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Growing Victoria’s next crop of agronomists

by James Nason, 27 July 2017

The search is underway to find five graduates passionate about the Victorian grains industry to join an 18-month Agronomist Development Program (ADP) from February next year with Agriculture Victoria and the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC).

Program leader James Nuttall said the graduate program had been targeting grains research for the medium and high rainfall zones, but had recently shifted focus to production systems and networks in low rainfall zones.

Three of the graduates will do intensive 18-month placements with leading grower groups and agri-businesses, covering key areas including seasonal risk management, nutrition and pathology, trial development and management, pest, weed and disease identification and crop protection; as well as developing communication packages to support research adoption in Hamilton, Bendigo and Mildura.

The remaining two graduates will specialise in pulse agronomy in the Mallee and precision agriculture.

“The modified approach of these two positions reflects the growing need for agronomists with targeted skills to support these priorities,” Dr Nuttall said.

GRDC Senior Regional Manager – South, Craig Ruchs said the program aimed to accelerate the development of new grains sector agronomists with a focus on building industry capacity in the area of applied grains research.

“It provides a fantastic opportunity for graduates to establish broad cross-industry networks; develop a diverse skill base; and to attract talent from the broader community,” he said.

Past graduate Jack Edwards said he gained specific grains experience and contacts that were not available at university.

Dr Nuttall said the program had been well received by industry, with previous ADP recipients recruited to a range of grains related organisations.

The ADP sits under the broader Regional Research Agronomist (RRA) program designed to support translation of national research to the grains industry and capability development across southern Australia.

It’s an investment in building future grains industry leaders through a bilateral agreement between the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources and the GRDC.

Source: Agriculture Victoria. Graduates interested in applying for the Agronomist Development Program in grains can contact HOBAN on 1300 859 551 or go directly to the application portal at https://www.hoban.com.au/agronomistgrads

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