Today we are introducing you to our fifth University of New England Young Farming Champion Laura Bignell
Hi! I am Laura Bignell and I am a student at the University of New England studying a Bachelor of Agriculture. I will be extending my studies later this year by undertaking a Master of Teaching (Secondary) so that I can foster my passion for educating the next generation by teaching high-school science and agriculture.
My passion for agriculture stems from my exposure to the industry while growing up. I grew up in Rawdon Vale in the Gloucester region of NSW on my family’s beef cattle property, where we produce composite steers for the export market. I have always grown up with cattle and have been involved with many local shows and competitions.
My time at UNE has strengthened my understanding and knowledge of the Agricultural sector and has allowed me to develop interests in soil science, hydrology and technology, which I have been building my unit choices around. Recently I was selected to participate in a study tour with UNE which travelled to Cambodia and Thailand. On this tour I was exposed to some very different production systems, including a feedlot which was growing out Australian cattle!
There have been many influences on my journey into the agriculture industry.
From a family perspective my grandfather always encouraged me to further my education and broaden my horizons within agriculture. I am very proud to follow his footsteps and be a part of the thriving industry that he has worked and loved his whole life.
From an environmental perspective, the mining in my local area and the regeneration processes to develop the land back into viable agricultural land is one of the first examples of this in Australia. I have undertaken work experience with the environmental sector in the mines near Gloucester, giving me an insight into the transformation of these zones into productive landscapes. From this point, my fascination of land care and land regeneration practices followed me to university.
Looking forward from regenerated mining land onto the wash-bays and pit
From an educational perspective, my high school agriculture teacher sparked my interest in the field of teaching. I thoroughly enjoyed gaining an insight to the many aspects of agriculture through my high-school years and am passionate to pass those experiences on to the next generations of agriculture enthusiasts. I was reassured this was the right path for me after coordinating the Schools Program for Farming Futures at UNE which promoted careers and opportunities within agriculture. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the enthusiasm and enjoyment from the students was very fulfilling.
I am excited to be part of the evolving agricultural sector and hope that the developments into the future allow for the continued growth and agricultural boom. I look forward to making my mark in the industry.