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Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

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Published: 25 Jan 2019

Eleanor Vogel and Holger Meinke

Have you dreamed of turning the family farm into a million-dollar business?

Or would you prefer to prevent the next major outbreak of deadly E. coli?

How about reducing malnutrition for millions of children around the world?

Or discovering a way to keep harmful chemicals out of our water and soil?

Now more than ever, the world’s smartest and hardest-working people are needed to make agriculture sustainable, profitable and safe. And the job market reflects it: A degree in agriculture opens doors to an industry with four to five jobs for every grad.

Before University of Tasmania grad Georgia McCarthy even donned her cap and gown, she landed a job with leading business, agriculture and environment consultancy, Macquarie Franklin, along with a two-year Future Livestock Consulting internship with Meat and Livestock Australia.

“I started working in July and then graduated in August. I was sitting at the graduation ceremony fully employed and it felt like I had hit the jackpot,” Georgia said.

Like many students, when she finished year 12 Georgia wasn’t sure what she wanted to do.

“I realised most of my friends were applying for teaching or nursing and I just knew I wanted to do something different,” she said.

“Studying agriculture was the best choice for me. It allowed me to take what I am passionate about and turn it into a career that I love.”

As part of her degree, Georgia undertook work experience with Macquarie Franklin and Sheep Connect Tasmania and says having the opportunity to develop her practical business skills and make connections in the industry was incredibly valuable.

“Studying in Tasmania, you get your name out there and make industry connections before you even graduate, which is such a big advantage,” Georgia said.

“There is no way that I would have this job without my UTAS degree.”

“One of my favourite aspects of the job is engaging with producers and getting to know their business and the hard work that goes into it” Georgia said.

“People severely underestimate the number of careers in agriculture. I know people who have gone onto jobs in forestry, aquaculture and even banking.”

Agribusiness grad Eleanor Vogel has done just that.

Eleanor only graduated at the end of last year and is now working as an Agribusiness Relationship Assistant at Rural Bank in Adelaide.

Eleanor says she chose to study the Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture and Business) because she wanted a degree that provided job security.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I finished school, so I did some snooping to find out which degrees provide good job outcomes and saw agriculture was high,” Eleanor said.

“I grew up on a hobby farm, but it never really struck me as something I could make a career out of.

“People don’t necessarily realise that agriculture is not just farming. It is a whole sector with a range of opportunities.”

During her degree Eleanor also made the most of the practical and networking opportunities on offer, undertaking work placement with Rabobank, representing Tasmania at the National Merino Challenge and attending the Australian Women in Agriculture Conference.

“It was great to have the opportunity to make connections and to get out and see the whole industry,” she said.

In her role at Rural Bank, Eleanor supports the account managers working across financing, business loans and research.

Dean Lalor, Senior Agribusiness Relationship Manager for Rural Bank says agribusiness graduates are highly sought after in the banking sector.

“When we are recruiting we often turn to agriculture graduates,” Dean said.

“They demonstrate a commitment to the ag sector by having extended their learning beyond the classroom.

“Eleanor had evidence of genuine interest in and commitment to the agricultural sector. She stood out from the crowd.”

UTAS has one of the highest ranked agricultural programs in the world. We offer numerous scholarships, access to hundreds of successful producers in Tasmania and beyond, and small, interactive classes.

If you want to improve your future—and the world’s—this is where you start.

Apply now for 2019: utas.edu.au/study-agriculture

This article appeared in Tasmanian Country on 25 January 2019.

Picture: Graduation Dec 2018: Eleanor Vogel and TIA Director Holger Meinke