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Australia

BASF partners with National Rural Independents (NRI) to develop the next generation of agronomists

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Australian growers are under immense pressure to continue providing the world with the high-yielding, top-quality produce our country is renowned for. Farmers rely not only on innovative seed varieties and crop protection products, but also the availability of experienced and resourceful field experts to ensure that everything comes together as planned. Fortunately for Australian growers, the local agriculture industry is full of bright young agronomists keen to hone their skills and help improve their farming operations.

BASF Australia and National Rural Independents (NRI) both recognise the importance of continuous training for the next generation of agronomists. Last month, they partnered in an initiative that brought together 22 young agronomists from across the NRI member network for a two-day training session at the BASF research farm in Tamworth, NSW. Participants were from all over Australia, in their first few years of work and eager to learn how they could provide value to their customers. This experience was a rare opportunity for agronomists to gain insights into the product development process at BASF. BASF's skilled team were able to guide participants through the process of conducting meaningful trials and making informed recommendations that provide the best outcomes for their growers.

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“We were pleased to see so many junior agronomists take part in the training as these types of opportunities are invaluable to their development. The general feedback from those who attended was extremely positive and NRI thanks the BASF team for their efforts,” said Kerryn Hayes, NRI National Business Manager for Ag Chem/Agronomy.

The program received a very encouraging response from all participants. Lewis Cain, from Driscoll Ag in VIC shared “It was very educational and something I had never done before, networking with people all in a similar spot career-wise was great. I like the content that was covered as it was a wide array of topics...I'm really hoping that BASF will organise more similar experiences, as I'm sure most of my peers would be eager to participate again. It was an awesome experience!”

Corey Taylor, another participating junior agronomist added “I certainly took a lot out of the first day, which was focused on trial set-up as I haven’t had much experience with this in the past. I think the training was very well presented as it catered to the wide range of experience levels within this young group.”

Georgia Readett, BASF Field Biologist and one of the key presenters during this training provides some perspective, saying “Field experience like this is invaluable and provides unique insights to the various aspects of agronomy that aren’t always covered in the classroom. It’s a great feeling that BASF is able to take an active role in contributing to the progress and development of agriculture talent right here in Australia.”

With studies showing that global food production needs to increase by 70% in 2050, it’s certainly reassuring to see that BASF and NRI are doing their part to help meet that demand by providing the enthusiastic young agronomists of today with some of the knowledge, skills and experience to make a significant difference in the food supply of tomorrow.