Home > PICSE/Dow scholarship takes South Australian student into the world of ag science

PICSE/Dow scholarship takes South Australian student into the world of ag science

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article image Mitchell Crisp checks broccoli plants for pests at a Dow AgroSciences testing facility on the University of Queensland Gatton campus

Mitchell Crisp, a 17-year-old high school student and food science enthusiast won a scholarship and an adventurous work placement at the University of Queensland (UQ) Gatton, discovering a world of agricultural science in the process.

As part of the PICSE/Dow AgroSciences Travelling Scholarship Award for Excellence in Science, Mitchell worked alongside Dow AgroSciences Researcher Dr Robert Annetts in April this year at the University of Queensland Gatton campus, testing existing and brand new chemistry that could soon be brought to market for protection of horticulture and broadacre crops.

Prior to the placement, Mitchell didn’t have a lot of exposure to agriculture science; however, the work placement opened up a whole new world of agronomy and entomology, learning how new chemistry is developed and why it’s important for the industry.

Mitchell said the experience really showed him what ag science was all about and what a career in it would be like.

Alongside Principal Scientist at Dow AgroSciences, Dr Robert Annetts, Mitchell got hands-on experience establishing trials, preparing and applying test products, planting test crops, and observing insect lifecycles and assessing the damage they caused.

He pegged and sprayed broccoli crops and observed insects such as the silverleaf white fly, the cabbage cluster caterpillar, and the green peach aphid. As a result, Mitchell learned of the vast implications of chemical resistance in the agriculture industry. By establishing, observing and recording data from these trials, he could see first-hand the damage they could have on food production and why it was so important to keep developing new products.

Dr Annetts is passionate about addressing chemical resistance and is proud to see the next generation of scientists playing a role in securing the future of the agriculture industry. According to Dr Annetts, chemical resistance is an ever-growing concern for agricultural production, which is why research and development is a significant area of investment for Dow AgroSciences .

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