Jess Hughes’ passion for the land stems as far back as his Grandfather who worked for leading agricultural businesses in his day.
As a graduate of the Bachelor of Agriculture and Land Management Jess hopes to embark on a career in plant or animal research.
“I felt that the learning style at Melbourne Polytechnic provided good opportunities for studying scenarios and then applying strategies based on the practical skills that we learned.”
Jess Hughes decided to study the Bachelor of Agriculture and Land Management after realising that his experience on the land was a good match for the course.
Jess first attended Melbourne Polytechnic to study a Diploma of Agriculture and was then drawn to the Bachelor degree because it reflected his broad interests and hopes for the future.
“Melbourne Polytechnic has a history of having a sustainable basis for farming and they’re also looking at new methods in farming, which provided a prime opportunity for me to learn.”
Jess sees agriculture as crucial to the future of humanity, believing the current model we have for feeding the planet to be likely to fall short if we don’t reconsider our ways.
“The opportunities in agriculture are gradually increasing. It’s a field where they’re looking for people at the moment.”
The Bachelor degree offers a range of different placements and career pathways and Jess found that this diversity was similarly reflected in the broad scope of his peers.
“I got to get my hands pretty dirty working on a sheep farm and getting first-hand experience with beef production. There’s a lot of diversity at Melbourne Polytechnic. You can choose how you approach the course, study areas depending on what you want to learn.”
This was a definite highlight for Jess, knowing that there were a multitude of pathways and an array of lecturers who could support and cater to these careers.
“The teaching style is not uniform at all, which means that you get to learn a lot of different styles and methods. I really appreciated how everyone’s way of thinking is different. You don’t just get one angle. It’s a really multi-faceted learning setting.”
Jess hopes to apply his knowledge and expertise in the research field after optimising a DNA protocol for extracting DNA from sheep blood as part of his university research project.
“A lot of the things we learned in the course are currently being adapted in agricultural workplaces, so we definitely have current knowledge of practices.”
Jess sees the key to success as being able to communicate with your peers and lecturers when peak times occur. Like many courses, managing the workload and balancing other commitments can present a challenge at times.
He still remembers how he felt three years ago; his work history had been up and down and he was feeling uncertain about where he was headed.
“This course has definitely helped cement my direction. Now that I have that, it will really help me to move a lot faster through the career that I hope to pursue.”
Bachelor of Agriculture and Land Management