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Scholarship Sets Young Gun Apart in the Sheep Industry

PUBLISHED Wed, 26 May 2021

austin 1Austin Grace lives by the motto ‘you can work as hard as you want during the day but it’s what you do in your own time that sets you apart.’ The wise philosophy is paying off after he was recently awarded the Peter Westblade Scholarship.

The 22-year-old from Murringo, NSW received the honours alongside Rachel Pritchard, also from Murringo. Established to honour the late Peter Westblade, who was passionate about supporting young people in agriculture, the scholarship promotes the practical skills associated with the sheep and wool industry.

Austin doesn’t remember a time he didn’t have a passion for sheep. He grew up on a farm and spent countless hours on the family’s stud, Demondrille Merino at Harden. His grandfather and uncles also fostered his interest in the Merino industry from a young age. So when Merino stud breeder and chairman of the Peter Westblade Scholarship suggested he give the scholarship a crack, Austin didn’t hesitate.
austin 2
The scholarship comes with a range of education and hands-on opportunities that Austin said he can’t wait to sink his teeth into.

“I know where I want to be but it’s getting those extra connections to get there that’s important,” he says.

“In the ag industry connections are a big thing and the guidance and mentoring I’m going to get over the next 12 months will be really helpful.”

Austin’s got his sights set on working his way up to a general manager role on a Merino stud or pursuing a career in data collection and livestock consulting. The short courses he’ll be provided with as part of his scholarship win will cover everything from grazing to sheep genetics. Any time something pops up that his mentors believe will benefit him, Austin will be the first to know.
austin 3
Austin started his two-year traineeship straight out of school on Egalabra Merino Stud near Warren, NSW as a part of Cert 2 & 3 in agriculture. He then began his degree one year ago via correspondence due to COVID and worked for the year whilst studying.  Austin has his study plate full with another two years to go in his agricultural business management degree from Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga. 

Throw in a certificate IV in wool classing through Riverina Institute of TAFE that he hopes to have knocked over by the end of this year, and Austin’s well on his way to achieving his career goals.

He encouraged any other young farmers looking to open up more opportunities for themselves in the sheep and wool industry to give the Peter Westblade Scholarship a go in 2022.

“At the very least, it includes a weekend at Wyvern Station that they run every year and you get so much out of that alone, even if you don’t win it,” Austin says.

“The more stuff you keep turning up to, the more you get out of it. ”

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#ThankAFarmerForYourNextMeal

Here's to Strong Women: International Women’s Day

With International Women’s Day taking place earlier in the week we thought it’d be a great opportunity to share with you some of the great captures we have seen over the years of these truly outstanding ladies. We’d also like to thank and recognise them for their unwavering contribution to the Australian Agricultural Industry as it certainly wouldn’t be what it is today without their input.

The Box

‘He Who Panics Last Wins’ Guides Young Auctioneer to Glory

A good mate and childhood mentor once told a young Liam Kirkwood that ‘he who panics last wins’. Liam admits it took him a while to figure out what his friend was on about, but today the 24-year-old champion auctioneer and principal at Ray White Townsville Rural and Livestock lives by those wise words.

#Beef2021

We're Bringing an Unsigned Artist to Beef 2021!

AuctionsPlus is proud to be partnering with Beef Australia to deliver Beef 2021! From the 2-8th May 2021, the AuctionsPlus marquee will host thousands of people each day where we plan to inspire and challenge with new tools, genuine conversations and exciting new insights.

AgriFutures

Sustainable Fishing & a Love of Science

In 2020, Amy Kirke’s dedication to the ocean and its inhabitants earned her the mantle of Northern Territory AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award winner thanks to her work in sustainable fishing and commitment to encouraging more women into the world of Science, Technology, Math and Engineering (STEM).

#BuyFromTheBush

Could The Bush Be... (Dare we say it)... Trending?

Pick up your favourite metro paper or magazine and chances are you’ll find stories highlighting people and businesses in the bush. Profiles on country innovation; spreads that include rural products; articles illuminating issues far beyond city borders.

#ThankAFarmerForYourNextMeal

Cream of the Crop Australia's Rural Photographers

As promised, we’d love to share with you some of what we believe are the absolute “cream of the crop” when it comes to Australia’s rural photographers. Some of these extremely talented men and women have been a part of the Thank A Farmer journey since our inception in 2014 and are fundamentally responsible for the success that we have had to date.

#ThankAFarmerForYourNextMeal

Showcasing Australian Agriculture

Check out some of our latest posts! This week we have sheep, we have cattle, and we even have puppies... just some more of the outstanding content coming in from our followers all across the country showcasing the best of Australian agriculture.  

The Box

Sam Heagney on all things Agriculture, Resilience & a Good Tweet

For a boy who grew up in Melbourne, Sam Heagney’s happy place today couldn't be any further from the suburbs. In fact, these days he says he’s never happier than when it’s harvest time and there’s headers, trucks and people running in every direction.

#BuyFromTheBush

The Journey to Liquid Gold

Alongside her family, Kendra Kerrisk brought Brushwoods olive grove back from the brink. The result? Liquid gold. I’m a mum, a wife, a farmer, a produce lover, an ex-scientist and goal chaser. I’m also the driving force behind Brushwoods. My number one goal? To reconnect Australians with the land upon which their food is grown and the farmers who produce it – beginning right here at our olive grove in the Riverina region of NSW.

The Box

Fifth Generation Farming Family Flourishing Now and Into the Future

In a fifth generation farming family the pull to take on the business is usually pretty strong. For Frank Archer though it was more of a slow burn that’s turned into a roaring career with Landfall Angus, a family owned and operated business in the Tamar Valley, Northern Tasmania.

#ThankAFarmerForYourNextMeal

Ripper Snaps

A couple of the more recent ripper snaps we’ve had the pleasure of sharing with our followers to help you get through the week! We sure do have some talented rural photographers here in Australia. In the coming weeks we’d like to showcase a few of our favourites, so stay tuned for our upcoming “rural photographers” themed blog.

The Box

Moving Forward: Glatz Black Angus to Rebuild after Bushfires

After 25 years in the Angus stud cattle industry Ben Glatz and his family are facing their most devastating challenge yet. Last month a bushfire ripped through their Avenue Range property in South Australia while they were on holidays, destroying all pasture, fencing, fodder and sheds. But the cruelest blow? The loss of 250 cows, weaner bulls and heifers and with them, 25 years of breeding.

#ThankAFarmerForYourNextMeal

A Stark Contrast

This week we’d like to share some amazing captures illustrating the stark contrast that has become evident over the past 12 – 18 months. It’s amazing to see how far we have come in such a short amount of time and here’s to a better 2021!

#BuyFromTheBush

A Life of Colour, Creativity and the Family Piggery

  My childhood wasn’t like that of most kids’. Mum was a single parent, she raised my sister and I while working a full-time job in town. So come the weekend, us girls would head to the family piggery run by my grandparents. I’d soak up those hours, sitting on my Papa’s knee, singing You Are My Sunshine, eating Bubble O’Bills and feeding the piglets.

The Box

Good Things Come in Threes and Beyond for Lachie and Sophie Kelly

To say things are looking pretty good for Lachie and Sophie Kelly from LSK Poll Dorset & Suffolk Studs would be a bit of an understatement. The young couple bought the entire Clarendon Poll Dorset Stud in 2019, hosted their first on-property sale in 2020 and in May, 2021 they’ll bring home their best addition yet - their first baby.

#ThankAFarmerForYourNextMeal

Promoting Aussie Ag & Its Primary Producers

Our goal when we started Thank A Farmer For Your Next Meal was to promote Aussie Ag and it’s primary producers. A big part of our business is our merchandise, which we utilise to start positive conversations about agriculture.

#BuyFromTheBush

Get the George & Co Skincare Glow

Georgina Franklin’s small-batch body scrubs, handmade with love and locally-sourced ingredients in Armidale NSW, are set to grow (and glow!) in 2021.

The Box

The Journey to Tell 10,000 Stories

Oli Le Lievre is a young man on a mission. Each night, he dives straight into his passion project; finding and broadcasting fascinating stories of people in agriculture. He’s just clocked 120 stories on his Instagram and podcast: Humans of Agriculture, and he says our industry needs to get better at telling its story… lest somebody else tells it first.

AuctionsPlus News

Welcome to our New AuctionsPlus Website

As a loyal member of our digital community, you will have noticed that the AuctionsPlus website has a new layout, look and feel.