Sheep, goat and cattle scholars get $10,000 Horizon Scholarship boost

Sheep Central, April 12, 2023

Arran Hersburgh and friends. Image – AgriFutures Australia.

YOUNG agricultural students with a passion for genetic advancement of the sheep, goat and beef industries are among 22 agricultural students to be awarded 2023 Horizon Scholarships this week.

The Horizon Scholarship provides scholars with a $10,000 bursary over two years, thanks to ongoing support from industry sponsors, inclusding Australian Wool Innovation and Meat & Livestock Australia.

The new scholars will now attend an annual four-day professional development workshop in July and complete two weeks of industry placement each year, covered by the support of their sponsor.

AgriFutures Australia said the Horizon Scholarship program provides the next generation of leaders with opportunities to kickstart their leadership skills and expand their networks.

AgriFutures Australia managing director John Harvey said the scholarship recipients’s exceptional passion, ambition, and commitment to agriculture has distinguished them from a talented pool of applicants.

“We are so appreciative to our industry sponsors for their investment in supporting the next generation of rural leaders,” said Mr Harvey.

The 2023 sponsors include the Grains Research & Development Corporation, Kalyx Australia, Marine Bioproducts Cooperative Research Centre, Baiada Poultry, the Southern NSW Innovation Hub, Australian Eggs, AWI, Dairy Australia, MLA, Hort Innovation, the Cotton Research and Development Corporation, AgriFutures evokeAG., and the AgriFutures export fodder, thoroughbred horses, rice, pasture seeds and chicken meat programs.

From the suburbs to sheep for Charlie

Charlie Shadwell’s scholarship is sponsored by Australian Wool Innovation. Image – AgriFutures Australia.

AWI-sponsored scholar Charlie Shadwell grew up in suburban Dubbo and was fortunate to have a direct family close by that owned and operated sheep, cattle and cropping enterprises, allowing him to develop a strong passion for the agricultural industry. With his secondary schooling at Farrer in Tamworth he was involved in White Suffolk and Merino flock management, genetic selection and breeding.

He said he was very passionate about how sheep artificial breeding can help achieve rapid genetic advancements to improve the quality and quantity of meat and fibre that Australia produces.

“I’m ecstatic to have the Australian Wool Innovation Limited (AWI) as my sponsor and can’t wait to get a better understanding of their operation and the main factors influencing the productivity of sheep reproduction, including woolgrower education and best practice management, ewe nutrition and supplementary feeding, mob dynamics and climate variability on sheep reproductive health.”

Arran is interested in new tech, AI and autonomous farming

MLA-sponsored scholar Arran Hersburgh grew up in the Melbourne suburbs, but going to school in town and spending weekends on his grandfather’s property, fostered a craving for open space and different work. After taking a gap year to work and travel, he moved up north to Townsville to start studying, and his love for livestock production has only grown.

Arran said he is fascinated by the role new technologies and artificial intelligence are going to play in the move to autonomous farming.

“I want to use a knowledge of veterinary science to help integrate infrastructure that can improve our efficiency.

“I have a keen interest in genetics and how they might be manipulated to support future viability of the industry, as well as exploring new market opportunities for red meat production,” he said.

“I’m excited to see the what the future of cattle, goat and sheep production looks like through MLA’s research and network.

“With their guidance, I want to gain insight into the problems facing meat production in modern Australia and where veterinary science can help meet demands,” he said.

“I hope through discussion, networking and industry placements I can broaden my perspective and capacity.”


Tessa is set on a veterinary career

Bovine reproduction and genetics are Tessa Cook’s special interests. Image: AgriFutures Australia.

MLA-sponsored scholar Tessa Cook grew up on a mixed enterprise cattle and cropping property about 60 kilometres north-west of Clermont in Queensland. She is in her fourth year of a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at James Cook University in Townsville.

“I am passionate about the beef industry, in particular bovine reproduction and genetics.

“I was fortunate enough in my gap years to complete a pregnancy testing and artificial insemination certificate through the Emerald Agricultural College, which drove me to broaden my knowledge and apply to study veterinary science,” she said.

“Pregnancy testing, AI, IVF and embryo transfer have all sparked my interest from a young age and has been a focus of mine throughout my studies.”

Mr Harvey encouraged scholars to make the most of the fantastic opportunities their industry sponsors provide.

“They will be able to collaborate across rural industries, participate in valuable work placements and attend workshops that will open doors to a successful career in their chosen field,” he said.

The 2023 AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship Program cohort and their universities and sponsors include:

Alice Alexander, SA, Mount Gambier, The University of Adelaide, AgriFutures Export Fodder Program; Arran Hersburgh, VIC, Melbourne, James Cook University, Meat & Livestock Australia. Ben Peden, NSW, Sydney, The University of Sydney, AgriFutures evokeAG. Charlie Shadwell, NSW, Dubbo, Charles Sturt University, Australian Wool Innovation Ltd. Daniel Bronitt, QLD, Brisbane, Australian National University, AgriFutures Rice Program. Ella Fleming, QLD, Brisbane, University of Queensland, AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Program. Ellie Buchanan, NSW, Mudgee, University of Melbourne, Dairy Australia. Georgie Oldham, NSW, Sydney, University of New England, Cotton Research & Development Corporation. Grace Moloney, NSW, Maitland, University of Adelaide, Grains Research & Development Corporation. Haylee Murrell, NSW, Gunnedah, University of New England, Kalyx Australia. Holly Miller, NSW, Narrabri, University of New England, Grains Research & Development Corporation. Imogen Morrison, QLD, Brisbane, University of Queensland, Marine Bioproducts Cooperative Research Centre. Isaac Halling, QLD, Dalby, University of Southern Queensland, AgriFutures Pasture Seeds Program. James White, NSW, Gundagai, Charles Sturt University, Southern NSW Innovation Hub. Jarrah Ransome, VIC, Jindivick, University of New England, AgriFutures Chicken Meat Program. Joshua Ronalds, VIC, Ballarat, Charles Sturt University, Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd. Lucy Ford, VIC, Melbourne, Charles Sturt University, Baiada Poultry. Lucy Walsh, NSW, Sydney, Charles Sturt University, Australian Eggs Ltd. Natalie Sawyer, NSW, Finley, University of New England, Grains Research & Development Corporation. Niamh Mason, NSW, Hawkesbury, University of Queensland, Cotton Research & Development Corporation. Teale Simmons, QLD, Clermont, University of Sydney, Grains Research & Development Corporation. Tessa Cook, QLD, Clermont, James Cook University, Meat & Livestock Australia.

Source – AgriFutures Australia.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Sheep Central's news headlines emailed to you -