What is the Young Farmers Scholarship Program?
The Upskill and Invest – Young Farmers Scholarship Program is a grant opportunity to help young Victorian farmers access training, study and professional development opportunities.
In recognition of the increasing need for sophisticated skills in the next generation of farmers, the Victorian Government has established a scholarship program tailored to the professional needs of young farmers.
The Upskill and Invest – Young Farmers Scholarship Program provides young farmers and those who work directly on farm with funding (exclusive of GST) towards training or study (Upskill), backed by further funds to invest onfarm or in professional development (Invest), putting new skills into practice.
The Upskill funds can be used to meet the cost of study at a university, a registered training organisation, or another quality training provider approved through the application process. Completion of study or training unlocks the Invest funds to invest in activities that support application of learnings from the chosen training or study. This may include professional development, farm planning or other on-farm activities.
There is one scholarship round per year and approximately 12 scholarships are awarded per round. The application period opens in May 2021 for approximately six weeks.
Requirements of Scholarship Recipients
On successful application for a 2021 scholarship, recipients are required to fulfil the following over the two and a half year scholarship period:
- complete Upskill training as noted in signed agreement with the Department, within two years of commencing the scholarship
- expend Invest funds as noted in signed agreement with the Department, within six months of Upskill completion
- provide a short report to the Department at the end of the scholarship experience.
In addition, scholarship recipients are expected to fulfil the following during and after the completion of their scholarship:
- share learnings and experiences with other young farmers as part of the scholarship program (i.e. share with local community or farming groups, write articles, present at events, mentor future scholarship recipients)
- participate in Young Farmers Scholarship Alumni through social media platforms, webinars and attending events (where possible).
The Upskill and Invest – Young Farmers Scholarship is an opportunity to invest in you and your career.
Up to $10,000 is available per scholarship:
- up to $5000 towards study
- up to $5000 to invest in putting new skills into practice, with professional development, business planning or other on-farm activities.
The scholarship program is designed to be flexible, to fit with the demands and ambitions of young farmers and farm workers.
Since the start of the program in 2015, the Minister for Agriculture has awarded scholarships to 76 young farmers. Each year, 12 to 14 scholarships are awarded to young farmers aged 35 or younger.
To be eligible for the scholarship you must:
- be aged 35 years or under at the time of the application close date
- be working in a food and fibre farm business in Victoria at least three days per week for the past three months
- have at least two years of total experience on-farm
- be an Australian citizen or permanent resident currently residing in Victoria.
Applications will be considered for any form of study or training that is relevant to developing a career in agriculture, including professional short courses or workshops.
Eligible study or training must be:
- a minimum of 16 contact hours (this may involve more than one course or workshop, and may be across multiple institutions and organisations, or offered online)
- delivered by a registered training organisation (RTO)
- delivered by another reputable organisation (such as an industry organisation) approved through discussion with the department.
Applications close 06 June 2021.