Eight young adults across the Southern Inlands have received Royal Agricultural Society Foundation Rural Scholarships.
Austin Grace from Murringo, Elysia Mackay from Gunning, Georgina Evans from Braidwood, Hugh Morrison from Yass, Rory Fogg from Harden, Rose Hogan from Goulburn, Rubey Williams from Berrima, and Samantha Larter from Moss Vale were all named as recipients.
Austin Grace is currently studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management and hopes to one day be the manager of a merino stud or commercial operation.
"Growing up I worked on the family farm "Demondrille Merino Stud" which heavily influenced my passion for a career in the sheep and wool industry," he said.
"Since finishing school, I have pursued this and took on a two-year traineeship as a Jackaroo at "Egelabra Merino Stud" along with completing a Woolclassing certificate."
Also studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management is Rubey Williams.
"I grew up on a rural property in the Southern Highlands, running over 1000 alpacas, sheep and cattle," she said.
"I am studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management at Charles Sturt University, where I'm able to learn more about the science behind agriculture while gaining the necessary business skills to ensure commercial viability in whatever I choose to take on.
"I'm interested in establishing a commercial alpaca operation in rural NSW, which would bring employment, product and service to the area. It will also encourage professional services into the area, such as agronomists and agribusiness consultants."
In her third year at Charles Sturt University, Elysia Mackay is studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science.
"My ambition is to enter the industry, placing theoretical knowledge into practice from diversifying production systems to the spread of financial risk of operations," she said.
"The ongoing benefits of becoming an agronomist in the field would enable me to research the pipeline of production information, marketing research and innovations that can effectively manage Australia's natural resources."
TAFE NSW student Rory Fogg is completing his Diploma of Agriculture.
"I grew up and went to school in Harden and since finishing school I've gained work experience on a large sheep station in Walcha producing fine wool and on a cattle and cropping property in Uranquinty as well as a cattle and sheep property in Junee," he said.
"In 2021 I completed my Certificate IV in Agriculture and this year I am currently completing my Diploma in Agriculture so that I can work my way into a management role and bring fresh ideas to the agricultural industry."
Also completing a Diploma in Agriculture is Samantha Larter, who also works at Moss Vale High School as the farm assistant.
"I run my own business Beltana Farm Services providing animal sitting, stock management, farm maintenance and more to the Southern Highlands and surrounds," she said.
"Agriculture is an amazing industry to get into and has so many different pathways that you can go down. My goal after completing a Diploma in Agriculture is to become an agriculture teacher through TAFE and inspire like-minded people to follow their passion in agriculture."
Future nurse Rose Hogan is studying a Bachelor of Nursing at the University of New England in Armidale. Bachelor of Nursing
"I hope to follow my passion and one day be a part of someone's journey to gaining their health back and to be there for patients that need a comforting hand to hold during a tough time," she said.
"There is an incredible demand for healthcare workers in regional communities and I am confident I can play a positive role in the health and wellbeing of these communities."
Also in the health field, Georgina Evens is studying a Bachelor of Medical Studies/Doctor of Medicine
"I grew up on a property near Braidwood and had a childhood there that cannot be beaten," she said.
"When not at university I work as a waitress, enjoy the beach, go bushwalking and volunteer for Camp Quality.
Read also: Calls for more flood volunteers and funds
"Upon completing my degree, I hope to practice rurally as an obstetrician-gynaecologist or general practitioner."
Originally from Yass, Hugh Morrison is currently studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science at Charles Sturt University.
"After graduating I plan on working as a rural veterinary practitioner working with livestock, companion animals and all animals in between," he said.
Scholarships were provided by the Snow Foundation, Mogul Brahman Stud, Janie Forrest and Ian Davison, and Susan Maple-Brown.
Designed to financially support rural and regional students, studying at university, college or TAFE, the scholarships are aimed at students who are passionate about applying their knowledge and skills within regional communities.
RASF Manager, Cecilia Logan, said the Foundation was proud to support recipients in pursuing their dream careers.
"For many regional students, higher education requires them to move away from their homes and families, which can be emotionally and financially difficult," she said.
"The Rural scholarship program aims to make this transition easier by assisting with accommodation and education-related costs and allowing students to concentrate on their studies without additional financial stress.
"This year's recipients have demonstrated a strong desire to give back to country NSW, and we are delighted to play a role in helping them achieve their goals."
RASF Rural Scholarship recipients will receive financial grants of $6000 for full-time study, or $3000 for part-time study, made possible with the assistance of generous donors.
Since 2007, the RAS Foundation (RASF) has invested more than $7.1 million into country NSW through its education and community grant programs.
More than 700 scholarships have been provided to students across NSW, including targeted scholarships for careers in both regional journalism and the Australian wine industry.
Applications for the 2023 RASF Rural Scholarship program open July 1, 2022.
For further information, please visit www.rasf.org.au.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.