Mandemar resident Julieann McDonald has positioned herself to take advantage of a forecast growth in the nation’s $3 billion horticulture industry.
She will graduate this year with a Diploma of Horticulture from TAFE NSW Goulburn. However, she is already building a business using her new-found skills and knowledge.
Ms McDonald uses her experience and qualifications on her horse agistment property, mostly for ex-race horses, that requires her to have top quality pastures and shade trees.
Her introduction to TAFE NSW came about through needing skills to improve those pastures in order to grow her business.
“I had a lot of weeds here when I started. I’ve done a lot of pasture improvement and I learned how to treat weeds at TAFE NSW. I’m in a position now to be able to help other people improve their horse properties,” Ms McDonald said.
“I think of TAFE NSW as a huge open door you walk through and it opens up all these possibilities you had never considered.”
Before gaining her industry skills Ms McDonald was spending reasonable amounts of money at nurseries and always asking advice on why her plants were dying. A friend, who was enrolled in Certificate II in Horticulture at TAFE NSW Moss Vale, suggested that she join her in the course, so she did
Inspired after graduation, Ms McDonald enrolled in Certificate III Horticulture and then went on to complete her Diploma of Horticulture at TAFE NSW Goulburn.
To help meet the skills demand for the growing horticulture industry, the Diploma in Horticulture will be offered at TAFE NSW Moss Vale from Semester one.
Ms McDonald has created an impressive garden of her own and also cares for the gardens at a growing number of properties in the Southern Highlands.
“I’ve learned a lot and had plenty of successes. I know expected plant growth rates, preferred habit and because of my knowledge of pests and disease I can intervene early when I see a tree or shrub suffering,” she said.
“I’m proud that I can stand in the shade of the trees I have planted, it feels really good.”
To find out more about the Diploma of Horticulture at TAFE NSW Moss Vale in semester one 2019, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
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