Feeding young minds
Western Australian dairy trainee Aiden Walsham swapped his muddy boots for a clean pair this month to walk into the Dairy Research Foundation Symposium in Bega, New South Wales.
The 18-year-old successfully applied for the Young Dairy Network (YDN) education and travel bursary and was offered time off work by his employer Brian Green of Boyanup.
Mr Walsham, a former WA College of Agriculture Harvey graduate, said he was excited to learn more about agronomy at the Symposium and further his studies in this area.
“This year’s Symposium is focused on feedbase and home-grown feed. I want to explore all the alternatives to grain feed that are out there and help make the dairy more profitable,” he explained.
With feed accounting for more than 50 per cent of production cost in any production system, according to the Dairy Research Foundation, an efficient home-grown feedbase can have a massive impact on the bottom line of individual farms.
Mr Green said he and wife Lorna were pleased to employ young people on their farm, like Aiden, who were keen to learn and share.
The family have some ‘big plans’ for the trainee and hoped he could one day step up into a management role.
“It’s good for Aiden to see what farmers are doing over the other side of the country and then bring back that knowledge to share with our team. We’ll see what we can adopt,” he said.
“Symposiums like this one were not around when I was growing up and if they were, I would have jumped at the opportunity.”
Membership of YDN is free and provides a range of educational and social events throughout the year. For more information and to sign up, visit the Western Dairy Young Dairy Network page.