For those at home keeping score, I am now completing four (4!) simultaneous courses whilst also working full time, preparing to sell our home and doing the planning for the new home and farm.
It’s a good thing I’m crazy, because otherwise, this would be insane.
So, to recap, I am concurrently undertaking:
- Diploma of Agriculture
- Diploma of Agronomy
- Diploma of Rural Business Management (soon to be renamed Diploma of Agribusiness)
- Certificate IV Training and Educational Assessment
The Dip. Agriculture and the Cert IV will be finished by Christmas whilst the other two will run through to mid-next year. At which point I will re-assess whether I still have enough insanity left in me to undertake the Graduate Diploma in Rural Science (Agricultural Consulting) I currently intend to aim for.
The process so far has been interesting, if not time taxing. The greatest value to someone like myself is not the coursework itself, but the opportunities that such courses provide outside of the academic campus. For example, without the academic ticket, I may not have been given the opportunity to speak to owners of different agricultural enterprises as openly as I have. The ability to look inside anothers business and see the operation, to speak of the lessons learnt and to ask questions regarding the practical side of the industry are far more invaluable than the courses themselves.
My current project is to explore and present on an Agricultural Enterprise. The ability to determine the full range of activities and costings allows me to evaluate industry segments I may have otherwise ignored. In this particular case, I am conducting a full business analysis on a contract growing (broiler) enterprise and the numbers are surprising … so much so, I am considering completing a full business plan to present to Rural Finance for funding.
It’s an interesting, tiring and eye opening journey that confirms that we do not know what we do not know and in seeing a fragment of that unknown only confirms how much more we do not know.