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NEXT week’s State Budget will include a boost to improve facilities and teaching at agricultural colleges and training providers.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes said the Budget would provide $50 million for the Agricultural College Modernisation Program to help more Victorians to pursue exciting careers in agriculture.

Delivered over four years, the Program will help agriculture colleges and other training providers to upgrade the facilities they need to upskill future farmers and agriculture professionals.

Three agriculture colleges will share in $20 million in funding for upgrades to student accommodation and teaching facilities.

The University of Melbourne’s Dookie campus in the Goulburn Valley will receive funding over two years to build staff, student and conference accommodation for up to 130 people.

Longerenong College in the Wimmera region will use its funding over two years to build student accommodation for 33 people, a communal building for conferences and student gatherings, and other on-campus improvements.

Marcus Oldham College will construct 30 new student bedrooms at the Waurn Ponds campus near Geelong over two years with its funding.

The remaining $30 million will create the Future Agriculture Skills Capacity Fund which will support TAFEs and other agriculture education and training providers to develop students’ skills and carve a pathway into the industry.