Fifth-generation South Australian farmer, Cameron Lowe, has won the inaugural Gen Ag Future Fund scholarship.
Sponsored by Lallemand Animal Nutrition in association with the Australian Fodder Industry Association, the $3000 award aims to foster expertise within the next generation of forage professionals.
The 22-year-old university student impressed the judges with his vision to gain a better understanding of farm diversity and the role of fodder crops in weed control programs.
Cameron grew up on his family’s 1120 hectare Wasleys district property, which produces a range of cereal and pulse crops, as well as 85,000 small square bales of hay and straw each year.
Finishing school in 2014, Cameron spent two years at home before enrolling in the Bachelor of Business (Agriculture) program at Marcus Oldham College, Geelong, Victoria.
As part of his studies, he spent a year working as a farm hand on a corporate property in Temore, New South Wales.
AFIA Chief Executive Officer, John McKew, says Cameron was the ‘standout applicant’ due to the calibre of his application and his forward-thinking commitment to the Australian fodder industry.
“Cameron wants to be able to add value to the industry,” John says.
“He is committed to gaining knowledge and skills that he can apply not only to his own business but to the whole sector.”
Cameron will use his scholarship to help fund the completion of his studies and further travel.
In August, he travelled to China to visit fodder importers, marketers and customers.
Upon completing his degree, Cameron plans to investigate best-practice fodder production systems in both Australia and overseas before returning home within three or four years.
Ultimately, he hopes to establish a specialised range of fodder products to cater for different markets.
“There is still a lot of potential for the fodder industry to expand in Australia,” he says.
“Farmers are faced with increasing challenges, such as rising land prices and high operational costs.
“They need to avoid putting all their eggs into one basket and diversify their properties to spread risk.”
Lallemand Animal Nutrition Managing Director – Australia, Alex Turney, says Lallemand Animal Nutrition is proud to support the next generation of professionals in the forage industry.
“As a global leader in natural microbial products, Lallemand is committed to working with and supporting the industry’s future leaders,” he says.
“Cameron demonstrates an energetic commitment to growth and has specific interests that will contribute to this sector for years to come.
“This award shows the future of agriculture is in good hands.”