Lucinda (Lucy) Watt
National Council of Women Tertiary Scholarship Award Recipient
My name is Lucy Watt and I am a PhD Student at Charles Sturt University, studying “sheep production on hard-seeded, self-regenerating annual pasture legumes”. My studies aim to identify new pasture species for grazing by sheep in southern Australia. These farming areas have struggled with suitable pasture species to maintain pasture and animal productivity, largely due to our changing climate and environment.
I have always had a strong passion for the agricultural industry and science and was truly humbled to be the recipient of the National Council of Women of NSW Australia Day Award, that was kindly sponsored by the Country Women’s Association Sydney City Branch. You will be very happy to know that I have spent the $1000 on statistical support from a very good statistician who is assisting me greatly with my analyses. It was very well spent.
I grew up on a farm in the small village of Cumnock in Central Western NSW. As a young girl I gained a passion for agriculture from my Dad, Andrew, who is a farmer and biological agronomist. I knew from a young age that I wanted to pursue a career in the agricultural industry and my passion for science that developed in high school, set my sights on a career in agricultural/animal science, which I began studying at Charles Sturt University in 2011. In 2014, I completed my honours at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Biological Station in Michigan USA. This experience was so rewarding and my sights on a future in agricultural research, which I developed from my experience in my honours year, lead me to embark on a PhD.
I am due to complete my PhD in March 2018 and am looking forward to contributing to the progression and sustainability of our amazing agricultural industry here in Australia. The most rewarding part of my PhD is the contact that I have with farmers at on-farm field days and at forums facilitated by industry and our university research centre. Farmers have become my biggest collaborators and I appreciate their ideas and insights into industry. Being recognised as a young woman in the industry is also wonderful and has been especially rewarding. I think women have a huge amount that they can contribute to the agriculture and science sector; both have traditionally been male dominated industries in the past.
I would love to continue a career in agricultural research and development and one day become a lecturer to help encourage other young women and men to pursue a career in agricultural research. In a continually evolving world we will constantly be faced with issues that require young keen minds to help solve. I look forward to becoming a contributor to the industry and also a role model for other young women, who wish to pursue a career in agriculture and science.
Lucy completed a Bachelor of Animal Science with Honours at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in 2014, her studies being supported with scholarships for academic excellence and commitment to the rural industry and communities and for displaying passion and commitment to the Agricultural Industry of Meat and Livestock Australia Scholarship.
She has been a long-term member of the Cumnock Show Society and Cumnock Progress Association within her small rural village of Cumnock. In 2014 she was selected as Cumnock Show Girl as a young female ambassador for rural NSW and Australian Agriculture, and then went on to represent Cumnock and Zone 6 at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in 2015.
Lucy was a Dairy Research Intern in Michigan, USA and a demonstrator and research assistant at CSU. She worked in the Agricultural Advisory Service in Warren, NSW and in the Northern Territory on an RM Williams Agricultural Holdings Station. Lucy also spent time in Cambodia at the Free the Bears Wildlife Reserve. In 2015 and 2016 she was coordinator of the Animal and Agricultural Industries Fair at CSU.
She has also played netball, touch football and hockey at CSU, acted as swimming instructor for Wagga Wagga City Council and actively contributed to many aspects of the University and to Australia’s rural landscape. Lucy will be sure to contribute strongly to animal production science in Australia for many years to come