"I’ve been in the agriculture industry all my life. I grew up on a farm, went to an agricultural college, managed our own property for approximately six years, and then moved back to Queensland. I've since taken up a teaching position at TAFE Queensland," said Vanessa.
"I became a teacher to encourage others to join the agriculture industry, because there’s such a large range of opportunities available," she explained.
"It’s not just a farmer anymore, there’s so many different options out there and the sky is the limit."
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the total value of Australian agriculture products increased to $61 billion in 2019-20. And that just takes into account crop and livestock production.
"Within our industry there are quite a number of other industries. If you’ve got to feed the livestock, you need machinery. Then we have broadacre, so we have tractors. Plus, there’s all those people that deliver to the ag industry, for example making fertilizer, inputting fertilizer, cutting it, truck drivers and more. So many facets are involved in the agriculture industry," continued Vanessa.
"I believe it’s important for those of us already in the industry to continue learning. There’s always new and innovative things coming in. There’s also some things that we may not have necessarily done or have done a little differently in the past. Opening your mind and bringing in some new ideas can make things work easier, faster, and all-around better."
At TAFE Queensland, teachers are required to maintain industry currency so they stay not just up-to-date with what's happening, but can get ahead of the curve and bring back new knowledge and skills to their students.
"I have a property which I run small amount of stock on. I also visit back home in New South Wales when I can, where I've visited friends on property farms and assisted in different tasks than I normally would and have kept up-to-date that way."
"Working at TAFE Queensland is great. We have wonderful facilities including a working farm and 80 acres at Warwick, in Toowoomba the Rural Centre of Excellence, and more."
Her advice to anyone considering how they can make great happen with a future in the agriculture and rural operations industry?
"Greatness to me is passion and wanting to learn all about your industry, all facets, all industries and get in there and get it done."
"Just come aboard! There’s so many options out there and we can find one that suits you."