When pursuing a career in agriculture, helping Tasmanian farmers at the grass roots of production was always Hannah Cummins’ top priority.

Now graduated from the University of Tasmania and working as agronomist – or ‘crop scientist’ – with independent Tasmanian firm Ben Lomond Agriculture, Hannah’s dreams have become a reality.

Farmers are incredible at what they do,” she says, “but they have so much on their plates

Agronomists are an essential link between farmers and researchers. They study plants and how they can be grown, modified, and used to benefit society.

Born and raised in Northern Tasmania, Hannah grew up learning about farming from a young age on her home farm in Hagley.

“I grew up on a farm and I’m used to talking to farmers and feel very lucky to have had that exposure.”

While studying with the Institute of Agriculture (TIA), Hannah wanted to pursue an agronomy focused honours project – specifically, one that bridged the gap between farming and research. She also wanted to complete a field trial at her home farm in Hagley.

After consulting with industry contacts made through her industry focused Bachelor of Agricultural Science Degree, as well as TIA’s experts in horticultural research, she decided to direct her research towards studying the effect of plant growth regulators on industrial hemp.   

Hannah was awarded the 2020 Ag Institute Australia Student Award for her success.

She now uses her research background to help Tasmanian farmers on a range of different agricultural projects.

Hannah said the benefits of studying and working in the agricultural industry in Tasmania were unique. She credited her easy transition from academia to industry to her work placements and casual work during university.

Climate and proximity allow Tasmanian agriculture students to experience a variety of different practice methods and crop without travelling too far from home.

“Intensive horticulture and broad agricultural farms are all within an hour or so of each other, creating a fantastic opportunity to study here.”

TIA is a joint venture between the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government.

Learn more about studying Agriculture here.