The Footnotes

AGRICULTURE & ENVIRONMENT

I grow cotton and you wear it

Agriculture is an easy choice for me- it’s a lifestyle and a job.

Growing up on our family farm in Trangie, the Macquarie valley, Central Western NSW I have been involved in agriculture as long as I remember.

Our farm “Muntham”, has been in our family for 125 years and my brothers Tom and George and I will be fifth generation farmers

We are lucky enough to have both an irrigation and dryland farming business and grow 500 Ha of cotton as well as about 2200ha of winter crops which include wheat, canola, and chickpeas. We also have 1500 breeding ewes and 150 breeding cows.

Most of our childhood photos are of my two brothers and me outside playing in the dirt and the mud pushing around toy tractors (more often than not with no clothes on), maintaining our miniature interpretation of our family farm in our veggie patch. The fence still bears the scars from when we cut it as we ‘bought’ more land (much to mums delight). As we grew older, our passion for farming grew when we were able to move from our “Tonka” farm to outside the fence with dad.

A typical busy week on the farm can include spraying to keep fallow paddocks weed free, sowing crops, spraying for weeds in the crop with selective herbicides, spreading fertiliser, harvesting, ground preparation for cotton, irrigating cotton, planning crop rotations, animal husbandry, and general farm maintenance and mechanics.

All of us had the opportunity to go away to boarding school. This opened the doors to so many opportunities and experiences (considering the local school had about 6 students in each year), but was often seen as an inconvenience as holidays and harvest never seemed to line up completely!

After finishing school, I had a gap year working at home before heading to university.

I made this choice to gain strong foundation hands on experience that would allow me to relate my future studies back to practices and principles that are currently used or could possibly be used on our own farm. My gap year reinforced that my future lay with farming and how much agriculture has to offer and working outside is so much better than a class room or an office.

There are so many career options available, and so many job opportunities. I studied Science in Agriculture and majored in Agronomy – which is the link between scientific research and primary producers, and am very much interested in the production side of agriculture. I want to grow it.

To assist with my university studies and access a diverse array of opportunities I applied for and was lucky enough to win a Horizon Scholarship.

Agriculture is an easy choice for me, as it is a lifestyle as well as a job. It’s the feeling of having an office outside, and every day working with natural elements to produce food and fibre, feeding and clothing the people all around the world.

I challenge you to have a look at a career in agriculture, as the people anywhere in the agricultural industry will give you a go if they can see you’re interested in learning. It’s dynamic industry that is constantly evolving and changing trying to continue to feed and clothe the growing hungry world.

 

Hear from another young farmer in cotton farming with Tamsin’s story FROM COTTON ON TO COTTON 

 

I grow cotton and you wear it
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