Bega, NSW, lessee Ashleigh Rood found the confidence to become a leader in her local dairy community through Dairy Australia's DairyPath program.
The 29-year-old started her dairy journey in 2011, when she met her husband Michael, then a herd manager for a 2000-cow dairy farm in central-west New South Wales.
The couple soon set their sights on owning their own farm.
"I started to ask how we could do this ourselves; how do we as young people come into the industry and forge our way forward?" Mrs Rood said.
It wasn't long until she would have the opportunity to begin her own farming operation, as she and her husband entered into a lease agreement in 2012 and began to milk their own cows.
After getting familiar with the practical realities of running her own farm, Mrs Rood began seeking opportunities to move forward and plan for her future in the dairy industry.
"I love what I do and the industry is challenging you always need to be seeking opportunities moving forward," she said.
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Mrs Rood applied to participate in DairyPath for the chance to strengthen her involvement in the industry.
"I want to be successful in this industry and I want this to remain a profitable industry," she said.
Through the program, she became chair of her local dairy development group and was recently asked to speak at a dairy symposium in her hometown of Bega.
"DairyPath has been the catalyst in it all," she said.
"I do sincerely hope this program continues in the future because it is so, so important for young, aspiring dairy leaders."
This story first appeared on Australian Dairyfarmer