A partnership between Emerald Agricultural College and Glencore is helping develop Queensland’s next generation of farmers.
Five students have been awarded scholarships of $10,000 each towards a future in the industry, with each student due to complete their studies in 2016.
The students are part of the two-year Australian Primary Industries Program, which will see them gain both Certificate III and Diploma level qualifications in rural operations and agriculture.
Emerald Agricultural College Acting Director Rick Whistler said the longer program ensures that students graduate ready to hit the ground running.
“We are very thankful for the support of organisations like Glencore who are also committed to the future of agriculture,” Whistler said.
Glencore’s Rolleston Environment and Community Manager Ken Dixon was on hand to meet the scholarship recipients this week and formally present them with their scholarships.
He said agriculture was important to the company.
“We work at all times to support the co-existence of our mining operations with other land users, particularly agricultural industries”
“These first scholarship recipients are trailblazers in an exciting initiative that takes this commitment a step further.
“We are delighted to see the first five recipients of our Glencore Scholarship start on their career pathways in agriculture and animal industries.
“We will follow the progress of these young people with great interest as they build their knowledge and skills to become some of the State’s next generation of primary producers.”
“I’m very thankful to Glencore for this opportunity; without it I wouldn’t be able to follow the path I’ve always wanted to take,” said scholarship recipient Amanda Campbell.
“I grew up on a property and then moved to town. I’m loving being back on a property again,” she said.
For Cunnamulla resident Eliza Martel, the scholarship has created an opportunity for her to work towards her dream.
“The Glencore scholarship gave me the opportunity to come to EAC. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said.
“When I finish I’d like to work on a station, perhaps in the Northern Territory. I’d like to become a manager. Without the scholarship, we would have struggled to pay the course fees.”
Easing the financial strain on her parents, who live on a drought affected property at Mundubberra has been a big bonus for scholarship winner Nicola Kerle.
“I’m from a cattle property and always wanted to come to Emerald Ag College,” she said.
“The Australian Primary Industries Program builds up skills and gives more knowledge of industry.
“The scholarship has helped because of the drought and takes the financial strain off my parents. I still would have come to College without the scholarship, but it would have been harder for mum and dad with the drought.”
Kerle plans to work towards becoming a property manager when she graduates in 2016.
For Bluff resident Jack Chandler Ashe, winning the scholarship has enabled him to clarify his plans for the future.
“I’d like to be a station manager or farm manager one day,” he said.
“The scholarship has helped my parents a lot, I’d like to say ‘thanks’ to Glencore for their support.”
Christina Harris has big ambitions in agriculture, coming from a rural background with family properties in the Gulf country and also near Roma.
“I plan to head up north when I graduate,” she said.
“I want to be a manager by the time I’m 30 and a property owner by the time I’m 40. I am extremely grateful for the scholarship from Glencore. I love the land and it’s something I want to do for the rest of my life.”