2015 Scholars

Jasmine Whitten

Jasmine Whitten from Hughenden in Queensland receives a 2015 Horizon Scholarship supported by the Australian Egg Corporation. Jasmine is studying a Bachelor of Rural Science at the University of New England. While Jasmine is especially interested in animal industries, she is also keen to use the scholarship to gain experience in a number of industries and increase her networks.

Jasmine has spent her entire life surrounded by agriculture, with her family involved in sheep and cattle enterprises.

“I have been involved in farming for most of my life – my family has always had commercial beef cattle and I have had a keen interest in agricultural subjects and extracurricular activities at school,” Jasmine said.

Jasmine has a strong desire to promote agriculture to a wider audience and hopes the Horizon Scholarship can help her develop into an agricultural youth ambassador.

“By taking part in the Horizon Scholarship I hope I can act as a role model to other young students who wish to have a career in agriculture,” Jasmine said.

With the 16 weeks practical work experience required to graduate from Rural Science, it will be hard to juggle the financial pressures of university and complete work placements that offer a wide range of experiences with various companies.”

I would thoroughly enjoy being able to travel and experience many different industries and I will use Horizon to facilitate that,” Jasmine explains.

Jasmine is also keen to utilise the Horizon Scholarship network to attend professional development workshops and the opportunity to be mentored by industry leaders.

Sponsor: Australian Egg Corporation

Royce Pitchford

Royce Pitchford from Echunga in South Australia receives a 2015 Horizon Scholarship supported by Australian Wool Innovation. Royce is studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Adelaide. He is passionate about agriculture and is excited about the opportunity to be part of the Horizon Scholarship.

“I believe the Scholarship will enhance my learning at university and put me in a position to be a leader in agriculture – learning from industry leaders will be a priceless experience!

The work placements offered by the Horizon Scholarship will also be a benefit to me as I expand my knowledge by learning from some of the best in the industry,” he explains.

Royce’s commitment to agriculture started when he was young, spending holidays doing sheep work on his grandparents farm. At age 14 he started his own Corriedale Sheep Stud and has since joined Performance Corriedales, an Australian and New Zealand group recording animal performance.

While his career aspirations in agriculture are mainly based around sheep breeding, with a particular focus on a dual-purpose sheep, Royce also hopes to work in agribusiness and is also interested in livestock nutrition and agronomy.

He also believes the Horizon Scholarship will improve his skills in leadership and communication, which will help him become an effective agricultural ambassador.

“It will also give me a better understanding and knowledge of agriculture, through industry placements and the Horizon Scholarship workshop.

Networking will also be a key outcome of the Horizon Scholarship, allowing me to create key contacts and links with industry leaders, but also other scholars that are going to become industry leaders in the future,” he concludes.

Sponsor: Australian Wool Innovation

Alison Gill

Alison Gill from Craigburn Farm in South Australia receives a 2015 Horizon Scholarship supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation. She is studying a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) at Adelaide University.

The Horizon Scholarship will allow Alison to take her passion for science into the field of agriculture, working to combine the reduction of agricultural waste with the production of biofuels.

“My goal for the future is to be involved in the research and production of biofuels to enhance agricultural processes, making both biofuels and the use of energy in agriculture more efficient,” she says.

Alison is particularly interested in using the waste products of agricultural processes in Australia, such as straw, to produce biofuels on a commercial scale.

“Currently the conversion of agricultural waste to biofuels requires large amounts of energy, making the production of biofuels not environmentally viable.

I hope to find solutions to this problem and ultimately work with the agricultural and fuel industries to find sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels,” Alison explains.

Alison believes there needs to be passionate scientists working with those in the agricultural sector to enable innovations within the biofuel industry.

“With a Horizon Scholarship I hope to be one of the passionate scientists striving to find a solution to the agricultural industry’s dependency on non-renewable fossil fuels.

The Horizon Scholarship will encourage me to pursue my passion for leading edge research and allow me to use my leadership skills to be advocate for those involved in agriculture, encouraging them to have a say in determining future fuel use,” she concludes.

Sponsor: Grains Research and Development Corporation

Amy Munro

Amy Munro from Cumnock in New South Wales receives a 2015 Horizon Scholarship supported by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. She is studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Biology and Veterinary Science at Charles Sturt University.

It is Amy’s life ambition to be a regional vet as she not only has a strong passion for animals, but a strong connection to rural Australia.

“My love of animals was established at a young age through my involvement on our family property where even as a child I was in the cattle yards, helping in the stables and caring for a range of animals.
I have dedicated my life to veterinary science and love the prospect of helping animals, promoting animal welfare and supporting livestock industries through my chosen profession,” she says.

Amy also hopes to use her career to empower agricultural producers and promote increases in yield, as well as sustainability in agricultural industries.

She believes the Horizon Scholarship will help her achieve those goals.

“I have always been an ambassador for agriculture, however I believe the Horizon Scholarship will increase my capacity to be influential by allowing me more time to associate with producers and agricultural leaders, while allowing me to grow into a future leader in agriculture myself,” Amy explains.

Sponsor: Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation

Nicholas Grant

Nicholas Grant from Temora in New South Wales receives a 2015 Horizon Scholarship supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation. Nicholas is studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Charles Sturt University.

With a passion for agriculture fuelled by an upbringing on the family farm, Nicholas has a particular interest in cereal and oilseed crops.

“I thoroughly enjoy my involvement on the farm and am always keen to extend my knowledge of how all aspects operate.

As a fifth generation farmer I am passionate about pursuing a career in agriculture – to me it is a developing and exciting industry with the potential for growth, incorporating new technologies.

One area of particular interest I am keen to pursue is how innovation and research could help produce varieties able to better withstand a wide range of climatic variables – essentially I am keen to make a difference and be a passionate advocate for the agricultural industry!” he says.

Nicholas believes the Horizon Scholarship will help him to stand out in the competitive job market, and to embark on a positive and successful career.

He says the Horizon Scholarship will provide the support he needs to complete his Agricultural Science degree, and will also unlock a valuable network.

“The Horizon Scholarship will allow me to meet other young people who are interested in ensuring the development of agriculture, and share our thoughts and ideas for a prosperous future.

It will also provide strong connections with others in the industry, to improve employment opportunities and gain a wider knowledge of such a broad industry,” Nicholas concludes.

Sponsor: Grains Research and Development Corporation

Caitlyn Daffey

Caitlyn Daffey from Ballarat in Victoria receives a 2015 Horizon Scholarship supported by Meat and Livestock Australia. She is studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at James Cook University.

Caitlyn comes from a rural family and for as long as she can remember has helped out on the family sheep farm, enjoying both farm work and horses in particular.

She has dreamt of being a rural vet her whole life and believes the Horizon Scholarship will help her give back to rural communities after graduation by providing support throughout her degree.

“I believe the program will allow me to do this through financial support, but also with opportunities from mentoring and development workshops.

I intend to use the Horizon Scholarship to assist me in paying for university expenses such as accommodation, text books and study equipment for the duration of my course,” she says.

Working on a large and very remote beef cattle station in the Northern Territory for much of 2014 took Caitlyn’s passion for agriculture to a new level.

“I fell in love with the outback and rural Australia really has become a true ‘place of the heart’ for me, so on graduation I would like to find work in a remote community.

I would love to be able to assist farmers in improving their stock yield and also overcome welfare and disease issues present in agricultural industries,” she explains.

Sponsor: Meat and Livestock Australia

Matthew Champness

Matthew Champness from Hamilton in Victoria receives a 2015 Horizon Scholarship supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation. Matthew is studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Charles Sturt University (CSU).

Matthew says while Horizon Scholarship financial assistance will help meet expenses while studying at CSU in Wagga Wagga, it will also provide opportunities through work placements, professional development workshops, mentoring and networking.

“Work placements in a variety of fields will broaden my knowledge of many aspects of agriculture, giving me insight to where it is headed in the future and potentially open doors for future employment.

In addition, professional development workshops will enable me to meet and learn from current leaders and innovators in the agricultural industry, while the workshops will allow me to meet fellow Horizon Scholars from a range of backgrounds who share a passion in agriculture,” he explains.

Environmental sustainability is important to Matthew, who hopes to change some of the ‘old’ farming practices to ensure a sustainable future for the next generation.

“I hope to draw on these Horizon Scholarship opportunities to help achieve a more sustainable and efficient agricultural industry and encourage more people to become part of this exciting field,” he says.

Through my study at CSU and the knowledge I will gain through the Horizon Scholarship-sponsored opportunities, I am sure I will have much to offer the agriculture industry in meeting the growing demands for clean green food and products.”

Sponsor: Grains Research and Development Corporation

Roxanne Mostert

Roxanne Mostert from Redmond in Western Australia receives a 2015 Horizon Scholarship supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation. Roxanne is studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Western Australia.

Roxanne’s interest in animals began at a young age and has since developed into a passion for agriculture in general.

“On our home dairy farm I am actively involved with various aspects of the business, including fodder conservation, milking procedures, animal health monitoring and calf rearing.

My initial career intention was to become a veterinarian, driven largely by my love for animals, however since completing school studies in Animal Production Systems and Plant Production Systems, I have become interested in broader agriculture – a career as a farm consultant that covers both areas appeals to me,” she explains.

Specifically Roxanne has a great interest in sustainably maintaining livestock production systems through the close monitoring of animal health and nutrition.

She says the financial support and work placement opportunities provided through the Horizon Scholarship is particularly appealing.

“I believe this scholarship will help maximise my university outcomes and agricultural experiences while the financial support will also greatly assist me.

I will use the Horizon Scholarship as a means to further network within the agricultural sector and also to highlight and encourage others to be part of this rewarding industry,” she concludes.

Sponsor: Grains Research and Development Corporation

Camilla a’Beckett

Camilla a’Beckett from Middle Park receives a 2015 Horizon Scholarship supported by the Cotton Research and Development Corporation. Camilla is studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Melbourne. While she is from a viticultural background, Camilla is naturally drawn to all kinds of agriculture, but in particular animal health and production.

She is very passionate about a future in the sector, and while she is keeping her career options open, areas that interest her include genetics, advocacy, agriculture and the environment, sustainability and nutrition.

“I have not chosen a particular career aspiration yet, but believe that by being part of the Horizon Scholarship program I will be able to find what I am best at and pursue it to my highest potential.

Having said that, over the past few years I have been exposed to a family company focussing on acquiring an optimal gene pool in Angus bulls, which has sparked my interest in genetics and breeding,” she explains.

Camilla says she was drawn to the Horizon Scholarship more than other agricultural scholarships because it provides so much more than just financial support.

“Horizon isn’t just a fund to help you get through your studies – you have the opportunity to be involved in annual industry placements in various fields that open your eyes to new and emerging practices as well as more traditional methods.

In addition, you are able to attend many industry events that help you network and become part of the industry by meeting professionals,” she says.

Above all Camilla says she is excited about making connections with other young people who all have a similar passion for agriculture.

“I am really looking forward to using Horizon to meet other like-minded people at conferences and workshops with whom I can start initiatives and generate ideas that will enhance Australia’s future in agriculture,” she says.

Sponsor: Cotton Research and Development Corporation

Elicia Jitming Lim

Elicia Jitming Lim from Beverly Hills in New South Wales receives a 2015 Horizon Scholarship supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation. She is studying a Bachelor of Food and Agribusiness at the University of Sydney.

Elicia believes the Horizon Scholarship not only provides financial support but, more uniquely, a gateway into the practical aspects of both professional development workshops and industry work placements.

“I believe the Horizon Scholarship goes beyond just encouraging people like myself to gain firsthand experience in modern agricultural practices, but also challenges us to consider what to do with this knowledge and how we can use it to improve, create and solve.

The Horizon Scholarship will help me better understand the business of agriculture and equip me with the knowledge needed to face the increasingly important question of global food security,” she explains.

Despite living in Sydney, with few resources at her disposal in comparison to traditional farms, Elicia has always been fascinated with the plant kingdom and has harboured a desire to grow her own food.

Elicia hopes in time to find ways to market and more effectively implement modern agricultural practices to streamline production and manufacturing aspects for the benefit of all Australians. In addition she hopes to use her multi-lingual skills to improve agricultural relations with China in particular.

Sponsor: Grains Research and Development Corporation

Jack McIntosh

Jack McIntosh from Bathurst in New South Wales receives a 2015 Horizon Scholarship supported by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. Jack is studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Charles Sturt University.

For as long as he can remember Jack has been passionate about agriculture – with both his parents from farming families in the central west of NSW, most childhood memories were formed with a backdrop of either the Macquarie River or a set of sheep yards.

Jack applied for a Horizon Scholarship due to not just the financial bursary, but also the invaluable contacts and industry experience it will provide.

“Through the Horizon Scholarship I will be mentored by industry professionals and leaders in agriculture, which will boost my employment opportunities and open doors I would never have imagined possible.

Another bonus will be being surrounded by people who share my passion for agriculture and it’s bright future – the opportunity to attend conferences, obtain work placements, build networks within industry and share ideas with other Horizon Scholarship holders will be an exciting platform from which to grow both personally and professionally,” he says.

With an innate desire to learn, Jack is immensely excited about working in an industry that feeds and clothes not only Australians, but millions of people around the world.

“I would love to convert this passion into a career where I am able to contribute back and genuinely make a difference, either educating the next generation or consulting with farmers in the paddock to better improve their outcomes.

Agriculture is the world’s most essential industry and who wouldn’t want to be involved in that!” Jack says.

Sponsor: Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation

Eliza Seymour

Eliza Seymour from Buderim in Queensland receives a 2015 Horizon Scholarship supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation. She is studying a Bachelor of Science and Commerce at the University of Queensland.

Eliza’s strong interest in plant science began with a biology assignment in Year 12, which tested the effectiveness of different fertilisers on dwarf bean plants, describing it as the ‘most fascinating piece of science I had ever studied’.

“I am already an advocate for the health benefits of fresh produce and after I discovered my love for plant science, I decided a career in agriculture was a path I wanted to pursue.

I want to use my scientific knowledge and business skills to improve the efficiency of modern agricultural practices, reducing the risk of food shortages and providing Australian and international consumers with fresh, healthy and affordable produce,” she explains.

Eliza says the extensive services offered by the Horizon Scholarship throughout the duration of her degree stood out to her.

“Not only is there financial aid, but there are opportunities to participate in professional development workshops, networking and industry placement – I am very aware of how valuable these experiences will be!

Horizon Scholarship holders step into the agricultural industry with experience, industry connections and a clearer view of which niches need to be filled and how they can go about doing this,” she concludes.

Sponsor: Grains Research and Development Corporation

Luke Vella

Luke Vella from Leppington in New South Wales receives a 2015 Horizon Scholarship supported by Horticulture Innovation Australia. Luke is studying a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the University of Sydney. He is passionate about horticulture as well as engineering and technology within the agricultural sector.

Luke’s family operates one of the largest seedling nurseries in the Southern hemisphere, ‘Leppington Speedy Seedlings and Supplies’ and also owns a nursery and research and development company which is developing better techniques for plant propagation.

Luke has become actively involved in the family business and is interested in large scale seedling production, breeding and propagation.

Luke is passionate about meeting the challenges facing Australian agriculture and believes that the Scholarship provides invaluable networking and communication experience. Luke has a strong science background and is looking forward to learning from industry leaders. He hopes to make improvements within the agricultural industry in the future through innovation.

Sponsor: Horticulture Innovation Australia

Scott Nevison

Scott Nevison from Gordon in New South Wales receives a 2015 Horizon Scholarship supported by the Cotton Research and Development Corporation. Scott is studying a Bachelor of Food and Agribusiness at the University of Sydney.

Scott grew up in China and Malaysia, where he was influenced by what he saw as a drastic need for improved food security and sustainability to support those countries growing urban populations. This sparked an interest in Scott to one day contribute to a more sustainable agriculture future for those countries.

The appeal of the Horizon Scholarship for Scott includes networking opportunities, workshops, mentoring and industry placements.

“I believe it will link me with like-minded people who share the same passion for agriculture – I will use the experience to maximise my potential to contribute to solutions concerning many key agricultural issues, such as the growing global food security crisis and improving agricultural sustainability and profitability,” he explains.

Scott also believes the Horizon Scholarship will provide access to mentoring opportunities and industry placements, which will help him understand key agricultural issues through exposure to leading industry knowledge and hands-on practical experience.

“I hope this will help me settle on a specific career path – needless to say, it will involve improving Australian and global agricultural production and profitability through marketing, production or research.

One area I am particularly interested in is the research and development of new technologies such as robotic milking systems and genetically modified crops, which I see as the future of agriculture,” Scott concludes.

Sponsor: Cotton Research and Development Corporation