A passion for communication

01 May, 2014 02:00 AM
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Jeanette Long, Ardrossan, SA, enjoys helping people to communicate more effectively.
Jeanette Long, Ardrossan, SA, enjoys helping people to communicate more effectively.

JEANETTE Long’s biggest passion is to help people communicate.

Based at Ardrossan, the inaugural member of the Women in Australian Agribusiness 100 is co-director of Ag Consulting Co with her husband Bill Long and describes herself as a facilitor, trainer and coach.

"My focus is developing people and communication skills in agriculture," Jeanette said.

"My passion is all about helping people to communicate more effectively."

Jeanette is the Ag Excellence Alliance SA treasurer as well as vice president of the Australiasia-Pacific Extension Network.

It follows an extensive career being involved with boards and committees on agriculture, education, rural women and fisheries – a series of roles that culminated in her being the recipient of the SA Rural Women’s Award in 2004 and receiving a Centenary Medal for working as a rural business management trainer in 2003.

"I’ve also been involved in an organisation called Partners In Grains for many years," Jeanette said.

"It’s one of the organisations that has given me the confidence to take on other leaderships roles and get involved in the industry."

It all started for Jeanette when she finished studying at the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy campus, where she met Bill, and started teaching as a secondary school agricultural science teacher.

"After teaching I worked for a company called BL Lange and Co which was based in Balaclava and where Bill was the agronomist and store manager," she said.

"I worked in the store as well and was responsible for the communications.

"B L Lange and Co became part of the IAMA group and my role shifted to editor of the IAMA Rural News for the Southern Region."

From there Jeaneatte started work at TAFE where she taught farm skills for women and rural office practice, along with rural business management.

She worked there until the early 2000s when she began working with Bill in their ag consultancy business.

"A current project is a rural women’s leadership program, which is being funded by PIRSA through the Ag Ex Alliance," Jeanette said.

"I have a particular passion for working with rural women.

"For me, it’s about seeing their confidence develop and watching them take on new roles and grow their skills."

A participant of the AEA program includes Apple and Pear Growers Association of SA chief executive officer Susie Green, Lenswood, who was herself recently was recently awarded runner-up for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Rural Women’s Award.

Other current projects include extension and adoptions training for experienced advisors in the grains industry and managing the Grain and Graze 3 project for East SA, both of which are funded by GRDC.

It is all part of Jeanette’s drive to improve peoples’ communication .

"One of the other things I do is succession planning with farm families," Jeanette said.

"Often the challenges with succession planning revolve around family communication breakdown and misunderstanding."

Based on the family farm at Ardrossan where she grew up, Jeanette consults all over Australia and has been travelling to New Zealand delivering leadership training for rural women over the past few years.

And while she is actively involved in the management decisions of the family farm, Jeanette admits it can be a challenge to find the time to do it regularly.

The Women in Australian Agribusiness 100 is a joint initiative of Emerald Grain and Fairfax Agricultural Media supported by Syngenta.

Read more of our 100's stories here.

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Malcolm Sutton

Malcolm Sutton

is Stock Journal's news journalist and magazine editor

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