Women in Ag

Ag is cool! Why YOU should be involved with US!

A passion of mine is to bring women into the agricultural industry. When I first started working as a farm hand in the early ’90s it was still a predominantly male industry. In the twenty years I’ve been involved with agriculture, it’s only been the last eight to ten years I’ve seen women around more and more, which is wonderful!

You probably know there is nothing more daunting than walking into a field day or information day, seeing nothing but blokes. At least if you see another girl ‘across the crowded paddock’ you can make a beeline towards her and huddle in together.

So these little stories are from women (some well known, some not) who are working within the agricultural industry, whether it be on farms or elsewhere. I hope it might encourage you to find a job you might love, inside the boundaries of our wonderful business.

 

Catherine Marriott:

What is it that you value in life??? Have a think about what is important to you on a personal level…. I value family, I value community, I value communication, I value good quality food and fresh air, I value friends and camaraderie, I value travel, I value different experiences, I value challenges, I value forward thinking and opportunities, I value having the opportunity to leave the planet better than when I found it and I value the ability to have choices in what I do each day.

This is why I am involved in Agriculture. Each and everyone one of my values is fulfilled whole-heartedly on a daily basis with what I do for work. I believe if you are meeting your life’s values every day with what you do, it is a much enjoyed journey and allows me to make the most out of life.

I am a consultant in the global beef industry. I work not only in Australia, but also the Middle East, America, China and Asia and I love it. The opportunities in Agriculture are endless, there is an agricultural slant you can put on absolutely any profession you like to also be a part of the amazing opportunity that is supplying the world with food.

 

Elise Dunlea:

I love caring for animals, the wide open spaces, the variety of work, the way that you can see if you’ve done a good job or not by the health of your animals, pasture, crops and land and the sense of satisfaction earned by a job well done. I love meeting and being inspired by the characters, the history, the people who are working to break new ground and keep Australian farmers at the forefront of Agriculture around the world and the pride and passion of the people for whom this is not just a job but their life. And I love that there is always something new to learn.

Australian Agriculture is dynamic, interesting and diverse and I’m proud to be part of it. It’s been a steep learning curve but I’ve loved every minute and would strongly encourage anyone considering a career in Agriculture to ‘just do it’! There are so many different career paths within Agriculture there’s sure to be one that you will love; as they say ‘you never work a day in your life if you love what you’re doing’. University is the path I took but it is only one avenue leading to a career in Agriculture, there are many others such as starting as a Jillaroo and working your way up, studying at TAFE, or completing a traineeship.

 

Elizabeth Brennan:

Imagine following the journey of that grain of wheat you plant. One single grain perpetuates nourishment, exponentially. And not only nourishment for the belly, but for the land and for the soul. Being able to witness the growth of one single grain and the infinite impact it has is beyond geographical borders is why farming is my love and passion. The connection you cultivate with people halfway around the round world by means of a single grain is humbling and very powerful. A single grain of wheat embodies much more than nutrition. It is the source that allows farming to be the literal and figurative grassroots network that connects our global community.

 

Georgie Somerset:

I love farming because I have so many opportunities – I have my own private nature reserve, I grow fabulous tasting beef, I can run a business with my husband and children, and I get to work my own hours. Farming has also given me opportunities to be involved in leadership and to meet amazing people. I work with great people and we have fun doing our work. There is a career for many in the farming – we feed and clothe the world!

 

Alexandra Guild:

1) Farmers provide people with what they need to satisfy their most basic and most important needs (namely the raw product for their food and their clothing). Being a cattle grazier, producing healthy, well bread cattle to provide people with healthy, good tasting meat makes me very proud.
2) After having grown up in a large, crowded European city, living in the bush gives me an immense sense of freedom which, for me, cannot be replicated anywhere else.
3) Living on the land and working in agriculture means that you are constantly confronted with all facets of the power of Mother Nature. If you think you can bend her to your will, she will, as sure as the sun rises in the morning, smack you in the back of your head and most probably put a big boot in your rear end for good measure and keep doing it until you learn to work with her and not against her. That, to me is one of the most rewarding aspects of working in agriculture. If you learn to work with nature, nature will challenge you to do your very best every step of the way, but she will also reward you with her breathtaking beauty and her splendid bounty and that has given me a form of job satisfaction that none of my other jobs ever could.

 

Stephanie Coombes:

I love farming, even though I am not a farmer, or from a farm. Farming, and agriculture, excites me- yes, it really does! I used to think it was so simple, but once I started to understand how complex and dynamic it is, I developed a new found respect for the industry. No matter what part of farming you are involved with, you are helping someone produce the food you eat and the clothes you wear, and I think that that is pretty cool. I like to work and be able to see the results, or better yet, hold them in my hand (or on my fork!). Being involved in farming has allowed me to travel around the country, in cities and towns, and meet the best people I have ever met. The best thing is, in this day and age there are so many options, you do not need to be in the country, or doing manual labour to help a farmer, although some of those jobs are heaps of fun! Growing the product is just the beginning, don’t forget about everything that has to happen to make it grow, and to get it to your plate/ wardrobe. There really is something for everyone to do in the ag industry.

 

Tegan Alexander:

I grew up in the country, I didn’t spend much time outside. I had a fascination with farms and a stint in suburbia as a teen cemented that. Next thing I know I’m at a school dedicated to agriculture and then off to the Northern Territory to learn about horses (not drinking). After finishing my formal education I worked on cattle stations across the Top End and haven’t looked back since. I’ve made great friends, learnt so much about the pastoral industry and myself. I am now working my way towards being a beef cattle producer (bought my first herd of 15 head in December 2010) and my goals just keep getting bigger.
If I didn’t do what I do I’d spend the rest of my life wondering “What if?”. If there are girls out there that are interested but unsure I say TAKE THE PLUNGE. Sometimes it can get tough out here but at the end of the day it is rewarding. It’s not a mans job anymore, it’s anyone’s job.

 

Vivien Thomson:

Hi my name is Vivien Thomson, I am farmer a mother and I run a small business. We are mixed farmers which mean we have several different enterprises. We are predominately fine wool producers, we also have lambs and cattle and we make a lot of hay. I began my life in conservation as a Ranger and a fire fighter. Then I met a farmer and fell in love. Robert taught me about the land and how they cared for that land. He taught me so much about animals and the intricacies of nature that I had never known. I love working on the farm, it is hard work at times and can also be difficult when you lose an animal or experience a drought, flood or fires. I would not change my lifestyle for anything. I wake up every morning to a beautiful sunrise and at the end of the evening a stunning sunset. It is peaceful and other times very noisy with the animals. My neighbours are kilometres away and we work to our own timetable. Some days you work till you drop other days we can take the time to enjoy our farm. We mix with nature everyday and work to improve our farm constantly. The one thing I love more than anything is watching my children blossom and grow in such a stimulating environment where they are constantly challenged and learn everyday. I feel privileged watching the animals that we raise have their own young and then their young have babies. I could never have these experiences in the city or a major town. Life in the country for me is a life.

 

Yvonne Bauer:

I am indirectly working in agriculture because I am a Home Tutor or Governess, but am surrounded by the bush and the cattle station which I love. The beauty of being a Home Tutor is that while you are working with children, which I find really enjoyable and challenging, you still have a rural atmosphere and after school you might find yourself taking the kids for a ride on their horses or bikes or helping out at the cattle yards or in the kitchen with the cook. It is such a varied job and you meet people from all walks of life, even if it is remote. With transport being so good these days campdrafts and rodeos and visits to town are very achievable. The internet has made the world a whole lot smaller and you are able to contact your family and friends easily and shop for anything you might need. The distance education schools give you lots of assistance if you need it but also there is the opportunity to teach according to how it suits a child. It is such a wonderful experience to see a child excel in their own schoolwork and know that you contributed to their confidence and knowledge.

 

Madie Hamilton:

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