Today’s guest blog post comes from city kid now #youthinag Emma Longworth who happens to live next door to another city kid turned #youthinag Sharna Holman whose journey we have been following through our blog from Muirfield High School to RAS Show volunteer to uni to cotton industry to cotton Young Farming Champion. A great example of city kids inspiring other city kids to jump on the train and head straight to a career in agriculture .
Emma Longworth excited about her career journey into agriculture
Hey there! My name is Emma Longworth and I am from the North-West suburbs of Sydney. You may be thinking how did this city kid become involved in the agricultural industry? Well this is my story and it will be long worth (pun intended) the read 😉
Year 12 Primary Industries – I loved always being out of the classroom!
Living in Sydney, there was no shortage of schools; public, private, independent and catholic. My mum gave me plenty of options but all I wanted to do was to chuck on a polo and attend the local high school, 2kms down the road, that had a farm. So that’s what I did. A school with a farm was a huge novelty for a city kid like me and opened a gateway of opportunities such as The Archibull Prize competition run by Art4Agriculture, the School’s Produce Display at the Sydney Royal Easter Show and showing broiler and layer hens. Without these school competitions, I wouldn’t be where I am today. These opportunities sparked my passion for agriculture and I was able to gain an abundance of knowledge about animal and plant production particularly focusing on new technologies, sustainable practices and innovative farming methods.
Did I mention I was lucky enough to meet Prince William at the Sydney Royal Easter Show?
Choosing the subjects you love makes a big difference in the HSC. Students are often pushed towards harder subjects such as Physics, Extension Mathematics and Extension English as it is perceived their marks will be scaled and they will receive a better ATAR. Agriculture has always been my favourite subject right through to year 10 which led me to elect both Primary Industries and Agriculture to complete for my HSC. I was told in year 11 to drop these subjects as it wouldn’t scale well and pull down my ATAR. Being the stubborn student I was, I wasn’t going to take that advice as those were my two favourite subjects. Not once did I regret my decision as I placed 3rd in the state for Primary Industries and 8th in the state for Agriculture.
Where to next? A gap year? University? Work?
The one thing I knew is I wanted to study agriculture. But did I want to spend 3 hours battling with public transport to study a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the University of Sydney . So I stepped right out of my comfort zone to have a country experience studying a Bachelor of Rural Science at the University of New England, Armidale. At the beginning of 2016, my 17 year old self packed up her bags and moved into Duval College to study Rural Science at UNE. To this day it has been the best decision I have made. It opened up a network of people and opportunities that I believe I would never have received in Sydney.
Agronomy Practical at UNE
Through attending career expos and networking with fellow students and lecturers I was able to secure work placement on a coffee plantation and an undergraduate job at a farming software company, Practical Systems. Working as part of the support team at Practical Systems has provided me with a firsthand insight to the challenges farmers face. My job is not just telephone support but I had the opportunity to assist in the Merino Lifetime Productivity Project at the CSIRO Chiswick Field Station near Armidale. So where do I see myself at the end of this degree? Anywhere! With 5 jobs for every agricultural graduate the opportunities are endless!
Rural Science Undergraduate Society Executive Committee encouraging high school students to study Agriculture – UNE Open Day 2017
I think it is important to raise the profile of the agriculture industry and send the message to young people about the many career opportunities that are possible. I believe we should be shouting it from the rooftops that our nation needs young people in agriculture and there is no shortage of exciting career pathways no mater what your passion or expertise
As a young person from the city, I am looking forward to inspiring other city kids to follow my career journey into agriculture. I want to share with them you don’t need to buy a farm to farm and you don’t even need to be a farmer. Everyone in the agriculture sector has an important role to play. I am looking forward to you joining me