Dairy & Agriculture industry celebrates students achievements

GOTAFE’s National Centre for Dairy Education (NCDE), in partnership with Dairy Australia (DA) will host an Industry Celebration on Wednesday 10 May 2017 at the GV Hotel Shepparton.

The evening celebrates the successful completion of qualifications by students along with announcing the 2016 Outstanding Student of the Year.  Local, regional and national industry representatives, including representatives from Dairy Australia and Murray Dairy will also be in attendance.

GOTAFE NCDE Trainer, James Goulding taught Student of the Year, Rory Shepherd from Nathalia who completed Certificate III in Agriculture – Dairy Production (AHC30210).

“Rory is a very committed and diligent student who shows maturity beyond his years. He works on a Bio Dynamic accredited farm where he is actively applying the skills, knowledge and techniques, he has learnt on and off the job. Rory is only too happy to share with the class his experiences and only last week hosted a farm walk where he and his father gave a very in-depth presentation on how the Bio Dynamic principles work.

“We know from our industry contacts and continuing relationships with the students that Rory’s story is not unique and many of our students are furthering their careers in the dairy industry and broader agriculture.”

HW Greenham & Sons Pty Ltd, a multi-million dollar meat export business has teamed up with GOTAFE to offer a scholarship designed to encourage and support young people wanting to explore a career and training in the dairy industry but who are facing financial hardships.

For the first time, the 2017 Greenham GOTAFE Dairy Scholarship will be awarded as part of the event, explained GOTAFE’s NCDE Commercial Manager, Luke Prime.

“2012 Winner Katherine Snell will showcase what she has been able to achieve with the assistance of the Scholarship and the brand new Scholarship recipient will be announced.”

The evening will also feature a panel session with four industry representatives looking at the future opportunities of the food and fibre industry.

GOTAFE award recipients:

Award Course Student Home Town
Encouragement Award Certificate II in Agriculture
Leah Orton Gapsted
Outstanding Student Award Certificate II in Agriculture  AHC20110 Jack Leahy


Encouragement Award Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy Production)
Josh Turvey Koondrook
Outstanding Student Award Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy Production)
Rory Shepherd Nathalia
Encouragement Award Certificate IV in Agriculture (AHC40116)


Madeleine Monk Kyabram
Outstanding Student Award Certificate IV in Agriculture (AHC40116)


Meeka Wigg Lockington
Outstanding Student Award Diploma in Agriculture (AHC50110)


James Whatman Muckatah
Overall Student of the Year Award 2016 Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy Production)
Rory Shepherd Nathalia

A dairy story: Rachael Barnes

Rachael Barnes was one of the fortunate young dairy enthusiasts given the opportunity to attend the National All Breeds Dairy Youth Camp in Tatura, Victoria earlier this year.

The five day camp allowed participants to develop their knowledge in handling dairy heifers, discuss breeding and discover new technologies. Each participant learnt key skills to care for cattle, including daily feeding, watering, washing, grooming, clipping and monitoring.

Rachael came to the camp with an interest in learning more about dairy cattle and making new friends. Fortunately for Rachael that’s exactly what she got out of the camp. “The National All Breeds Youth Camp has been the best camp I have ever been to! I enjoyed my time there very much and gained heaps of new skills I didn’t know. Meeting so many new people was good and engaging in people’s previous experiences was really intriguing as each one was different.”

After Rachael left school she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. She’d always had an interest in children and making them smile so decided to enrol in Certificate III in Early Childhood Education. “This allowed me to keep studying and gain a qualification whilst not losing my writing skills or my ability to learn new things.”

Rachael now has a full time job in the childhood industry and really enjoys it, but she can’t escape her love for cows. Growing up on a family dairy farm was what sparked Rachael’s interest in cows.  “I loved helping with the calves each morning and night”.

When Rachael was at school she joined the Dairy Show Team. In the team she showed Dairy cattle at local and other big shows. “I am still showing with them and thoroughly enjoy it as I can educate the younger students of what I have learnt, whilst still being able to interact with the cattle. Our team is purely run by volunteers using their own money and we are forever grateful for the opportunity they give to us.”

Rachael is happy where her life is heading. “My advice to others is if you are considering a career or have an interest in the dairy industry, I highly suggest you attend the Youth Dairy Camp. Also if you love Dairy cows and want to learn how to care for them, then this is the camp to go to. Not many people are given these opportunities and you can gain so much in just five days. You can develop networks with people in different jobs and meet so many new people.”

Click here to learn more about GOTAFE’s Dairy courses.