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School leavers encouraged to apply for leading agriculture scholarship 16 Jan 2012

School leavers looking to take up an agricultural-related degree are being encouraged to apply for The Horizon Scholarship.

An initiative of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, in partnership with industry sponsors, The Horizon Scholarship provides a bursary of $5,000 per year for the duration of a student’s university degree.

The Horizon Scholarship also offers students annual industry work placements that give them first-hand exposure to modern agricultural practices, mentoring partnerships with university faculty members and industry leaders, professional development workshops and opportunities to network and gain knowledge at a range of industry events.

RIRDC’s Managing Director Craig Burns said The Horizon Scholarship has been developed to support the next generation of agricultural leaders who will take up the challenge of farming for the future.

“We are looking for young people who are passionate about agriculture, with a keen interest in the future of our industries and who are ready to expand their networks and learn new skills,” Mr Burns said.

Current Horizon Scholar, Naomi Marks from Dorrigo in NSW is studying a Bachelor of Agribusiness at UNE and said The Horizon Scholarship has provided not only important financial support but also enabled her to develop practical skills that will prepare her for the workforce at the end of her degree.

“The Horizon Scholarship has opened up so many doors for me and without it I would not have been exposed to the wonderful opportunities to network and gain experience in different industries. Another highlight for me was achieving great grades at university this year. Without the financial support from the Scholarship I would not have been able to devote so much time to my study,” Naomi said.

To be eligible for The Horizon Scholarship students must be entering their first year of university and studying a degree related to agriculture, such as agricultural science, rural science, livestock/animal science, veterinary science or agribusiness.

Scholarship recipients will be selected on the basis of their commitment to a career in agriculture, as well as their leadership potential and high school academic record. Applications close on 1 February 2012 and shortlisted applicants must be available for a telephone interview on 14 or 15 February 2012.  The Scholarship winners are announced in late February 2012.

Application forms can be downloaded from the RIRDC website at www.rirdc.gov.au or by contacting RIRDC on 02 6271 4100.

Sponsors of The Horizon Scholarship are Woolworths, Agrig8, the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Australian Egg Corporation, Australian Pork Limited, the Cotton Research and Development Corporation, the Grains Research and Development Corporation, the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, Horticulture Australia Limited, Meat & Livestock Australia, RIRDC and the RIRDC Chicken Meat Program.

Media enquiries:
Damon Whittock (RIRDC Public Affairs Manager) – 02 6271 4175 or 0458 215 604 or Victoria Taylor (Horizon Scholarship Coordinator) – ph. 0417 466 234.