Gap year turns into new career

By Dairy News

In 2013 Ellie Cowhan decided to take a break from studying to spend a gap year working on her parents’ dairy farm at Forbes — five years later she’s still there.

Ellie had planned to use the working break to save for a house before returning to study nursing but today she’s happily continuing as a farmer.

A decision reinforced recently when she attended the 2018 Australian Dairy Conference in Melbourne confirming her love for farming — and her dislike of big cities!

“They talked a lot about managing change and that’s something we really need to think about,” she said. “We need to change with the times and the environment around us.”

Ellie works with her sister Alex and her parents Peter and Lindy on their dairy farm, which has been in the family for 30 years.

They milk about 320 Friesians, with Ellie, 22, responsible for herd management, calf rearing and general farm duties.

Ellie’s study focus has now changed and she has completed a Certificate III and IV in Agriculture and has started her Diploma.

“I study by correspondence with on-the-job training and Mum and Dad are pretty flexible,” she said.

One of six children, Ellie loves the variety of the work and being surrounded by family and animals.

Ellie received a bursary from Australia’s Legendairy Women’s Network (ALWN) to attend the conference and says the information she gleaned will help her family farm to implement positive changes.