A Curtin University student has won the top prize in the 2012 Australian Universities Crops Competition, taking her agricultural knowledge out of the lecture theatre and applying it in the paddock.
Third year agribusiness student Helen Duncan of Ravensthorpe was awarded the most successful individual student prize, while third year agribusiness student Andrew Reynolds of York achieved fourth place. Their success contributed to Curtin’s best-ever performance at the competition, achieving a second place result from six competing universities.
The Crops Competition, run by Grain Growers Limited and held annually at Temora in New South Wales, involves students identifying crop type, crop health and weed species, and making management recommendations for each.
Curtin’s team of three students also calculated the potential yield and marketing outlook for a cereal crop, which required knowledge of business planning, international trade and commodity marketing as well as sound agronomic skills.
Dr Sarita Bennett, senior lecturer in the Department of Environment and Agriculture, said this was Curtin’s best performance yet at the Crops Competition, beating other Australian universities with much bigger agricultural faculties.
“The success not only reflects the hard work and commitment of the students, but also the relevance of Curtin’s agriculture courses,” she said.
“Curtin agriculture students are exposed to all aspects of the supply chain, helping them to develop crucial skills for future careers with an understanding of the science and technology behind animal and plant production.”
Ms Duncan will compete in the American Universities Crop Competition in November.
Dr Sarita Bennett, Curtin University
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Megan Meates, Public Relations, Curtin University
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