THREE new graduates have started an 18-month Agronomist Development Program with Agriculture Victoria, which includes intensive placements with leading grower groups and agri-business.
The program, which provides valuable grains industry capability, is part of the Regional Research Agronomists program, funded through a bilateral agreement between the Grains Research and Development Corporation and the state government.
Agriculture Victoria senior regional research agronomist James Nuttall said graduates gained direct exposure to grains-related research and development and would build invaluable networks across the industry.
“One of the three new graduates, Queenslander Jasmine Marsh, will be based at Horsham,” he said.
“She will work across the state’s north-west, completing placements with the Birchip Cropping Group and Landmark at Horsham with a focus on medium rainfall cropping systems.”
Ms Marsh has a Bachelor of Science with honours from the University of Queensland.
“Tom Batters, a graduate of the University of Melbourne from St Arnaud, will be based at Bendigo and will cover the Mallee with placements with the Birchip Cropping Group and Agrivision at Swan Hill,” Dr Nuttall said.
“Elly Polonowita, also a University of Melbourne graduate with a Bachelor of Agriculture, will be based at Hamilton.
“She will undertake placements with Southern Farming Systems at Inverleigh and Gorst Rural at Lake Bolac.
“The graduates will build their agronomic knowledge and expertise by gaining experience in key areas including seasonal risk management, nutrition and pathology, trial development and management, pest, weed and disease identification and crop protection options in a regional farming systems context.”
These graduates are the third intake since the program started in 2015.
Corporation’s grower services southern regional manager Craig Ruchs said the joint GRDC-Agriculture Victoria program aimed to accelerate the development of new grains sector agronomists who would work across industry to develop important networks and a diverse skills base.