Australian women are taking the reins and approaching the national agricultural industry in a way we’ve never seen before.
So much so, that the classic image of the male Australian farmer may soon be replaced by one of a young, driven, educated woman who is harnessing innovation to increase profitability and diversity in agriculture.
Unipak, Australia’s leading supplier of professional products for the crop packaging sector and the meat processing industry, proudly celebrates women in agriculture.
The company recently ran an “outstanding achievers” competition, focusing on sharing the personal stories of young people and women working in agriculture.
Managing director of Unipak, Anton Reynolds said the competition was a chance to focus on the next generation of farmers and challenge traditional gender perceptions within the agricultural industry.
“It started out as a search for outstanding achievers in agriculture and crop packaging,” he said.
“We initially branched it into two categories we wanted to hear from; Women in Agriculture and Young Farmers.
“Interestingly the category for ‘young farmers’ yielded nothing back to us – this was really sad as we really want to hear from the next generation.
“However, we ended up uncovering an amazing and diverse group of women that are breaking through what many see as a traditionally male-dominated area.”
Unipak’s Outstanding Achiever winner, Kimberly Pellosis has taken the agricultural industry by storm.
The 29-year-old Geelong-based precision agronomist strives to play an active role in promoting the primary industry sector, including highlighting growers that champion best practice fodder conservation and crop packaging.
Her achievements include being a director for the Ag Institute of Australia, an Australian ambassador for Thought For Food, a Youth Advisory group member for Melbourne Royal, and a National Students and Early Careers representative for the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand.
“Agriculture is a great industry to be a part of and I’m lucky to work with progressive growers and colleagues who champion leaders in the sector.
“As a woman in ag, I’ve been in situations where I’m often the odd one out, especially starting fresh out of university, but you learn to be resilient and be comfortable with being uncomfortable and never take things too personally.
“I’m excited about what the future looks like for the next generation.
Sure you may need to prove yourself a bit harder, especially earlier in your career. But once you find your footing and work for great organisations like Unipak your opportunities are truly limitless!”
Dominique Clapham is the managing director of her family’s Gundowring, Victoria, beef farm business.
She said women had been teaching each other farming skills for generations.
“I think women have a great future in agriculture if they set their minds to it. Nothing is too hard. My mother-in-law taught me my calf rearing skills, plus she also taught me how to drive a tractor, and her mother-in-law did the same for her.”
Mr Reynolds said welcoming more women into the industry had become a focus for the
company, encouraging women looking for agricultural work to apply.
“We are seeking salespeople in Victoria and Queensland to cover fodder conservation regions, and we’d really welcome the opportunity to help balance up the ‘gender scale’ in our industry.
If there are any aspiring women out there with a sound knowledge of fodder conservation or crop packaging that are great communicators, we’d love to hear from you”.
Applicants interested are encouraged to head to unipak.com.au/careers for further information.