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CRDC-supported Horizon scholar encourages other students to apply (2 February 2016)

CRDC supported Horizon Scholar, Paul Sanderson, is encouraging other undergraduate university students to apply for the RIRDC Horizon Scholarship program.

First-year university students who are studying an agriculture-related university degree only have two weeks left to apply for the Horizon Scholarship, with applications closing on Friday 19 February.

The scholarship provides $5,000 per year for the duration of a student’s university degree. It also offers students annual industry work placements that give them first-hand exposure to modern agricultural practices, access to industry leaders, professional development workshops and opportunities to network and gain knowledge at a range of industry events.

Current CRDC-supported Horizon Scholar, Paul Sanderson is studying Agricultural Science at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga and he said the Horizon Scholarship provides much more than just financial assistance.

“I really wanted to have a good go at Horizon, because it just really gave the complete package - there are a lot of other scholarships out there that are just financial, but the opportunities that Horizon creates are a lot more valuable than the money itself,” Paul said. “The industry networks I’ve gained through Horizon will definitely help somewhere along the line - whether I do extra off-farm work or not, those contacts will help me through my career no matter what pathway I take. With industry placements and of course the financial payments providing support through university, it’s a fantastic all-round program,"

One of the most valuable aspects for Paul has been the industry placements, with his first experience in January 2014 taking him to a cotton farm in southern Queensland.

“Being sponsored by CRDC, I felt it was the best opportunity for me not having any background in cotton to get up there and learn about the industry. Horizon put me on to a fantastic farmer and I went up there and spent some time with him, and he also gave me opportunity to work with agronomists and other industry people while I was there. It really is the all-round package for young people wanting to get into agriculture – it’s a great program because agriculture really needs a lot more people getting on-board,” he said.

To be eligible for the Horizon Scholarship students must be entering their first year of university and studying a degree related to agriculture, such as agricultural science, rural science, livestock/animal science, veterinary science or agribusiness and plant science. Students must also have started their tertiary studies no longer than two years after leaving high school.

Scholarship recipients will be selected on the basis of their commitment to a career in agriculture, as well as their leadership potential and high school academic record. Applications close on Friday 19 February. The Scholarship winners are announced in March.

Application forms can be completed via the RIRDC website at www.rirdc.gov.au/horizon.