PEOPLE seeking to build a career in dairy farm business management are encouraged to apply for the Dairy Farm Managers' program at Marcus Oldham College in Victoria.
Two assisted places are available for the 2023 intake in the program, which was launched in 2020 in partnership with Dairy Australia.
The program aims to develop business management capabilities in the next generation of dairy farm managers.
Applications are now open for the program.
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A Dairy Learning Plan is provided as part of the college's Bachelor of Business (Agriculture) course, enabling students in the program to develop dairy-specific business management skills.
An 11-month practical placement on a working dairy farm is a core component of the course, alongside two years of study at the college campus near Geelong.
Previous scholarship winners, Lachie Davis and David Conn, have recently graduated after completing their third year of study at Marcus Oldham and are now utilising their experiences and skills on-farm.
Mr Conn grew up on a dairy farm in Tasmania, learning the ropes from his father.
His studies have enabled him to develop the knowledge and skills to confidently make management decisions including purchasing his own farm and beginning managing it himself.
"I wouldn't have been able to buy the property as comfortably without the understanding I have now from what Marcus taught me," he said.
"We did a banking unit, where we had to build a business plan and a bank proposal in January, and by April I was doing it for real."
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The milking and cow management side of the industry Mr Conn was able to learn while growing up, and now it's the business side that he learned from his studies that is proving invaluable.
"Every dollar I spend, I aim for getting at least a 10 per cent return, so I need to know where to get the best bang for my buck," he said.
"Marcus really helped with knowing not just how to make those decisions but to make the right ones for my business.
"It's all just in my head now. I'll be driving along and just calculating the numbers in my head automatically."
As well as the financial management side of things, studying at Marcus Oldham has enabled Victorian Lachie Davis to have confidence in his overall decision making.
"My dad's always done things his way and it's worked well, but having the experience of working on other farms during my placement year, I was able to challenge the 'why' it has to be done a certain way," he said.
"The studies have helped me think about things differently - and given me the confidence to back the decisions I'm making, as I now know why, when and how to make them.
"I was able to work on two different farms during my placement year, and I took heaps away from that. Just from talking to the different farmers and how they think, how they use their money and their approach to spending really opened my eyes to how broadly you can approach dairy farming."
Overall, the scholarship is continuing to enable to next generation of dairy farm managers to get a head start in their dairying careers.
"I'd really like to thank Dairy Australia for the scholarship," Mr Davis said.
"It's been great to help me financially through my studies, and the opportunities presented have been phenomenal. I'm grateful for all the dairy farmers who've allowed me to study through their dairy service levy."
Anyone who is highly motivated and interested in a career in dairy farm management and has a genuine passion for the industry can apply now for a scholarship in the Dairy Farm Managers' program for 2023.
Dairy Australia will provide support for two students through scholarships starting in 2023.
These are open to any Australian residents who have an interest in studying a Bachelor of Business (Agriculture) at Marcus Oldham College, as well as demonstrated commitment to pursuing a career in dairy farm management.
Applications close August 5.
For more information and to apply, visit marcusoldham.vic.edu.au/scholarship/dairy-australia-farm-managers.
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