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Young Victorian farmers get $10,000 scholarship boost

Sheep Central, April 21, 2021

Benalla sheep farmer Tamara Pabst.

A FLOCK of up-and-coming Victorian agricultural professionals has had a $10,000 to boost to their farming futures.

The Andrews Labor Government yesterday announced the 2021 recipients of its Upskill and Invest – Young Farmers Scholarship Program.

The program is in its seventh year and has awarded 76 scholarships to eligible young farmers, supporting them with up to $10,000 to boost their skills and careers.

Each year the Labor Government provides $125,000 to the program. Each scholarship recipient is eligible for up to $5000 to upskill through study and training, followed by up to $5000 to invest in putting new skills into practice with on-farm equipment and technology, business planning or professional development.

Applications for the next round of scholarships close on Sunday 6 June.

Among this year’s recipients was Benalla sheep farmer Tamara Pabst, who plans to use her scholarship to undertake tertiary training in agribusiness. She then plans to invest in hi-tech animal scales for her farm to collect data and measure the performance of her Merino ewes, allowing her to make more informed business decisions. She runs a flock of 100 commercial ewes joined to Poll Dorset rams.

Also receiving scholarships were:

  • Peter Carmichael, mixed livestock (beef and sheep), South Gippsland
  • James Cox, livestock (sheep), Murrindindi
  • Georgia Douglas, livestock (sheep), Northern Grampians
  • William Fay, livestock (sheep) and cropping, Pyrenees
  • Isis Jordan, dairy (goat), Mount Alexander
  • Richard McKee, cropping, Mildura
  • Michelle Muir, dairy, Corangamite
  • Elizabeth Shotter, livestock (beef), Wellington
  • Jen Smith, livestock (beef), East Gippsland
  • Ty Stanton, livestock (beef) and cropping, Indigo
  • Theresa Star, livestock (sheep), Towong
  • Tyr-Ryan Sturgess-Myers, horticulture, Greater Shepparton

Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas recognised the 2020 scholarship recipients at a ceremony in Melbourne yesterday, highlighting the important role young farmers play in Victoria’s $15.9 billion agriculture sector.

Ms Thomas said young farmers are the future of Victoria’s agriculture industry and we are continuing to support them to develop the world-leading skills this state has a global reputation for.

“In an industry that is undergoing constant evolution, fostering our young talent and giving them tools to thrive and succeed in a complex environment is vital.

“The calibre of 2020 Young Farmers Scholarship applicants was nothing short of exceptional and showcases the passion for the sector that exists within our young producers,” she said.

“There is no doubt that the future of Victoria’s agriculture sector is in capable hands.”

The scholarship program builds on the government’s agriculture strategy commitments to grow, modernise and promote the sector – helping to deliver the agriculture skills of the future and building on the goal to grow Victoria’s agriculture sector to $20 billion by 2030.

For more information on 2021 Young Farmers Scholarships and to apply click here.

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