The 2007 National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) was held at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra last month, and the Australian Poultry CRC joined several other CRCs as sponsors.

Along with the Aquafin, Molecular Plant Breeding, Dairy and Sheep CRCs, the Poultry CRC formed the consortium “Food and Fibre” to act as one of the industry sponsors and highlight the range of career paths the agricultural sector offers to aspiring young scientists.

The NYSF has been held annually since 1984, but 2007 is the first time that the agricultural sciences have been represented. This year, there were two fortnight-long sessions held in January, with around 300 students attending the two sessions.

During the CRC Workshop Industry Session, designed to encourage budding young scientists to consider a career in agricultural science, the Poultry CRC’s Education Coordinator, Julie Roberts, gave a presentation about the CRC and also participated in mock job interviews.

“All the agricultural industries are having difficulty attracting young recruits,” explains Julie.

“Activities such as the NYSF help generate awareness amongst young people of the wide range of employment and training opportunities in the poultry and other agricultural industries.”

The second session was attended by the University of Adelaide’s Poultry CRC PhD student, Rebecca Forder, who told the students how she ended up in her current position and about the research she is conducting for her PhD.

“Informing the students about the opportunities available in agriculture sparked quite a bit of interest,” said Rebecca, “which was pleasing to me, as the majority had never considered agriculture, let alone poultry production or research, as a potential career path.”