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Rural Finance Awards 100th Scholarship

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Eight undergraduate students representing the future of Victorian agriculture were awarded scholarships from Rural Finance this week. The 2008 scholarships were awarded on behalf of Rural Finance by John Lenders MLC, Treasurer of Victoria, at an awards ceremony held in Bendigo.

Rural Finance CEO Mr Dugald Graham said the quality of the scholarship recipients demonstrates just how successful and progressive the best in the future of agriculture can be. “Rural Finance understands how important an investment in education is, to this, and the next generation of agriculture,” Mr Graham said. “It has been very pleasing to see the quality of the students that we have supported since the inception of the Scholarship Scheme in 1992.” The 100th scholarship was presented in this round of successful recipients.

Each undergraduate will receive a scholarship valued at $6,000 per annum for the duration of their course. Mr Graham said Rural Finance had committed over $1.5M to the future of agriculture through the scheme. “Rural Finance invests approximately $150,000 each year in support of scholarship winners. This makes it the largest industry-based provider of undergraduate student scholarships for the agricultural sector in Victoria. Rural Finance is making a substantial continual investment in education in regional Victoria where there is a dire need for well qualified professionals,” Mr Graham said.

The 2008 scholarship recipients:        

Damien McKinley is in his first year of a Bachelor of Science degree at Melbourne University. His family operates a cropping and grazing property at Dookie. Damien aims to be at the forefront of a competitive Victorian agricultural industry as it evolves into the future.

Lachlan Hemphill is involved in his family’s 250 cow dairy enterprise at Kyabram, as well as being in the second year of a Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree at Melbourne University, Parkville. Lachlan plans to pursue employment in an agronomy field before returning to operate a successful and progressive dairying business.         

George Grimwade is in his second year of a Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree at Melbourne University, Parkville. George is from Broadford, where his parents operate a grazing enterprise based on 450 Angus breeders. After completing his university studies, George plans to travel to America before returning to Victoria for a career in the cattle feedlot and live export industries.

Lauren Maher lives at Mt Rowan near Ballarat where her parents operate a farming enterprise and a contracting business. Lauren has a strong involvement in the operation of the farm and commutes daily to Melbourne University, where she is in the second year of a Bachelor of Science degree. Lauren has a keen interest in research and improving genetic traits in grazing animals.        

Ashley Hogg is in his second year of a Bachelor of Agriculture degree at Melbourne University, Dookie campus. On completion of his course he would like to gain employment in the field of dairy breeding technologies and use his influence to improve dairy genetics in Australia. Ashley would ultimately like to return to the family dairy farm at Biggara, near Corryong. 

Karienne Black is currently undertaking the first year of a Bachelor of Science degree at Melbourne University.  Originally from Benalla, Karienne was one of 9 students selected to join the State Government sponsored spirit of Anzac study tour to England, Belgium and France in 2005. In 2007 Karienne was selected as the female ambassador representing young scientists of Australia at the International Youth Science Seminar in Stockholm, Sweden.

Kate Johnstone is in the second year of a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Deakin University at Warrnambool.  Kate’s parents operate a 700 cow dairy farm at Minhamite and Kate assists on the farm when possible. Kate has a love for the practical side of agriculture and aims to operate a consulting business to contribute to the sustainable development of farming in Victoria.

Sally Pate is currently in her second year of a double degree Bachelor of Agricultural Science/ Bachelor of Commerce at Melbourne University. Sally’s family operates a dairy farm at Lang Lang in Gippsland and she is a member of the Young Dairy Farmers Development Program. Her ambition is to work in the fields of agribusiness, agronomy or nutrition and eventually to operate her own farm.

For more information contact on the Scholarship program contact Rural Finance Bendigo. Applications close 31 May each year.

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