Learning and lending a hand: Introducing the newest Angus Australia and Charles Sturt University Interns

November 4, 2020 9:42 am

In order to provide an opportunity for young members of the agricultural industry to be involved in the research and development of the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program (ASBP), Angus Australia and Charles Sturt University have awarded internships to two students.

Following on from a number of years of collaboration with the university to provide the internship program, Bachelor of Veterinary Technology student Ginger Soames and Bachelor of Agricultural Science student, Georgia Smith were both selected to partake in the Angus Australia and Charles Sturt University internship, which will see them assist the ASBP through helping collect research data from the CSU cattle herd, which serves as a co-operator herd in the ASBP program.

The opportunity will see the interns gain insight into the research elements of the ASBP, assisting with the Artificial Insemination (AI) of the Angus herd and collecting calving details.

The ASBP utilises the Charles Sturt herd for cutting edge genetics research through generating progeny test data on modern Angus Bulls, 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’s Strategic Project Manager Christian Duff said that, “The internship offers a great opportunity for these students to get a greater understanding of a research project that actively contributes to the research and development of the Angus breed,” said Mr Duff.

“Angus Australia mutually benefits from having the interns, who are dedicated and interested in developing their experience within the beef industry and assisting in collecting information for the ASBP.”

Charles Sturt University Farm Manager James Stephens confirmed that the intern program, provides many benefits for those taking part.

“Now in our fourth year, the internship program has provided a great opportunity for many students to get hands on with the farm commitments associated with the Benchmarking Program, but more importantly, exposed them to a range of highly respected beef industry experts in a range of fields, including Rangers Valley feedlot, John Dee abattoir, CSIRO, fellow Angus breeders and of course Angus Australia.”

“This has led to honours projects and industry relationships that will help kick start their beef career whilst studying their undergraduate degree. It has been great watching these students gain skills and self-confidence throughout the year while helping on the program and I hope that this can continue and give more students this experience in the future.”

About the Interns:

Ms Soames currently studies a Bachelor of Veterinary Technology at Charles Sturt, with a background in the beef industry through her family commercial Angus operation.  Ms Soames is utilising the internship to assist in further developing her understanding of the various genetic technologies utilised by Angus producers, to further assist her in her personal interest in breeding improved phenotypical and genotypical Angus cattle through genetic improvement.

“I am super excited to be a part of such an amazing program surrounded by very knowledgeable people,” said Ms Soames.

“I am most looking forward to learning about all the new genetic technologies available today in regards to the improvement of Angus genetics and breeding. I hope to absorb as much knowledge as I can so that I can apply these skills to my family farm in the Hunter Valley and expand our Angus beef farm to a well-established commercial Angus stud.”

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Ms Smith is a second year Bachelor of Agricultural Science student at Charles Sturt.  She has interest in agriculture, and works within the industry supply chain, on a beef cattle and prime lamb production property while working casually at a local farm produce store and in a Veterinary Parasitology Lab.

Ms Smith looks forward to taking part in the internship, using industry leading technology and techniques and furthering her connections within the agricultural industry in hopes to further her professional development to learn a wider range of skills she can utilise in her employment.

“I am most looking forward to having the opportunity to gain practical experience in a larger scale commercial beef cattle operation than I have previously using different techniques for breeding,” said Ms Smith.

“Through this I hope to gain new skills and knowledge that I can use to further enhance my tertiary education and use the skills and knowledge I have developed on my family property or later in my career.

I applied for the Angus Australia and Charles Sturt University Internship to have the chance to be exposed to the wide array of opportunities available within the beef cattle industry. Also, the opportunity to network with industry professionals which will potentially help to further my future career within the agricultural industry.

In closing I would just like to say thank you to Angus Australia and Charles Sturt University for providing this amazing opportunity and I look forward to the year ahead.”

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