Ukrainian expat Oleksandr Lysov has found his dream in dairy after initially thinking an agricultural job advertisement online was "some kind of scam".
Mr Lysov, 36, said he hoped to find opportunities in Canada before he eventually found an online advertisement for farm labour on a Ukrainian job search website.
He studied and completed a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering in Agriculture while living in Ukraine.
He said he first found agricultural experience working in Great Britain as a peas and beans picker and later worked on a dairy farm in Denmark.
Mr Lysov said he returned to the Ukraine before he later worked in the United States on a cropping farm to understand working on tractors and in fields.
"It isn't easy going through recruitment agencies when trying to work overseas," he said.
"I thought it was a joke, some kind of a scam, but I applied and after two weeks did an interview, got a visa and came to Australia."
Mr Lysov and his wife Oksana made the move to Australia in 2018, and he started working on a Midfield Meat owned farm in south-west Victoria.
"I didn't know anything about cows when I started but I learnt everything by practice and from reading to get some of the theory behind it because I found it so interesting," he said.
"It's very rewarding to work in the food industry."
Mr Lysov worked at a Woolsthorpe, Vic, farm for four years and earned a promotion and has since found a position at Saputo.
"It was a very good experience for me," he said.
"When I got my residency, I decided to study as I felt it would help me to find a better job.
"I wanted to build my knowledge about budgets and the economic side of the farm.
"I can do all the practical work, but I wanted to know how to do the budgets."
Mr Lysov successfully applied to study a Certificate IV in accounting and bookkeeping at South West TAFE, and receives support from the DemoDAIRY Foundation.
"When I started, I had to study with my old laptop in my bedroom, I didn't have a desk or anything," he said.
"Now we've rented a house with a spare room and the scholarship enabled me to buy a desk, chair and a new laptop.
"I can now shut the door and concentrate so it's much easier to study."
He and his wife received national residency and he said they looked forward to applying for citizenship in 2024, and he planned to study an accounting diploma and possibly a bachelor's degree in commerce.
Mr Lysov said he hoped to become a financial advisor for dairy operations.
DemoDAIRY Foundation is currently seeking applications for 2024 scholarships, closing on November 25.
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