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A TASTE of ag and they're keen for more
With 2016 coming to a close, school leavers are making big decisions about their careers and post-school education options.
Cloe Gribble and Taylah Browning have their hearts set on agricultural careers, and thanks to the opportunity to see what is on offer at Longreach Pastoral College and Emerald Agricultural College in 2017, now they know how to get started on their goals.
Both girls attended The Agricultural Skills and Technology Experience (TASTE) this year, helping them explore a wide range of rural education and career options, meet like-minded students who share their passion for agriculture, and get a glimpse of college life.
Cloe Gribble, 17, heard about TASTE and approached her local Anglicare and Rotary Club. She was grateful to be offered a joint scholarship by the organisations to attend TASTE at the college of her choosing.
"I was given the option of which agricultural college that I would like to go to. I chose Emerald because I hope to further my studies there next year, in the horsemanship and station skills course," said Cloe. "The highlight of the TASTE Program for me was definitely the horses, because they are my favourite part about agriculture."
With career ambitions in the equine sector – including competing, training, running clinics, breeding, or even joining a show such as the Outback Spectacular – Cloe said she was enthusiastic about her studies next year because they will give her the opportunity to expand her horse knowledge, as well as gain other practical work skills.
"I would like to excel in the horse industry. I'm very excited to learn from and work with the amazing trainers at the college, I believe I will learn a lot from them," Cloe said.
Photo: Cloe Gribble shows off her handiwork at Emerald Agricultural College.
Taylah Browning, 17, participated in TASTE at Longreach. Like Cloe, when asked what the highlight of her TASTE experience was, Taylah replied "Horses, definitely the horses!"
And she certainly did her research before attending TASTE - exploring the College website, including the online virtual tours, and finding out as much other information as she could. Her research and the time spent at TASTE confirmed one thing for Taylah.
"Longreach was exactly the college I wanted to teach me all there is to know about the rural life," she said. "It took me a bit to choose which program I wanted to do next year though, as the courses were all awesome."
"In the end I'm very glad I have chosen to enrol in the Northern Beef Industries Program for 2017 and I'm counting down the days until I start!"
Taylah aspires to a station-based career, hoping to work her way from roles such as a stationhand or jillaroo to one day running her own horse and livestock operation. She believes her upcoming studies will be just the thing to put her on the right track.
Photo: Taylah Browning enjoying the equine experience at Longreach Pastoral College.
"I always wanted to work in an agricultural career. When I went to TASTE it helped me make my mind up that I definitely wanted to study at the College in 2017," said Taylah.
"TASTE for me was the best experience and there wasn't any time of the week that I didn't enjoy or learn something new, it was an experience I'll never forget," added Cloe.
For those wanting to know more about the breadth of educational pathways available in agriculture, four-day TASTE programs are run at Longreach and Emerald during school holidays, giving prospective students the opportunity to experience campus life and a variety of rural activities.
A special school-leavers TASTE program – the last for 2016 – is taking place at Emerald Agricultural College from 20-25 November.