Location: Lake Grace (Great Southern), Western Australia
Job title: Merchandise Sales
How did you get into agriculture? I was born into Agriculture, Dad and Mum were farmers, and also did spreading, carting and spray contracting in the Wheatbelt before they moved and we owned our station in the Gascoyne until 2005 when drought drove us away, we now have the family farm in the Midwest. I loved the rural life and the communities that make many of the towns. Agriculture has always been a passion that I always will enjoy.
Education: High school year 8-10: Geraldton Grammar, High school year 11-12: WA College Agriculture – Narrogin
One semester with Curtin University Muresk Institute of Agriculture before starting with Elders.
If you studied/trained in agriculture, why did you choose that degree/certificate? I had always planned a career in agriculture, whether it be working with people in agriculture or on the land. The people that work within agriculture have such a passion with everything they do, it is great learning from people like this and experiencing many new opportunities that come our way.
What are/were your plans after school/tafe/university? I had planned to go work on a cattle station and get some firsthand experience with the cattle industry, as I specialised in cattle at Ag College. Or I wanted to get into breeding, and putting my new knowledge into working at a stud and learning more about genetics and breeding the best animal for multiple purposes.
Describe your job on the average day? I work on the front desk at the Lake Grace Elders branch helping clients with their needs. I also do a range of other roles like ordering in stock/ products (chemical, animal health, seed etc.), helping clients with accounts, grain contracting, proposals, and Real Estate advertisements. At certain times of the year at the branch we organise clearing sales, ram sales, many different types of trials with Ag chemical and animal health products.
What is your favourite part of your job? I enjoy working with livestock and to help clients learn about animal nutritional needs and requirements. Being part of a branch team with common goals encompassing all aspects of livestock production, breeding, animal growth, animal health, animal welfare and livestock marketing.
What are your interests? Sport, I play hockey, netball, basketball, tennis. Family and friends, cooking, horses, dogs and I have become very interested in the Elders Livestock Management Solutions (ELMS) protocols so I have been learning a lot about nutrition and ways to improve the client’s livestock
What’s your favourite thing about the industry? Working with the people that are so interested in improving agriculture and making it easier for others to get involved. Working with livestock and learning about the many requirements that are needed to improve the well-being and optimum health of the animal.
Best experience in agriculture? My education at the Agriculture College was a great learning experience in agriculture, and an eye opener to the many different paths you can take with agriculture. I love my job and if you are motivated enough you can learn as much as you wish to and if you are up for a challenge you can progress to more senior roles.
Worst experience in agriculture? Drought would have to be one of the worst things I have seen at first hand. To see the stock with no food or water and see families leave the country by necessity. Droughts and natural disasters would have to be the worst experiences in agriculture.
What do you think will be the biggest challenges of the agricultural industry in the future? The biggest challenges for agriculture will be able to provide enough food for the world, our export market for all our live export and goods, and to have a clean energy future and using farming products to achieve these markets.
Why do you think less people are becoming involved in agriculture? Because of all the highly paid jobs at the moment from the mining industry, the risk factor of getting that bad year with no rain or other natural disasters. There are not a lot of incentives to go back to the family run business when there are other greater opportunities to embark on.
What advice do you have for people thinking about getting into agriculture? If you are interested in the agriculture industry then make sure you are well educated, so that you can get a good foot in the door and experience some of the main factors that are happening within the industry. Make sure you are motivated enough to ensure you will love what you are doing and put all your effort into it, motivation is a big one because if you have the motivation then you can push yourself to gain the experience and knowledge that is needed.
How important do you think an agricultural background is to become involved in the industry? It depends, if you have great motivation and interested within the agriculture industry then I don’t think the background has much to do with the fact that you would like to become involved, there are so many different pathways you can take in agriculture so there is sure to be something that will fit your interest. I do think an agriculture background can make it so much easier for you to grasp a hold of the many industries that are available and you have had some background within agriculture.