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Published: 20 Sep 2022

TIA Careers Forum is an annual event where current Bachelor of Agricultural Science students get a chance to meet with industry and local businesses to discuss a variety of career opportunities in the agriculture sector.With agriculture graduates in high demand - it's estimated there are six jobs to every graduate - this annual event is a great chance for future employers and employees to network and explore options.This year we spoke with current and former students and asked them to share some thoughts.

Passion and ideas for the future of the industry

Don Hoyle is a TIA graduate, who attended the Careers Forum in his capacity as an agronomist for Bejo.

"It was great to speak with prospective graduates one-on-one and hear about their passions and big ideas for the future of the industry," Don said.

"It’s always good to meet people who are enthusiastic about working on big issues like climate change and food security.

"I knew from an early age I’d have a career in STEM and wanted a qualification that would help me reach that goal. Originally, that was an engineering degree but that didn’t fit me best.

"Dad suggested I give Agricultural Science a try – mostly so I could give free advice on my family’s sheep and wine operation.

"The cohort, curriculum and teaching environment combined to deliver an excellent education experience.

"A few months after graduation, I started a production research role at Bejo Australia – a rare opportunity in southern Tasmania – and my career has grown from there."

Caitlyn Badcock, a young woman, is smiling and standing outside in front of a brick wall with two trees also in the background.

Fantastic environment to explore future job opportunities

Caitlyn Badcock has worked at Serve Ag for two years and plans to stay on after she graduates in 2023.

"The careers fair provided a fantastic environment for students to explore their future job opportunities," she said.

"It was great to see my peers excited about their forthcoming career prospects, and it really makes me believe that with enthusiastic individuals entering the field there are innovative times ahead that I cannot wait to be a part of.

"At the completion of my degree I have aspirations to be an agronomist, this particular role grasps my interest as it allows you to work in the field and be actively involved with the farmers themselves.

"What I enjoy most about working at Serve-Ag is that every day is different, and that I have the opportunity to learn from the experience of those around me who have been through the University journey and are now in the position that I hope to be upon graduating.

"No day is typical, I could be doing deliveries, working in the store, doing crop samples or spending the day with agronomists gaining valuable skills and knowledge and that is why I love my job so much.

Sheddy Buist is a young male student in his early twenties. He is smiling and standing outside. Behind him is a brick wall and trees.

Develop connections within the industry

Sheddy Buist is studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours and hopes to work within Tasmania after he graduates at the end of 2023.
"I thoroughly enjoyed meeting representatives of agricultural businesses to further develop my current connections within the industry," Sheddy said.
"I like the idea of working with growers in a consultancy role such as being an agronomist."

Opportunity to meet the next generation of agriculture professionals

Josh Sattler (above left, with Will Campbell, and Ian Cover) is General Manager – Tasmania for Nutrien Ag Solutions, who are regular attendees at the forum.

"Nutrien love participating in Careers Forums," Josh said.

"It's a fantastic opportunity to meet the next generation of agriculture professionals. We are always striving to attract the best and brightest future leaders into our organisation.

"Attending and participating at careers forums like the one at UTAS is an integral part of our role and it's an important networking opportunity.

"We also get the opportunity to hear, first hand, from students about what they're looking for in future employers. We learn a lot from attending these events.

"To be considered for the Nutrien Ag Solutions Graduate Program, you need to have completed a Bachelor degree (or higher qualification), before the start of the program in either Agricultural Science, Rural Science, Environmental Science, Chemical Engineering, Science (ideally in organic chemistry or analytical chemistry), Finance, Insurance, Technology or any related business degree.

"We also look to hire for our Livestock Trainee program, for this opportunity, applicants must demonstrate a strong desire to learn and succeed in the livestock industry and have a completion of year 12.

Outside of our grad programs and our traineeships, we are always looking for candidates who can demonstrate a willingness to learn, strong communication skills, problem solving skills and leadership potential.

"We also look to hire employees on a casual basis, working in our branch.

Did you have a career path in mind before you joined Nutrien Ag?

"Yes, but It wasn’t until I started with the business that I really recognised the opportunities for career path ways.

"As a business the discussions we are having with new team members talks about the opportunities Nutrien can offer. Being a global business there is always going to be opportunities for career advancement, even more so if you are willing to move about the state, the country or the world.

What advice do you have for graduates looking to transition into a career in ag?

"Nutrien values graduates as we truly see them as the next generation of agricultural professionals. We believe that graduates provide perspective and innovation.

"There are countless opportunities within the agricultural industry, whether it be within agronomy, livestock, merchandise, insurance, finance or water - my advice would be to take your time, try as many different work experience opportunities as possible and talk to as many people as you can. Start developing your own network within the industry.

"Ask questions and have confidence that over time, you will work out what's best for you and your career."