They are the Class of 2014, and the 22 Curtin University students graduating with a Bachelor of Agribusiness have more than their degree to celebrate.
They are the first group of students to finish studying Curtin’s agribusiness degree entirely on the Bentley Campus, after the course moved from the Northam Campus of the Muresk Institute in 2011.
Additionally, more than three quarters of the graduates have already been employed by various agronomy, agribusiness, and consulting companies, or are returning to work on their family farm.
Agribusiness student Bradley Joyce, who has secured a job with a local consulting company, said he knows he still has a lot to learn but is looking forward to the challenge.
“There are always new issues arising in the agricultural industry, as well as new technologies and management practices that can be implemented. I am looking forward to learning about ways to overcome challenges faced by the industry,” he said.
Fellow student Curtis Liebeck, who is taking up a graduate research agronomist position, believes sustainability, market volatility and social aspects are some of the key challenges the industry will be facing in the future.
“I’ve become really excited about entering the industry as now is a great time, more than ever, with all eyes currently on agriculture,” he said.
“I think it’s that thirst for knowledge. We are always learning and there is always something being trialled, and perhaps implemented, that is going to improve farming systems and agriculture as a whole – that’s exciting.”
Course coordinator Dr Sarita Bennett said enrolment numbers have increased since the move from Northam.
“We also expect the numbers to continue to increase in coming years, with 58 students currently finishing their first-year at Bentley,” Dr Bennett said.
“Many factors have contributed to the rising interest in studying agribusiness – from the future of food security to the decline in job prospects in other industries. We hope this interest continues, to enable us to attract more graduates into the industry.”