YOUNG DAIRY apprentice Teah Huon has the world at her feet and a career she is excited about.
She is in the second year of her apprenticeship working with Timmering dairy farmer Scott Somerville.
“I have always loved animals, but when I was younger, I was more into horses,” Teah said.
“I first started milking for Scott and helping around the farm and now I am enjoying an apprenticeship and I really love working with cows and calves.”
Teah’s roles include milking, tractor work, feeding out hay and looking after stock.
Initially she found the physical labour tiring and the days long.
“Some days it can be tough, but I have learnt to fit the work in around my day, and I am used to it now,” she said.
“Some mornings I get up and it is easy and others it’s a bit harder — I am lucky I can have a powernap in the ute for 15 minutes on the way to the dairy at Kyabram if I need to.”
It might only be early days in Teah’s career, but she has some firm goals and plans in place.
“I am aiming to work my way up in the dairy field and I would love to one day run or manage a farm,” she said.
“I want to do my Cert IV or diploma in Agriculture (Dairy Production) this year and I want to start looking into the health side of cows and calves, too, because I really enjoy that side of things.”
Last year Teah completed a school-based Certificate III with one day a week at Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE in Shepparton and she was surprised by the number of females in the group.
“I thought I would be one of the only girls, but it turned out to be half and half and we were treated all the same,” she said.
“We all got a fair go at trying out everything and it was really good fun.”
Teah completed an AI course at Tongala and has plans to complete a pregnancy test course later this year.
Last July last she was awarded a $500 scholarship from the Shepparton South Rotary Club when she received the Kevin Jordan Bursary Award.
The award was created in honour of Kevin — a Shepparton South Rotary member and dairy farmer who passed away last year.
Kevin and his wife Peg often hosted students on their Dookie farm for work experience.
The award recognises students who are committed to further education and striving to achieve a career in agriculture.
Teah was grateful for the award and said the $500 would go toward her preg test course later this year.
“I am trying to get in as much training and courses as I can, because these courses will really help me better my skills in the industry and help me when I have my own farm one day,” she said.
Teah believes there is a positive future for dairy and she is hoping the industry will again flourish.
In January 2019 she attended her first International Dairy Week where she was introduced to the world of showing cattle.
Following on, Scott and Teah took a few animals to local shows at Kyabram and Echuca and she is hoping to learn more about this aspect of dairying in her future.
“Showing cows is very different to horses, but it is really good fun,” she said.
“I am hoping to go to IDW again this year with Scott because I found it very interesting last year and I am hoping to learn a lot more about that side of things as well.”