EIGHTEEN-year-old Sean Hanlon is pretty content with life amid the rolling green hills of Dandaragan.
For the past five months, home has been a converted shearers' quarters at the Roberts' family farm, with its transient whiff of lanolin in the air, sheep paddocks on his doorstep and a vista of golden canola drifting off into the yonder.
It's a pretty chilled place for a teenager to be, and 'Seano' Hanlon is relishing the country life working as a farmhand while he charts a course for an agronomy career.
"I always thought that farming would be a good career pathway, there is always work, wherever you go,'' Mr Hanlon said.
"It's a stable job choice, to be honest.
"And it's so calm out here - it's peaceful and I like that.''
Mr Hanlon grew up about 200 kilometres away in high-density Swanbourne, with the teenagers' playground of Cottesloe beach a couple of blocks down the road and mates around the corner.
However by the end of year 10, he found he was no longer enjoying life at busy Shenton College - and the school's rich culture in the arts just wasn't his vibe.
Having spent time while growing up on the family farm at Bindoon and New Norcia, it felt like a natural progression to move towards agriculture.
And so - a bit to his parents' surprise - Mr Hanlon asked to enrol instead at the Western Australian College of Agriculture, Morawa, for years 11 and 12, where he combined English and maths courses with animal and plant science and practical skills.
"School in Perth was alright, but at the time I wasn't really interested much in what they offered there, so I thought I'd give ag school a try,'' he said.
"I went up to Morawa on a week's trial and loved it and so I moved up the next year, in year 11, and finished off school there.''
He found that one of the best things about ag college was getting out of the classroom - two days a week the students had farm classes or were in the workshop developing hands-on skills such as welding or in automotive mechanics.
The Morawa college comprises 3242 hectares and runs a 1000ha cropping program, including wheat, barley, oats, lupins, canola, medic clover and serradella, plus a Gelbvieh cattle stud, Merino and crossbred sheep, a commercial piggery and abattoir and has an option for equine studies.
Mr Hanlon was among eight year 12 students to graduate from the ag college last year.
He achieved a Certificate II in agriculture and plant production systems and excelled in his plant and animal science courses.
Mr Hanlon scored his first full-time job with the Roberts family at the start of the year, working across their two properties - a home farm at Dandaragan and another farm at Badgingarra.
The family business runs Poll Dorset and Merinos, along with a cropping program which was this year mainly sown to canola.
It means varied days out in the field - which is just how he likes it.
In a busy week Mr Hanlon could be yarding up sheep, out spreading urea to beat the incoming weather, fencing, spraying or turning his hand to some maintenance and machinery work.
"It's a bit of everything and that's what I like about it - it's so varied,'' he said.
"There are no real set jobs - one day we will be doing machinery work and then we will be spraying the weeds or fixing the fencing.
"There is a good variety of different jobs.''
The regular work checking on the welfare of the sheep can fill up his mornings - but he is most keen on the mechanical and agronomy side of the business.
"I like the machinery work and all the GPS technology - that's the most interesting to me," he said.
The soil science side is also where he is most keen to progress his skills - and he is looking at a course pathway via the Muresk Institute or The University of Western Australia to further his education, once he has had a chance to work for a bit and get some money behind him.
While his city-based mates don't necessarily understand his passion for dirt, it's something that he can see as a developing skill-set.
"I am trying to scope to get to uni, at the moment, to study to be an agronomist and soil scientist,'' he said.
"I found it really interesting when I did a bit of it at school and I've helped one of my mates' dads with it, as he studies regenerative ag.
"I've really got into it.
"I really like soil science, it's interesting.''
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