Today our guest post comes from Dwayne Schubert who believes that life is too short to not have a career you don’t enjoy. So he has followed his heart, packed his car and undertook a degree in agricultural science that has led to a career in agronomy and focus on helping Australian cotton farmers continue to lead the world in high quality ethically produced cotton.
Here is Dwayne’s story ……..
Growing up on the on the mid north coast just outside the small town of Mount George could not be any further from Gunnedah and the Liverpool plains. From a small farm that was kikuyu and rye grass pastures, 1200 mm annual rainfall and where the Pacific Ocean was only 40 minutes away, to arguably the best cropping dirt in Australia, as one of my colleagues here says “you can grow babies out on the plain”.
The Liverpool Plains a see of yellow with a canola crop in full flower
I didn’t think that I was going to be an agronomist from an early age; I was more interested in livestock production, a passion that I grew up with from my father and a dear friend Ted Young. But in getting animals to grow they have to eat and a understanding of crop and pasture production could go a long way to making the whole system a lot easier.
The realisation came to me whilst studying environmental science at the University of Newcastle that agriculture was where I wanted to be and that
life is too short to not have a crack at something you are passionate about.
so it was pack the car up and move to Wagga Wagga and Charles Sturt university to undertake a bachelor of Agricultural Science. This course and environment was a life changing experience, I meet people form all over Australia that all had a similar passion and came from a diversity of backgrounds.
Whilst at CSU I was given the opportunity to travel with 20 of my class mates to the Mekong delta in Vietnam, this experience highlighted just how important the role of agriculture plays in being able to sustain not only small regional communities but an entire country. Without agriculture they would not survive.
In 2010 as a member of the winning CSU team we took part in the Grain Growers Australian University Crops Competition.
I was lucky enough to finish in the top 5 which led to 10 day study tour of the Canterbury Plains area in New Zealand. See story here.
This trip was the icing on the cake and the realisation that agronomy was definitely the career for me.
Studying Agriculture at university opened up seemingly endless doors, opportunities and experiences that I have no doubt would not have happened if not for the generosity and passion of the people in our industry.
I got my first role as an agronomist through the Landmark graduate program which is exactly as they claim a great opportunity “to turn a job into a career” and a great introduction to an industry that I was very excited to be a part of. I was placed at into the Gunnedah branch under the watchful eye of senior agronomists Aaron Goddard, Mark Goddard and Jim Hunt and it is from these gentlemen that I have learnt so many invaluable lessons and also where I was introduced to the cotton industry.
The past 3 summers have been spent planning, preparing and managing cotton crops for growers in our region of the upper Namoi, I couldn’t think of a better way to learn the ropes then to be put out in the paddock every day “caring “ for our growers cottons crops. our clients are some of the most intuitive, tech savvy, environmentally sustainable and productive growers in the country. I’ve learnt more off my growers then I could ever teach them. Every day is something new, every season is as exciting as it is challenging and the Australian farmers are more resilient than they ever take credit for.
Good soil and climate are just the foundations optimising cotton crop potential requires careful planning and attention to detail,
Cotton is sown in October
There is not much more exciting than to see the fields of white at the end of the season knowing that you as the consultant have done your job and the growers are happy.
Cotton is picked from April to May
I am also passionate about sharing how rewarding my career is with the wider community. It concerns me that in a world where information sharing is often only the touch of a button away, sharing the stories of the people behind the clothes we wear and the food we eat is becoming a lost art.
I feel it is very important as part of our career journey to take every opportunity to develop the skills to effectively communicate to wider population and people outside of our industry that like cotton growers we can all strive to to be as productive and sustainable as we can be