Two young farmers from Macedon have received the Andrews Labor Government’s scholarships of up to $10,000 as part of the $125,000 Upskill and Invest Young Farmers Scholarships program.

Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas congratulated the local winners of the fifth round of scholarships who were announced at an awards ceremony held at Parliament House yesterday evening.

Upskill and Invest Young Farmer Scholarships are worth up to $10,000 per farmer – with $5000 to upskill through training and study in areas like farm management, financial literacy, product development or innovative farming techniques, making sure the next generation of farming leaders are developing world-class skills.

Once they complete their studies, recipients are eligible for an additional funding boost of up to $5,000 to invest on-farm or in professional development – putting their new skills into practice and boosting their businesses.

Sophia Christoe, a goat dairy farmer from Trentham, will undertake one-on-one training with an international industry expert to improve her knowledge of small-scale dairy and cheesemaking with an emphasis on animal welfare and high-end products.  Sophia will also complete a Diploma of Creative Enterprise to expand her skills in leadership and management

Jackson Keane, a sheep and garlic farmer from Pipers Creek, focuses on growing chemical-free garlic as well as producing prime lamb. Jackson will study the ‘Lifetime Ewe Management Course’ to improve his understanding of ewe nutrition and its impact on the performance of the ewe and her progeny. Jackson will also invest in a box seeder to assist with a pasture regeneration program and soil preparation for the garlic crop.

To date, the scholarship program has seen 63 young recipients move from strength to strength in their careers – and is an important part of the Labor Government’s commitment to grow the state’s agriculture sector to $20 billion by 2030.

Applications for the 2020 Young Farmers Scholarships will open in mid-2020, with farmers aged 35 or under encouraged to apply. To find out more about the scholarships program, visit

Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas

“Macedon’s young farmers are dynamic and resilient. The future success and growth of Victoria’s thriving agriculture industry is in great hands.”

“The Upskill and Invest Young Farmers Scholarship program is attracting and supporting the next generation of Macedon’s farmers by making sure they’re supported to keep learning and growing.”