GRDC’s investment in the next generation of leaders


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Our Horizon Scholarship program would not be possible without the support of our industry sponsors. Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC) has been a long-time sponsor of the program, with many future young leaders being provided with incredible opportunities thanks to their support, and commitment to the future of Australian agriculture.

GRDC recognises the value of investing in the next generation of rural leaders and Jessie MacLean, Communications and Capacity Officer says they are motivated to support the young people who will drive innovation in the Australian grains industry.

“The extent to which our investments create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers, is directly influenced by the contribution of growers, advisers and researchers. We want to support the next generation of leaders to improve their skills and knowledge so they can have a greater positive impact on our industry,” explains Jessie.

One of these young people sponsored by GRDC is new Scholar, Bill Lee and with a passion for agronomy and drought tolerant grain varieties, he is looking forward to being exposed to the expertise of GRDC.

“Drought tolerant varieties and higher risk drought areas are a particular interest of mine. Having the opportunity to work with my sponsor GRDC really excites me as I will hopefully gain an insight into the progress on drought tolerant varieties and other notable advancements in the industry,” Bill explains.

No doubt Bill will be able to do just that, with GRDC committed to making the scholars’ experience of the program a worthwhile one.

“As a world leading grains Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) investor, we can support and facilitate scholars’ access to the diverse opportunities, networks and organisations that will set them up for a successful and fulfilling career in grains RD&E,” Jessie tells us.

Demi Taylor is another scholar who is ready to dive into the RD&E world with GRDC as her sponsor.

“I am grateful to have GRDC on board as my sponsor, and I am beyond excited to form a personal partnership with the corporation in order to draw on their experiences, learn about existing challenges and opportunities within the industry and to gain insight on all things RD&E!” Demi tells us.

Matilda Meppem also can’t wait to take advantage of the opportunities on offer.

“I am very excited at the prospect of working with GRDC because I have been in awe of their ongoing commitment to Australia’s Grains industry through investing in RD&E to generate innovative solutions for Australian grain growers,” Matilda tells us.

There’s no shortage of innovation at GRDC, which is why Scholar, Harrison Dunning is glad he has been paired with GRDC.

“I’m so excited to be partnered with the GRDC as this will allow me to gain valuable hands-on experience and develop lifelong relationships. I can’t wait to get my feet on the ground and be directly involved with the new technologies and innovative practices that will be used to meet our food and fibre production goals for the future,” said Harrison.

GRDC doesn’t want their scholars to stick to the status quo, instead they hope to provide them with opportunities for critical thinking and equip them with the skills and knowledge to be RD&E leaders of the future.

We hope scholars engage throughout the program to develop the confidence to challenge traditional thinking, and the knowledge to drive innovation and adoption of R&D,” Jessie explains.

Lucky for GRDC, that’s exactly what scholar Sam Mac Smith hopes to take away from the program.

“I am extremely grateful to be awarded a Horizon Scholarship and to be sponsored by GRDC as this will provide me the opportunity to learn from those who are at the forefront of ground-breaking research and innovation to improve farming practices and technologies, which will play a significant role in helping to feed the booming global population in the future,

“I am excited to be able to work with GRDC to gain firsthand insight into the leading-edge thinking of the grain industry, and also the valuable networks and opportunities it will provide me,” says Sam.

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