A career in agriculture was always on the cards for Wade Ivone who grew up in the small northern Victorian town of Whorouly but knew there was a lot more to the world of agriculture.

Thanks to a Gardiner Dairy Foundation tertiary scholarship that supported his two-year Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness Management at Longerenong Agricultural College, Wade is now fulfilling his dreams.

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation has opened applications for its 2020 tertiary scholarships, with seven scholars to receive $10,000 annually over three years to contribute towards costs associated with their studies.

“My main interest in ag came from my father being a stock agent and I always grew up wanting to do that,” Wade said.

Wade set out to achieve his goal from an early age. “When I was at school, I did a Certificate III in Agriculture at the local rural supply store and did odd jobs such as milking cows, working on a beef farm and picking blueberries,” he said.

After school, the two-year course gave Wade a broader understanding of agriculture.

“I wanted to further my knowledge in agriculture and learn about other fields that I hadn’t really been exposed to,” he said.

It lived up to expectations. “It was really good; I didn’t know much about agronomy and took a lot away from the course, and the same for the business side of ag,” Wade said.

“I didn’t have a lot of experience with the dairy industry but the course made me much more open to it and appreciative of it,” he said.

“I also made a lot of connections and now have friends all over the country in all sorts of fields.”

The scholarship gave Wade the opportunity to focus on study. “It was fantastic because I didn’t have to juggle work, study and living five hours from home,” he said.

During his final year in 2017, Wade did work placement with Austrex doing live exports of mainly dairy heifers to China and other Asian countries.

That led into a full-time job for 12 months where he learnt more about the export market.

Wade now works alongside his father, Dan at Paull & Scollard Landmark in Myrtleford,

as a stock agent, dealing mostly with dairy and beef sales. “It’s good working with Dad, we get along well and it was always what I wanted to do,” he said.

Wade said his Advanced Diploma helped to secure his employment. “I probably wouldn’t have had these opportunities without that qualification.”

Wade’s tertiary scholarship paid for half of his fees over the two year course. “It meant I could live on campus which was a good experience and helped me to interact with everyone,” he said.

“The scholarship made the whole experience of studying so much easier. It’s not only the financial support but the connections that are available from it. Since getting the scholarship I’ve met some very interesting people who have benefitted from the support of the Gardiner foundation. They do a lot of good work.”

Wade’s long-term goal is to own a property and develop a cattle stud.

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation will award seven Tertiary Scholarships to students from Victorian dairy regions who are commencing study in 2020. The scholarships are named in recognition of contributions to the dairy industry by Shirley Harlock, Jakob Malmo, Bill Pyle, Doug Weir and the late Niel Black.

Gardiner Dairy Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Dr Clive Noble, said the tertiary scholarships are awarded to students who have been accepted into a course that will benefit the Victorian dairy industry or dairy communities. The program aims to encourage students to return to their dairy communities on graduating and to contribute positively through the skills they have gained.

Dr Noble said a diverse range of skills are needed to ensure the Victorian dairy industry and dairy communities are resilient and adaptable.

“Dairy communities need high level skills in all areas of dairying as well as in essential areas such as health, education and finance. However, there is a huge cost for students associated with relocating to undertake the higher education and training required to develop these skills.”

For more information please go to: www.gardinerfoundation.com.au/people-community/ or email Richard Meredith: richard.meredith@gardinerfoundation.com.au