Research and extension officer Jess Lemon has expanded her practical knowledge since joining the BCG team over two years ago. Jess is heading home to take up a new role in South Australia at the end of June. We hope the knowledge gained during Jess’s time at Birchip will be invaluable in her next adventure.
I grew up in Tea Tree Gully which is about an hour north-east of Adelaide, with my family spending as much time as possible on the Yorke Peninsula throughout the year.
Attending Urrbrae Agricultural High School, which is located next to the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus, I had the opportunity to experience everything agriculture. While the trip to school every day was a bit of a hike, one and a half hours by bus, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
After finishing high school I made the decision to study Ag Science at the University of Adelaide.
My practical understanding increased over this time with plenty of trips – Adelaide Uni is known for their amazing overseas ag trips. I went to China to explore their agricultural practices, and found that they are extremely different to what we do here in Australia. I also had the opportunity to go to Queensland where we visited mango and pineapple plantations.
I nearly spent my last year studying in Canada, but for some reason the Canadians have a funny rule about having to be older than 21.
At the end of my agricultural science degree, I decided to undertake a graduate diploma in education. I have always enjoyed teaching, hands down the best thing about it is writing on the white board describing concepts, but the kids are pretty good too.
Teaching outside and teaching a subject that kids, most of the time, actually want to attend makes the experience enjoyable, even when you have year nine boys mucking around too close to the electric fence.
When the opportunity came to get some more practical experience with BCG I knew moving interstate was the way to go.
During my time at BCG I have been working mainly on the GRDC funded Grain and Graze III and Stubble Initiative projects, which have enabled me to build my communication skills and work with a wide range of people.
The best thing about Birchip is the strong sense of community and how friendly everyone is. I will miss playing netball with the girls, it didn’t matter if we were winning or losing – we always had fun.
In my new role as a lecturer and workshop facilitator I will be based near Maitland on the Yorke Peninsula, which will mean I will be closer to family. The new opportunity will see me get to use my teaching skills again. I look forward to using the knowledge I have gained at BCG and incorporating it into my new role.