2018 Scholars

Aaron James

Growing up on a dairy farm on the NSW border, in Womboota, Aaron James became interested in agriculture at a very young age. By living on the land and working on the farm with his family throughout his childhood, he has always had a passion for agriculture.

Aaron attended Bunnaloo Primary School and completed high school at Moama Anglican Grammar School. Aaron is now pursuing his passion for agriculture by studying a Bachelor of Agriculture at Melbourne University and currently residing at St Mary’s College.

Aaron is excited about the future of agriculture and is thrilled to receive the opportunity to pursue his passion for rural industries through the Horizon Scholarship.

“I am delighted to receive a Horizon Scholarship as I believe it will open many doors and give me a great experience which will hold me in good stead for my future career in agriculture, and I sincerely thank everyone involved for this once in a life time opportunity,” said Aaron.

Sponsor: Grains Research and Development Corporation

Andrew Gray

Andrew Gray has always fostered a strong interest in agriculture, with an early passion for the dairy industry. This has created opportunities for him to meet many like-minded people with a similar passion for agriculture from all over Australia and abroad.

Andrew not only has a passion for the dairy industry, but from a young age, created industry networks which consequently resulted in Andrew creating his very own breeding herd.

“At age 13, after meeting an influential Ayrshire breeder, I was gifted a female Ayrshire calf and founded Long Gully Ayrshire Stud. This created an ambition to breed well structured stock, with a strong focus on commercial competitiveness. Through breeding and purchases, Long Gully Ayrshires has grown in numbers, now operating with cattle on four farms primarily in the Adelaide Hills, and with one farm in northern Victoria.” said Andrew.

Andrew  enjoys managing breeding programs and exhibiting stock at the Royal Adelaide Show along with multiple shows throughout South Australia and Victoria. His interest has led to participation in many dairy industry workshops, study tours (Mt Gambier, Tasmania, New Zealand) and young farmer groups. Over the past 18 months, Andrew has been working on a 400 cow dairy in Wall Flat where he has had the opportunity to build his industry knowledge and skills.

Andrew’s career aspirations include farm management roles with a goal to own a multi-enterprise agricultural business that incorporates a dairy.

“I see huge opportunity in Australian agriculture and am excited by the present and future technological advancements improving the efficiency and sustainability of farming enterprises.

“I hope to use the work placements offered by the Horizon Scholarship program to further develop my industry networks and learn first hand from some of the best operators in Australia. I am also excited by the opportunity to participate in professional training and development offered by the scholarship, as I believe this will put me in a strong position for a successful career in agriculture.” said Andrew.

Sponsor: Dairy Australia

Anna Horton

Agriculture is the heart of rural communities and is one of the reasons Anna loved growing up on her family farm.

“My interest in agriculture started from a young age having grown up on a sheep property. Our farm, located on the southern Monaro, runs a self-replacing merino flock, with prime lambs also entering the mix. I’ve always enjoyed helping out on the farm and the rural lifestyle that comes with it,” said Anna

Anna attended Delegate Primary School from Kindergarten to Year 6, before heading off to boarding school in Year 7. For the next six years Anna boarded at Frensham School, located in the Southern Highlands.

Following high school Anna got the opportunity to broaden her agricultural experience by working on a stock station in northern Australia.


“I took a gap year last year in the Northern Territory, working as a stock hand on Lake Nash Station, three hours west of Mount Isa. Mustering, processing and branding cattle on the 4.2 million acre property. The experience opened my eyes to various grazing and farming techniques as well as water points. It was an educational experience and one that I cherish and will always remember, ” said Anna.

Anna is in her first year at University of New England studying a Bachelor of Agribusiness.

Sponsor: Australian Wool Innovation


Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith did not grown up on large farming enterprises like many of other Horizon scholars, however growing up on a small farm is something Ashley believes gives him a unique outlook.

Ashley believes in the value of hard work and what you put in is what you get out of life.

“Coming from a small farm you learn an interesting and distinct perspective. You learn the value of hard work and the need for hard work. I learnt this through watching my father come home from his full time job and toil on the farm. He never minded though because he loved it. I watched my mother come home from teaching, beaming at the achievements in her students that she helped create. From my parents I learnt both the value of hard work and an education, I learnt that hard work will make you happy as long as you love it and knowledge is power, it sets you free,” said Ashley.

Ashley is passionate about agricultural science and enjoys learning and investigating particularly when it comes to grains. Ashley is excited for the future of agricultural science and believes he can make his footprint on the industry.

“I apply the values of hard work and believe in the importance of knowledge and truth and these can lead me towards becoming the best scientist I can be. My experience with coming from a rural area has shown me both the amazing benefits reaped from agriculture and where it can improve. Hence, why I want to contribute my knowledge and energy into improving the world of agriculture through the lens of science, ” said Ashley.

Ashley has made the move from his hometown in Auburn, South Australia to the Australian National University in Canberra, and is studying a Bachelor of Science (Advanced).

Sponsor: Grains Research and Development Corporation

Charles Bergmeier

Charles Bergemeier’s interest for agriculture stemmed from the challenges and opportunities he was faced with from growing up on the family farm.

“Having been raised on a broad acre mixed farming enterprise in the southern Riverina, I have experienced the harsh extremes of life on the land, both its exciting challenges and amazing potential. Farming has been my passion for as long as I can recall, with anything and everything relating to agriculture taking my interest, ” said Charles.

Charles, like many farm kids chose to dedicate his time to working in shearing sheds, or helping out during harvest through his early schooling years, but he dedicated his senior years to study with the aim to enter university to further his agricultural education.

Through his experience on the farm, his interest for farming technology grew and a keen desire developed on how technology can be implemented in modern farming practices to drive efficiencies and productivity.

“Emerging technologies with regard to multi-spectral imagery from drones or satellites, protein and yield mapping, alongside potential autonomous systems have incredible capacity to drive future efficiency gains increasing both productivity and profitability whilst ensuring sustainability. Currently much research is directed toward precision agriculture, however, it continues to be an emerging and developing industry,” said Charles.

Charles is excited to be part of the Horizon Scholarship program and believes it will be a great benefit in providing opportunities to network, and learn from the wealth of experience current industry leaders possess.

Charles is in his first year at University of New England, studying a Bachelor of Agriculture and a Bachelor of Business, with the intention of focusing on precision agriculture.

“The thought of positively contributing towards the future of the Australian agricultural is exciting and compelling,” said Charles.

Sponsor: Grains Research and Development Corporation

Emma Moss

Emma Moss aims to bridge the gap between urban Australia and small agricultural communities through education and awareness. Emma has taken a step in doing so by creating a platform on social media that has attracted thousands of people to follow her agricultural journey.

Emma’s passion for agriculture began on her family farm in Pittsworth, Queensland however her interest for livestock grew from the opportunity to travel to the other side of Australia to work on Nerima Station in the Kimberley, Western Australia.

Emma worked as a jillaroo on the half million-acre station mustering, processing cattle, fencing, yard work, maintenance.

“I wanted to capture the beauty around me on the station, so I bought a second-hand camera from the station cook. In September 2016 I started an Instagram page – Life On A Station – which now has over 14.5k followers. My Instagram has led to an ABC Invisible Farmer blog, Rural Weekly and other newspaper articles, a Graziher magazine story and a Landline feature in early 2018. I wanted to use this platform to promote Australian agriculture which has opened many leadership and learning opportunities,” said Emma.

With station life in her blood, Emma deferred university for another year and worked at Pardoo station in 2017, 2 hours north of Port Hedland in the Pilbara, Western Australia. Jillarooing at Pardoo, Emma realised the path she wanted to take in agriculture.

“After working on the centre pivots at Pardoo I saw the challenges faced in developing pivots on marginal country. A trend which is slowly starting in northern Western Australia. The link between soil, plant and animal nutrition is what I want to focus on,” said Emma.

Emma plans to explore these links further through her Bachelor of Sustainable Agriculture at University of Queensland.

Sponsor: Meat and Livestock Australia

Indiana Rhind

Unlike other Horizon Scholars who grew up in the country, Indiana Rhind grew up in the heart of Sydney NSW, however was exposed to agriculture with weekend trips to family and friend’s hobby farms.

“The personality of the animals and the way things functioned on a farm never failed to amaze me. I was always a curious child, pondering how things worked, and could often be found looting my father’s tool box or pulling something apart that wasn’t working anymore. This curiosity extended to how farms worked as I grew older. I am fascinated with all the different technologies and systems in place that allowed farming to be as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible,” said Indiana.

This is where Indiana’s idea of a career as an agricultural engineer evolved.

“I actively pursued my interest, signing up to as many engineering and agricultural related activities as possible. Due to this, I have been involved in many programs, including the 2016 Women In Engineering Camp (WIEC) hosted by UNSW, work placement with the National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture (NCEA), which is a research centre at the University of Southern Queensland,” said Indiana.

Indiana says she is now pursuing her dream career at Univeristy of Southern Queensland where she is studying a Bachelor of Engineering majoring in agricultural engineering.

Indiana has a specific focus on humane indoor farming in urban areas and will explore this through her university degree and is excited about the networks and opportunities the Horizon Scholarship will provide her.

“I am thrilled to receive a Horizon Scholarship and know that my career can only go up from here. I could not be any more excited for this amazing opportunity to grow and develop into a qualified agricultural engineer and start improving the agricultural industry that I am so passionate about,” said Indiana.

Sponsor: AgriFutures Australia 

Jack Lane

Jack Lane, a rugby player from the Central West city of Dubbo NSW, says it’s important to create key industry networks and build business relationships from the ground up and believes the best place to start is at university.

Jack grew up on a small irrigation farm between Dubbo and Narromine and says he has experienced just about any activity that farming life can throw at you.

“I loved being on the farm working, whether it was harvesting, fencing or cattle work anything was better than being stuck inside,” said Jack.

Jacks interest in building business networks started in his senior years of schooling where he spent four years at St Gregory’s College in Sydney.

“I gained many opportunities in the agricultural, sporting and business areas. Attending cattle shows, playing sport and making new contacts for the future were all gained from my time at St Gregory’s, experiences that are irreplaceable,” said Jack.

Jack is in his third year of university studying a double degree in a Bachelor of Agriculture and a Bachelor of Business at the University of New England, and is excited about the future ahead.

“Since joining the business school of UNE and studying in this discipline I have a great interest in trading and financial operations, and intend on working towards a career in agribusiness in the future,” said Jack.

Sponsor: Westpac

James Peacock

James Peacock grew up on the surf lifestyle of the sunny Gold Coast, QLD. James didn’t grow up on a traditional large property like many other scholars, however enjoyed the lifestyle, his one acre farm provided in the Hinterland.

James’ passion for the outdoors stemmed from his mother’s influence, who is an environmental scientist, and encouraged James to follow his interests in agriculture.

“I’ve always known that I wanted to pursue a future career in agriculture but only realised my passion for the science aspects in high school where I became fascinated with the topics of productivity and sustainability,” said James.


James started his agricultural career at a teenager by creating a small farming enterprise in his backyard.

“I experimented with small agricultural operations whilst at home that would eventually lead on to an egg-based agribusiness which was large enough to provide me with some savings and pocket money during my studies in senior years,” said James.

James is in his first year at University of Queensland studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and aims to one day be a leader at the forefront of science in the egg or livestock industries.

Sponsor: Australian Eggs

Joe Gibson

Joe Gibson believes education is key to the future prosperity of Australian agriculture and is excited to contribute to rural industries.

Joe grew up on a small tight-knit farming community in Tatyoon, in western Victoria and has always enjoyed helping his family out on their sheep and cropping farm, where he developed a passion for learning and skills that would benefit his agricultural career.

“I have been lucky enough to work on farms in my local district where I have been able to gain valuable experience learning, gaining new perspectives, skills and knowledge around farm operation and practice around crops, sheep and pigs,” said Joe.

Joe is in his first year of studying a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at La Trobe University, where he has developed a keen sense for agribusiness, farm management and agronomy.

“I am enjoying learning new skills and knowledge that can be applied to various aspects of the industry and am excited to discover what opportunities lie beyond the farm. I am looking forward to pursuing my passion in agriculture through my degree and ultimately contribute to the ongoing success of agriculture in Australia,” said Joe.

Sponsor: Grains Research and Development Corporation

Lochlan Jepson

Lochlan Jepson’s experience in agriculture isn’t limited to just one or two industries, rather it has been very diverse. Lochlan grew up on a hobby farm in Childers, QLD – farming sugarcane, avocados and macadamias.

A keen interest in grains and fodder was sparked through his experience helping his grandparents with their brahman cattle, and competing on his two quarter horses.

“I have seen firsthand by trying to keep both cattle and horses in top condition, the importance of having good pastures to feed and I’ve developed a strong interest in hay farming,” said Lochlan.


Lochlan further developed his skills during high school, joining the cattle showing team, the equestrian team and also went on to complete a Certificate III in Horsemanship.

Lochlan is in his first year of studying a Bachelor of Agriculture Science at Central Queensland University, and hopes to build on his experiences and gain further knowledge to help him excel in his chosen agricultural field.

He is excited to be a part of the Horizon Scholarship program and is looking forward to building networks and meeting key industry contacts to help him contribute to the future of Australian agriculture.

Sponsor: Grains Research and Development Corporation

Sarah Ludington

Sarah Ludington, from Sydney NSW, aims to be an advocate for Australian agriculture and contribute to the long-term prosperity of our rural industries.

“I want to show other city kids that the agricultural industry is not out of reach to them and educate them on where their food comes from. In doing this, I would have the opportunity to start giving back to the dairy industry and all the people along the way who have taken the time to teach and encourage my agricultural pursuits,” said Sarah.

Sarah’s interest in agriculture was sparked by the opportunity to join the dairy show team in high school. Not only did Sarah excel in her role but began her very own dairy herd along the way.

“When I turned 18, breeders and family friends that I had met whilst showing cattle gifted me with my first dairy heifer, an Ayrshire calf. With this calf I started my own dairy stud and started showing my own animals at shows around Australia,” said Sarah.

Sarah has her sights set on a career in livestock nutrition and genetics, and aims to explore how nutrition and genetics could be managed in order to produce high quality products.

“I would love to consult with farmers in the livestock industry, especially dairy farmers, on how to implement strategies around genetics and nutrition to maximize productivity,” said Sarah.

Sarah is looking forward to the opportunities the Horizon Scholarship will provide her to network with industry professionals and develop as a leader through the annual workshops.

Sarah is in her first year studying a Bachelor of Rural Science at University of New England.

Sponsor: Dairy Australia

Thomas Taylor

Thomas Taylor is in his third year of a Bachelor of Commerce and Liberal Studies majoring in International Business and Chinese at the University of Sydney. Thomas sees great potential in the Asian market and aims to help Australian primary producers by creating new trade links and revenue streams for their agribusiness.

Thomas grew up on his family’s mixed farming enterprise operation in Grenfell, NSW where he experienced farming but more importantly learnt the strength and importance of his local rural community.

He learnt the importance of creating key industry networks in the agricultural industry at a young age and has gained valuable work experience with several large agribusinesses.

Thomas aims to gain experience in Asia and Australia to expose and broaden his knowledge, and then continue to implement his learning back on his family farm.

“I am extremely excited by the recent boom in agriculture and the plethora of opportunities it presents, particularly for the younger generation,” said Thomas.

Thomas believes the Horizon Scholarship will enable him to not only implement his long-term goals but also narrow his vision to establish short term goals.

Sponsor: Westpac

William Scott

William Scott says that agriculture is the forgotten industry of Australia and he wants to contribute to education and awareness to make a change.

William grew up on a sixth generation apple orchard, Scott Brothers, located in Cairns Bay, in Tasmania’s Far South.  Whilst growing up William gained firsthand experience into the inner workings of the fruit industry including export to both local and overseas markets.

“I have a passion for the importance of the apple industry and the agriculture industry as a whole within Australia.  In particular, the expanding Cider industry and the opportunities created by this expanding industry,” said William.

Currently studying a double Degree of Economics and Business at the University of Tasmania, he also has a keen interest in finance and economics, this interest is further enhanced by his part-time employment at Ford Scott Financial Planning.

In the future, William hopes to use his knowledge in both the agriculture and finance industries to enhance and develop the industry as a whole.

The opportunity to take part in the Horizon Scholarship program provides a great experience and learning opportunity for William to build on his current skills and knowledge.

Sponsor: Westpac