In partnership with Corteva Agriscience we invited emerging leaders in the agriculture sector to share with us what drives them. We also asked them to tells us if they had a magic wand what would they change in the agriculture sector.
Today we share PhD candidate Veronika Vicic’s story
“As future leaders of agriculture, its is imperative we encourage relationships between agriculture and the wider community by sharing our stories and our commitment to understanding the values of the community and shopping behaviours of consumers
Veronika invites us to:
- Find innovative ways to keep the lines of communication open along the agricultural supply chain
- Enable others to broaden their agricultural knowledge and encourage individuals to enter our diverse industry will strengthen agriculture
As a young person who grew up in Sydney I only became aware of the exciting opportunities in the agriculture sector at university. University has shown me research and development play a pivotal role in Australian agriculture supporting farmers to produce food and maintain the landscapes we grow it on
Being city born I am also aware that as future leaders of agriculture, it is imperative we encourage relationships between agriculture and the wider community by sharing our stories and our commitment to understanding the values of the community and shopping behaviours of consumers
Consumers in our society are becoming increasingly conscious of animal welfare standards, the quality of their food and where it is being sourced. My first hand experience has shown me consumer views can be distanced from the reality of modern agricultural practices. The diversity of views shared on social and in print media can either expand the urban-rural gap, or minimise it. Bridging the gap is where I believe we should begin.
Working within the industry has given me confidence we strive to maintain some of the world’s highest standards. It has also shown me it is imperative we communicate the efforts behind Australian producer’s work ethic and commitment to the quality products that consumers receive and how the industry maintains this standard by continually shaping business models to suit evolving consumer demands. I see our role is to communicate to our consumer audience in a way that everyone can understand and engage with.
Meat judging in Japan
My research is based within the beef and dairy industries. My team’s focus is to optimise supply chains for non-replacement calves within the dairy industry. Producers are committed to giving their animals the best whole of life experience and my team supports them with the latest research to help them make the best decisions for their animals and their enterprises. When starting this project I could instantly see that the pathways of communication from producers to consumers were often lost along the supply chain and with the increasing consumer interest in supply chain transparency, this was the initial gap my team and I had to address.
Growing calves in Koroit
The big question we asked was how do we engage with the community so they can identify biases and agendas in media, are able to distinguish fact from fiction and be informed consumers?
As a city kid exposed the world of agriculture at university I am passionate about sharing my story and encouraging other young people to follow my journey to a rewarding career in agriculture. Through my research I want to be able to support farmers to make the best decisions for their animals and their business and help them share their stories to encourage others to effectively navigate the complex and nuanced modern supply chain landscape.
You can do a deeper dive into Veronika’s research here
- What is hindering dairy bred beef in Australia?
Farmonline National (Internet), 6 August 2020
- Holstein beef put to the taste test
Dairy News (Internet), 18 October 2017
- Researchers from CSU’s Graham Centre have put Holstein cattle meat to the taste test, a breed normally reserved only for dairy. News Riverina (Internet), 22 September 2017
- Beef put to the taste test
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation (Internet), September 2017