Before Esther Magor signed up to join the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture’s (TIA) Feed Your Mind, Feed the World camp, she had never considered agriculture as a possible career path.  

Esther did not come from a farming background, nor did she have experience in agriculture. But despite knowing little about the industry, something about it caught her interest.

“I first heard about the agricultural science degree and the camp at one of the University of Tasmania open days,” Esther said.

“It sounded cool, and I thought I might as well go on the camp to find out more.”

The Feed Your Mind, Feed the World camp is open to all year 11 and 12 students keen to experience Tasmanian agriculture and learn more about diverse and growing industries such as wine, plants, forestry, food safety and more.

“I was applying for two or three different degrees at the University, so thought the camp might help me make up my mind about which degree to study,” Esther said.

“We saw everything from the more traditional large-scale sheep farms, to massive, automated greenhouses for flower production, to high-value orchard crops, to processing factories, and soil-testing laboratories.”

The camp taught me about the importance of the kinds of jobs I could end up with if I studied agriculture. There’s a huge demand for skilled and educated people in the industry.

“I learnt about the great range of employment opportunities and pathways involved in agriculture. I also learnt a lot about the university experience from current students who came to chat with us. They really encouraged me to study ag.”

And that’s exactly what Esther did. Fast forward three years and she is one year away from completing her Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours.

I am three years in and so glad I chose this degree,” Esther said.

Ether said she enjoyed the design of the curriculum with classes becoming more industry focused as students progressed through the degree.

“The TIA teaching staff are great. They’re all very friendly and you can create proper relationships with them.

“My favourite part has been engaging with industry through field trips and hearing from guest lecturers. I love seeing the theory we learn put into practice. We get to see the behind-the-scenes part that most people have no idea about.”

Esther said the more she was exposed to, the more options she could see opening up to her,, as the future of the agriculture industry continues to evolve and grow.

I think the biggest opportunity is to continue creating more sustainable practices that improve productivity, Esther said.

“New generations will have to be passionate about protecting our environment and making effective use of the resources available to us.

Agriculture will be responsible for ensuring global food security into the future. I want to help grow food for the world to eat. I want to do something where I can work outside and enjoy Tasmania’s diversity.

“I also think agriculture will continue to become more and more technology-based to improve efficiency and compensate for the lack of labour due to the decline of rural communities.

“I hope to find work in an enjoyable job that challenges me every day. I also want to work with a team of good, genuine people. I am confident that a job in the agricultural industry will allow me all these things.

“I don’t yet know exactly what area I want to work in but, from someone who had no idea what she wanted to do when she was finishing school, I would say, give it a go! You’ll be surprised by what’s out there.”

To learn more, visit TIA’s website www.utas.edu.au/tia/study/feed-your-mind-feed-the-world, or call Stephen Quarrell on: 6226 6221 or email stephen.quarrell@utas.edu.au

The next Feed Your Mind, Feed the World camp runs in December 2022.

Find out more about studying the Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences with Honours.