IT has been full steam ahead for Georgia Reid since she last spoke to Farm Weekly four years ago.
The 25-year-old from Boyup Brook has since graduated university, travelled overseas and started an exciting career in agriculture.
When talking to Georgia, it’s clear that she has a love for agriculture, but what stands out even more is her desire to have an impact on the industry.
Georgia was 21 when she last featured as a young gun and at the time said: “Like any young, hopeful person entering the workforce, I want to change the world.”
While she said it as a joke, she is well on her way to achieving that goal.
After university, Georgia worked for the Royal Agricultural Society of WA where she helped organise and run agricultural education projects.
“This was a great way to help the general public learn about ‘country life’ and farming with an in-school program and interactive exhibits at the Royal Show,” Georgia said.
Having been in her current job for two years, Georgia works alongside Ed Riggall, director of AgPro Management, as a livestock systems consultant based at Narrikup.
“My work at AgPro Management is hard to define,” she laughed.
“As most professionals in the (agricultural) industry do, a lot of time is on the road – running between trials, field days, LifeTime Ewe Management groups, demonstration sites, benchmarking groups and managing projects.”
A favourite project that she has been working on looks at different pasture manipulation timing, with sites in Moora, while she is also preparing for a chaff cart project over summer, which involves looking at chaff carts as a sheep management tool.
Seeing as she spends a lot of her time around Lake Grace, Georgia also has a key part in facilitating the local grower group, Lakes Information and Farming Technology (LIFT).
When reflecting on her comment four years ago on “wanting to change the world like any young person” she said, “Surprisingly, my work is all about this – as a consultant you are helping to share ideas, information and new ways of doing things, as well as identifying ways to improve business and production performance”.
The characteristics of farmers and those who work in this industry is one of agriculture’s biggest strengths and why I love my work.
Like many young guns starting out in the workforce, Georgia said her new role had challenged her while enabling her to grow, despite her mission to put her stamp on WA’s agriculture industry being sown at a young age.
“The past two years have been a steep but very rewarding learning curve,” she said.
As part of the fifth generation of her family to be involved in the farm, Georgia’s appreciation for country WA blossomed when she went to boarding school, which intensified when it was made clear to her what a special industry it is.
Back in 2014, during her fourth and final year at The University of WA, Georgia geared her agricultural science honours project to help advocate for the ag industry through research.
“I decided to do my honours as a social study, looking at the impacts of the media during the 2011 live export ban, because there was a knowledge gap,” Georgia said.
“Within the industry, the impacts of live export were known, however there was nothing concrete to point to, (just) producers’ stories.”
“Putting this into a peer-reviewed scientific study could give (the industry) more to stand on.”
As part of the research process, Georgia ventured across the State, including the Gascoyne, Pilbara and Kimberley through to the southern region, interviewing farmers and pastoralists.
“Back in 2014, as a university student, I was really humbled by the producers I spoke to,” she said.
“They were so open about what was an extremely emotional and controversial topic and obviously still is.”
Other than making her professional debut in the agricultural industry, a major highlight of Georgia’s past four years was being part of the two-year MLA Donor Company-supported Livestock Consulting Internship, which gave participants industry experience, skills and knowledge to accelerate their careers.
As part of the program, Georgia also undertook a graduate certificate in agricultural consulting with the University of New England, focusing on meat production, wool and finance.
Between finishing university and working for AgPro Management, Georgia has also been an AgConnectWA committee member and was a finalist for the 2018 LambEx Young Guns Competition.
For her fellow young guns who are aspiring to make it in agriculture, Georgia said it’s important to put yourself out of your comfort zone.
“One piece of advice I’ve found that serves pretty well is ‘if unsure, throw your hat in the ring and then take the opportunities with two hands’,” she said.
For a woman in her mid-20s, Georgia certainly has a lot of drive behind her with inspiration and motivation which comes from interacting with so many people who are just as passionate about agriculture as she is and she had a message for them.
“If any producers I’ve worked with are reading this, that’s you!” she said.
“Producers inspire me and keep me on my toes.
“Interacting with these people every day is a highlight of my job.
“The characteristics of farmers and those who work in this industry is one of agriculture’s biggest strengths and why I love my work – it’s about helping open, generous and hard-working business people.
“Thank you so much for your support for us young’ns and for sharing your knowledge.
“I love the work, the people, the animals and increasing innovation in mixed enterprises means I don’t know what the next four years will hold, but I know you’ll find me in this industry, probably surrounded by sheep.”