Hear From a Participant in the AgCAREERSTART Program

AgCAREERSTART is a 10–12 month program placing young Australians, aged 17-25, on farms across Australia. It’s a great option if you’re looking for something unique to do for your Gap Year, or want to start your career in the agriculture industry.

If you’re curious to learn more about what’s involved in the program and where it can take you, past participant Benjamin has provided his experience in the AgCAREERSTART program and how it has helped him launch into his dream career. Take a look.

Hear from 2022 participant, Benjamin

Hi, my name is Benjamin and I have been working and living on a dairy farm in Northern Victoria for a year now. It all started when I signed up for the AgCAREERSTART program in 2022. I had always wanted to work on a farm but found it hard to find a job due to my disability. The AgCAREERSTART team were really encouraging, and I was fortunate enough to be matched with a supportive employer who has taken the time to understand me and create a safe and positive workplace. This has allowed me to use my strengths and overcome any obstacles, which has been life-changing for me.

I love working in the dairy industry, so much so that I decided to stay on the farm beyond the end of the program. Over the past year, I have been able to develop a variety of farming skills, from learning how to pull a calf and lift a cow, to managing dairy maintenance and emergency repairs, as well as field work like discing and baling. This is a huge step forward from my first weeks, when I was still learning how to set up a strip fence!

During my year on farm I joined the Young Dairy Network which has allowed me to meet other young farmers and develop connections within this new community. Through social events and study tours, I have formed friendships and developed a work-life balance off the farm. There is nothing like bonding with other farmers over a pub meal, where we can share our joys and complaints about cows and their issues.

With the encouragement and support of my employer, I am currently pursuing a formal traineeship at TAFE this year, working towards my Cert III in Agriculture/Dairy Production. My employer has allowed me to attend classes one day a week, and I am connecting with other young farmers in the class. The TAFE course content is helping me understand the theories behind on-farm work and hone my knowledge and skills.

As a city kid with a disability, I never imagined that I would have the chance to work on a farm. But the beautiful sunsets, connections within the rural community, and the cows grazing in the pasture have made all the hard work and long days worth it. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to start my career in farming through the AgCAREERSTART program, and I am excited to see where this path will take me in the future.

Find out more

With applications opening soon, the best way to prepare yourself is to head to the website for more information or get in touch with the team.

Email: agcareerstart@nff.org.au

Visit: www.agcareerstart.com.au

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