Investing In The Next Generation Of Victorian Farmers

Thirteen young farmers from across Victoria have received the Andrews Labor Government’s Upskill and Invest Young Farmers Scholarships, supporting the state’s future agriculture leaders to shine.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today announced the winners of the fifth round of scholarships, delivering on the Labor Government’s election commitment and celebrating young farmers from around Victoria across diverse agriculture sectors including goat dairy, cropping, chestnuts and livestock.

Upskill and Invest Young Farmer Scholarships are worth up to $10,000 per farmer – with $5000 to upskill through training and study in areas like farm management, financial literacy, product development or innovative farming techniques, making sure the next generation of farming leaders are developing world-class skills.

Once they complete their studies, recipients are eligible for an additional funding boost of up to $5,000 to invest on-farm or in professional development – putting their new skills into practice and boosting their businesses.

To date, the scholarship program has seen 63 young recipients go from strength to strength in their careers – and is an important part of the Labor Government’s commitment to grow the state’s agriculture sector to $20 billion by 2030.

The successful recipients include:

  • Sophia Christoe, dairy (goat), Mount Alexander
  • Hannah Dowsett, livestock (mixed), Wellington
  • Bridget Doyle, livestock (beef), Benalla
  • Clay Gowers, cropping, Mildura
  • Edward Guthridge, dairy, Corangamite
  • Jackson Keane, horticulture (garlic) and livestock (sheep), Macedon Ranges
  • Jessica Knight, dairy, Wellington
  • Nicola Letts, horticulture (chestnuts) and livestock (pigs) Alpine
  • Andrew Murphy, dairy, Campaspe
  • Joseph Sutherland, livestock (sheep), Southern Grampians
  • Joseph Watts, cropping and livestock (sheep), Buloke
  • Dallas Willersdorf, livestock (sheep) and grains, Mildura
  • Rebekah Winter, dairy, Colac-Otway.

Applications for the 2020 Young Farmers Scholarships will open in mid 2020, with farmers aged 35 or under encouraged to apply. To find out more about the scholarships program, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/youngfarmers.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes

“We’re proud to be backing the next generation of farmers develop the skills they will need to thrive in a changing industry and keep Victoria’s agriculture sector growing.”

“Young farmers are crucial to the ongoing success of our $14.9 billion agriculture industry and the innovative work these farmers are doing will help us meet the growing demand for Victoria’s high quality, safe produce from right around the world.”