IT has taken three years, two shifts and an enviable single-mindedness, but Melynda Stretton finally found and then graduated from a course designed to teach the basics in agriculture.
The ambitious young mother successfully completed Warwick TAFE's jackeroo and jillaroo course last week.
She hopes finishing the certificate three course will give her an edge as she follows her dream of a career in the rural industry.
I wanted to show my daughters that if you are determined anything is possible.
"My mum's a city girl, but my dad's family had a property and working in the bush was something I wanted to do for a long time," Ms Stretton said.
But as a single mum of three daughters finding a course in a location and over a time-frame that she could manage initially proved a challenge.
"I contemplated agricultural colleges, but a long course was difficult to consider with kids and responsibilities."
So she moved from Brisbane to start a course at a regional centre only to have the program close down, it was then she heard about Warwick TAFE's jillaroo and jackeroo course.
"The girls and I moved here in June, we actually spent three weeks camping at Leslie Dam before finding a rental house," Ms Stretton said.
"Then someone offered us a caretaker's house at the showgrounds and it was perfect.
"Sometimes things just work out and you know you are doing the right thing."
Six months of training later and she is stoked by what she describes as a "very hands-on, practical course" that has helped her develop skills from fencing and tractor work to livestock handling and horse riding.
"This course is invaluable, because it works for people in so many situations.
"I come from a hospitality background, but I wanted to do something I loved.
"And I wanted to show my daughters that if you are determined anything is possible."
She is now doing work experience at a feedlot and hopes to land a rural job on the Southern Downs.
"I will keep doing work experience until I find a permanent position, cause I know if I am doing something I love and am happy then my girls will be happy too."
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