Emily Fasham, who grew up on her family’s rice farm near Wakool, is the 2019 recipient of the Jan Cathcart Scholarship.
The $30000 scholarship will support Emily to complete a Bachelor of Agriculture degree she is starting this year at University of Melbourne.
Now in its fifth year, the scholarship is designed to provide recipients with financial support and hands-on industry experience to assist them in achieving their career goals.
Emily, whose family operates Fasham Farms near Wakool, spoke about her passion for agriculture and the importance of the research and development of more water efficient rice varieties and farming systems to ensure the economic viability of growing rice in Australia.
‘‘In the future, I see myself researching rice varieties and developing new strategies to make rice growing more accessible for farmers as it has been a major income for my family for over 50 years and is very important to me,’’ she said.
The significance of this scholarship is not lost on Emily, who grew up regularly hearing the name Jan Cathcart.
‘‘It’s an honour to be the recipient of this award as my family has always spoken highly of Jan Cathcart, particularly her integrity and knowledge of SunRice; a perfect role model for any woman in agriculture.’’
In presenting Emily with her scholarship at a celebratory dinner in Leeton, SunRice chairman Laurie Arthur said: ‘‘Emily, like all our scholarship recipients, has demonstrated a genuine passion for a strong and vibrant rice industry, which is at the heart of what the Jan Cathcart Scholarship is about.
‘‘Jan’s 43-year contribution to our industry has inspired women to follow her lead and SunRice is pleased to have the opportunity through this scholarship to invest in its future.
‘‘As a rice grower it’s comforting to know that through this scholarship Jan’s legacy will continue and that the future of the rice industry is in good hands.”
Valued at $10000 a year for up to three years of tertiary study, the scholarship is designed to support women pursuing a career in agriculture, and was last year awarded to Annabel Arnold who grew up on a rice farm near Berrigan.