Two local rural students have been awarded Royal Agricultural Society Foundation scholarships.
Eugowra’s Liam Norrie and Bedgerabong’s Heather Earney are among 64 aspiring Rural Scholars to receive the financial support from the RAS Foundation this year.
Liam has grown up on a family-owned and operated farm specialising in prime lamb production and winter cropping.
He’s passionate about pasture improvement – about promoting different species to growth – and helping farmers get the most out of the land that’s not suited to full time cropping.
In an increasingly competitive agricultural sector, he says it’s vital to “maximise every hectare, especially the small farmer as you have to compete”.
Liam is studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Charles Sturt Wagga Wagga and while he’s only in his second year, he hopes to specialise in pasture improvement in future.
Liam’s scholarship was sponsored by Jemalong Irrigation.
“I’m very appreciative of Jemalong Irrigation, of local industry supporting youth,” he said.
Bedgerabong’s Heather Earney also grew up on a mixed family farm and is now completing her fourth year in Rural Science at the University of New England.
Heather is doing her honours project examining the relationship between pelvic dimensions and difficult birth. She hopes to continue to research as she works in the sheep and wool industry.
Heather’s interest in sheep and wool has grown from her participation in junior judging when she was 12 years old.
Parkes’ Meg Rice and Nikki Standen have also received scholarships this year.
RAS Foundation Executive Officer, Kate Ross, is thrilled the Foundation will again provide a springboard for country students to achieve their educational goals.
“This year the RAS Foundation will proudly support a diverse group of talented individuals, all with amazing and unique backgrounds, who are passionate about rural and regional NSW,” Ms Ross said.
The RAS Foundation has awarded over $1.7m to over 370 rural scholarship recipients since 2011.
“Each of the students on our program is passionate about making a difference in their chosen field. This variety reflects the diversity of skills that rural and regional communities require to flourish and prosper,” Ms Ross said.