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

Where does the future of agriculture training lie now?

SID and Trisha Godwin met while students at the 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."

 

 

SCHOLAR: Lucynda Anderson, Hamish Hutchings and Cameron Hosking scholarship winners completing their practical agricultural studies, harvesting the Emerald Agricultural College 2017 cotton crop.
SCHOLAR: Lucynda Anderson, Hamish Hutchings and Cameron Hosking scholarship winners completing their practical agricultural studies, harvesting the Emerald Agricultural College 2017 cotton crop. Contributed

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 are 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," Mrs Godwin said.

"It's been a traditionally male dominated industry but times are changing.

"It's a good time for girls in agriculture."

 

 

YEAR FOR SUCCESS: Cloe Gribble awarded a scholarship to study at Emerald Agriculture College.
YEAR FOR SUCCESS: Cloe Gribble awarded a scholarship to study at Emerald Agriculture College. Cloe Gribble

Broadacre agriculture's peak body, AgForce Queensland Farmers, is furious it has been ignored by the State Government around the closure of two iconic agricultural colleges.

General president Georgie Somerset said she was staggered the broadacre sector was not asked for input into the termination of the colleges.

"Minister Furner claims to have consulted more than 70 organisations, so it is perplexing that AgForce was not one of them, especially given our memorandum of understanding with Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges.

"Broadacre agriculture in Queensland is worth $7.25 billion at the farm gate, plus $2.5 billion in first stage processing. More than 330,000 Queenslanders are employed across the whole food supply chain, including critically important jobs in our regional and rural communities.

"Ensuring access to quality education and skills development provides important career paths for young people in the bush at a time we are trying to encourage them to stay on the land."

CQUniversity vice-chancellor, Scott Bowman said over the coming months the university would work with QATC staff and stakeholders to understand what role it had in future delivery of agriculture training and education.

The university's Bachelor of Agriculture offers students the option to exit after the first year with a diploma qualification.



Ex-cyclone dumps huge amount of rain across the state

Ex-cyclone dumps huge amount of rain across the state

Ex-tropical cyclone Owen may reform off Queensland coast

Have you seen this missing Ipswich teen?

Have you seen this missing Ipswich teen?

Police are appealing for assistance to locate this boy

Ipswich wine a real tasty drop

premium_icon Ipswich wine a real tasty drop

Reds and whites from the region scooped coveted show awards

Local Partners