How can we inspire young people to pursue careers in agriculture?

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Recently I had the opportunity to return to my old university – The University of Sheffield – and take part in a networking event for early career researchers in plant physiology. The event was fully booked and attended by people soon to finish their undergraduate degrees, through to those with a good few years of post-doctoral research experience under their belts. Many were carrying out research that would feed directly into improving agriculture, particularly plant breeding. Others were working on more diverse topics such as Arctic browning but accumulating numerous field skills that would be applicable to the agricultural sector.

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One Health: free online course from FutureLearn features CABI authors

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One Health is about connectedness: "the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, plants and our environment”.

On One Health Day, November 3rd 2016, CABI's editors held a One Health (#OneHealth) Blogathon to focus attention, contributing a total of 6 blogs to Handpicked… and Carefully Sorted, each written from the viewpoint of a different sector.   Our Plantwise Blog contributed One Health: Plantwise’s ambition to improve the health of people, plants and animals.

We hope you found them informative but your learning need not be confined to our blogs!

Sign up to a free online One Health course from FutureLearn: starts November 7th 2016, runs for 6 weeks. Lecturers are the CABI authors Esther Schelling,  Jakob Zinsstag and Bassirou Bonfoh of Swiss Tropical & Public Health Institute.

Esther, Jakob  and Bassirou are all authors of chapters in CABI’s  book One Health: The Theory and Practice of Integrated Health Approaches [2015].  Indeed Esther and Jakob are also co-editors.

FutureLearn  courses are easy to follow and well-paced: you get one unit per week.  I speak from experience as because of my interest in evidence-based medicine, in October 2015, I took "Informed Health Consumer: Making Sense of Evidence". 

I hope you can make use of this One Health course.

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Enhancing youth engagement in agricultural careers

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The 12th August marked this year’s International Youth Day with a theme of Youth Civic Engagement.  The aim of the day was to promote civic engagement and participation of youth in politics and public life, so that young people can be empowered and make a full contribution to society, development and peace.

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CABI announces ICM Master’s programme on Swiss TV

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CABI Switzerland's Andre Gassmann (left) joins Professor Ted Turlings on national television station Canal Alpha to announce the first ever Master's degree in the Swiss Canton of Jura. The degree will focus on Integrated Crop Managment (ICM) and provide an opportunity for students from around the world to study with experts while based at the Université de Neuchâtel. Watch the video (french language).

August babies lack self-esteem

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This week we heard that being born in August in England leads to lack of self-esteem and a lifelong tendency to underachieve (Does when you are born matter?, from Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS)). This appears to be a follow-up study to one focussed on primary school children in 2007, and it certainly got covered well: BBC, Guardian and Telegraph to name just a few.

Speaking as an August baby, the only reason why I grew up lacking confidence and my brother, also an August baby, lacked self-esteem (note the difference between us) was that we had a father who was, frankly, a bully. For us, school was an escape; weekends could be very hard.

So you can imagine what I first thought when I heard about the study on BBC Radio4 Tuesday morning (1/11/2011). My second more rational thought was about this link to underachievement, with 20% less of us going to Russell Group universities. Is it linked to our school year starting in September, is it therefore confined to the UK? Is it linked to day length? Is there a difference between decades reflecting changes in society?

The answer to my questions would lie in studies of August-born children in northern France, or southern parts of Scandinavia, or closer to home, Eire.  Or looking at other countries which have cut-off dates for school entry. Very close to home, it’s February cut-off in Scotland.

I went looking on CABI's public health database, Global Health, for studies on health or educational attainment or adult socioeconomic status, which others may have also linked to birth month (see Further Reading for some examples).

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