Colleges fill farm need
Training matters to industry
SID and Trisha Godwin met while students at Emerald Agricultural College in 1992 and have worked together in the industry ever since.
Sid was just 15 when he left school and went on to complete a Cert I&II in agriculture. He returned three years later after receiving a scholarship to study horse husbandry and training at the Emerald campus.
Together with Trish, who studied beef cattle production, he operates three properties near Springsure and sits on the board of Agforce CQ.
He says the knowledge and exposure to all aspects of agriculture was highly valuable to himself as a young teenager keen to learn all he could.
“The campuses at the time were running at capacity and constantly growing to fulfil the needs of young people wanting to make a career in the industry,” he said.
“Unfortunately, over the years, unrelenting drought, poor cattle prices and lucrative salaries offered by the mines saw a slow and steady depletion of students, and staff looking for a more sustainable industry.
“With low student numbers meaning less and less revenue each year, it was soon a convenient excuse for the State Government to begin funding cuts.
“Slowly the training facilities deteriorated and lacked the ability to attract students and good staff.”
Now Mr Godwin says if the two campuses close, there will never be the opportunity to reopen with no way to offer young people exposure to the various facets of the agricultural industry.
The couple have four children who all love life on the land.
Their eldest daughter has just finished the first year of a diploma of agriculture at Gatton Agricultural College.
Her younger sister is about to start a diploma of agribusiness.
Two sons, still in school, also plan to follow in their parents’ footsteps.
“The future of the industry is strong.
“It’s been a traditionally male-dominated industry but times are changing,” Mrs Godwin said.
“It’s a good time for girls in agriculture.”
GOING STRONG: Producer Sid Godwin says agricultural colleges are vital to give young people exposure to all facets of the industry.