The Ag College Experience

At the start of February, I began studying the Advanced Diploma of Agriculture at one of Victoria’s few remaining agricultural college’s Longerenong College located in the Wimmera region of Victoria and boy has it been an great experience so far!

Upon moving into the dorms I found myself in a bit of shock! living with 60 odd people was definitely a change from the 4 at home! But in no time I settled in and was familiar with most the faces in my year, some in which I’m sure will be friends for life.

O-Week Hike to the top of the Grampians.

O-Week Hike to the top of the Grampians.

Having so many people of the same age group and with the same passion for agriculture is such a fantastic environment, I am now starting to understand past students words of it being ‘the best years of my life’ and I cannot wait to make the most of it!. Oh and I forgot to mention the social events are fantastic! So far we have had a scribble party and cross-dress rally (and yes, many things I saw that night will never be erased from my memory!)

Cross Dress Rally Girls (Well, appearing as boys!) Team!

Cross Dress Rally Girls (Well, appearing as boys!) Team!

The first term consisted of 3 days of classes and 2 days of ‘Ag Skills’, which was a fantastic balance that kept all us ‘hands on’ kids engaged. The classes included accounting, agronomy, communications, wool classing and animal production, all very interesting and a great foundation for the future ahead. The Ag Skills classes consisted of 4X4 driving, tractor and GPS operation, quad bikes and mechanics in which we were split into smaller groups and rotated across the timetable so that we could get the most out of the practical exercises.

Learning how to service one of the trucks in Mechanics in which we will learn to drive later in the year!

Learning how to service one of the trucks in Mechanics in which we will learn to drive later in the year!

Tractor and Scarifier

Operating Tractor with a Scarifier and using a GPS System

Also during the Term, I was fortunate enough to be a recipient of The Invergowrie Foundation’s Scholarship for Women in Agriculture, assisting me greatly with fees, an absolute heaven-sent for both my parents and I, I cannot thank this foundation enough for their support of my education and future.

L-R. John Goldsmith, Longerenong's Principal, Ms Alison Smith and Mrs Pam Chessell from The Invergowrie Foundation and Myself

L-R. Longerenong’s General Manager John Goldsmith, Mrs Pam Chessell and Ms Alison Smith from The Invergowrie Foundation and Myself-Photo Credit to Donna Winfield

I also had the opportunity to sign up for the Show Steer team in which allows students to prepare a group of around 15 steers for the Melbourne Royal Show’s carcass competition. I cannot wait to begin the preparation it sure will be fascinating to see the ‘end result’!, I will keep you updated on this later in the year!

Show Steers in Feedlot

Show Steers in Feedlot

I am now 1 week into the second term and am having a great time so far, the first 3 weeks of this term consist of straight ‘Ag Skills’. For the first week of this term I have been Welding, using the oxy, mig and arc welders and getting to make something, which was book ends for the imaginary manuals in my imaginary shed next to my imaginary homestead on my imaginary property! One day!

Bookends

The bookends I made in welding class

Not your everyday kind of classroom! Welding class

Not your everyday kind of classroom! Welding class

For the next week I will have a nice BIG week of Shearing in which I hope to give a good crack!

Next weeks classroom!

Next weeks classroom!

Hopefully this has given some of you a great insight into the ‘Ag College Experience’!

Stay tuned for more posts!

Emma

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