Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum

5 September 2012

The modern face of agriculture will confront many challenges over the coming years. With fewer resources, our young agri-professionals will be faced with the task of leading this sector through a tough period of global food insecurity. In order to reduce the threat of the world slipping into an unprecedented global food crisis, today's young agri-professionals will need to utilise their skills in an exceptional manner.

Join other young professionals in agriculture, including recent graduates, at a one-day forum to connect the dots on issues of our time, including:
- effectively communicating the science of agriculture
- the role of social media in agriculture
- promoting agriculture as a career path
- networking to influence national agendas

A much more efficient and productive group of young agri-professionals requires; coordination, dedication and education. The upcoming "Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum" aims to offer recent agricultural graduates the opportunity to further their professional development through a range of interactive educational workshops. Targeting the areas of communication, education and coordination, it is hoped that this one day conference will leave young graduates feeling invigorated about the challenges that lie ahead and eager to "keep the conversation going".


Gerard McEvilly,Vice-President of The Australian Society for Horticultural Science (AuSHS), which exists to encourage innovation, science and technology in horticulture, is one of the organizers of the forum to connect young professionals in agriculture with each other, and 'keep the conversation going about agriculture'. He is delighted at the response generated by the inaugural YPA Forum, ' We have attracted inspiring speakers and experts in the field, and are keen to match them with a range of young professionals in all spheres of agricultural science and economics.'

Gerard continues, 'I am excited about the breadth of opportunities available to members of our profession. However it can be challenging to communicate what horticulture and other areas are about. The forum is designed to address this issue as well as to learn from attendees about their needs and expectations in professional development.'

Recent graduate, Ben Smider, from the organizing committee, believes that his peers will benefit equally from the intellectual content of the Forum as from the networking and exchange of ideas during breaks and drinks at the concluding cocktail reception. 'It is in the national interest that we keep the conversation going about the hot global issues. After all we are the future leaders, the ones that will need to step up to confront environmental challenges,' he says.

The Dean, Professor Mark Adams, and The University of Sydney Agriculture Alumni Association congratulate recent graduates for seizing the moment to bring professional colleagues together from within and beyond the Sydney University community for this new initiative.

A presenter for ABC's ever popular Gardening Australia program, radio personality, professional speaker and award-winning author, Angus Stewart graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at The University of Sydney with first class honours in agricultural science in 1980.
Angus is Australia's leading authority on the propagation of Australian plants and new Australian cultivars. And he has run his own horticultural consulting and breeding business, New World Plants, since 1985.
Angus is passionate about communicating science in the media, and is active in the Horticultural Media Association (HMA).

Angus wants young professionals in agriculture to know that, 'It is an exciting and challenging time to be working in agriculture and horticulture. The imperative to move to more sustainable practices offers new graduates the opportunity to lead the way in creating new ways of growing for the future.'


Topic: Getting your message across

Ann Burbrook is an actor, voice over artist, writer, director, trainer, vegie gardener and mother. She is passionate about good communication and helping people find 'the best version of themselves'. She has worked with science communicators, farmers and members of the agri-sector, journalists, performers and students from primary to tertiary level. She specialises in helping people find their confidence and focus their message, cope with conflict and change, and ensuring that when someone stands up to speak their delivery is both easy to watch and invigorating to hear.
'Getting the degree is the first step… Then you have to get a job… You have to start working in the industry you have chosen... You have to put everything you've learnt into practice The next step…? Is to realise just how much more you still have to learn!
Learning is one thing… networking is everything. The opportunity for young graduates to get together, exchange information, and meet and communicate with industry members and each other is invaluable. This event promises to offer recent graduates the chance to just this. I recommend everyone grabs the opportunity… you never know when you're going to meet the person who might change your life and kick start your career.'

Topic: Science in the media

Costa Georgiadis is an Australian landscape architect and television personality, and professional speaker, best known as the host of the SBS TV gardening show, Costa's Garden Odyssey, and the host of ABC's Gardening Australia.
Georgiadis is a Greek-Australian who has an all-consuming passion for plants and people - he knows how to bring out the best in both of them, and takes great pleasure in bringing them together. He believes in embracing and celebrating mother nature's cycles and seasons and nurturing her balance, beauty and bounty organically. His holistic approach is all about gardening the soil and the soul.

Topic: Building the knowledge base

Brendan is a specialist rural marketing research consultant, and Director, InfoRM Knowledge Limited , and is responsible for liaison with research providers and R&D corporations, government departments and NRM organisations. He has worked with the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resources Economics, and the Western Research Institute at Charles Sturt University.

He is qualified in agriculture and marketing and has 13 years consulting and market research experience. Prior to this he consulted on R&D taxation to some of Australia's largest Corporations. His research and consultancy experience covers agriculture and horticulture - among peak industry and grower representative bodies including: rural R&D Corporations, government departments, commercial agribusiness, banks and universities.

Topic: Bridging the gap

Bruce is owner of C-Qual Agritelligence Pty Limited (CQA), a consultancy supporting knowledge management and delivery in the field of agriculture. His interests deal with how we capture knowledge; access it and disseminate it for effective uptake. Improved performance in these areas will ensure faster return on RD&E investments and better results for farmers/growers. An important focus for the business is on building the skill-set of those who work directly with farmers to introduce new concepts and practices. This is achieved through the development of a unique workshop program that emphasizes the role of persuasion in achieving technology adoption. Bruce explores ways to bring eLearning and social learning experiences together to more effectively capture the knowledge and experience of the broader adoption/extension community. His workshops provide participants with a framework for building a foundation for adoption through client engagement in research planning, client directed RD&E and communication techniques that help in changing attitudes and therefore practices.

Topic: Using social media to keep the conversation going

Tony will cover practical methods like twitter and linkedin to get young professionals thinking about 'networking to drive your career.' Professor Tony Peacock is the Chief Executive of the Cooperative Research Centres Association. Tony was the Chief Executive of the Invasive Animals CRC from 2005, and the Pest Animal Control CRC from 2001, and Managing Director of the Pig R&D Corporation from 1996-2001. Tony is a passionate advocate for applied research and was the 2010 winner of the Australian Government Eureka Prize for Promoting the Public Understanding of Science. He has a high media profile with regular spots on ABC radio speaking on innovation. A reproductive scientist by training, Tony has worked at the Universities of Sydney, Melbourne and Saskatchewan. He has served on the Board of a number of start-up biotechnology companies, is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra. His current research interests are in science communication, research leadership and effective innovation systems. Tony graduated with a BScAgr (Hons) from the University of Sydney in 1987, and a PhD in 1991.

WHEN: Friday 19 October 2012, from 9.30am - 4.30pm

WHERE: New Law School, The University of Sydney

Followed by a networking cocktail reception at Taste.

COST (inc. food, drinks and admissions to Forum and Cocktail Event):

$60 University of Sydney alumni

$75 Non-alumni

Register online (Capacity of 100ppl so get in quick), via link under Related on the right.

Contact: Ben Smider

Email: 3b110e015957667d07225b3b6f360302042a31603d3c271d5330