Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE’s National Centre for Dairy Education (NCDE), in partnership with Dairy Australia, hosted an industry celebration on Wednesday, May 10 at the Goulburn Valley Hotel in Shepparton.
The evening celebrated 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, attended.
GOTAFE NCDE trainer James Goulding taught the Student of the Year, Rory Shepherd from Nathalia, who completed Certificate III in Agriculture — Dairy Production.
‘‘Rory is a committed and diligent student who shows maturity beyond his years,’’ he said.
‘‘He works on a biodynamic-accredited farm where he is actively applying the skills, knowledge and techniques he has learnt on and off the job.
‘‘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.’’
Multi-million-dollar meat export business H.W. Greenham & Sons 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 was awarded as part of the event.
Merrigum’s Matthew DeCicco, 23, was the award recipient and received a scholarship for $12000.
Currently in his fifth year of veterinary science at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, Mr DeCicco plans to use the money to undertake an exclusive four-week placement at Cornell University in New York.
The industry celebration also featured a panel session with four industry representatives looking at future opportunities in the food and fibre industry.