29 March 2022, AU: Amy Canty’s excitement is palpable. As a newly graduated agronomist, Amy has found herself at the start of a career in an industry that is growing every day.
“Every morning there is something new to learn or somewhere new to go,” says Amy, a graduate agronomist based in Cowra, who has just started her first specialist role with the country’s largest Australian-owned agribusiness, Elders.
She will be putting down her roots in the central west region for the next six months at least, as she begins to build her experience alongside seasoned growers and specialists who are watching the next generation with just as much anticipation.
Early morning starts don’t seem to bother Amy as she spends most days accompanying fellow ‘agros’ in the field, applying her education (with a healthy dose of enthusiasm) to solving complex problems for growers in her region.
The beauty of the country she visits each week is not lost on this new face.
“It’s just stunning, to think that this is my office and I get to work here,” she says.
“Being able to combine technical skills with the outdoor environment, is never boring. I find myself looking forward to work every day.”
Amy’s interest in the world of farming, started to form into a career when she was enrolled at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga. The comprehensive degree provided a taste of many industries and career paths, so it was in her third year that Amy decided to specialise in agronomy.
“The scientific side to the course was really interesting and being able to work with farmers to find solutions to real-life problems just seemed like the best option for me.”
Run by the Thomas Elder Institute, the Elders Graduate Agronomy Program receives applications from some of the brightest up-and-coming agronomists across Australia. Amy recalls putting her name in the ring beside many other hopefuls.
“Elders came with a good reputation and I knew I wanted to see as many different farming types as I could to really build up my experience,’ she explains.
“When the application was accepted, I was so excited to start – and then meeting the team here in Cowra, I know I’ve made the right decision.”
Hitting the ground running, Amy began the role “as early as I could” starting her placement in mid-January, based in the Elders Cowra branch. Since then, she says the support from her team and local growers alike has been vital to her confidence to keep growing as a professional.
“To be able to feel like you can ask any question, no matter how simple or broad, and know that everyone is there to support you learning – it’s really special to find as a graduate,” she says.
“I’ve been able to join senior agronomists and their clients for discussions about annual cropping programs, while at the same time I’m here in the local branch for stock-take day, meeting new people and understanding the products farmers are using. It really gives you that well-rounded understanding of how each part of the industry works together.”
Looking ahead Amy says that while it may be “nice to specialise even further one day,” she says she is just as content enjoying a role that is as challenging as it is rewarding.
“Farming practices will always be changing. With research and innovation comes change, and that’s exciting to me. As a young person entering the industry, I can see so much more room for growth, but at the same time I love the traditional parts that will always be there. This is the career path for me, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.”