With farming in the blood, Dana among first crop from Ag degree

Published:04 December 2018

Dana Walkington pictured outside Teys Australia in Rockhampton

Family ties to farming and a taste of Ag studies at high school set Dana Walkington on her path to graduation from CQUniversity’s Bachelor of Agriculture.

“Dad grew up on a dairy farm in Victoria while Mum as a girl travelled with my grandad who managed farms,” she says.

“I grew up in the Beef Capital and went to Rocky High, across from the Beef Australia Expo site, where I enjoyed studying Agriculture subjects at school.”

Dana was among 18 graduates from the degree attending CQUniversity’s Rockhampton North graduation ceremony this week.

Her new job as a quality control supervisor at the Teys Australia meatworks in Rockhampton came about through involvement in a CQUni student meat judging team who received training at Teys.

“The Teys General Manager reached out and offered me a role in loose item control, which keeps track of small items such as pens or calculators that could otherwise be misplaced in the production area,” Dana says.

Dana not only took part in the team meat judging event in Wagga Wagga. She was also selected as a ‘coaches pick/future leader’ for individual meat judging events in Brisbane and Toowoomba.

“Aspects of the CQUniversity degree I most enjoyed included the diverse course structure with coverage across grazing, cropping and horticulture, as well as support services such as ag finance, business and Ag consultancy,” Dana says.

“The Ag degree staff have been great and we’ve had access to the latest farming research and precision livestock management at CQUni’s Central Queensland Innovation and Research Precinct in Rockhampton. Our assignments enabled us to plan how we would implement the latest agricultural technology into production systems.”

Though currently focused on her new meatworks role, Dana will continue her casual waitressing role at the Great Western Hotel and her hobby of showing cattle for a local Brangus stud farm as well as steer exhibitors.

Teys Australia spokesperson Tom Maguire says “the company got to know Dana via the meat judging competition and is confident that she has a bright future”.

“Teys Australia is really pleased that Dana has chosen to start what we hope is a long career in our industry with us,” Mr Maguire says.

"Starting in our Quality Control Department, we are confident that Dana will quickly learn how we meet the needs of our customers that we serve around the world.

"We would like to congratulate CQUniversity offering this degree in Rockhampton.

"As we continue to evolve our business to meet the needs of our customers around the globe we will have many opportunities for people who complete their studies at CQUni.

“We are truly committed to connecting Australian cattle producers with our customers and it is the type of graduates that CQUni will produce that will make this a reality in coming years.”

Keeping faith with feedback from industry stakeholders, CQUniversity’s Bachelor of Agriculture includes an embedded competency-focused diploma and an industry mentor program matching learning outcomes with industry needs.

Students have come from a range of locations across Queensland and interstate (NSW and NT) with a wide range of backgrounds including cattle stations, horses and horticulture.

The Bachelor of Agriculture degree is further supported by CQUniversity’s strong agricultural research agenda, built around the newly-established Institute for Future Farming Systems.

Graduates are able to seek employment across today’s technology-driven Agribusiness, Cropping and Livestock industries.