Grant applications are now open for the 2014 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. If you’re 18-35, this is your chance to apply for up to $22,000 to fund your project on an innovative or emerging scientific issue to benefit Australia’s primary industries.
The awards are given in eleven industry categories:
- fisheries and aquaculture
- viticulture and oenology
- red meat processing
- new and emerging rural industries
- meat and livestock
Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce launched the awards last week. They are run through the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) under the Federal Government’s Department of Agriculture. Applications are due by November 8th.
The 2013 winners have some fascinating projects. I particularly liked the rice farmer who is looking at introducing eels into their paddies, the scientist sampling soil nutrients as they flux with time using tiny membrane sensors from neurobiology, the guy breeding salt-tolerant malting barley, and the project working out how old lobsters are. I’m sure some of my friends will be very keen on the results of the red wine project studying which climates and varietals are best suited to the “cold soak” for enhancing their flavour. The ones on reducing piglet mortality/stillbirths and pig lameness are pretty important for animal welfare too.
The most important of the 2013 winning projects to me personally is the farmer and scientist who’s studying soil microbes over the growing season of her cucumbers in order to build techniques for making good soil and reduce dependence on fertilisers in horticulture. She’s already done some similar work with grains and grazing, so I’ll be looking into her research to write more about it.
But anyway, if you’re 18-35 and involved with the science of agriculture, or know someone who is, go have a look at the awards information. You have until November 8th to apply.