many crop options New Zealand farmers have available to them, including pasture seed, vegetables and hemp.