FARMER OF THE YEAR

Student of the Year Award won by James Easter

University of Adelaide student, James Easter has earned himself the 2022 Agricultural Student of the Year Award, sponsored by AgriFutures Australia.

Staff writer
 James Easter is the Kondinin Group and ABC Rural 2022 Agricultural Student of the Year.

James Easter is the Kondinin Group and ABC Rural 2022 Agricultural Student of the Year.

James was presented with his award today in Canberra at the Kondinin Group and ABC Rural 2022 Farmer of the Year Awards.

In his third year of a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at UoA, James has developed an incredible passion for agriculture.

"I originally chose my field of study because I enjoyed working outside, communicating ideas with others and learning about how plants and soil work together to produce what we eat," James said.

In addition to his studies, James has taken on the role of President of the Adelaide University Agriculture Students Association. There, he leads a committee of like-minded students in organising industry networking events such as Growing the  Future, Agtivate Your Career and a mentoring program.

He is also a University Peer Mentor and Pre-Arrival Ambassador, and has worked as a prac-demonstrator and tutor with first and second year students.

Ben White, Kondinin Group's General Manager of Research, said James was committed to sharing his love of agriculture and supporting his fellow peers in getting the best they can get from their study experience.

"It is great to see how he is encouraging other students to consider a career in agriculture, especially for those who don't come from a rural or regional background. It is that foresight that will help to strengthen our industry," Ben said.

James has worked with the Ag Institute of Australia, South Australian Division, in developing the 2022 Student Compendium. This is a collation of 150+ internships, scholarships, competitions, work experience, graduate programs, training and other opportunities for students or anyone interested in a career in agriculture.

Sheridan Ingold, Manager, Capacity Building, Communications and Capacity Building at AgriFutures Australia, said there was no question of James' commitment to rural and regional Australia.

"James has a real passion for taking what he's learnt in the classroom and wanting to put it into practice in the industry. He is an invaluable advocate for showing those that haven't grown up on the land, that they can still have a career in agriculture regardless. This is incredibly important and will have a tangible impact on our industry," Sheridan said.

James' other extracurricular activities include participating in the Soil Science Australia Soil Judging competition in Cairns, AgXtra Agronomy Competition, attending GRDC research updates and Crop Science Society meetings. He has attended Innovation Generation in Sydney, an Ag Excellence Forum and became an SA Career's Hub Ambassador. He is also an Ag Institute of Australia Committee Member.

"My goal after finishing my Bachelor Degree is to pursue post-graduate studies while still being a strong advocate for opportunities in agriculture," James said.

"I want to get more people to consider the field of agriculture next to careers such as medicine or law as it's just as, if not more, important."

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