Victoria's brightest and best young farmers have been recognised at the 2021 Upskill and Invest Young Farmers Scholarship Awards.
Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas presented 13 farmers with scholarships at a ceremony in Melbourne last week, highlighting the important role young farmers play in Victoria's $17.8 billion agriculture industry.
The program, which has awarded 89 scholarships since 2015, supports young farmers with up to $10,000 to boost their skills and careers.
Each recipient is eligible for up to $5000 to upskill through study and training, followed by $5000 to invest in putting new skills into practice with on-farm equipment and technology or further professional development.
Greater Bendigo farmer Madeleine Marson was one of this year's recipients and plans to use her scholarship to undertake further training in viticulture.
She will also invest in new equipment for her family vineyard to support herbicide-free weed management under the vines.
Rupanyup cropping and sheep farmer Dougal McAllister will complete training in business management, leadership and decision making to improve profitability on his family farm.
Other scholarship winners included:
Ms Thomas said giving young farmers access to higher educational opportunities improved productivity and profitability.
She also said it ensured Victoria remained at the forefront of global modern farming.
"Young farmers are the future of Victoria's agriculture industry, and we are excited to invest in their skills to support a strong, innovative and sustainable sector," she said.
"The calibre of the 2021 applicants was excellent and showcases the passion of our young producers to excel in this industry. There's no doubt that the future of our agriculture sector is in the best hands."
Applications for the 2022 Young Farmers Scholarship program will open mid-next year and more information can be found online at agriculture.vic.gov.au/youngfarmers.
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