YOUNG women in the MIA again have the chance to not only be granted funding for their ongoing education, but to also help ensure a special lady is not forgotten.
Applications are now open for the 2021 Jan Cathcart Scholarship, which honours the late Leeton resident and her invaluable contribution to the rice industry during her 43-year career with SunRice.
As part of the scholarship, the SunRice Group offers financial assistance valued at $10,000 a year for up to three years of tertiary study.
Women involved in the Australian rice industry and its related agricultural networks are encouraged to apply for this funding, with the initiative also offering opportunities for work experience and employment placement in the rice sector.
SunRice chairman Laurie Arthur described the scholarship as an "ideal opportunity to help shape the future of the rice industry".
"Since SunRice introduced the Jan Cathcart Scholarship in 2014, we've seen many of the recipients take on significant roles in the rice industry and agriculture in general," Mr Arthur said.
"Through this scholarship, which honours one of our industry's great contributors, we have supported the professional development and career paths of women who are now also contributing to this sector, which is a wonderful achievement."
This year's scholarship winner, Alexandra Morona, is currently studying Animal Science at Wagga's Charles Sturt University and said the scholarship has provided significant support in terms of finance and networks.
Although she was planning to undertake work experience with SunRice's CopRice business unit earlier this year, the global COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the postponement of those plans and she now hopes to experience working in those operations over summer.
"Learning how to utilise the complementary relationship between animals and crops for optimal production and sustainability has long been an interest of mine, and I am most passionate about developing this line of research," Ms Morona said.
"The future of agriculture requires innovation which will contribute to the longevity and sustainability of the industry, and I am proud to say this is what the Jan Cathcart Scholarship has afforded me the opportunity to explore."
Annabel Arnold was the scholarship winner in 2018 and she is now undertaking a two-year graduate program with SunRice, currently completing her first rotation with the marketing division in Sydney.
The scholarship is open to female SunRice shareholders, growers and employees and their extended families.
Women from across the rice industry's networks are also encouraged to apply, or to nominate other eligible women who would benefit from the program.
Eligible students include those currently studying at university or new students attending their first year of tertiary studies in 2021.
Applications close November 16, with the winner to be announced in early 2021.
The application form and more information can be found at https://careers.sunrice.com.au/scholarships/.