Celebrating the next generation of scientists in agriculture

News story
Four university graduates presented their research at the recent Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum, with Cassandra Howell winning the Noel Fitzpatrick medal.
Young professionals in Ag

Image caption: Cassandra Howell, Brittany Bolt, Dayna Hutchinson, Sai Kiran Veluru

The forum, hosted by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and the WA Division of Ag Institute Australia, showcased the work of the graduates which spanned from sheep and plant genetics to land and resource management.

Medal winner Cassandra Howell, who is studying a Bachelor of Philosophy in Botany at The University of Western Australia (UWA) profiled her research on the use of recycled compost (decomposed plant and food waste) to repair and add nutrients to degraded soil.

Cassandra Howell
Cassandra Howell

UWA Agricultural Science Masters graduate Sai Kiran Veluru presented on his plant pre-breeding genetic research, which aims to help create new varieties of canola plants (grown to produce cooking oil).

Sai Kiran Veluru
Sai Kiran Veluru

Murdoch University Bachelor of Science graduate Brittany Bolt presented her Merino sheep research which explores a new methodology to assess the condition of individual animals.

Brittany Bolt
Brittany Bolt

Animal Science Murdoch University graduate Dayna Hutchinson presented her research which assesses the breeding performance of maiden ewes (first time mothers) and how well their lambs survived.

Cassandra Howell
Dayna Hutchinson

Current DPIRD Chief Scientist Ben Biddulph, who is a past Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum winner, said it was important to invest in the next generation of scientists.

“We are at a pivotal time in science and – with the rapid development of digital technologies and innovations – on the cusp of seeing primary production and land management transformed over the next decade,” Dr Biddulph said.

Page reviewed 7 April 2022