Location Bogan Gate, NSW (near Parkes)
What part(s) of the industry do you work in? Beef and Cereal Production, Public Relations
Job title Stud Manager, Australian Year of the Farmer Roadshow Crew
What does your company/ business do? Australian Year of the Farmer (AYOF) – is a not-for-profit organisation with the aim of highlighting and celebrating the importance of farmers to all Australians. The AYOF roadshow strives to raise the profile of agriculture throughout the country, strengthen ties between urban and rural communities, and encourage young people to engage with a career in the industry.
Yandilla Angus – I established the stud in 2007 to supply quality genetics to local commercial cattle breeders. Breeding objectives are based around producing structurally sound cattle, which display efficient feed conversion rates, whilst maintaining conservative birthing characteristics, and exceptional temperaments.
Describe your job on the average day There is definitely no such thing as average between AYOF and life on the land!
On the roadshow I travel around the country with one of our 9 educational displays, engaging with the public at shows, food and wine fairs, careers days, field days, and a swag of other events.
When on the farm, I split my time between my cattle stud and the family cropping enterprises. This means I carry out a range of activities, from artificially inseminating cows with straws from the best bulls from Australia and around the world, to sowing hectares upon hectares of wheat, barley, and canola, to sitting at a computer keeping up on farm recording and evaluations.
How did you get involved with agriculture? I grew up on the family property, and have never envisaged myself being involved in anything else! It was a natural progression from bottle feeding poddy lambs and tinkering with dad in the workshop to establishing my stud and studying Ag Science. Agriculture is my chosen industry, but more-so, it is my life!
Education Agricultural Science, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga
If you studied/ trained in agriculture, why did you choose that degree/ certificate? I had decided early in high school that Ag Science was the degree for me. I love anything science related, so the the combination of Ag and science is a perfect fit! Ag science is a degree which provides you with a broad range of skills in not only areas such as agro chemistry and biology, but marketing, extension and business as well. This means graduates are not limited to a specific field – we can work as agronomists, grain marketers, animal nutritionists, agribusiness managers, researchers and farmers – just to name a few. The hands-on aspects of the degree are also a drawcard, as you are able to build on your strengths, and develop new skills before entering the workforce.
What are/were you plans after school/TAFE/university? Short term, I am looking to travel with my degree to work in Ag in developing nations. Long term, I plan on expanding Yandilla Angus and working closely with my father and brother on the family farm.
Grain sampler – AWB Grainflow
What are your interests? Breeding Cattle, Conservation Cropping & NSW Young Farmers!! Photography, Rugby Union, Canoeing, Community Involvement, Acoustic Guitars, Kombi Vans, Folk Music & Travel.
What is your favourite thing about the industry? The flexibility! The fact that I am able to travel, stay at home, hang out with my family and animals, play with tractors and bikes and act as a steward for the environment, all whilst being at work!
Best experience in agriculture? I had the opportunity to travel to India (2010), and Indonesia (2011) whilst at university with the Syngenta Community Connections developmental program to work with local farmers in water use efficiency and pesticide safety respectively. The trips enabled me to better comprehend the issues of global food security and resource management and build meaningful networks with university students, researchers and farmers in both countries.
Worst experience in agriculture? Delivering stillborn calves.
What do you think will be the biggest challenges of the agricultural industry in the future? Insufficient political support, rising costs of inputs, and decreased number of primary producers.
Why do you think less people are becoming involved in agriculture? Many young people who I talk to voice concerns over the huge capital required to establish an agricultural business, or to purchase land, machinery and stock.
What advice do you have for people thinking about getting into agriculture? Dive in head-first. Immerse yourself in the lifestyle, build networks, join a committee or group in your chosen area. No matter who you are, or where your strengths lie, there is a place in the agricultural industry for you!
How important do you think an agricultural background is to become involved in the industry? An agricultural background is relatively insignificant if you have the right attitude, and are willing to work hard.
What do you think is the most common misconception about agriculture? That farming is a man’s game – people (especially of my age) seem to be baffled when I tell them I’m involved in farming. I’d love a dollar for every time someone says to me ’But you’re a chick’, or ’Where’s the flannie?’.