TONGALA dairy farmer Scott Fitzgerald is reaping more benefits than he could have ever imagined.
As a recipient of the 2017 Farm Business Management Program (FBMP) scholarship, Scott said he had no idea how much the Rabobank executive development program would teach him.
And because of this he’s encouraging more locals to apply through the Gardiner Dairy Foundation.
“I originally applied for the scholarship to challenge myself and to push me out of my comfort zone,” he said.
“I’m halfway through the program now and I’ve already achieved more from the experience than I thought I would have.
“My confidence has grown and I’ve gained a dairy network which is striving for greater things as well as teaching me to think in a different mindset for the future of my business.”
Now in its fourth consecutive year, the FBMP is a joint collaboration between the Gardiner Dairy Foundation and the three Victorian regional development programs run by Murray Dairy, Gipps Dairy and WestVic Dairy.
Ten scholarships are available to one of three courses: Australian rural leadership program; Australian owner manager program or Rabobank executive development program.
The program provides successful applicants with the opportunity to develop their skills in business acumen, risk management and leadership.
Almost $1 million (30 scholarships) have been funded since the program started in 2015.
Chief executive of the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Dr Clive Noble said the program offered an opportunity for farmers to develop skills that were integral to the growth of the dairy industry.
“The Gardiner Dairy Foundation is pleased to support the FBMP which benefits not only the participants, but also the wider industry, as the participants share their newfound knowledge,” he said.
“We encourage driven dairy farmers to apply to the FBMP to gain valuable insights that will improve their business management and leadership skills, particularly relevant in the challenging landscape that we face today.”
Applications for the 2018 FBMP scholarships are now open and will close on March 9.
Farmers interested in applying can find more information by contacting Murray Dairy or visiting the Gardiner Dairy Foundation website at gardinerfoundation.com.au/current-projects-people-dev