Pathway to a dairy future

By Country News

Two young people from northern Victoria with an eye on dairy farming as a career attended last week’s Dairy Research Foundation symposium at Bega.

Both are part of Dairy Australia’s Dairy Path program, which aims to support industry entrants to achieve their personal and professional aspirations.

Jess Weaver is working as a farm hand on an Undera farm and hopes to eventually move into a supervisory role.

She came from Sydney originally, and moved to Victoria to take up a position on a dairy farm.

‘‘When I was 12, Mum and Dad bought a beef farm at Coff’s Harbour, and there was a dairy farm down the road, and that’s where I fell in love with dairying,’’ Ms Weaver said.

‘‘I wanted to move to Victoria because there were a lot of opportunities, particularly with education.’’

Now 25, Ms Weaver said she was interested in cattle reproduction.

Her involvement in the Dairy Path program has enabled her to develop her skills.

‘‘I wouldn’t have known enough about the industry without Dairy Path,’’ she said.

Taylor Hamilton, 21, works on an Echuca farm with her parents.

‘‘I want to be in a management role in a farm services company, and I know I will need further education for that,’’ Ms Hamilton said.

‘‘I’ve always been around cattle and I enjoy working with them.’’

She said Dairy Path had encouraged her to grow as a person.

Despite the difficulties for the industry at the moment, Ms Hamilton believes there will always be a dairy industry which will require services for the business.

Ms Weaver, too, is not worried about what she called the ‘‘negative nellies’’ and believes that the challenges will result in the industry becoming more innovative and efficient.

Dairy Path designs a learning package aligned to the individual’s skill levels and needs.

Participants undergo a personal scan and are then guided through sequenced activities to develop their skills.