Denmark student takes prize

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Ted Sharp, of Bendat Family Foundation, Emma Steele and RASWA president Paul Carter.
Camera IconTed Sharp, of Bendat Family Foundation, Emma Steele and RASWA president Paul Carter.

Pingrup’s Emma Steele has been awarded the Royal Agricultural Society of WA’s 2019 Bendat Family Foundation Youth Scholarship.

The 19-year-old former Denmark College of Agriculture student has been awarded the scholarship for her work encouraging farmers to be more sustainable in their practices.

Now studying a double major of crop and pasture science and animal science at Murdoch University, her work includes cutting reliance on chemical and fertiliser input.

Ms Steele grew up on a cereal and sheep farm north of Pingrup, seeing first-hand how the environment and agriculture work hand in hand.

She said she was looking forward to using the Bendat Family Foundation Youth scholarship to further her career in agriculture.

“My experience on the farm has led me to become passionate about the agricultural sector and the future of agriculture,” Ms Steele said.

“In recent years farming has become a lot tougher with below average rainfall restricting pasture as well as crop growth.

“Once I have finished my degree I am hoping to help make a farmer’s life easier by researching more sustainable products and practices to improve soil health and reduce chemical usage.

“I have been introduced to the importance of sustainability from my father as he has spent many years using different products to improve soil health as well as water holding capacity to reduce the effect of reduced rainfall.

“I am wanting to apply research into soil health for pastures as well as cropping to hopefully enable pasture to grow on less rainfall.”

The scholarship provides opportunities for young people to gain invaluable experience in their chosen career.

RASWA president Paul Carter said the dedication of Ms Steele and other award winners exemplified the qualities that drove WA agriculture.

“As an organisation, we wish them every success and look forward to seeing their careers flourish,” he said.

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