20 October 2023, Australia: Originally from Parkes, Rochelle joined the Elders branch in Dubbo in 2020, after completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Science. She didn’t get her start in agronomy straight away, first commencing in the branch as a sales specialist in rural products.
“I started off in rural products, but had a side ticket to build my agronomy training internally,” Rochelle said.
“I had the opportunity to work under a senior agronomist for a while, which was amazing, but when they left, I got going on my own.
“It was the best start for me, and fantastic to be able to lean on the support of the network, we have some amazing agronomists in the region who have all been so helpful as I got started.”
In Dubbo and its surrounds, Rochelle works with clients growing a range of cereals, as well as canola, some pulses and pastures.
“In our area, we grow wheat, barley, canola, oats, some pulses, and then pastures, including lucerne, clovers, and subtropical grasses,” Rochelle said.
“In the summer, we also deal with cotton in the area. We also grow other summer crops, mainly for forage, such as sorghum, millet and cowpea. I am actually getting organised for a sorghum and millet trial which will be happening soon, and I am hoping that might inspire a few growers to consider summer forage if the season is looking promising.”
Alongside the new sorghum site, Rochelle also has the opportunity to learn from an internal trial at nearby Narromine, where Elders agronomists are testing pre-emergent and post-emergent products from key suppliers on a range of winter crop types. It is hoped that this will improve local knowledge and training to provide a better service for clients.
Rochelle’s clients in the area are mainly mixed farmers, running livestock and growing crops and pastures, which comes with its own unique challenges.
“With our mixed clients, one of the big things is helping them rotate crops to make sure there is enough feed for their stock,” she said.
“Another big consideration is looking at dual purpose crops, so they can be used for both grain harvest and feed, to strike a better balance between feed requirements and cropping areas.
“Where clients are looking for advice on their livestock too, I work closely with Dubbo’s animal health specialist, Donny Hayden, which is a pretty big win.”
Rochelle explained the Dubbo branch is a great place to work, with a big team and lots of experience.
“I love that we have such a big team, we have great diversity here, and we all work in well together and help each other out when we need to,” she said.
“The region is just generally so diverse, I get to dip my toes in a bit of everything, so I am always learning.
“But mainly, I love the fact that I’m involved with producing products that clothe and feed Australia, being part of such a big thing is pretty cool.”
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