Young Farming Champion Chloe Dutschke who was recently named the joint winner of the 2019 Peter Westblade Scholarship along with Brett Stockings of Dubbo is certainly becoming a dynamo in the wool industry.
Picture taken by Forbes Corby
After completing a Bachelor of Animal Science at the University of Adelaide in 2014 Chloe began her career in wool as a jillaroo in the Flinders Ranges. Today she is a contract musterer working anywhere from southern NSW to northern SA but, along the way, Chloe has taken every opportunity to immerse herself in the world of wool. For example, in 2016 Flinders Merino, a South Australian woolgrowers group, sent Chloe to Hong Kong to learn all about the wool supply chain. So it should come as no surprise that Chloe was amongst the six finalists for this year’s Peter Westblade Scholarship.
“The scholarship has a strong focus on young people and offers a large range of networking opportunities which I was drawn to,” Chloe says. “I self-nominated but was also nominated by David Rankin, manager of Tupra Station in NSW. I feel he nominated me because he can see the need to encourage and guide young people in agriculture and has seen first-hand the passion and dedication I have to the sheep and wool industry.”
For Chloe the win is not only recognition for her own dedication but recognition and thanks to people who have assisted her career and become her mentors. People such as David Rankin, Plant a Seed for Safety founder Alex Thomas, Peter Westblade committee members Georgie McGuiness and Craig Wilson, and our very own Picture You in Agriculture director Lynne Strong.
“I believe those who inspire you, giving you their time and leadership, are mentors. I try to surround myself with those types of people and hope to one day be a mentor for someone else.”
The Peter Westblade Scholarship comes with a $10,000 bursary, which Chloe is using to attend conferences such as MerinoLink, LambEx and EvokeAg, and to extend her corporate networks in order to promote her visions for the wool industry.
One of those visions is The Pastoral Network.
“I have developed The Pastoral Network for the pastoral areas of northern South Australia,” Chloe says. “I see it as a ‘one-stop-shop’ to share industry and community events and information, jobs, topical articles and general information.”
So committed is Chloe to her project that she has entered the ABC Trailblazer competition.
“I am hoping that being selected as an ABC Trailblazer means I can further develop this shared information idea into a website for other agricultural areas to use across South Australia and nationally as well.”
Congratulations on all you have achieved and all you aspire to Chloe. You are a credit to the wool industry and Australian agriculture.