Transcript for Farm manager discusses agricultural SBATs
So Michael, how do you find the challenge or not being a challenge, working with the kids? What's interesting about that?
So I've got five school-based trainees that come one day a week, and I've also got a full-time trainee. We went through a process of interviews, so we threw it out to the schools, of they had to have a primary industry background and be studying that at school. So we were quite lucky, we got kids who were very interested. couple come off the farm and couple were kids that lived in town, but they've all hit their straps. I guess I lead by example, I'm not scared to be the first one to show them what to do and my staff are the same. So they've all, most of them been here sort of 12 months to 8 months, and they've hit their ground running.
So, you're a fairly young man. How did you start into this career pathway?
Yep. So, I was going quite well at school, but I actually left school when I was 14. I was in all the top bands, but there was a opportunity, I was a wash-up boy in a butcher shop and they seen a opportunity for me to do apprenticeship, so I did that. I was finished that when I was 18. My heart was always in agriculture. My grandfather, my family had farming farms, but never, ever could employ me. So for me, I actually left this area and went out to the Darling Downs, didn't know anybody, and yeah, started my stint there. I sort of started as a jackaroo, quite small, and went all the way up to managing a feedlot, two and a half years ago, for three years. Ended up seeing a job back in the area here as a farm supervisor, and I've got my way up to being a manager now.
So that's a really interesting pathway to end up where you are now as a farm manager. So, if you can speak to someone at school, who's sitting at school right now thinking, "I'd love to do what you are doing Michael,” what advice would you give them?
There's no boundaries. Just, if you want to be something, definitely push forward to what you want to be. There's a lot of mentors out there that will help you. So I was very guided and fortunate to the people I worked with and for, taught me as much as I could learn. I never had a lot of tickets, I suppose, till I've come here to the Department of Primary Industries. So I believe that's definitely a way you want to be these days.
Yeah, that's fantastic. Like I say, it's interesting that the different ways you can end up in different positions, and I think it's a really incredible role in what you're doing training that next generation.
Yeah, definitely. And like I said, I'm all for having the trainees here. This is only just a starting point for DPI. We've got five on the books now, next year we'll have the same again, then we'll start putting them kids out after the two years back into the industry. And I think for me, it's going to be a really good feeling to hopefully know them in 10 years' time and actually see what career path they went. They'll either be agronomists or be farmers or share farming a farm or whatever they may be. So for me, it's been great being able to mentor and give the kids real life experiences here on the farms.
Yeah, that's awesome.
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