Published: 25 May 2020
Stuart Johnson has a passion for sustainable agriculture and with the help of a scholarship hopes to one day use his degree to become a sustainability advocate within the industry.
Stuart is in his first year of a four-year Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree at the University of Tasmania, which he says will prepare him for his career.
“I know that I’ll walk out of my degree comfortable that I can do the job that I will be applying for. The degree will give me the confidence to step out into the real world,” Stuart said.
“Sustainable farming is quite a large part of the degree and we are doing a subject called Sustainable Resource Management. The subject explores environment, economic and social factors with a focus on things like soil management, financial sustainability and having employees that are happy in their work.
“Using this knowledge, I’d like to improve and have impact on agricultural sustainability here in Australia and worldwide if possible.
“I hope that I can make a difference by promoting both productivity and sustainability in agriculture. I would like to work in regulation around the value chain and supply chain to help reduce the amount of food loss and food wastage.”
With the help of a scholarship, Stuart was able to relocate from Devonport to Hobart to study without the added pressure of needing to find work.
“I received the David McEwen Scholarship in Agriculture which will definitely be very beneficial for my studies, as it will allow me to focus more on the theoretical side, rather than spending time trying to work to support myself. I’ll be able to apply myself completely to the degree,” Stuart said.
“I have spoken to David McEwen and it was really nice to hear from him about why he wants to help young students go to the University of Tasmania. I told him how honoured and appreciative I was. The scholarship is very kind and thoughtful and will definitely support me through my studies.”
The David McEwan Scholarship in Agriculture supports aspiring young agriculture students by providing $8,000 per year for up to three years of study.
Stuart grew up in Devonport, but started his twenties studying a human nutrition degree in Melbourne. After finishing that degree, he decided that Tasmania and sustainable food production were his true calling.
“I love Tasmania and I came back here for a reason. I love food and being able to produce food. I also see issues with sustainability into the future which made me assess, why do I want to be a part of this? Do I think I can make a difference?” Stuart said.
“Being away, then moving back made me realise that Tassie was such an amazing place.”
When asked about his education journey, Stuart had a few wise words for those thinking about their future and applying to study.
“Don’t feel like whatever decision you make now is going to be the be-all and end-all. Enjoy the process and find a passion for learning. If you can find that passion, you will continue learning throughout life which will be greatly beneficial to you,” He said.
Find out more about studying agriculture at the University of Tasmania at www.utas.edu.au/courses/study/agriculture.
TIA is a joint venture between the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government.