Welcome back to BCG! What have you been doing professionally prior to taking up this role? (and what are you still doing?)
It is great to be back at BCG. I have been fortunate to have been able to pursue my interest in journalism working at the North Central News in St. Arnaud for a number of years before taking on the role of editor. This was an incredibly rewarding experiencing, working with the local community on a wide range of issues.
I also operate a small fitness and wellbeing business with a focus on yoga, pilates and mindfulness. The family farm is also a keen interest of mine.
And your family? Who do you live with and where are you from?
I live at Coonooer West (north of Gooroc) with my husband Ben, six-year-old Xavier and four-year-old Alice. We farm north of St Arnaud with Ben’s parents and his brother and family. I grew up in St Arnaud with my family farming west of St. Arnaud at Gre Gre.
What’s happening on the farm at the moment?
We have started to bale oaten hay this week. We have been a little delayed due to the wet weather. It’s exciting as we have been able to try out our new 8-stringer Krone baler which so far is living up to the hype! We also hope to windrow canola this week and the barley is coming in fast.
What excites about this role you?
To remain profitable in the agricultural industry growers need to be resourceful, flexible and adaptable to change. They need to be open-minded, realistic yet also hopeful. Because BCG is driven by growers with the aim of helping growers achieve great things, the team at BCG also posses these qualities. BCG is a dynamic environment where trying new technology and ideas are not approached with fear but curiosity and anticipation. The team has a growth mindset and that is a place I’m excited to work!
What do you think are the big opportunities for growers in this region or Australian Agriculture in general?
As farmers, we know the importance of looking after the land and our environment. Without healthy soils and farms we lose productivity. We also live where we work and naturally want to take care of our environment. John Ferrier’s A Beekeeper’s Harvest in his Chairman’s report this eNews edition is an excellent example of this.
While we as farmers and researchers know how we are looking after the environment while also remaining profitable and feeding the world and we communicate this within our circles, I believe there is an opportunity for us to market this better to the wider community. I believe we are too humble in our achievements and because of this our environmental achievements, our environmental story is being lost.
Smaller farmers have done an excellent job in recent times in creating the paddock-to-plate story, with particular marketing attention placed on the environmental, economical and community benefits of how they produce food. A Beekeeper’s Harvest for example would be seen in publications such as The Weekly Times’ Farms magazine.
I believe farmers producing on a larger scale could follow this example to share their story with the wider world—how we are continually adapting our farming practices because we are passionate about the environment, it is not just about the hip pocket.
Now is the opportune time to tell our story to mainstream media.