Two students from The University of Western Australia who hope to build careers in sustainable agriculture are among 16 first year students across Australia to receive a 2014 Horizon Scholarship from the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC).
Cameron Broun and Alana Martin have both begun a Bachelor of Science with majors in agriculture. Their scholarships are specifically sponsored by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC).
Mr Broun comes from the WA grain belt, where his family has farmed mixed grain and livestock for five generations, while Ms Martin grew up in the urban environment of Perth.
Both aspire to work toward sustainable agricultural practices in the future. Mr Broun has a strong interest in the application of chemistry in agriculture to develop new ways of controlling disease, pest and invasive species.
Ms Martin is passionate about the symbiotic relationship between soil biology and plants and how this knowledge can be applied in the food science industry to address the issue of food inequality in the world.
An annual bursary for the duration of their studies creates a financial incentive for the students to finish their degree while at the same time gaining industry insight for a future in agriculture.
The Horizon Scholarship program is an initiative of the RIRDC in partnership with a diverse range of agricultural industries to support leadership development, provide work placements and create mentorship opportunities within the University and industry.
These enriching experiences provide the young scholars with the opportunity to grow a network of like-minded students and professionals within Australia's world of agriculture.
The RIRDC said it believed "agriculture will become an increasingly valuable career pathway with a high take up of new technology and innovation," particularly with "the challenge of feeding a rapidly growing global population and a changing climate affecting productivity."
This year's announcement was the fifth time the RIRDC has reached out to the next generation of leaders in agriculture through the Horizon Scholarship program.