A student from Uralla has found her calling mustering cattle in Canada and Australia - and she thanks her tertiary studies for helping her.
Kaili White, 26, completed a Diploma of Agriculture at TAFE NSW Armidale in 2019 and she and her fiancé Isaac Fittler have been mustering cattle on stations in Canada and Australia ever since.
"Every day on a station is different and being on the land is beautiful," Kaili said.
"Working with cattle is in my blood as I grew up on a sheep and cattle farm, so every day I get to do what I love."
Ms White said developing her skills in agribusiness, finance, and leadership through TAFE, as well as learning new methods of farming such as rotational grazing, was 'incredibly' useful.
"It helped support the practical skills I had from growing up on a farm and made me a more well-rounded agricultural worker," she said.
TAFE NSW has moved to expand its course options to help train the next generation of agriculture professionals in the New England region as the state's farmers enjoy one of their best seasons on record.
National Farmers' Federation (NFF) president Fiona Simson said TAFE NSW will play a critical role in ensuring the booming agriculture industry had the workforce to meet future demand, citing the NFF's recently released 2030 Roadmap, which outlined its vision to grow the agricultural workforce by 25 per cent over the next decade.
"Vocational education is key to nurturing agriculture's future workforce and TAFE NSW is at the forefront of vocational education," Ms Simson said.
"TAFE NSW offers students an invaluable combination of theory and practical experience, which means graduates are ready to hit the ground running."
Her comments come on the back of a record year for farmers and just days out from National Agriculture Day on 19 November, with this year's event showcasing the increasingly diverse and rewarding career opportunities available in the industry.
The Australian Bureau of Agriculture, Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has released data predicting the farming sector would reach a historically high value of $73 billion in 2021-22.
And a recent study commissioned by Hort Innovation predicted harvest labour alone could be short a staggering 24,000 casual workers by 2022.
TAFE NSW Agriculture Team Leader for the West region, Fiona McCauley, said as Australia's leading provider of vocational education and training, TAFE NSW was uniquely positioned to arm locals with the hands-on, practical skills to power the agriculture industry for decades to come.
"TAFE NSW offers a wide range of courses with practical experience for working in agriculture, focusing on food and animal production, and farm management," Ms McCauley said.
"The industry is incredibly diverse and there are so many opportunities to make a difference in a rewarding career."
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