A career in agriculture was always on the cards for Wade Ivone who grew up in the small northern Victorian town of Whorouly but knew there was a lot more to the world of agriculture.
Thanks to a Gardiner Dairy Foundation tertiary scholarship that supported his two-year Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness Management at Longerenong Agricultural College, Wade is now fulfilling his dreams.
"My main interest in ag came from my father being a stock agent and I always grew up wanting to do that," Wade said.
He set out to achieve his goal from an early age. "When I was at school, I did a Certificate III in Agriculture at the local rural supply store and did odd jobs such as milking cows, working on a beef farm and picking blueberries," he said.
After school, the two-year course gave Wade a broader understanding of agriculture. "I wanted to further my knowledge in agriculture and learn about other fields that I hadn't really been exposed to," he said.
It lived up to expectations. "It was really during his final year in 2017, Wade did work placement with Austrex doing live exports of mainly dairy heifers to China and other Asian countries. That led to a full-time job for 12 months where he learnt more about the export market.
Wade now works alongside his father, Dan, at Paull & Scollard Landmark in Myrtleford, Vic, as a stock agent, dealing mostly with dairy and beef sales.
Wade said his Advanced Diploma helped to secure his employment. "I probably wouldn't have had these opportunities without that qualification," he said.
Wade's tertiary scholarship paid for half his fees for the two-year course. "It meant I could live on campus which was a good experience and helped me to interact with everyone," he said.
"The scholarship made the whole experience of studying so much easier. It's not only the financial support but the connections that are available from it. Since getting the scholarship I've met some very interesting people who have benefitted from the support of the Gardiner foundation. They do a lot of good work."
Wade's long-term goal is to own a property and develop a cattle stud.
Gardiner Dairy Foundation's seven tertiary scholarships are named in recognition of contributions to the dairy industry by Shirley Harlock, Jakob Malmo, Bill Pyle, Doug Weir and the late Niel Black.
Gardiner Dairy Foundation chief executive officer Dr Clive Noble said the tertiary scholarships were awarded to students who had been accepted into a course that would benefit the Victorian dairy industry or dairy communities. The program aims to encourage students to return to their dairy communities on graduating and to contribute positively through the skills they have gained.
Dr Noble said: "Dairy communities need high level skills in all areas of dairying as well as in essential areas such as health, education and finance."
For more information go to https://www.gardinerfoundation.com.au/people-community/#tert or email Richard Meredith firstname.lastname@example.org.