Women making vital contribution to agriculture
IN many ways agriculture remains a male-dominated sector but across our region women are proving they are just as capable of making a significant contribution to the hard yakka that is rural life.
This week we celebrate International Women's Day by sharing some insights into what it means to be involved from the offices of one of the state's renowned science research stations to cattle yards and Southern Downs shearing sheds.
► PROFESSION: Farmer/grazier - lucerne hay and chaff, stud and commercial Santa Gertrudis breeder and Australian Stock Horse and Endurance Arabian horse breeder.
► WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS CAREER AND WHAT'S THE MOST REWARDING PART? I like to be my own boss and have liked taking a farming business my grandfather started in 1938 to the next level by expanding it from a small crops/lucerne hay farm to stud and commercial Santa Gertrudis cattle and to selling horses domestically and overseas.
► MOST SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENT: My five children and giving them opportunities I only dreamed about.
► WHAT GOALS HAVE YOU SET FOR YOURSELF IN 2014? Firstly to survive the drought. Secondly, we have experienced significant growth in past few years so to consolidate that before we grow or expand any further. Focus on giving the kids a great start in life as one prepares to move from high school to tertiary education.
► BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU'VE RECEIVED? Never, never, ever, ever give up. There are no secrets to success, there is only hard work, determination and desire. The most important asset you can have is attitude - a "whatever it takes" attitude - what are you prepared to go through to get to where you want to be?
► WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE WOMEN ABOUT TO EMBARK ON THEIR CAREERS OR CONSIDERING A CHANGE? As with anything one does in life, firstly dream - dream big, consider all options, plan for the ups and downs so both can be managed equally, then bite off more than you can chew and go hard, go for gold. Follow your heart and your dreams will come true.
► PROFESSION: Administrative officer for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Hermitage Research Facility in Warwick
► WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS CAREER AND WHAT'S THE MOST REWARDING PART? I didn't have a clear career path when I finished school but was interested in art, business and clerical-style work. It was by chance I was offered an interview for an administrative position at the Hermitage Research Facility and, 18 years later, I'm still here. There are many rewarding parts to my job and they include working with a fantastic group of staff, the variety in my job role, working with teachers and students in the Schools Plant Science Competition and Gateway Schools to Agribusiness Program, the flexibility in work arrangements and peering out at trees and acres of farmland from my office window!
► MOST SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE: Receiving a departmental Australia Day Achievement Award in 2004 for my efforts in coordinating the annual DAFF Hermitage Schools Plant Science Competition which aims to develop young people's interest in science and agriculture.
► WHAT PROFESSIONAL GOALS HAVE YOU SET FOR YOURSELF FOR 2014? To continue to provide a high level of support and customer service in my role at Hermitage and to finish my external studies in graphic design.
► BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU'VE RECEIVED: Find a job that you love doing.
► WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE WOMEN ABOUT TO EMBARK ON THEIR CAREERS, OR, CONSIDERING A CHANGE? Find a job that you love doing.
► OCCUPATION: Grazier
► WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS CAREER AND WHAT'S THE MOST REWARDING PART? I married a farmer and it was already in my blood so I always knew I would be involved in agriculture in some way. Being able to raise a family on the land, I feel it teaches them empathy, work ethic and independence.
► MOST SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE: My child.
► WHAT GOALS HAVE YOU SET FOR YOURSELF FOR 2014? Alter our operation.
► BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU'VE RECEIVED: Get involved in the community and, by doing that, I have learnt much about our operation.
► WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE WOMEN ABOUT TO EMBARK ON THEIR CAREERS OR CONSIDERING A CHANGE? Be open minded and get involved in your community.