Dr Anika Molesworth’s devotion to the Aussie land meant science was a no-brainer when it came to careers
“The climate crisis is here. Farmers are being challenged today, and this should concern everyone who eats food,” says Anika Molesworth. And that challenge set 12-year-old Anika off on her amazing career.
Before she became a scientist, a farmer, an agroecologist and an author, she was a kid from Melbourne, who didn’t think too much about where the food on her plate came from.
That was until Mum and Dad bought a farm about 1000 kilometres away from Melbourne, in a different state! Suddenly there were horizons that seemed to extend forever. There were frogs in the dams and kangaroos in the paddocks. And she saw how food came, not from a supermarket, but from the farm around her.
Love at first sight
Anika fell in love with that red land she and her family still farm. But the terrible Millennium drought 2001-2009, had a huge impact on the land around them and on Anika herself.
She had to learn all she could. And she did. She studied, went to university, did a Bachelor of Science, then a Masters of Sustainable Agriculture. At the same time, she built a knowledge-sharing platform, Climate Wise Agriculture, and she was awarded 2015 Young Farmer of the Year.
For someone who is shy and prefers to be doing rather than talking, Anika decided it was time to step up and tell the stories of the environment she loved. She met with farmers, leaders and even royalty on her quest to learn more; and even went as far as Antarctica during her global travels collecting info to help educate people on building a sustainable future.
Her book, Our Sunburnt Country is full of these farmers’ and food producers’ stories. Their practical solutions to growing our food, protecting the land, and building our future. That’s why as a member of the Young Farming Champions – and founding director of Farmers for Climate Action – she goes to schools, attends industry events and presents at conferences to promote food and fibre production and agriculture’s diverse career pathways, because Anika is determined that we can design a world where everyone is food secure. – Louise Denver
Anika’s study and career pathway
- Bachelor of Science (Agribusiness), Charles Sturt University
- Master of Sustainable Agriculture, Charles Sturt University
- Founding director, Farmers for Climate Action
- Doctor of Philosophy (Agricultural Science), Deakin University
- Author, Our Sunburnt Country
This article originally appears in Careers with STEM: Science 2022.
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Author: STEM Contributor
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