Alesha Young has been rewarded for her diligence and ambition with an in-house scholarship to her next level.
The 33-year-old mother of three has already graduated from two Level 3 courses at AGC Training (formerly Ag Challenge) - Vehicle Maintenance and Infrastructure (VMI) and Farming Systems Technology.
She now aspires to add the Level 5 Rural Animal Technician (RAT) diploma to her CV.
Because of her diligence and ambition over the last few courses, Young and longtime classmate Nicole Savage have been awarded in-house scholarships that have taken care of the more than $6000 in fees.
Young grew up on a small family farm block at the back of Brunswick in Whanganui producing mainly sheep and for the past few years she has juggled motherhood, home life and working during school downtime.
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"There were not a lot of jobs going on sheep farms around here at the time, so I ended up milking cows in between study," Young said.
"I like the idea of working with large animals, so decided on doing the L5 RATs course. I'd already done a bit of herd testing and AI and that fitted well with the course," she said.
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The RAT programme covers large animal anatomy and physiology, breeding and feeding, health and wellbeing along with many other tasks that will allow the graduate to work as a technician in conjunction with a veterinarian.
"The end goal is a career in farming, although as I've gone through the various courses what that end goal is exactly has changed."
Young does see a gap in the market, particularly on some of the larger stations overseeing stock health, feed budgets and helping with AI and/or herd testing.
"There's even a chance of working for a group of farmers overseeing stock health and feed budgets. Whatever I do my career will be in farming and I am thankful for the scholarship that allows me to complete the RAT course."
AGC Training director of executives Peter Macdonald said scholarships were not handed out too often, but were thoroughly deserved when awarded.
"Our in-house scholarship programme has been running for about five years and is designed to help out those keen on continuing study at the next level, but see fees as a barrier. Even school students who have done study with us and might want to enrol in a programme could apply - we are not averse to considering scholarship applications," Macdonald said.