John Ralph Essay Competition 2011

REGISTRATION CLOSED: 23/09/2011 - SUBMISSION CLOSED: 14/10/2011

Two cash prizes: $2,000 for professionals and $500 for students

Incentives for professors & lecturers who get their students involved

Prizes awarded at the 2011 Agriculture Roundtable Conference


The John Ralph Essay Competition

In 2010, the Australian Farm Institute established an annual Essay Competition. John Ralph was the inaugural chairman of the Institute and argued strongly for comprehensive and objective research as the basis for sound policy decision-making, particularly for the agriculture sector. This competition was established  to recognise John Ralph's contribution. In 2010, the John Ralph Essay Competition was won by Daniel James Gibbons for his essay, Australia's Primary Industries - A Bulwark Against External Shocks. In 2011 the essay competition will have two categories - one for professionals with a $2,000 first prize, and a second for undergraduate students with a $500 cash prize. In addition the Institute is providing an incentive for professors and lecturers in agricultural faculties to involve their students in the competition.

Topic 2011

Agriculture and energy, a growing challenge in the world and in Australia.

The world’s population is projected to exceed 9 billion people by 2050, and it has been forecast that global agricultural output will need to increase by 70% to meet this need. At the same time, agriculture is being called on to meet the world’s future energy needs by providing feedstocks for biofuels, and also to assist in reducing the future risk of human-induced climate change by sequestering atmospheric carbon in soils and forestry plantations. How feasible is it that global and Australian agriculture will be able to  meet these competing demands, and what Australian policies should be implemented to assist the sector to meet these challenges?

 

Rules of entry

Entrants in the competition are required to write an essay entitled Agriculture and energy, a growing challenge in the world and in Australia.'

There are two categories for this contest, one for professionals and one for students.

The professional category is open to farmers, agribusiness participants, policy makers, consultants and researchers. 

The student category is open to person undertaking full time education. Professors, lecturers and course coordinators are encouraged to support this competition  by including the essay topic in their course program. 

A judging panel consisting of Institute staff and John Ralph will have the task of select two winning entries and these will be published (along with a number of other papers on the same topic) in the May 2010 edition of the Farm Policy Journal.

Entries must have from 1500 to 4500 words in length, and material beyond the 4,500 limit (excluding reference list) will not be considered by judges.
The essay is expected to present the author point of view based on a sounds and well-argued reasoning. A scientific style
(method, quotes, references and reference list) is not compulsory, but important references should be cited. The Essay should be written in a style suitable for an audience that has some familiarities with the topic, but does not have a great depth of knowledge of the issues. 
Editing tips and assistance can be provided by the AFI team.

Entries should be submitted in electronic format (.doc or .docx for Windows), with the closing date being Friday 14th of October 2011.  

Professors and lecturers interested in having their student participating have to register before the Friday 23rd of September 2011.

Prizes

The winner of the John Ralph Essay contest will receive a cash prize of $2000, and have the essay published in the summer edition of the Farm Policy Journal. The winner will also receive a complimentary one year Farm Policy Journal subscription, and an entry to the next Agriculture Roundtable Conference and full membership to the Australian Farm Institute (value $275).

The winner of the student category of the John Ralph Essay contest will receive a cash prize of $500, and have the essay published in the summer edition of the Farm Policy Journal.The winner will also receive a complimentary one year Farm Policy Journal subscription, and an entry to the next Agriculture Roundtable Conference and full membership to the Australian Farm Institute (value $275).

An opportunity for lecturers to involve students

Professors and lecturers are encouraged to participate by engaging their student with this competition. The Australian Farm Institute hopes this essay competition will create discussion and debate around the topic, and encourage students and the wider community to engage in the numerous vibrant and topical questions related to agriculture studies.

Any Professor or Lecturers interested in this project are invited to include the competition topic in their student’s assessment tasks, and to register at least three entries in the competition. 

These professors and lecturer will be asked to submit a minimum of 3 entries to the competition and will be offered:

  • One year’s free subscription to the Farm Policy Journal
  • One hardcopy of an Institute research report of their choice.

Judging criteria

Entries will be judged using the following criteria;

  • Originality: proposed policies should go beyond just criticizing existing policies, and preferably propose fresh ideas or improvements that will help the sector to grow;
  • Comprehensiveness: the policy will need to address a full range of agricultural activities and sectors involved in Australian agriculture;
  • Practicality: proposed policies will need to find the right balance between being bold and practical – there should be a reasonable chance proposed policies will be adopted.
  • Clarity: the policy statement should be written in clear, jargon-free language so that it is easily read and understood.

Entry Form

If you want to participate, you have to complete the following form before the 23d of September 2011.

For more information, feel free to contact us by email.

Good luck !
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