Applications are now open for the 2018 Farm Business Management (FBM) Program scholarships, with the Gardiner Dairy Foundation urging driven Victorian dairy farmers to apply.

Now in its fourth consecutive year, the FBM Program is a joint collaboration between the Gardiner Dairy Foundation and the three Victorian Regional Development Programs (RDPs) Murray Dairy, Gipps Dairy and WestVic Dairy. The FBM Program provides successful applicants with an opportunity to develop their skills in business acumen, risk management and leadership.

Ten scholarships are available to one of three courses: Australian Rural Leadership Program; Australian Owner Manager Program; or Rabobank Executive Development Program.

The FBM Program is a major focus in the People Development strategy of the Gardiner Dairy Foundation. Close to $1million and 30 scholarships have been funded since the program began in 2015.

CEO of the Gardiner Dairy Foundation, Dr Clive Noble, said the program offers a unique opportunity for farmers to develop skills that are integral to the growth of the dairy industry.

“The Gardiner Dairy Foundation is pleased to support the FBM Program which benefits not only the participants, but also the wider industry, as the participants share the learnings they gain.

“We encourage driven dairy farmers to apply to the FBM Program and gain valuable insights that will improve their business management and leadership skills, particularly relevant in the challenging landscape that we face today,” said Dr Noble.

Ronnie Hibma from Gippsland, a 2016 FBM Program scholarship recipient who is currently completing the Australian Rural Leadership Program, said that the scholarship has provided him with great exposure and a clearer understanding of management processes.

“The scholarship is fantastic for personal development, management direction and big picture goals.

“The course itself has cleared up a lot of things for me, for example, what tasks I see myself as good at and others that need to be improved on. It is also very well regarded and has allowed me to meet a lot of great people. I now have a great network that I keep in touch with.

“I suggest that anyone thinking about applying should make the time and do it, you won’t regret it,” said Ronnie

Applications for the 2018 FBM Program scholarships are now open and will close on Friday, 9 March 2018. Victorian dairy farm owners are encouraged to apply, with interviews for finalists being held in Melbourne on Monday 26 March.

Farmers interested in applying for a 2018 FBM Program scholarship can find more information by contacting their local RDP or visiting the Gardiner Dairy Foundation website: