The next generation of Tasmanian agricultural leaders are being encouraged to study a degree in agriculture at the University of Tasmania thanks to a generous $30,000 scholarship sponsored by Blundstone Australia.
The scholarship was offered for the first time this year and Lauren Rowlands of Tunnack has been announced as the inaugural recipient, receiving $10,000 each year for three years while she studies a Bachelor of Agricultural Science.
Blundstone Australia's Chief Executive Officer Steve Gunn said Blundstone is sponsoring three scholarships worth a total of $90,000 with the aim of helping regional Tasmanian students pursue a career in agriculture.
"We initiated the Blundstone Scholarships to support outstanding students who show a passion for agriculture, but find the financial pressure of relocating to Hobart to study is a barrier,” Mr Gunn said.
“The inaugural recipient of this scholarship, Lauren, commutes to Hobart daily for her studies. Lauren has a passion for agriculture after growing up in a regional community and helping out on her family farm. The scholarship will allow her to work less so she can focus on her studies and follow her dreams of a career in the agriculture industry.
“Blundstone has a long connection with the Tasmanian agriculture industry, and supporting the best and brightest young agriculture students in this way is an opportunity for us to give back to local communities. We hope the scholarship provides the ability and inspiration for young scholars to achieve great things at the University of Tasmania.”
Lauren said she really appreciates the scholarship as it relieves the pressures associated with juggling a long commute, studies and casual work.
“I chose to do a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Tasmania because I grew up in a rural community and would like to direct my future career towards helping the community that helped me, and shaped me into the person I am today.”
Director of the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA), Professor Holger Meinke, said the Blundstone Scholarship is great recognition of the value of agricultural education and the contribution that graduates can make to the industry.
“Agriculture is a key strength in Tasmania’s economy and presents diverse and exciting career opportunities for young people entering the industry and the demand for highly skilled agriculture science graduates is growing” Professor Meinke said.
“The University of Tasmania is regarded among the top 100 universities in the world for agriculture sciences and provides highly regarded education in partnership with industry around the state.”
Applications for the Blundstone Scholarship are now open to students commencing study in an undergraduate degree in agriculture at the University of Tasmania in Semester 1, 2017.
Preference is for a student from the north or north-west of Tasmania. Selection will be based upon academic merit and demonstration of financial need. Applications close on 31 October 2016 and more information is available online.
TIA is a joint venture between the Tasmanian Government and the University of Tasmania.