Michelle Badenhorst transcript
(Voice over) Michelle manages a vineyard and cellar door business with her partner, producing a wide variety of wines and craft beers. Michelle plans to also develop an Agri-tourism business linked to local attractions.
(Michelle) Hi. I'm Michelle Badenhorst. I live and work at Suffoir Vineyard and Brewery, which is where we are today. We've got two and a half acres of Pinot Noir and we also do a range of craft beers called the Three Alpacas. They're also based on the three alpacas on the property. I run this with my husband and my little girl, and I actually run the cellar door myself and I'm also involved with the wine making and the beer making.
We actually fell into farming funnily enough. We came across this property a few years ago and then we just fell in love with it. We then decided that we'd better learn to make wine rather quickly – I must add that our first vintage tasted a bit like vinegar more than anything else, but we've moved on from there. What attracts me to farming is definitely being able to be this close to nature. I love waking up in the morning and overlooking the vines. The work also is very varied in the fact that it's all seasonal. One day you'll be picking grapes, the next day you'll be pruning and then the next day you might spend in the office. It's definitely an ideal setting to be raising your kids and I just love being part of nature.
(Voice over) Michelle is among 38 young farmers across Victoria who have received a Victorian Government Upskill and Invest – Young Farmers Scholarship since 2015. For Michelle, the $10,000 scholarship enabled her to increase her knowledge of viticulture, wine making, beer making and tourism.
(Michelle) The scholarship has really just given me the confidence to stand in front of people and to know that what I'm selling and producing, the decisions that I'm making on the farm, they are the right decisions. They're based on a good, sound knowledge and also the fact that I will be taking over all the wine and beer making from my husband, so this just helps me to know that I'm not going in blind. I'll definitely know what I'm doing.
(Pieter Badenhorst) My wife Michelle has been recipient of the Victorian Young Farmers' scholarship and this has just been such a wonderful experience for us as a family as well. It's just boosted her confidence in understanding what's happening within the vines, what's happening with the wine making and our beer making as well, but also being able to relay this all to our customers.
(Voice over) The Upskill and Invest Young Farmers Scholarships assist young farmers to access vital career enabling education through the upskill component and then apply that knowledge on the farm through the Invest component. Young Farmers are equipped with knowledge, experience and a network of other young farmers to face the challenges of an agricultural career with confidence and commitment.
(Voice over) For more information on how the Victorian Government supports young farmers, visit the Agriculture Victoria website.
Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne