Graduates offered a Hart-start in grains research

Graduates offered a Hart-start in grains research

A regional internship program being offered in the state’s Mid North is giving agricultural science students a chance to land boots-first in a career in applied grains research and development.

The Hart Field-Site Group – one of Australia’s leading agronomy trial and research organisations – supported by the South Australian Drought Hub and SARDI, is providing one young job-starter the opportunity to kick-start their career.

Now in its eighth year, the benefits are flowing on to the state’s cropping industry.

The 2023-2024 Hart regional intern is Kaidy Morgan (pictured below), who grew up on a cropping and livestock property on Lower Eyre Peninsula before studying agricultural science at The University of Adelaide.

As well as being hands-on in all elements of trial work on Hart’s 10-hectare cropping trial site, Kaidy will focus on research into improving drought resilience through management decisions.

Kaidy Morgan, 2023 - 2024 Hart Regional intern

"Alterations in rainfall patterns and an increase in adverse farming conditions mean it is really important that we are developing strategies to improve resilience to these conditions.

I spent last year in a glass house and lab completing my honours project investigating cover cropping and soil chemistry at CSIRO, so I am very excited to be able to see how field trials work when in a less controlled environment.

I have always wanted to pursue a career in agricultural research and was thrilled to find an opportunity to work in this role without needing years of experience or a PhD."

Kaidy Morgan, Current Intern

Outgoing intern Declan Anderson said the skills and networking provided through an internship at Hart had been pivotal in progressing his career, enabling him to continue in the ag research field, now based on Yorke Peninsula.

“The knowledge and depth behind what Hart do and share with their interns has allowed me to step straight into the next stage of my career well-armed and ready to go,” Declan said.

Drought Hub director Dr Stephen Lee said partnering with Hart Field-Site Group on the intern program provided the Hub an excellent opportunity to support the next generation of ag leaders and contribute towards capacity building.

“Given the significant success of Hart interns, we know that this program will help to deliver a lasting legacy for the benefit of farmers across South Australia,” Dr Lee said.

Hart research and extension manager Rebekah Allen said the internship program offered a vital link for students to progress into the industry.

“It is important that we actively encourage research career pathways, particularly in regional areas,” she said.

“We also need to provide young people opportunities, like the regional internship, to support early career researchers to gain practical hands-on experience in the field and engage with local farming communities.

The regional internship program offered by Hart continues to be successful and we are excited to announce that we will be offering this program again in 2024.

Applications will open in August this year.