I have always known I wanted to go into the agricultural industry, so my decision to study agriculture was an easy one. I grew up on a family farm in country Victoria, near Yea, and spent my childhood wandering around the paddocks, going round the lambing paddocks in the ute with dad, and building fences on the hill paddocks in summer. I guess this is where I developed a passion for agriculture, so when the time came for me to start thinking about my tertiary education, I spent my energy deciding not what to study, but where.
The view from one of our family farm's back paddocks
I looked at all my options to study agriculture within and outside of Australia, and decided Melbourne University was the best option for me. I was really impressed by the new Bachelor of Agriculture and the fact that the university had developed a whole new course said to me that they cared about the Ag program and were investing in its future – something that I didn’t see in some of the other universities.
In my first year, I was lucky enough to receive the William Allan Stewart Scholarship from the Faculty of Veterinary and Agriculture Sciences. I can’t express how incredible it has been to receive such support. This scholarship has meant that I do not have to work for money as much to cover my living expenses, so I can use my time to study or do things to progress my career instead.
For example, I recently returned from the South Australian Sheep Expo, a three-day event where young people interested in the sheep industry come together to learn and network. A group of us from Melbourne Uni got together and all flew over for the experience.
I am currently living at University College (a residential college on campus), which definitely helped me transition from high school to university. University is so different from high school, and although we all had a transition period where we were all getting used to life outside the VCE/IB bubble, I can certainly say I am appreciating the freedom and maturity that comes with uni life.
The Student Club Executive Team at University College. I'm the Secretary of the Student Club.
I am loving the course, especially now that I am in second year. We have started to specialise in our degree and I have chosen to major in Animal Health. We have some fantastic lecturers who really care about each and every one of us, and would do anything to help us on our career path (and they’re always up for a chat!).
The Ag cohort is just awesome. It is such a fantastic feeling being able to walk into a lecture hall and know the people around you. Everyone is just unbelievably friendly, and ready to get stuck in and have a go. As cliché as it may sound, I know the friendships I am making now will last a lifetime, and I cannot wait to spend the rest of my uni days, and hopefully career, with these people.
I would encourage anyone who is interested in agriculture to seriously look into the Bachelor of Agriculture and give it a go. I know I can only speak for myself, but I am having an amazing time at university. I feel like I am learning everything I need to make the most of my career, and I am confident I have made the right choice in coming to Melbourne.