CSU Graduation: Championing Australian Ag


Monday, 10 Dec 2018

* Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) graduate Matt Champness to be presented with Agricultural Science Medal

* Mr Champness is co-founder of a initiaitive to share stories of food and fibre production with consumers

* Mr Champness has built strong links with industry to add to his study at CSU

Promoting Australian food and fibre production is close to the heart of the 2018 Charles Sturt University (CSU) Agricultural Science medalist Mr Matt Champness.

From Hamilton in western Victoria, Mr Champness (pictured) is the co-founder of ‘This is Aus Ag’, a grassroots initiaitive that aims to build trust between consumers and farmers by sharing stories through podcasts and social media.

He said the project came from his participation in the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) 2030 Leadership Program.

“Agriculture is quite vulnerable to social licence issues and I think if we can build trust people will understand that their food is safe and why we undertake certain practices to ensure we can continue to feed Australians and meet overseas markets,” said Mr Champness.

“It’s a great time to be in agriculture, there’s a big focus on young people in agriculture, there is a lot of new technologies which is exciting, and although we are going through a tough season in the eastern states commodity prices are pretty good.”

“The NFF has a target of growing Australian Farm gate output to $100 billion by 2030 and it makes you think what can I do to help our industry get there.”

Mr Champness’ enthusiasm for primary production is evident in the impressive list of scholarship, training and leaderhsip programs he’s undertaken during his four years of study at CSU.

Mr Champness attended the 2018 Crawford Fund Conference , took part in an exchange program to Texas Tech University in the United States, Syngenta connections Vietnam program, participated in the Agrihack and AWI tech eChallenge,  was awarded an AgriFutres Australia Horizon Scholarship and is an Australian Rural Leadership Foundation graduate.

“It’s really important to get out there and meet with people in the industry to stay up-to-date and have a good understanding of what’s happening now and where we are headed in the future,” Mr Champness said.

Mr Champness Honours research was supported by a scholarship from the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation and investigated the use of salt supplementation to increase live weight gain of lambs grazing lucerne.

He will be awarded a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) and the Agricultural Science Medal in a graducation ceremony at CSU in Wagga Wagga at 2pm on Monday 10 December.

After graduation Mr Champness plans to volunteer in Lao PDR as a weeds agronomist in rice, part of a project to improve weed management in rice production to boost agricultural capacity in the developing country. This project is supported by the Crawford Fund and Australian Volunteers Program.

Listen to the 'This is Aus Ag' podcast here: https://www.thisisausag.com/podcast.html

Media contact: Hilary Longhurst, 0498 578 541

Media Note:

To arrange interviews contact Graham Centre communications officer Ms Emily Malone 0439 552 385 or emalone@csu.edu.au

High resolution images will be available after the ceremony on Monday.

The Graham Centre is a research alliance between Charles Sturt University (CSU) and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI)