Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The conference has supplemented my passion to build a successful career in sustainable agriculture and has better equipped me to do so thanks to the advice and networks it has exposed me to.
Attending the 2012 Crawford Fund conference was a very worthwhile experience. The quality of speakers at the conference was fantastic. The presentations not only framed the current problems around ‘the scramble for natural resources’ well but did so in a positive way through offering potential solutions to the current challenges. Putting a positive spin on such complex issues was a great approach which has made me excited about a whole new range of possibilities, for example, is there potential to use the overabundance of nitrogen in some areas of South-East Asia to address the current lack of nitrogen across sub-Saharan Africa? Questions which came from the conference, such as this one, have further inspired me to find solutions to current and future agricultural challenges.
I have always been interested in the connection between agriculture and the environment and I thought it was particularly motivating the hear some of the speakers address this link. I liked the point that Jonathon Foley from the University of Minnesota put forward on the need to look at agriculture and environmental sustainability as the same problem. I hope that society can begin to look at these issues as one so that we are better equipped to increase agricultural productivity in an environmentally sound way to provide equal access to nutritious, quality food.
Another highlight of the conference was being exposed to so many like-minded young individuals who are passionate about agricultural science. It was a pleasure to be able to spend time having stimulating conversations and debating agricultural topics with other young scientists from across Australia, and also further afield from Africa. My conversations with the African PhD students about their background and the way they came to receive scholarships were very interesting. I believe that Australian agriculture not only has a lot of information to share with international scientists like these students but a lot to learn from them. It is very positive that links with scientists from the developing world have been made.
Another aspect of the conference proceedings that was extremely helpful was the opportunity to speak with professionals who are working, or who have previously worked, in the agricultural field. It was especially beneficial to hear how they were able to enter the field and to get some insight and advice about how I can pursue my interests. Talking with agricultural professionals, Crawford Fund Committee members and AusAID about research and volunteering has opened my eyes to the opportunities that exist within the agricultural field not only domestically, but on the international front.
The conference has supplemented my passion to build a successful career in sustainable agriculture and has better equipped me to do so thanks to the advice and networks it has exposed me to. I would like to thank the Crawford Fund Committee for providing scholarships for young scientists to attend the conference. The opportunity was much appreciated.