Col­leges fill farm need

Train­ing mat­ters to in­dus­try

The Morning Bulletin - - NEWS - CHRIS­TINE MCKEE Chris­[email protected]­

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.”

Photo: Con­trib­uted

GO­ING STRONG: Pro­ducer Sid God­win says agri­cul­tural col­leges are vi­tal to give young peo­ple ex­po­sure to all facets of the in­dus­try.

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