Agricultural Science students from The University of Western Australia have won first and third prizes in the State Government's recent Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum awards. And a UWA graduate won the award for best presentation.
Postgraduate student Stacey Plug of Rockingham won top honours for her fourth year project research on the effect of drenches on ovarian function in merino ewes. Ms Plug is currently undertaking PhD research at UWA on sheep reproduction. Drenches are routinely used in sheep enterprises for the control of gastrointestinal worms and the time of mating relative to drenching is not currently considered a management issue. Ms Plug discussed recent studies suggesting that chemicals in drenches may interfere with the fertility of ewes.
Third prize went to Courtney Rose of Wickepin who is completing a double degree in Agricultural Science and Commerce at UWA. Her presentation was on the End Point Royalty system for commercial plant breeding and its important role in sustaining innovation and raising yield performance across WA.
The award for best presentation went to UWA graduate Genevieve Simpson of East Fremantle. Ms Simpson completed honours in Geography under a Bachelor of Environmental Science degree, studying community Landcare groups in WA in terms of their current levels of functioning and how they may be affected by the Rudd Government's 'Caring for our Country' policy.
Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman presented the awards at a function hosted by the Department of Agriculture and Food and the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology.