TAFE NSW Armidale graduate Ardina Jackson will jet off for a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience in Canada this month, spending four weeks exploring the country’s best agricultural practices after winning a Big Brother Movement Youth Support Award last year.
Ms Jackson, who lives in Warialda, said, “I am very excited about this opportunity. Not only will I be traveling overseas for the first time, but I can’t wait to explore agricultural practices, in depth, across many industry levels.
“I'll be heading to Alberta to look at precision agriculture, businesses, seed breeding, canola production, research and trials.
“After that I'll head to Saskatoon and then Regina. My visit to Saskatoon will provide access to some entrepreneurs, university lectures and weed research scientists, while in Regina, I'll be attending a conference on innovation, machinery, technology, young farmers and women's empowerment in agribusiness.
“Hopefully my Canadian travels provide answers to questions I want, and need, in relation to sustainable future food and fibre production. The focus of my learning will be around resilience to climate change and what ideas can be adapted to Australian production.”
The trip will conclude a huge 12 months for the talented young agronomist, who graduated with a Diploma in Agriculture and an Advanced Diploma in Agribusiness Management before she claimed the TAFE NSW Industry Achievement Excellence Award for Agribusiness in 2018, one of the most prestigious awards available at Australia’s largest training provider.
TAFE NSW Agriculture teacher, Paddy Fagan, said, “Ardina was a great student because she had both agricultural production skills and agribusiness management skills. In my 25 years’ teaching experience, I have observed that there are very few students who possess high-level skills in both areas.
“Ardina will be the perfect role model for Australian agronomists as she represents our producers overseas.
She will share the knowledge she gains in Canada with both her clients, colleagues and her TAFE NSW teachers so that everyone will gain from this experience.
“With Australian Government statistics revealing that less than one in five agronomists and agriculture industry workers are female, Ardina is also a great example that women can be very successful in industries such as agriculture.”
Ardina, who will leave for Canada on May 20, said this opportunity would not have been possible without the support and mentorship that is available at TAFE NSW.
“Studying at TAFE NSW provided me with the freedom and flexibility to not only complete both diplomas online, when and where it suited me, but also the skills I needed to pursue, and be successful in winning this award,” she said.
“I'd like to give special thanks to Paddy Fagan and Arleen Packer, my wonderful TAFE NSW teachers. Paddy has been an incredible support, going above and beyond to encourage me in my studies and applying for these awards.
“I would encourage anyone considering a career in agriculture to go to TAFE NSW, it help changed my life.”
TAFE NSW has a number of agriculture courses available for enrolment in semester two. For information visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.