PASSION FOR LAND: Julicia Woods, 19, has a love of all things to do with agriculture and a soft spot for horse Jack.
PASSION FOR LAND: Julicia Woods, 19, has a love of all things to do with agriculture and a soft spot for horse Jack. Linden Morris

Teen breaks the stereotype

AGRICULTURE and farming are traditionally considered to be a man's domain but for one Granite Belt teenager, it is an industry and a mould she is not afraid to crack.

Julicia Woods grew up on the land and lives at Thorndale.

And she decided it was where she wanted to spend the rest of her life.

The 19-year-old has taken her passion for the land to the classroom and is studying for her Certificate IV in Agriculture.

My class is mostly girls. We have outnumbered the boys and can even do things better than they can, sometimes.

"If all goes well with it this year, I hope to merge it into uni and study agronomy next year," Julicia said.

Julicia, who studies at the University of Queensland Gatton campus, said despite life being busy at the moment she would not have it any other way.

"I travel to Gatton on a Sunday, stay the two days I have class and then travel back on a Tuesday night for work on Wednesday and for the rest of the week," she said.

"I am there from 8am to 5pm and we have two assignments a week for each subject.

"I still work at the Queensland College of Wine Tourism but doing supervisor duties now - mainly working in the restaurant.

"I've been there for five years now - since Year 9."

The 2011 Stanthorpe State High School graduate said her studies were somewhat different to what she did at school.

"We have four subjects that we are studying at the moment - rural business management, animal studies, plant studies and farm infrastructure," Julicia said.

"Business is farm-based business work, animals is where we learn all about their anatomy and such, plants is about soil samples and crops and infrastructure is about health and safety, surveying, fencing and such.

 

"A friend and I knew what was going on when we started because we did agriculture at school.

"Getting our Certificate II was a great head start and a big help."

Julicia said all her hard work (now and at high school) was worth the effort.

"It is all going pretty well at the moment and I have a good understanding of what we are being taught," she said.

Julicia said when she was finally studying agronomy she hoped to be able to branch out and specialise.

"I am more interested in the soil and crops side of things," she said.

"I did animals at school and I liked it but don't want to work with them all the time.

"I just find soil, and how it is made, to be very interesting.

"It's amazing how different soil can be here (at Thorndale) compared to Applethorpe."

Julicia said her love of the land cemented her desire to have a future in the agricultural industry.

"I guess I would start off working with other people and learning all the different skills and then look at owning my own property," she said.

"We have looked at the cost of starting our properties in class and it is quite expensive."

Julicia said she anticipated men dominating the agricultural industry was fast becoming a thing of the past.

"My class is mostly girls," she said.

"We have outnumbered the boys and can even do things better than they can, sometimes."

Julicia's advice to young women wanting to enter the industry was simple.

"Honestly, go straight to Gatton and get into the course I'm doing because you can do it from the age of 16," she said.

"I would have done it earlier, if I had have known about it when I was at school.

"It is definitely worth it."

For more information on the Certificate IV in Agriculture at UQ Gatton campus visit uq.edu.au/gatton and search for AHC40110.



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