Charles Sturt University (CSU) agricultural science students have claimed top honours at the Australian Universities Crops Competition (AUCC).
The annual competition organised by national grain farmers' representative body, GrainGrowers tests students' practical knowledge of crop production and the grains industry.
CSU won the team competition and students from the University picked up the first three places in the individual category.
Over the three-day event, CSU Bachelor of Agricultural Science students Mr Andrew Lord, Mr Thomas Jeffery, Mr Fraser Harrison, Mr Nicholas Grant, Mr Danyon Williams, Mr Angus Knight and Mr Elliot Lade competed in a range of agronomic and assessment tasks.
Mr Grant was awarded first place overall, Mr Williams second and Mr Jeffery was awarded third place.
All three students will now take part in a study tour of the United States in April 2018, where they will compete in the Collegiate Crops Judging Contest in Kansas City.
"I'm looking forward to the study tour, to learning more and seeing the scale of agricultural production in the United States," Mr Grant said. "Apparently they take the crop judging very seriously over there so taking part in the competition will be a whole new experience and I'm excited about the prospect."
Mr Williams said, "It was good to put the skills I have learnt at University into practice and I am looking forward to seeing the United States grains industry."
Mr Jeffery described the competition as a rewarding experience. "It was good to build my knowledge about summer crops and pulses."
Team mentor and CSU lecturer in crop science, Dr Sergio Moroni said, "This is an outstanding result for the members of the team and rewards their hard work and training to prepare for the competition.
"It also demonstrates that the agricultural science program at Charles Sturt University is industry relevant and prepares our students for the workforce,"Dr Moroni said.
In 2017 more than 30 students from five universities took part in the AUCC in Temora from Tuesday 12 to Thursday 14 September.
Team member, Mr Lade said, "We certainly did a lot of training in the lead up to the competition and we had a good bunch of blokes to get together and help each other out."
Mr Lord said, "The competition opened my eyes to how much I still have to learn about agriculture and the opportunities that exist in the industry for future farming."
Mr Knight said the competition was a valuable networking opportunity. "It was great to meet peers from other universities but also to mix with industry representatives and leaders," said Mr Knight.
Mr Harrison said, "I now have mates in Western Australia who are just as excited about agriculture as I am, people that I wouldn't have met otherwise."
Contact: Dr Sergio Moroni T:02 6933 2914 E:firstname.lastname@example.org