WA celebrates young professionals in agriculture

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 6th April 2011

Western Australian Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman presented Alana Shedley with Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum’s top award at a function in Perth, hosted by the Department of Agriculture and Food and the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology.

The award and accompanying prize money recognises the work of tertiary agriculture and natural resource management students who have completed an undergraduate degree.

Redman said the State’s agriculture and food industry was competing against other economic sectors to attract innovative young thinkers and professionals.

“The Western Australian agriculture and food sector needs to be at the forefront of innovation along the whole supply chain, from farm to plate,” he said.

“By recognising and supporting high achievers to move into agricultural studies and careers, we hope to bring long-term benefits with exciting new talent coming into the industry.

“I congratulate the award recipients and all the participants for their hard work, enthusiasm and passion for food and agriculture.”

Students studying agriculture-related subjects at WA universities were invited to participate in the forum by submitting an overview of their final year project objectives. The finalists then submitted a 3,000 word paper and delivered a 15 minute presentation.

Shedley accepted top honours for her work on nitrogen and phosphorus availability in soils under eucalyptus mallee belts and adjacent agricultural alleys in the Wheatbelt.

Shedley completed a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science at Murdoch University, followed by a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Soil Science at The University of Western Australia.  She is currently working as a sustainable agriculture project officer with the South West Catchments Council.

Second prize went to UWA graduate Rebecca Wallis, who outlined her work on the acceptability of native Australian shrub, Rhagodia preissii, as forage for sheep.

Third prize and award for best presentation went to Lizzy Lowe, who studied immunity in English bees, through an internship at the University of Leeds during 2010.  Lowe spoke about individual and colony immune response in honey bees.