Emerging leader keen to explore emerging industries

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Emily Lavis grew up on a beef farm in the Southern Tablelands of NSW. Sponsored by the AgriFutures Emerging Industries Program, the 2021 Horizon Scholar is eager to expand her knowledge and outlook on the agriculture industry and to become more aware of the issues the industry is facing.

We caught up with Emily to hear about her journey as a Horizon Scholar so far. She is excited to be building networks and exploring a variety of emerging industries.

“I’m excited about the role agriculture will need to play to support increases in population and food security”, said Emily. “This scholarship has been a great opportunity to meet and work with like-minded people. Getting out of my comfort zone, developing my networks and skills will be a great asset to my career into the future”.

Tell us a bit about your background

I grew up on my family’s cattle beef property near Braidwood NSW. After finishing year 12, I travelled to the NT and worked on a cattle station for my gap year. After completing my gap year, I went on to study a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Charles Sturt University.

Growing up I was always super keen to be doing farm work. Mum and Dad always included us in the farm operations and explained what they were doing and why they were doing it. I really think this ignited my passion for life on the land. From a young age, I have always been very passionate about agriculture and in particular beef cattle.

You are now studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Charles Sturt University. What were the driving factors behind your decision to follow this field of study?

I always enjoyed working on Mum and Dad’s beef cattle farm. I think this was because we were so involved from a young age. I was always interested in learning about the work that was happening on the property, it seemed to come naturally. I always had a passion and drive for agriculture.

I would often think of other career paths, but I kept coming back to agriculture. There was such a natural enthusiasm, I took this as a sign and just had to go for it. There are so many career paths within agriculture, it’s an exciting space with a big future and I wanted to be a part of that.

This year you have been awarded an AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship, sponsored by the AgriFutures Australia Emerging Industries Program. What is it about emerging industries, and agriculture more broadly, that excites you?

I was keen to expand my knowledge and outlook on agriculture. I wanted to explore the issues the industry was facing as we move into the future.

I’m excited to explore the different emerging food and fibre potential. I think there are big opportunities in the emerging industries space as we look to have an expanding population and a greater need for food security into the future. The possibilities are endless in agriculture – it’s not all about beef, wool, dairy, and grain.

It’s exciting to witness firsthand the future of emerging industries.

What was it about the Horizon Scholarship that appealed to you, and what have you been up to since starting the program?

I applied for a Horizon Scholarship because I saw it as a great opportunity to expand my networks, broaden my skills and connect with like-minded people.

We recently participated in the Horizon Scholarship ‘Unconference’ and it was a great opportunity to bring passionate young scholars together to discuss the future of agriculture. It allowed us to build skills and network with likeminded people all over Australia.

I really enjoyed meeting everyone in the program and finding out about their backgrounds. I have never done this type of activity before, so it was a real opportunity for me to step out of my comfort zone.

How do you think participating in AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship will support your studies and future career ambitions?

When I complete my degree, I hope to work in beef genetics, with a focus on improving beef production. This scholarship has provided me with networking opportunities that will assist me to achieve my career ambitions. I wouldn’t have such networks if it wasn’t for this program.

I am yet to complete my work placement, however I am looking forward to using the upcoming opportunity to build on my industry connections and learn from the experts in my field. The work placement and the workshops combined will assist me to create a positive and rewarding career in agriculture.

This scholarship program is helping me to realise what is possible both personally and professionally. I am incredibly grateful for the Horizon Scholarship and the opportunities that it has brought me so far and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

 

Applications for the 2022 AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship are now open. 

Find out more

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