In an opportunity to provide two young members of the agricultural industry the chance to be involved in world class research and development, Angus Australia and Charles Sturt University have awarded internships to Bachelor of Agricultural Science student, Bonnie Mitchell and Bachelor of Agriculture Business Management student, Charlotte Nugent.
Having collaborated over several years in providing the internship program, the Angus Australia and Charles Sturt University Internship sees the those selected assist with the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program (ASBP). This involvement will be through helping collect research data from the CSU cattle herd, which serves as a co-operator herd in the ASBP program.
The opportunity allows the interns to gain insight into the research elements of the ASBP, assisting with the Artificial Insemination (AI) of the Angus herd, collecting calving details and any other data required for performance recording and data collection for the ASBP.
The ASBP utilises the Charles Sturt University Angus herd for cutting edge genetics research through generating progeny test data on modern Angus Bulls and generating data for the validation and refinement of the Trans-Tasman Angus Cattle Evaluation (TACE). The program works to build a comprehensive phenotype and genotype Angus reference population for genetic analysis and cutting-edge research and development.
Angus Australia Strategic Projects Manager Christian Duff looks forward to working with Bonnie and Charlotte in their roles within the ASBP.
“The internship provides an excellent opportunity for these students with an established interest in the agricultural industry to gain a greater understanding of an ongoing research project that actively contributes to the research and development of the Angus breed.
“We hope that through their involvement in the program that Bonnie and Charlotte largely benefit in terms of their personal and professional development within their chosen fields.”
Charles Sturt University Farm Manager James Stephens confirmed that the internship program, provides many benefits for those taking part.
“Charles Sturt University is very proud to be a co-operator herd for the ASBP and is fully engaged to improve genetic outcomes, not only for Angus cattle, but for the wider beef industry,” said Mr Stephens.
“Given the strong commercial focus of the CSU farm, (including labour resources), the intern program is critical for us to continue to be involved, we simply would not have the resources to cover the extra workload without the students.”
“It is important the interns have some good general cattle experience, and I feel this is an excellent opportunity to expand their skill set and knowledge working in this commercial activity with large numbers of cattle, in a time critical environment. They have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge, dealing with industry leaders through the program, which should ultimately add to their university experience and employment prospects at graduation.”
About the Participants:
Bonnie Mitchell grew up on a beef and meat sheep property located in the Hunter Valley and studied agriculture and primary industries whilst at school. Bonnie later undertook further vocational education in the form of certificates in rural operations through Charles Darwin University, whilst working for large scale beef operations in the Northern Territory Barkly region and the Western Australian Kimberly region. During this time, she worked on properties with a Brahman stud and early weaning program and was involved in trial programs involving the stud Brahmans, Angus and Wagyus, and the nutrition of calves in a feedlot-style feeding program. Bonnie currently studies Agricultural Science at Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga.
Charlotte Nugent grew up on her family farm and has a had an affiliation with agriculture from a young age. She was involved in the show team whilst at school and has continued her growth in the field, currently studying a Bachelor of Agriculture Business Management at Charles Sturt in Wagga. With her siblings, Charlotte has recently started her own small Red Angus stud. Charlotte is excited to be the recipient of the internship and cannot wait for the opportunities that this program will present for her future in the industry.