We would like to welcome Sally Poole the first of our three Cotton Young Farming Champions for 2018
This is Sally’s story…………
Growing up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney you are constantly surrounded by sun, surf, sand and blonde beauties. From a very young age I knew I did not fit into the surrounding culture as I loved rocking my work boots and a tiara, in my teenage years this developed into a really awkward goth stage.
But I digress, this love for my work boots came from a very early introduction to my Aunt and Uncle’s deer and cattle properties, from which point I have always worn my work boots and known that I all wanted to do was to become farmer. Whilst I am still saving my pennies to buy my first farm, my love for everything agriculture and my determination to be involved in the industry has taken me on some wild adventures around Australia and the globe. Only my boots can tell the true stories but here are some of the highlights that have shaped my career so far.
One of my favourite things growing up about the farm were the horses, and this turned into years of riding in Sydney, becoming a horse riding instructor, and eventually when I finished school, running away to the country to be a competition groom on a large equestrian property. Whilst I loved my work I was always incredibly curious as to what was happening next door with the cattle. Fast forward a few years of awkward times and lots of travel and I decide that was it. I wanted to know everything about farming. So I set off to Charles Sturt University and enrolled in a Bachelor of Agricultural Science. And boy oh boy, what a steep but incredible learning curve that was!
When I started university, I wanted to pursue a career in livestock, or international development, or big business, or…… Then I was introduced to the world of agronomy. Some encouragement from inspiring soils and agronomy lectures and the excitement of watching a crop grow and interact with the environment, management and technology, and I was hooked.
Winning Crops competition team 2015
It wasn’t till my third year of university that I became really good friends with a bunch of my fellow ‘ag’ girls. These women are some of the most passionate, strong, dedicated and incredible woman I have ever come across. Together we organised and held many events for both woman in agriculture and other groups in agriculture, and went on many adventures to learn as much as we could about agriculture. Still to this day these incredible women continue to inspire me and push me to drive change and purse excellence in our respective sectors.
Some of the inspirational women at our Wagga Women in Ag Network brunch 2015 with Catherine Marriott centre
While at university I took the opportunity to participate in many overseas trips including student exchange to the University of Kentucky and study tours to South Africa, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. These trips really broadened my understanding of agricultural principles whilst showing me how much the interaction between people, culture, agriculture, and the environment influence each other. I think this is a really important concept to understand and is a significant key to further improving agricultural productivity and ensuring future food security and is a principle I use in my work daily.
At an abattoir in Indonesia on the University of Adelaide beef trip. 2015
Some of my favourite poddy calves on Coodardie Station in the NT 2016
My cotton journey started when I was introduced to cotton working on a side project for the DPI NSW. The intensity and the influence of management and technology exemplified all the aspects of agronomy I loved. I was instantly hooked and determined to know everything I could. So when the opportunity to become a graduate agronomist for Landmark on the Darling Downs came up, my bags were instantly packed.
Today, I am an agronomist for Landmark working on the Darling Downs helping drive innovation, best management practice and continually share my passion for agriculture with everyone. However, it hasn’t been without its challenges, but there have been a lot of good times and a lot of hard work. The inspirational people I meet every day, the incredible women that have driven my passion further and the influential mentors that have backed me along the way are all the reason that this tiara, work boot wearing chick from the northern Beaches of Sydney has ended up where she is today.
Enjoying the fruits of my (and the farmers) labour, mung bean crop in Chinchilla 2018