Four Melbourne students receive 2019 Horizon scholarships

The AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship supports students studying agriculture degrees with a bursary, work placements, professional development and networking opportunities.

University of Melbourne recipients for 2019 in the Bachelor of Agriculture are: Harry Goy, Natasha Reading, Tom Grills and Will Foster.

You can read about their backgrounds, scholarships and what they aim to bring to the agricultural sector in Australia and overseas when they complete their degrees.

For the Horizon Scholarship, AgriFutures partners with industry sponsors to support students enrolled in full time study at an Australian university by providing:

  • A bursary of $5000 per year for the final two years of their degree
  • Professional development workshops
  • Annual industry work placements aligned with their areas of interest and their sponsor’s industry
  • Opportunities to network and gain knowledge at a range of industry events.

Scholarship recipients are selected based on their commitment to a career in agriculture, as well as their leadership potential and tertiary academic record to date.

Find out more on the AgriFutures Australia website.

Harrison Goy

Bachelor of Agriculture, sponsored by Hort Innovation

“Hi, my name is Harrison Goy, but everyone calls me Harry and I have known since I was a kid I was going to study agriculture at Melbourne University, which is what I’m currently doing.

“I was always a bit different at school and for a school project in Year 9, I wrote a book about how to rear calves. As a kid I leased some land and reared potty calves. I would buy bull calves off dairy farmers and then sell them onto the market when the time was right. That’s how I made money.

“I’m currently majoring in Economics and in my honours year I’ll specialise in Agribusiness, with a focus on venture capital. My vision is to finance new start-ups on farms involving horticulture.

“Although I have spent a lot of time working with livestock, I am really keen to explore the possibilities in hort. I did a work placement at a hydroponic tomato farm at Warragul in Victoria and it really opened my eyes and changed my thinking. I still love livestock but what is exciting for me is the challenges involved in agriculture and the equal amount of opportunities.

“Some of my friends question why I want to do agriculture because they think it’s about sitting on a tractor, but agriculture is about so much more. This is the stuff that keeps me awake at night and thinking about all the great possibilities that are out there.”

Natasha Reading

Bachelor of Agriculture, sponsored by Meat and Livestock Australia

“My name is Natasha Reading and I am studying a Bachelor of Agriculture at the University of Melbourne.

“I grew up on a mixed farm near Stawell in the Wimmera region of Victoria, and I am a fifth-generation farmer.

“When I moved to Melbourne to attend university it was such an eye opener for me, living at college and meeting students from all over the world. I’m really passionate about educating people about farming and I spend a lot of time at college doing that. I am really interested in advances in technology, genetics and research and development. I am majoring in the microbiology and biochemistry of animal health and nutrition.

“I think the red meat industry receives a lot of unfair criticism which other industries don’t have to deal with, and is scrutinised more intensely than other industries. I also think we need to better explain the biosecurity process, and address traceability from producer and consumer, without breaching privacy issues. There’s no doubt we’ll have to develop ways to cope with population growth and how we can use less land, and I think the development of technology to better adapt to climate change will be a key driver in that process.

“I am passionate about science and the benefits of the meat industry. I’m really excited about educating people about animal health and the extension of research and development, and I see my pathway as an advocacy role.”

Tom Grills

Bachelor of Agriculture, sponsored by Grains Research and Development Corporation

Thomas Grills

“My name is Tom Grills and I am studying a Bachelor of Agriculture at the University of Melbourne.

“I am passionate about sustainability and food security. Having lived in an impoverished rural community within Tanzania through my childhood, I have seen first-hand the impact of food insecurity. I was shocked to learn that annually the world produces two to three times the amount food needed to feed the global population. Thus, if we can develop more effective systems of distribution, we can eliminate hunger.

“I am passionate about helping those who need it most, and it is clear to me that agricultural leaders have the opportunity to make life better for the impoverished. I want to know more about food security and learn about the global systems of commodity trading and distribution.

“I am open to living and working anywhere in the future, but I aspire to return to Africa during my career to connect with issues that inspired my connection with agriculture in the first place.

“The agricultural industry will be a key driver of prosperity, wellbeing and sustainability throughout the world into the future and I am excited to be a part of this influential space.”

William Foster

Bachelor of Agriculture, sponsored by Grains Research and Development Corporation

Will Foster

“My name is Will Foster and I’m a Tassie boy studying Agriculture at the University of Melbourne. I grew up on a Merino farm in central Tasmania which was established in 1823. I’m seventh-generation on the land so I’ve always had a keen interest in agriculture.

“When I was younger I was intrigued by genetics and breeding, a passion that started with breeding chickens with my brother and then moved on to cattle. As I became older, conversations with my parents brought about a new passion in understanding productivity and strategy in the farm business.

“More recently, I’ve become interested in the global reach of agriculture, particularly international trade, the supply chain and the role of the consumer. I’m really interested in getting exposed to different businesses, whether it’s a farm or a textiles manufacturer. This has been encouraged by my recent work with a corporate advisory firm, undertaking research and seeing alternate ways of thinking.

“Services (namely AgTech) is something I’m also really interested in. Considering Australia’s position as a developed nation, I’m excited to see the role that Australia’s businesses will play as leaders in the industry from an environmental, animal welfare and technological point of view.

“At some point, I’d love to be involved in the venture capital space, helping small start-ups reach their potential and make a real difference. Gaining exposure to a broad spectrum of people and businesses and building networks is why I love agriculture.”

Banner image: Mixed farmland in Victoria, Australia, by Andrey Moisseyev via Adobe Stock. Profiles and images courtesy of AgriFutures Australia.