Agriculture is an essential part of society, and as extreme weather conditions like drought and floods become more frequent, we need scientists to help overcome these challenges and contribute to the health of the planet and its people.
The Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Agriculture) offers a unique opportunity to address these issues. You'll examine how living systems interact with their economic and social dimensions, develop skills in soil science and hydrology, plant production, animal production, and agribusiness, while preparing for a career that has real-world impact.
We spoke with three agriculture graduates working across a variety of industries and sectors, to find out how the degree has shaped their careers.
Field Biologist, BASF
After graduating, Georgia moved straight into a Graduate Agricultural Solutions position at BASF, an international chemical manufacturing company that combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility.
She is now a Field Biologist at the BASF Crop Solutions Farm in Tamworth, conducting research trials to provide data on new and existing products. The research is essential to bring new herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides to the Australian market.
The role requires strong agricultural knowledge and research to be carried out at a highly professional level, demands that Georgia can confidently meet due to the skills and experience she gained through her degree.
“During my time at Sydney, I learned how to conduct experiments in the lab and field, statistical analysis, science communication, and how to manage my time and projects. These skills have helped me excel in my career and I draw on them daily,” says Georgia.
“Last year, I helped conduct the first research trials for some exciting new herbicides developed by BASF in Germany. The trials were complicated and the samples costly, so the pressure was on. Despite that, I knew I had the skills and experience to back myself and get the job done.
“Our team managed to conduct the research to a high level and achieved impressive results that I’m very proud of."
Technical and Policy Officer, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
Agriculture has played a major role in Jordan’s life; his parents are livestock and cropping farmers and he has been working the land from a young age.
I realised very early on the critical role that Australian farmers play in providing the food we eat and making sure supermarket shelves are always full. This made me passionate about studying agriculture and I found that the degree offered by the University of Sydney was a perfect fit.
His current role as Technical and Policy Officer is extremely dynamic: “Every day presents a new challenge; each country has specific importing requirements that have to be met, there are constant negotiations with industry and stakeholders, including fostering relationships with growers, exporters and peak industry bodies."
Jordan's role also required continuous surveillance of incidents and trade issues including pest outbreaks, loss of market access and suspension of trade.
“The agriculture program at Sydney provided me with an in-depth understanding of the science behind growing our agricultural products. This has enabled me to be proactive in dealing with the constant changes in meeting our trade and market access, and dealing with emerging pest and disease issues,” says Jordan.
“Learning how and why we do certain things on farms and understanding how to increase yields has also enabled me to bring new farming knowledge back to the family business.”
Horticultural Researcher, Applied Horticultural Research
Stephanie has forged a successful career in agriscience working as a Stewardship Manager and Sales Representative at Corteva Agriscience before moving into applied research.
As a Horticultural Researcher at Applied Horticultural Research, she develops and delivers solutions to the challenges that arise throughout the horticulture industry’s crop production and supply chain.
The diversity of the role sees her organising farmer workshops and demonstrations in the field, reviewing global literature for new and relevant research, producing factsheets, and completing trials in the field and lab environments.
“The varied skills and experiences I gained through the agriculture degree have really come into play when working for an organisation that specialises in a range of research areas like soil health, irrigation, crop nutrition, pest and disease management and post harvest handling,” says Stephanie.
"Studies in agronomy and pest and disease management have proven extremely useful in my work because in horticulture, produce quality is of the highest importance and is best managed throughout the plant’s life in the field.
"Most of all, the degree revealed the diversity of the agriculture industry. I began the course thinking I would work in animal production, but instead found my passion for horticulture. Agriculture has endless career opportunities that can take you anywhere in the world.”