UNE agribusiness students Denmark bound for prestigious competition.

Published 07 June 2016

A team of five students from the University of New England will compete at the prestigious Agribusiness Case Study Competition run by the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) in Denmark.

IFAMA will hold its annual world forum in Danish city of Aarhus next week, with the Case Study Competition as the centrepiece event.

The forum brings together business, academic and government leaders from around the world, and is aggressive in addressing the future of agribusiness through student engagement.

Sarah Rohr, Craig McGlashan, Conrad Rees, Max Laurie and Sally Beer are all agribusiness students at UNE, and form the only Australian team in the Case Study competition.

This year, IFAMA seeks to address a significant question: How can we feed the 9 billion people who will inhabit the earth in 2050?

In competition with other students from around the world, the team will receive an unknown case study that specifically engages with world food and agribusiness. Questions demanding consideration of a range of technical, financial and strategic aspects of the case will need to be answered.

In just four hours, the five students will pool together their collective knowledge of people and talent management, climate and impacts of climate change, and mechanisms of leveraging big data for practical problem-solving. The team will swiftly build and deliver a sophisticated presentation to a large audience of IFAMA world forum attendees.

In addition to their audience, they’re intending to impress a panel of judges drawn from the top echelon of agribusiness leaders, scholars and teachers – from here, the team hopes to compete in the subsequent final round of the competition.

“Engagement of this type is indicative of the new approaches we at UNE are taking to agribusiness”, says UNE’s Professor Derek Baker.

“Through such initiatives, we are providing our graduates with the capacity to grasp complex problems and apply multidisciplinary responses based on hard analysis and top-quality communications. We have also attracted support from a set of world class sponsors.”

The team also looks forward to the many opportunities the forum has to offer – unlike traditional academic conferences, the forum has a unique format that will give the team many opportunities to rub shoulders at round table meetings with a broad spectrum of industry and academic leaders.

For Sarah Rohr, attending for her second year running, “The IFAMA forum is a great networking opportunity for us with industry, and with students we meet from other countries. I’m looking at building on those same networks but in a European context this time.”

Craig McGlashan, also attending for a second year, is thinking forward to his future in the agriculture sector, and considers the networking opportunity to be invaluable.

“I’m doing a double degree in Agriculture and Business so I hope to become a consultant to be the link between modern ideas in agricultural practice and the end user. I’m from a farm in central NSW, so I’m hoping to make a difference to the agriculture sector.”

The team will be on the road to Denmark on June 15th.