Our guest blog today comes from young wool farmer Emma Turner
‘for many farmers their career is a calling,
simultaneously more than a business and more than a lifestyle’ R L Wilkinson
My name is Emma Turner, I am 18 years old and this is my story………..
I grew up on Stanbridge station, our 100,000 acre Merino sheep station, 100km south of the tiny town of Ivanhoe, in western NSW.
I feel strongly connected and passionate towards agriculture underpinned by my family connection.
I am a sixth generation wool grower – the fifth in the Ivanhoe area – with my family roots to farming going as far back as 1844 when my English relatives moved to Adelaide and took up farming as a profession.
Agriculture has always been part of my life, with many life lessons being learnt from it.
Mustering a mob of ewes and lambs at shearing time, enjoying the fresh grass after drought years.
Wool growing has taught me patience and being involved with our family business, Abbotsford Pastoral Co, has helped me learn many practical farm and life skills and lessons.
Enjoying the mud on the four wheeler after 100mm of rain
It has also inspired my love for the industry and my passion to make a difference in agriculture – all while having fun and enjoying rural life.
I completed my primary years at Clare Public School where I was the only person in my class and the only girl at my school for three years. We never had any more than six students! Going to such a small and remote school taught me to make friends with everyone as sometimes you can’t afford to be choosey! It also taught me to participate in everything and be a team player on sports days and swimming carnivals, as most of the schools we competed against had at least 20 students!
Our school photos had the best background
Having two younger brothers I was never bored or alone and over the years we invented our own forms of entertainment, from riding dad’s sale wethers around the yards and seeing who could stay on the longest before getting yelled at, to practising tricks on our motorbikes. We learnt from a young age how to ‘doctor’ ourselves, covering our cuts in Band-Aids before mum came at us with the dreaded iodine bottle!
My brother and I enjoying a ride on our home made ‘speed boat’
Loving animals is really a given when it comes to agriculture, with my best mate being my dog, as well as a pet lamb to look after. Animals have always played a role in my life, and after watching the suffering they can experience in a drought, they have inspired me to study a Bachelor of Agricultural Science after my gap year. My dream is to study genetics and the role it could play in breeding a hardier, more drought resistant Merino.
Enjoying rides in the ute with my best mate,
and taking my poddy lamb for a walk after the rain
People farm for many different reasons, some for pleasure, some for return on capital, some for social approval, some for financial security, some because of the challenge and some because they can see no other alternative. I believe it is important for the agriculture sector to build relationships with the community to expand knowledge and understanding of the modern day farmer and what motivates him or her. It is important the wider community is able to understand the sacrifices and hardships that Australian farmers make everyday. Farming in Australia is a job and a lifestyle and so much more. It’s also lifestyle that can throw the biggest and hardest challenges, with more often than not no short term solutions. There is no quick fix for a flood or a drought. Farmers need support and targeted and relevant research and development so they can be resilient through these tough times.
My favourite quotation about agricultural is simple,
I believe this simple fact is overlooked in today’s modern society. I believe the long term future of the Australian agriculture sector relies on farmers and the community working together. Fresh ideas and innovative solutions are needed to start building these partnerships and I am doing what I have always done and that is putting my hand up to be on the team