Top of the crops: Edward Jones wins the 2011 Australian Universities Crops Competition

12 September 2011

Edward Jones, a third year Bachelor of Science in Agriculture student in the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, is the winner of the 2011 Australian Universities Crops Competition, held at Temora, NSW, on 10 and 11 September 2011.

Edward beat 54 students from seven universities - The University of Sydney, The University of Western Australia, The University of Adelaide, La Trobe University, Curtin University, Charles Sturt University and the University of New England - to take out the title.

Edward Jones
Edward Jones

The prize includes an international ten-day study tour to compete in the Collegiate Crops Contest held in November 2011 in California, USA. Edward's award will include airfares, accommodation, meals, enterprise visits, and registration to compete in the Collegiate Crops Contest.

According to Edward: 'The Australian Universities Crops Competition was a great chance to learn about the Australian grains industry from in-field experience and to socialise with like-minded students from across Australia. I am thrilled to have won the competition this year and can't wait for the opportunity to represent Australia and the Sydney University Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources in America.'

'In the near future, we will have to produce significantly more food for our growing global population using less resources while also reducing any negative impacts on our environment. Although there are many challenges in achieving this, it promises to make agriculture an extremely exciting and rewarding field to work in. Winning the competition has provided me with the invaluable experience of broadening my knowledge and understanding of agricultural systems in different regions of the world.'

The Australian Universities Crops Competition was held over two days, with a day of field training undertaken the day before the competition. Competitors were examined on a range of topics across the Australian grains industry supply chain, from seed identification and grain grading to calculating gross margins and yield potential.

'I am delighted that our Edward Jones won the Australian Universities Crops Competition,' said Dr Daniel Tan, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, who led the group of University of Sydney student entrants.

'The competition was fierce with 55 competitors from seven universities, and Ed put his best foot forward in representing the Agronomy Program at the University of Sydney. Ed's combination of practical skills and theoretical grounding provided him with the tools to excel in the competition,' said Dr Tan.

'The Crops Competition is a great opportunity for our students to develop their technical knowledge and practical skills, and also to engage with industry stakeholders.'

Competitors gain an insight into the Australian cereal, pulse and oilseed sectors and also gain practical in-field experience that will help prepare them for entry into the agricultural industry. The competition also provides an opportunity for networking between universities, students and industry representatives from Pulse Australia, Landmark and Graincorp.

The University of Sydney entered fourteen students into the competition this year, with the group led by Dr Daniel Tan, along with support from student mentors, Ben Azzopardi and Sam Malfroy. Sam Malfroy won fourth place in the 2010 Australian Universities Crops Competition and a four-day International Study Tour to New Zealand.

This is the third year the annual crops competition has been organised by Grain Growers Limited with sponsorship from the Grains Research and Development Corporation, Graincorp and Landmark.

Contact: Dr Daniel Tan

Phone: 02 8627 1052

Email: 55512f00541c251a35256f4409361d034d62272a3c544e24