Crop Nutrition

From Wagga to Washington: Dave Noble’s unique career with Nutrien

27 December 2023, AU: With an Environmental Science degree, Dave Noble didn’t consider himself to be a typical fit for a job as an agronomist, but his interests in soil science and plant biology led him to apply for a place in the then Landmark Agronomy Graduate Program in 2009.  

“I quickly realized that this is ultimately a relationship business, and there was scope to learn the technical skills of agronomy on the job,” said Dave.  

“After 10 months shadowing a senior agronomist while I was on the Grad Program in Wagga Wagga, I relocated to Goulburn, where I would spend the next five years specialising in pasture and livestock agronomy.” 

While his career was thriving, life threw Dave a curveball – in 2012, at the age of 24, he was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. 

“I spent the next two years focusing on chemotherapy, surgeries and recovery, while continuing to work when I could. During this time, I evaluated my career and future career prospects. With the support of senior management, in 2015 I relocated to Iowa in the Mid-West Cornbelt of the USA and spent a year studying the US business, specifically our proprietary plant nutrition and seed portfolios.” 

“My US experience positioned me well on my return to Australia in 2016 to take a Sales and Technical role with our Loveland Proprietary Product Group for two years, before accepting the Branch Manager position overseeing the Goulburn, Crookwell and Moss Vale locations,” reflected Dave.  

“This was a very rewarding time in my career that combined a mix of agronomy, financial management, strategic leadership and close relationships with customers. I am very proud to have led a strong and diverse team that was almost 50% female, several of whom will be future leaders in our business.” 

In 2021, Dave’s wife Emily took a three-year posting with the Australian Embassy as a Diplomat in Washington, DC.  

“Again, with the support of senior management, we reached out to our US counterparts and Nutrien facilitated another transfer for me to the US business. This time around I am working across the Colonial Division, which covers Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Surprisingly, this area has strong corn, wheat and soybean yields that can put their mid-west cousins to shame. It’s also got a nice mix of pastures, fruit and vegetable crops.” 

“I have a very diverse role here supporting the division management team. In 2022 I had 15 young agronomists that I mentored, as well as working on recruiting talent, business acquisitions and broader business strategy, particularly around our proprietary products. When I am not travelling for work, I am based out of the Washington DC office, which is home to our Industry and Government Affairs team. Being based here has given me exposure to some of the local and international policies as well as geopolitical issues that influence the commodities we deal in every day,” said Dave. 

“Over the next year or two I will be focused on expanding my experience in as many facets of the broader business that I can, and in the not-too-distant future, I look forward to rejoining my colleagues back in the Australian business.” 

Dave considers his career experiences with Nutrien Ag Solutions an example of the opportunities available within a global business.  

“I have been fortunate in all my roles with Nutrien, to have strong business mentors that have helped shape my approach to the ag industry, for which I am eternally grateful. I am continuously amazed by the networks within Nutrien, whether it be branch to branch, across regions and even countries.” 

“We are very fortunate to be part of a truly global business, I would encourage everyone to take advantage of this enviable position.” 

Also Read: Planting seeds for bringing youth into agriculture

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