A regional internship is providing graduate students with a stepping stone into a career in agriculture, through hands-on experience at one of Australia's leading cropping research trial sites.
The Hart Regional Internship is providing successful graduates with a one-year placement in applied grains research and development.
The intern works alongside the Hart Field-Site Group's research manager, while collaborating with some of the state's best researchers, industry, consultants and growers to deliver research projects in regional SA.
Hart 2019 regional intern Jade Rose recently joined the team and is already reaping the rewards of the program.
Jade is a graduate from the University of Adelaide and worked at SARDI for the past two years, where she developed a greater interest in agricultural science and is now putting it into practice through the internship.
"I worked in the Plant Health and Biosecurity Science program, where I found an interest in plant pathology and more specifically pulse and oilseed disease," she said.
"I did my honours last year with SARDI/University of Adelaide, which was working on Ascochyta Blight in lentils.
"I had heard of the Hart internship and as I don't have a background or degree in agricultural science, I thought it was a great opportunity to grow skills I didn't have and gain more practical skills in how farming systems work.
"So far, it has been great. I love learning and feel very honoured to receive the position to help further my career in science.
"I have learned so much in only a month and feel like it will be a great year of growth and knowledge professionally and personally."
The Hart Regional Internship is an initiative of SAGIT, Hart Field-Site Group and SARDI.
Last year's regional intern Emma Pearse has now moved into a role as a development officer in the Regional Research Agronomy Project with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development in WA, a venture jointly invested in by DPIRD and GRDC.
She said the Hart internship had been a positive stepping stone in furthering her career in agricultural research.
"The internship played a huge role in me getting this position," Ms Pearse said.
"It has been beneficial having the trial design, planning and management and data collection experience for this job as well as the experience in interacting with growers and researchers, and Hart is very highly regarded over here in WA."
Ms Pearse said the hands-on internship had expanded her skill base and she would recommend other graduates consider applying for a Hart Regional Internship.
"Throughout the year I increased my knowledge on priority issues for farmers, not just in the Mid North but also all over Australia," she said.
"I gained an immense amount of experience in data collection and trial management and being involved in all aspects of the Hart trial site. Assisting with the organising of the annual Hart Field Day was also a great opportunity.
"One of the biggest things I gained from my time with the Hart Field-Site Group was a greater network within the industry, I have come a long way with having met some fantastic minds involved in the grains industry."
- Details: hartfieldsite.org.au