ON BOTH sides of her family tree, Georgie Constance has generations of farming wisdom and lore.
The property on which she lives, “Rock Lodge”, south of Nimmitabel, has been in her family for about 150 years, that family seeing it through the many challenges of life on the Monaro.
Now, it looks as though that family connection will likely continue, as Georgie plans to pursue her love of the land and farming after she finishes university. At the moment though, her preparations for that life are presenting challenges of their own, she says.
“At the moment I’m half way through a one year’s traineeship with Monaro Farming Systems (MFS),” she said, “and that has meant lots of travelling, lots of hard work and lots of learning”.
The traineeship that Georgie speaks of has been offered by MFS for some years, but the qualification procedure has become more rigid in recent times and they can be quite difficult to get. The year involves participants presenting for work at a variety of farm settings, where many different types of farming enterprises take place.
“I started work in January,” she said, “and since then have worked on a lot of different properties under the guidance of a lot of different people who all have different jobs to do and different methods of doing them. It’s been really interesting comparing the way we do things at ‘Rock Lodge’ to the way the same things are done on other farms.”
While most of her work so far has been around the Monaro, soon she will head over the Great Divide to join 14 other agriculturally focused youths on the Hay plains. To her currently growing skill set, Georgie will be adding wool classing, pregnancy scanning, fence construction, livestock water repairs, motor bike maintenance and is keen to learn all she can about such things.
“I think that there aren’t many jobs where you have to be able to turn your hand to so many different things,” she said. “I have to say that while some jobs might be a bit repetitive from time to time, I’m never bored – or looking for something to do.”
The MFS group was established in 2007 by a progressive group of local, innovative producers with industry support, aiming to build capacity and continuous improvement in the Monaro grazing Industry.
MFS is managed by a board of seven directors, made up of producer members and industry representatives. The annual youth traineeships introduced in 2012, aim to give participants an opportunity to gain skills and develop an understanding and broad view of successful management practices across the Monaro.
Applications for 2018 close later this year with information available at www.monarofarmingsystems.com.au