YOU can’t wipe the smile off Michaela Thompson’s face after she recently won the coveted $10,000 Dairy Youth Travel Scholarship at this year’s Royal Melbourne Show.
The 23-year-old has just finished a commerce degree at Federation University and was excited by the win.
“The win is recognition for everything I have achieved in the industry over the last few years and the timing is perfect because I have just finished university,” Michaela said.
Michaela is quick to add she couldn’t have achieved what she has without the support of her parents.
She will use the money to travel overseas.
“I am in the planning stages of organising an European dairy tour. I have always wanted to travel over there and see their cows because they are a lot different to Australian and North American cows,’’ she said.
‘‘I will return to do the Winter Fair in June and then the second half of the year I will head over to North America and Canada.
“I wanted to travel next year, but realistically I wouldn’t have been able to afford the trip I have now planned so it has been great.”
Michaela has always been passionate about the dairy industry and she owns a small Holstein stud, Sunrise Holsteins, on a dairy farm her father manages at Rochester.
She began showing cattle as a little girl – the cows may have towered over her in the ring but that did little to curb her passion, in fact it only fed it over the years.
She bought her first cow when she was just 14 years old.
“I paid $6,000 for a heifer — Donnybrook Talent Sheena,’’ Michaela said.
‘‘I saved up all my money from working at a café to buy her, so you could say I have had that passion from a very early age.”
Michaela intends to use her degree to bridge the gap between accountants and dairy farmers and she is hoping her trip overseas will also help her get a worldwide perspective on the industry.
Royal Agriculture Society of Victoria chief executive Mark O’Sullivan said the scholarship provides an emerging dairy industry leader the opportunity to gain insight into global agricultural and food industries.
“RASV is committed to providing and enhancing compelling opportunities for youth development and recognition for future leaders through the Royal Melbourne Show Dairy Cattle Competition and we congratulate Michaela and look forward to supporting her in her travels to international dairy regions,” he said.