Your local Agricultural College of excellence

To be recognised as Australia's leading independent provider of vocational education and training in agriculture

Success Stories
  • Leah Drendel - Current RIST student completing
    Certificate IV in Agriculture and the Diploma of Agriculture
    Hands-on learning, a supportive network of trainers and plenty of new experiences are just some of the reasons Macarthur's Leah Drendel continues her study path with RIST.  Now undertaking her Diploma of Agriculture, Leah first joined RIST in 2013 when she was a year eleven student at Hawkesdale College. 

    "I started working towards my Certificate II in Agriculture whilst I was at school. Combining my passion for agriculture and the opportunity to earn formal qualifications whilst still at school was very appealing and has turned out to be a great leg up in the industry," says Leah.  "I have been able to study part time, completing my Certificate IV in Agriculture last year and commencing my Diploma in Agriculture this year, whilst also working at an Angus stud in Byaduk."

    While she had no previous background in agriculture and didn't come from a family farming history, Leah says she has been able to get a broad knowledge and skill base in livestock, especially in her favourite areas of animal handling and rearing.  A trip with RIST to the Northern Territory in June/July last year also provided exciting new experiences, and ignited a desire to pursue career options on large-scale livestock operations.  "I was fortunate to take part in a study tour with RIST in 2016 to Lakefield Station in Mataranka, where along with five other students, we learned about outback cattle station careers and even helped out with preparing and showing their cattle." 

    Leah says her workplace is also "very supportive" of her study: "It's great to be able to have a high level of skills to apply on-farm in the workplace, and to be able to discuss new ideas and practices which can be of benefit to my employer." 

  • Sam McCluggage - Allansford Dairy Farmer
    Dairy farmer Sam McCluggage runs a large-scale operation at Allansford, near Warrnambool, in Victoria's South West. Milking around 700 cows, and rearing some 650 calves annually, the business employs a team of staff to ensure the dairy runs efficiently and productively year-round. 

    Currently, four of the McCluggage dairy employees are undertaking studies with RIST, including three Certificate III students and one school-based Certificate III student. 

    Sam believes the "opportunities for discussion" around topics being learned by his staff are providing plenty of benefits for both the farm and the students alike. "One of the best things about having the employees studying at RIST has been the discussions and conversations occurring on-farm following their lessons."  "They are getting out onto other farms, seeing new and different ways of doing things, and they're learning from trainers that have specialised knowledge in a lot of different areas. This is providing them with plenty of stimulation and learning, which has resulted in some really good discussion back at the farm," he explains. 

    Sam says that his student employees are keen to try new skills and techniques learned at RIST back on the farm, and sometimes the new ideas have replaced previous practices. "It's great to see them thinking and wanting to trial new practices on the farm. I try to give them scope to try their new ideas and learnings, and sometimes the new practices will take over the old. Other times, it's a great opportunity to engage in a discussion about why we might do something differently than the way they have seen in the classroom." 

    Employing three full-time, one part-time and two casual staff members, Sam says he believes ongoing education and skills acquisition in the dairy industry is essential. "I am always looking to help staff progress and move along on a pathway of training, if that's what they want. I want to make them capable, independent and give them more responsibility and training is key to that." 

    RIST's small class sizes, specific and targeted dairy industry training, the flexible nature of the study programs and good communication from the organisation are examples of why he continues to enrol his workforce into RIST courses and training. 

Your careers start here

An exciting range of courses is on offer to enhance your career pathways into this modern and innovative industry. Jobs abound in this industry at all levels.

Careers for your children

This is a modern and innovative industry that offers a wide range of career opportunities for young people, view the courses that can lead your children into some great career opportunities.

Practical Skills for Increased Profits

Profitability and productivity in agriculture is essential for long term sustainability, see what is on offer to increase your skill levels.