GrowSmart Careers in Science: Industry Placement Report Student Name : Daniel Ashton School : Glossop High School Industry Placement : Phil Watters—Century Orchards & Almond Board of Australia
Midway through term three during one of my exciting chemistry lessons, my class had the opportunity to view a presentation that an ex-chemistry teacher from Waikerie had prepared. The presentation was put forward by a Mr Peter Haines to show chemistry students what employment in horticulture and agriculture science is available in our district. At the end of the presentation an invite was given to any of the students to take part in a
With Phil there are about ten other workers out on Century orchards that run and main- tain the property. Half the almonds on the property are being irrigated using pulse irrigation and are being treated with improved fertiliser application. You can easily see the results from the trial in Century Orchards. The visible results include the size of the leaf, the colour, the size of the trunk and the outstanding health of each tree prepared to the other half of
Over the week of working with Phil I learnt how the trial is run and saw the results that they were getting out of the trial. I not only worked with Phil for the week, I also worked with Brett Rosenzweig, who works on the trial with Phil. He is running his own experi- ment in Loveday where he has thousands of soil samples from the trial that are being weighed to find the total dry weight of the soil and compare it to the wet weight from when the soil was first dug up.
five day camp, where we could get to meet some of the scientists in our district and get a full briefing of how their world really ticks. A few mates and I thought about the program and even- tually agreed to go on the camp. The GrowSmart Careers in Science program was set to take place on Mon- day the 11 th of December 2006. The group of us
almonds that have the old standard irrigation system. Century Orchards also have a large vineyard. I was also shown the vineyards and we went out into the field to make some crop estimates for the annual harvest that was not far from coming up. Through out the week I was shown the infor- mation technology side of Phil’s job, where he had many
I would like to thank Mr Haines for organising all that has happened, thank you to the Riverland growers’ board who donated money to the camp and made the program possible, and thank you very much to Phil Watters and Brett Rosenzweig for taking me along for that week of work experience. For the first day I was involved in this experi- ment, where I helped weigh the sand. In helping with the experiment it showed me the repetitions that can be involved in sci- ence and how far Phil and Brett are going to get good and honest results. One of Phil’s other jobs is to work out on a property situated about ten kilometres out of Loxton called Century Orchards. Century holds over a thousand acres of almonds and a large number of those almond trees have been grown by using the knowledge that Phil has got during the trial at CT farms.
spreadsheets made up for his research to be recorded and for Phil to be able to make up graphs to show his results clearly. Other technology was the computers for the pumps, which Phil briefly ran through on one occasion and the enviro-scan program that is used out on the trial to show how much moisture there is in the soil. Phil also took the time to tell me about the down sides of his profession and told me about his educa- tion and how he got to be a horticultural scientist. Phil went over subjects like the salary of his profession and future promo- tions that are available. I found that the week for the camp was well worth it and as I mentioned above it was very educational and everybody had bonded to form friends. The work placement was also very informative as I learnt a lot about the trial and how to grow almonds, and let me step into the shoes of an agriculture scientist for a week and get a true feel for science. Pictured above: Daniel Ashton and Phil Watters at Century Orchards
visited places such as the Fruit Doctors, Century Orchards, Turretfield Research Centre, the Plant Genomics Centre at the Waite Institute, Flinders University and many more. The trip ended on Friday the 15 th of that week when we travelled back to the Riverland and departed at our home towns. To look back on the trip I found that it was a very informative week, where strangers bonded to form friendships and all the participants left satisfied with the camp. Following the camp the GrowSmart program invited all of its participants to be involved in a work placement program at a chosen place where we would work side by side with some of the Horticulture and Agriculture scientists in the Riverland. For my work placement I decided to go with a Loxton Scientist named Phil Watters. Phil is part of a scientific trial at Clark Taylor Farms, heading towards Loxton, where Phil works solely with almonds to find the maxi- mum peek in the conditions for growing al- mond trees.