National Agriculture Day: A spotlight on Charles Sturt’s researchers

20 NOVEMBER 2020

National Agriculture Day: A spotlight on Charles Sturt’s researchers

To mark National Agriculture Day on Friday 20 November, four Charles Sturt University researchers from the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation reveal why primary industries inspires them.

There's opportunity in agriculture

Dr Michael CampbellDr Michael Campbell (pictured) is a livestock producer and Charles Sturt University researcher who is passionate about supporting young people in the industry.

“Agriculture is the place to be,” he said.

“Every person and every country in the world is involved with agriculture.

“Research is dynamic, each day there are new problems that need to be solved and many are complex and quite ‘wicked’ – especially in agriculture.

“Without innovative  teams of farmers, researchers, students and industry professionals conducting research, the agricultural industries will not be able to adapt to change and keep progressing.”

Dr Campbell has this message on National Agriculture Day.

“I love working and living in agriculture, it has provided myself and my family with so many opportunities to travel, meet exciting people and at the end of the day, produce highly nutritious food for the human population while directly managing the environment on our farm. How good is that!” he said.

“We need you, if you are finishing high school and considering what you will do career wise, consider agriculture – no experience necessary, just enthusiasm and you will go places.”

Making a difference

Ms Kayla KoppCharles Sturt student Ms Kayla Kopp (pictured) is from the Central West of NSW and has a strong appreciation for the work of farmers in providing food and fibre.

"Growing up on a sheep and cropping property I have always been involved in agriculture," she said.

"It's such an important industry providing food and clothing for people around the world.

"I love being involved in an industry which has a profound effect on daily life.”

Ms Kopp’s been able to combine her interest in livestock production, a thirst for knowledge and a desire to make a difference in her PhD study.

"My research is focusing on lamb survival, with the biggest driver of my research being my passion for the sheep industry and increasing profitability on farm," she said.

"I love making a difference to farmers and animals lives."

Research for climatically resilient production

Professor Phil Eberbach“I enjoy working on farms, undertaking research in collaboration with farmers to seek solutions to problems which threaten the productive capacity and sustainability of our farming systems,” said Associate Professor Phil Eberbach (pictured) in the Charles Sturt School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences.

Professor Eberbach has a lifelong passion for farming and agriculture – with particular empathy toward grain production.

“Sustaining a reliable and equitable food supply system into the future, sufficient to meet nutritional needs of a further three billion people is the major goal of the planet’s agriculture fraternity," he said.

“Despite the many challenges facing contemporary grain farmers, the two major standout challenges are the maintenance of crop production in the face of a warmer and drier climate, and increased competition for water, nutrients and light by an increasingly herbicide-resistant weed population.

“My drive in research deals with developing new appropriate tools or farming system interventions, making our current grain production systems more climatically resilient.”

Beyond the farm gate

Professor Chris Blanchard Professor Chris Blanchard in the Charles Sturt School of Biomedical Sciences is a molecular biologist and leads research investigating grain quality and functional foods - to increase the value of Australian grain.

"Sometimes we forget that the aim of agriculture is to produce food and fibre," he said.

"Food scientists take the raw ingredients from agriculture and produce food products that are desired by consumers."

He's a firm advocate of this paddock to plate approach.

"Increasingly consumers what to know where their food comes from," he said.

"They want to make sure it is produced in a safe and sustainable way.

"By tracking our food from paddock to plate, consumers can be confident that the attributes of the food they eat are aligned with their values and expectations."

He has a simple message when you are planning your #AgDayAU lunch.

"Choose food that is Australian made and support our local industries."

Join in the celebrations for National Agriculture on social media by using the #AgDayAu and #hatsofftoaussiefarmers

Media Note:

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Rebecca Akers at Charles Sturt Media on 0456 377 434 or

The Graham Centre is an alliance between Charles Sturt and the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

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