Rosemary worked for three and a half years on a dairy farm at Finley. She started as a milker, studied the Certificate III and IV in Agriculture and progressed to a second-in-charge(2IC) role. She then managed the dairy for a few months before changing jobs, to work and live on her fiancé’s hay and beef family farm.
“I now work with my fiancé’s family,” she said,“they purchased a new property and there was a lovely three-bedroom house on it and they offered us to move in. I had to commute to work each day, so they offered me a job as well.”
Rosemary had worked in dairy farming since arriving in Australia, so she was interested to try her hand at a different area of agriculture. She works as a farmhand; the property produces cereal and lucerne hay and also has beef cattle during the winter. Rosemary is still learning the environmental differences between Ireland and Australia – like the difference in irrigation.
“We're predominantly lucerne farmers, so it's very different crops from dairy, as opposed to rye grass and corn,” she said.“It's interesting to see a different side of agriculture, after working in dairy for so many years – and to see where all the feed actually comes from, because we sell to dairy farmers.”
Farm decisions are discussed as a family, so Rosemary has an opportunity to put her opinions forward and learn. She also started a young dairy network group in the region, along with other Murray Dairy members. The group recently held its first meeting.
“There's a lot upcoming and young farmers in our area - it's nice for them to network and share ideas,” she said.“I think discussion groups could benefit a lot of young people, they can find it hard to move to a rural area, and it's difficult when you don't know anyone. Whereas if they have a bit of a network base, then they're maybe more inclined to stay and enjoy it.”
Rosemary enjoys working in agriculture and especially enjoys the diversity of jobs and careers in the industry. She is expanding her education further and is currently studying a Diploma of Agriculture and she is looking forward to growing her career.
“A lot of people think that farming - or, say, dairy farming - is just milking cows but there's so many more elements to it. It's so diverse.”
“I wasn't in the agricultural industry in Ireland – but now, I couldn't see myself doing anything else.”
- Approach people who are involved in the industry. They are passionate about what they do and they'd be more than happy to help, give some advice, or steer you in the right direction - whether it be education, getting a feel of what farmers do, or even what discussion days to go along to.
- people are very welcoming and they're very willing to share their opinions and their experience in the industry. They're more than happy to answer questions. There are no wrong questions.
- people shouldn't be afraid of putting themselves out there. If you’re interested, get involved. You might love it or you might hate it, but try and give it a go.
- local networking groups are very beneficial - there's a lot of discussion groups and open days.
- You can pick an area that suits your interests and strengths. There's so many different areas that you can get into. You don't have to be on the land, there are so many opportunities out there in different sectors.