This December will see the first graduate of a most generous Agricultural Sciences scholarship.
The Neale Edwards Scholarship in Agricultural Science was created in honour of the founder of Neale Edwards Pty Ltd by his family. The company was involved in wool scouring, fellmongering, meatworks, forestry companies, stock and station agencies and in the Tasmanian agribusiness Roberts Ltd.
Nicole Pinny will this year be the first scholarship recipient to graduate when she completes a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours. After growing up on a dairy farm, she is particularly interested in animal science and her thesis was on the effects of whole-day skip milking and the impact this has on animals.
Nicole is originally from Boat Harbour in the North-West and thanks the Edwards family for the opportunity to study.
“With the accommodation and having to pay for travel back and forth, I don’t think I could have afforded to come to uni without the scholarship,” she said.
The 21-year-old is unsure what she will do next year but is keen to pursue a career in animal sciences.
Madeleine Francis is the most recent recipient of the scholarship and is just completing her first year. She does not come from an agricultural background but has also had to move to Hobart to study, having come from Launceston.
“(The scholarship) has helped me relocate from Launceston and afford accommodation and all the things that go with that. It’s made first year a lot easier,” she said.
Her interests are mainly in plant science but “I’ve still got a long way to go”.
The Edwards family donated $300,000 over three years from 2007, which is awarded to each recipient at $7500 per year for the duration of their studies.
Neale Edwards’ son John has continued to work in allied fields to agriculture and wants to support the future workers.
“All my life I’ve been associated across the farm fence with agriculture and we’ve been fortunate so I wanted to put something back into the industry that supported us,” he said.