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Scholarship offers $5,000 a year for students studying ag degrees at university 07 Jan 2013

A Government-run scholarship is offering first-year university students $5,000 per annum if they study an agriculture-related degree.

The Horizon Scholarship is an initiative of the Rural Industries R&D Corporation in partnership with industry sponsors and not only offers students financial support but also work placements, mentoring and professional development opportunities.

The Horizon Scholarship also provides students with opportunities to network and gain knowledge at a range of industry events.

RIRDC’s Managing Director Craig Burns said The Horizon Scholarship provides real and practical benefits for the students involved. 

“The students involved in the Scholarship are expanding their networks and learning new skills. Combined with easing the financial burden on students and families, the Scholarship is opening doors for these future agricultural leaders,” Mr Burns said.

Current Horizon Scholar, Richard Quigley from Trangie in central-west NSW is studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Sydney and said The Horizon Scholarship has provided not only important financial support but also enabled him to develop practical skills that will prepare him for the workforce at the end of his degree.

“Programs like the Horizon Scholarship are so important to the future of Australian agriculture," Richard said.

"Before I was with this program I felt that the number of young students truly passionate about agriculture were few and far between and now I am really excited to be networking with other young people who are just as passionate about the industry.”

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 2013 and shortlisted applicants must be available for a telephone interview on 21 and 22 February 2013.  The Scholarship winners are announced in late February 2013.

Application forms can be downloaded from the RIRDC website at www.rirdc.gov.au/horizon or by contacting RIRDC on 02 6271 4132.

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, the Sugar Research and Development Corporation, Horticulture Australia Limited, Meat & Livestock Australia, Australian Wool Innovation, RIRDC, the RIRDC Rice Program, and the RIRDC Chicken Meat Program.

Media contact: Margo Andrae, ph. 0404 836 631; Damon Whittock, ph. 02 6271 4175 or 0458 215 604