Today’s guest blog post has been written by Liz Munn a young lady who believes you get out of life what you put into it and agriculture deserves a life- long commitment
My name is Liz Munn and I am 20 years old in my 3rd and final year of my degree studying at the University of New England in Armidale.
I come from the small rural community of Moree in the North West slopes and plains of NSW. Moree has a population of just over 9,000. It is situated in the centre of a large agricultural sector due to the areas rich black vertosol soils, allowing enterprises such as cotton thrive. It is also renowned for its natural hot springs. During the past few years the community has been brought together in crises of major flooding, fires and drought.
My grandfather inspired me to have a love of the land. From an early age, I spent time following him around the farm and learning as I went. He had a mixed farming enterprise. As well as lamb and calf marking, there was shearing, tractor driving and harvest which both my parents and I helped with.
Over the years, the farm changed to focus more on grain growing. He taught me that you can only take out, what you put in – which is a good motto; not just for agriculture, but for life in general. He was at the forefront of soil conservation, ensuring that the farm would be around for future generations.
I completed my schooling in Moree at 3 separate schools- Moree Public School (K-6), then St Philomena’s (7-10) and finally Moree Secondary College (11-12).
As a kid I had lots of opportunities to grow as a person and I took them with both hands. I firmly believe life is what you make it and I put a lot of effort into everything I did
At school I was sporting house captain for Freeman House in year 11, and a school leader in year 12. I was heavily involved in a range of sports from horse sports, soccer and athletics. I was even lucky enough to compete at state level in Sydney for athletics. I also attended classical violin lessons for 5 years winning many trophies and ribbons for both sport and music.
I am in the navy and red competing in 100m hurdles at state level in Sydney.
Nearing the end of year 12 it was time for me to choose a degree for my university studies. I was very interested in visual arts as well as biology, but had to choose one or the other, so I followed the science path.
I was accepted into a Bachelor of Environmental Science. Several people mentioned that I was going to be a “Greenie” now but I know from the wise words of my grandfather
that it is the marriage of the environment and agriculture that will ensure the survival of both.
Agriculture is a constantly evolving industry and it needs leaders who are up to date with the latest technologies and techniques. Leaders who promote adaptation and adoption of environmentally sound farming methods , to ensure Australia can be competitive on the world market, and give the best protection for our farmers and our farmers against our unpredictable seasons.
At University I live at St Albert’s College, which has a family ethos and I now consider it my second home as we are all a family. Here I made many friends and was introduced to several sporting, academic, and cultural groups. I am highly active in the college’s netball team as well as the chugby team (women’s rugby). I currently hold a position in the college known as a pastoral advisor (PA) where I support my fellow students in any way possible and help organise events.
On the right hand side at the end, after we played our first game of chugby in 2013.
In Moree I am also involved in rural community programs. I have been a member of the Moree Show society for 4 years. Show societies run events that bring the whole community together to celebrate agricultural excellence and raise awareness of the value of farming to rural and regional economies
I have been a steward for the car show and this year I am the assistant secretary. I also competed in the local show society showgirl competition and received runner up.
That’s me third from the left before the winner of the showgirl was announced at the Moree Show.
For the last two university summer breaks I have worked for a local agronomist as a crop scout. I first applied for the position as a learning experience. Then I found the more I learnt, the more I enjoyed myself and finally realised this was the profession I wanted for me. I find the cotton industry fascinating and have been inspired to join their ranks by the enthusiastic people I have been lucky enough to work with to date
Last year I also went on a tour of one of the local gins where we were shown all of the aspects of the ginning process, which allowed me to see the industry from field to fibre.
Agriculture is not just an industry to most people. Its a lifestyle, a passion that is passed down through generations. But you don’t have to come from generations of farmers to be part of this wonderful industry
Agriculture currently influences every person in the world as we are all consumers
Agriculture in Australia faces pressure from competition for farmland from mining and housing and vagaries of climate. It suffers from poor image problem and a misconception it is not a good career choice for a young person
As a person who knows you get out of life what you put into it I am looking forward to taking an active hands on role and helping provide solutions to the challenges our farmers face and building partnership with the community to take on this shared responsibility
You can watch this video from the US that shows all the opportunities for careers in agriculture