2014 Winners

2014 NSW/ACT and National Winner - Pip Job

At the time of winning the Award Pip was Chief Executive Officer of the Little River Landcare Group. Pip has a passion for natural resource management and is particularly interested in regenerative agricultural systems that have the capacity to create sustainable food and production, as well as environmental outcomes for future generations.

She is passionate about the impact that rural life can have on farmers and has instigated changes in the way Landcare operates to include the social needs of the community. This has included the ‘Women in the Landscape’ program which fosters learning, the exchange of experiences and the up-skilling of women to become more involved in farming businesses, a program which due its success is now being rolled out nationally. Pip has been working with various Landcare groups across New South Wales to help them improve their governance and has provided planning and advice on policies, procedures and staffing.

Pip has a vision for agriculture where farming family businesses are profitable and increase the ecological wealth of the land they manage. For this to occur Pip believes farmers need to adopt a holistic approach towards the way they balance their family needs, financial management and farming practices.

Pip used her bursary to create a rural women’s training program entitled ‘Positive Farming Footprints’ using the principles and philosophies of Holistic Management and the Trinity of Management to create a community of women who have the adaptive capacity to manage the challenges of rural life. This program will increase the capacity of rural women to manage climate change and finance in a complex economy, as well as increase their personal resilience using a social, ecological and economic platform.

Download Pip’s ‘Positive Farming Footprints’ report here

2014 WA State Winner and National Runner Up – Jackie Jarvis

At the time of winning the Award Jackie was a primary producer who jointly owned a commercial vineyard and wine production company in Margaret River, Western Australia, and was also the West Australian Manager for MADEC, a not for profit business operating in the training and employment sector. In this role Jackie has developed the Regional Migrant Employment Support (RMES) pilot program which assists resettled humanitarian refugees find employment in West Australian Agriculture.

Jackie has found through this experience that the program has not only been embraced by farming businesses, but is a way to secure permanent workers willing to locate to regional West Australia. This has the long term effect of revitalizing towns, bringing new families to country schools, adding cultural diversity to these communities, and providing stable employment for refugees who are often from farming backgrounds.

Jackie’s project was to create film postcards showcasing re-settled refugees working in agriculture and use her networks and social media to distribute these postcards to highlight the social and community benefits received by using this type of employment model. At the time of the Award, Jackie was a member on the Australia Landcare Council; the Rural, Remote and Regional Women’s Network, was former Director and Treasurer of the Foundation for Australian Agricultural Woman and has worked regularly with the National Rural Woman Coalition. She believes that using these and other local community networks will assist in the promotion of her work, as rural women play a vital role in on-farm recruitment.

2014 QLD State Winner – Lauren Hewitt

Lauren grew up on a banana farm in Queensland during the emergence of environmental awareness, which sparked her passion to specialize in environmental law at university.

At the time of winning the Award Lauren worked as General Manager of Policy at AgForce Queensland where she coordinated a team of policy specialists who provide important links between individual primary producers and government and industry body regulators. In this role Lauren represented AgForce Queensland’s 5,000 strong membership at state and national forums and conferences, including Ministerial forums and the National Farmers Federation Policy Committee.

She had also recently purchased a dairy farm at Mount Mee which she plans to run as a cattle fattening property with her husband.

Lauren recognises the issues producers face in relation to controlling the cost of leasehold land, which across Australia is based on government-owned tenure that is then rented back to primary producers. With the majority of farm debt and capital tied up in land, this tenure security and rental arrangement has significant implications for continued farm viability. In 2012 Lauren conducted and published research with rural leasehold land academic Professor Chris Eves into rural leasehold land profitability in Australia, however more research and awareness of this issue is needed.

Lauren’s project is to improve farm profitability through leasehold tenure and rent security by sharing knowledge and collaborating between leasehold jurisdictions. She aims to do this by creating a website with relevant materials; hosting workshops with farm and government representatives where rural leasehold land is a significant issue; create a new Australian leasehold land working group to bring together and share information and expertise; and identify and foster collaboration between researchers and farm representatives.

2014 SA State Winner – Penny Schulz

At the time of winning the Award Penny co-ran Schulz Livestock, a beef and sheep enterprise which produces prime lambs, first cross ewe lambs and stud beef bulls but is also a consultant providing agricultural project management, facilitation, delivery and consultation services to the dairy, beef and sheep industries. She had recently completed a Master of Science in Agricultural and a Graduate Certificate in Rural Science specialising in Agricultural Consulting and has been a member of several beef and youth committees.

Penny is passionate about dairy extension, having worked as a Senior Dairy Extension Officer, and established the Young Dairy Network South Australia (YDN SA). This program has greatly increased the ability of young dairy farmers across the state to communicate with each other, access training and engage in opportunities relevant to young farmers. She is a board member of Livestock South Australia which represents and promotes the interests of beef cattle, sheep and goat producers.

Penny’s vision was to coordinate a National Dairy Challenge which would consist of an inaugural two day event attracting numerous teams from across the country to compete in a range of dairy related activities including pasture management, cattle judging, cheese/milk tasting, animal’s selection and milk quality control. Penny engaged the Young Dairy Network to provide an opportunity to build its members leadership and organisation skills, whilst also providing opportunities for them to showcase the South Australian dairy industry to interstate teams. Penny hoped that this pilot event can be hosted by other states and associated dairy networks, to promote the industry nationally.

2014 VIC State Winner – Julie Aldous

Julie is passionate about career opportunities in primary industries and sees a need to provide meaningful, applied learning opportunities for students through local land management placements; the development of partnerships between schools and their rural communities; as well as the promotion and increased uptake of the myriad of career pathways in primary Industries within schools and further education.

In 2009, Julie developed the applied learning course for Year 9 and 10 students entitled ‘Agribusiness – The Mansfield Model’ to address the need for skilled young people to choose careers in primary industries.

The course utilizes TAFE Certificates, school based apprenticeships and university courses to scaffold career opportunities, with applied learning taking place within the content of local farms. The course has been very successful and has seen an increase in the participation of young women, passionate about the agricultural industry.

Julie’s ambition is to promote sophisticated food and fibre education in schools across Australia and heighten the awareness and appreciation of food and fibre production across both rural and metropolitan communities. Julie aims to connect schools with their rural communities through the formation of sustainable partnerships so that skills and leaning in food and fibre are fostered. Julie will consult and promote her program in schools, principal and curriculum conferences; media in rural press; consultation at a federal, state and national level, through presenting and participating at workshops, forums and projects; and networking.

2014 TAS State Winner – Annette Reed

Annette owns a small 40 hectare property which has been transformed to become economically viable by taking up the unique opportunity to support niche food markets, including 40 types of heirloom tomatoes and garlic products. This strengthened her ambition for primary industries to attract a greater number of small Tasmanian properties to be developed into vibrant and thriving boutique and niche markets.

Her project was to undertake a 35 day tour of America and Canada to explore successful niche markets for tomato and garlic enterprises. This was to include growing methods, best varieties for transport and sale, frost mitigation, extending growing seasons, marketing, value adding, packaging and consumer preferences.

Annette was to then present a series of grass root based workshops to encourage women on small rural properties to seek new business opportunities. Annette also aims to develop her own leadership, business and governance skills.

As Chair of the Tasmanian Women in Agriculture, Annette has forged the vision of ‘connecting, supporting and celebrating Tasmanian Rural Women’, developing achievable pathways forward, clear procedures and a robust succession plan. She has taken up opportunities to attend marketing and business workshops and forums, and has contributed to her community through founding the Rural Help @Hand organization, which provides vital support and information to rural patients and their families who are facing city hospitalisation.

2014 NT Winner – Dr Amelia Rentz

At the time of winning the Award Amelia was a recent graduate veterinary surgeon who ran her own practice in the Northern Territory.

Upon completing primary school Amelia completed her secondary education via correspondence with the Northern Territory Open Education Centre in order to spend more time on her family’s properties. At the same time she undertook Vocational Education Training, successfully completing Certificates I and II in Agriculture (Beef Cattle Production and Rural Enterprises), to attain a greater practical knowledge of the industry before studying veterinary science at the University of Queensland.

Amelia is passionate about community education and believes in the important role that rural women play in educating the wider community in health, welfare, and productivity.

Amelia’s vision is to improve livestock disease intelligence and surveillance by developing a rural education program focusing on high risk zoonotic diseases and how they relate to humans and animals in regional Northern Australia. Amelia was to use the Award bursary to work with schools, government agencies, women’s groups and individuals to create a greater awareness of current and emerging animal related diseases that have the potential to affect public health.

In the future Amelia hopes to undertake postgraduate study in public health and work in developing countries to continue the development of her vision.