RASWA scholarships help grow ag dreams

RASWA scholarships help grow ag dreams

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Ted Sharpe (left) from the Bendat Family Foundation, student scholarship recipient Emma Steele, Royal Agricultural Society president Paul Carter and inaugural Wine Industry Scholarship winner Paul Graham.

Ted Sharpe (left) from the Bendat Family Foundation, student scholarship recipient Emma Steele, Royal Agricultural Society president Paul Carter and inaugural Wine Industry Scholarship winner Paul Graham.

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Two student scholarships have been presented by the Royal Agricultural Society of WA (RASWA) to help provide enthusiastic young people with an opportunity to gain experience in their chosen field of agriculture.

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TWO student scholarships have been presented by the Royal Agricultural Society of WA (RASWA) to help provide enthusiastic young people with an opportunity to gain experience in their chosen field of agriculture.

The 2019 Bendat Family Foundation Youth Scholarship was awarded last week to Emma Steele, 19, from the Great Southern region and a student at the Western Australia College of Agriculture, Denmark.

The Bendat Family scholarship is awarded each year to a young person pursuing an ag career.

Ms Steele grew up helping her father on her family's cereal and sheep farm.

She considers encouraging farmers to be more sustainable in their practices - including cutting reliance on chemical and fertiliser inputs - to be one of the most significant issues facing the industry.

Her interest in sustainable farming includes consumers demands for transparency, pressures from limited rainfall and a shortage of arable land.

She would like to help promote ways to encourage more sustainable methods of maintaining healthy soil for crops.

RASWA also awarded its first Wine Industry Scholarship, providing financial assistance to Paul Graham, from Perth, to further his viticulture studies.

Mr Graham is undertaking a wine science degree with Charles Sturt University after being inspired to pursue his passion for wine while living and travelling through the wine regions of New Zealand.

After moving to Canberra, he continued to be involved with winemaking, seeking out small local wineries and building relationships with those in the industry.

He later visited grape-growing regions in France and last year gained more experience from growers and producers in Chile and Argentina.

RASWA president Paul Carter congratulated the pair on their selection for the scholarships.

"Their dedication to their chosen industries is a fine example of the talent and drive which typifies Western Australian agriculture,'' Mr Carter said.

"As an organisation, we wish them every success and look forward to seeing their careers flourish."

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