Dookie Diary: Agriculture students build skills and community at Discovery Week

From 2–6 March, Bachelor of Agriculture students were given the opportunity to commence their degree with a strong sense of community and of the global impact of agricultural practice at Agriculture Discovery Week.

The event, which was held prior to social distancing measures being implemented, was held at the University of Melbourne’s Dookie agricultural campus for the first time.

Dookie Professor in Residence Timothy Reeves recounts activities across the week in April’s Dookie Diary, his column for the local Country News.

“The idea was that, by spending their first week together at Dookie, the students would not only get a better ‘feel’ for agriculture and the regional community, but would also have an opportunity to meet and develop friendships and communication opportunities among themselves and with staff,” Professor Reeves writes.

“All in all, it was an amazingly successful week and, given the traumatic events since that time, the experience has become even more valuable, since students are now learning online from their homes – hopefully with pleasant memories of that earlier camaraderie to draw on in tough times and to remember in group chats and video calls.”

Professor Reeves opened Agriculture Discovery Week with a keynote lecture, “Sustainable Agricultural Production – Agriculture in 2030", which covered topics and challenges the students will encounter and address in their careers.

The students also undertook a mix of fun activities and classes on academic skills and integrity, problem-solving and laboratory skills, and agriculture-specific activities including a Dookie dairy tour, wine production, sustainability and data analysis in agriculture. Student safety, wellbeing, conduct and cultural awareness were also addressed.

You can read Professor Reeves’ full column on the Country News website.