IT’S THE year 2050, the population is nine billion people and food is quickly becoming scarce, how do you solve it?
That’s the question University of New England GRASS Industry Scholarship students answered at the exclusive camp this week.
Coordinator Elisabeth Argue said the two minute elevator pitch is a favourite with students.
“We had students coming up with hydroponic oceans, using the vast space of the ocean to grow food, moving to a different planet and inhabiting that and implementing new ideas into the education system,” she said.
Ms Argue attended the camp herself two years ago, and said she gained an insight into agriculture opportunities at UNE.
“It definitely highlighted that an agriculture career was for me, and I now study Agriculture and Business majoring in International Business.”
More than 25 students attended the highly selective camp, that offers an industry scholarship and five day practical placement to the top 17.
This year saw the program’s highest number of applicants, with 55 students vying for a position.
“In the agricultural and science-based fields there’s careers and pathways evolving everyday,” Ms Argue said.
UNE’s GRASS education officer Susanna Greig said the program was very important for the university.
“We’ve had a tremendous response from the students who have indicated that they have had transformative and inspirational experiences out of this camp,” she said.
“They’ve seen why they really need to do the best they can at and after school, and discovered the broad range of careers in agricultural science out there.”
The cohort received a taste of tertiary life at the Armidale-based university, and participated in a range of activities including meeting industry professionals, a guided tour of Guyra’s Costa Tomato farm and Smart Farm. Ms Greig said during the program the students were exposed to a number theoretical and practical experiences.
“The students keep saying they’ve seen so many news things they hadn’t previously discovered, and as well as the opportunity to come to the university,” Ms Greig said.
“[For the students] what was a big unknown and daunting about going to university is now more known and something to look forward too.”