Investing in leaders of tomorrow

Young Queensland seed analyst, Laura Harradine will attend Innovation Generation as a guest of Dow AgroSciences to gain invaluable insight into new grain technologies.

A young seed analyst from Queensland is a positive reminder of the importance of continued investment and development of future industry leaders.

Laura Harradine is a 21-year-old science buff from Toowoomba, Queensland whose intelligence, passion and drive has caught the eye of industry professionals and organisations who have earmarked her as one of the industry's promising young leaders.

Next week, Laura will attend one of Australia's premier youth agriculture conferences, Innovation Generation as a guest of Dow AgroSciences. While there she will hone her leadership skills and gain invaluable insight into new grain technologies.

The focus of this year's conference, with Dow AgroSciences as one of the sponsors, is centred on growing markets through leadership and technology.

"I've mostly focused on seed testing in my career so far, but I'm undergoing training to move into grain analysis and take more of a grain technology focus to my work. It's a whole new experience and I'm sure I'll learn a lot from the conference," Laura said. "It will give me the opportunity to see how technologies are being used. I am really looking forward to this opportunity."

Laura credits her career success to those who have taken the time to invest in her, and encourages other organisations to make the same effort for the next generation.

Laura's agriculture career was kick-started when she won a work placement scholarship through the Primary Industry Centre for Science Education (PICSE) in 2010. It was this placement experience, she said, that interested her first laboratory employer, leading to a career in plant science and grain technology.

"I've been really lucky to have received such wonderful support and direction to guide my career. It's only because of people who believed in me – my employers, programs such as PICSE and primary industry organisations like Dow AgroSciences."

Now, Laura is not only forging her own leadership path in grain technology, but is also paying it forward by fostering a passion in those younger than her.

In addition to her full time agricultural science work, she is completing full time study, majoring in Biology, Agricultural Science with a minor in English and Communications. In the evenings she tutors high school students in Biology, Ecology and Junior Science.

"Tutoring is something I do for fun, but I strongly believe that taking the time to mentor younger students and invest not just money, but time, into helping them advance their careers is the key to shaping young leaders."