News

Seizing opportunity

By Alana Christensen

Meeting the growing food needs of the future and tackling climate change are key to the future of agriculture, according to local agriculture student and scholarship recipient Lachlan Quibell.

In his first year of his Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Melbourne, Mr Quibell said there were plenty of exciting developments in the agriculture industry.

Mr Quibell was one of 25 regional and rural students to receive funding support through Rural Bank’s Scholarship Program.

After spending his early years on the family dairy farm before it was sold, Mr Quibell later moved to Shepparton, but never lost his love for agriculture.

‘‘I think I just love the positivity that surrounds it, it’s the backbone of so many industries,’’ he said.

‘‘There are just so many other things that rely on agriculture.’’

Although he has several years of study remaining, Mr Quibell said he was looking to major in plant science and also get his pilot’s licence.

‘‘There’s just so many incredible parts of agriculture... It’s going to be a long journey,’’ he said.

The annual scholarship program was expanded to support 10 students specifically from communities directly affected by the ongoing drought, in addition to 15 scholarships awarded to regional and rural students across Australia.

The first-time undergraduate students will each receive $5000 to go towards their tertiary studies.

Rural Bank managing director and chief executive officer Alexandra Gartmann said the expanded program encouraged the next generation of leaders to pursue a career in the agricultural sector.

‘‘This year, many rural students, families and local communities are facing devastating drought conditions, and these circumstances can place increased stress on the family dynamic and household budget,’’ Ms Gartmann said.

‘‘The additional scholarships provide students who might not have been able to pursue tertiary education the ability to access funding support to overcome some of these barriers.

‘‘Each year, I am inspired by the diverse range of applicants.

‘‘These students are passionate and enthusiastic about their future and are eager to implement positive change.’’

Scholarship recipients will receive financial support to contribute to the costs of accommodation, travel, course materials, study equipment and tutoring.

Subject to academic performance, the scholarship funding may be extended to support their second year of study.

■For more information about the 2019 Rural Bank Scholarship Program, visit: www.ruralbank.com.au/scholarship