In 2017 Meg Rice was awarded the Northern Tablelands Scholarship to participate in the Young Farming Champions (YFC) program
Taking part in the YFC program involves undertaking a series of Sydney based workshops, under the mentorship of some of Australia’s finest communication, marketing and professional development experts.
The program’s focus is developing confident, independent, reflective thinkers who can share their story and their personal experiences, while voicing their own opinions about agricultural issues in their industry and more broadly.
The program equips and prepares the participants for that often very daunting experience: of standing up to be counted, even in difficult circumstances. The YFC leadership development model is providing the rock-solid foundation and pivotal stepping stones as part of a journey to lead agriculture’s next generation.
Through these workshops and the program’s lifetime mentorship opportunities, the YFC are also equipped with unique insights into all aspects of the agricultural supply chain as well as consumer attitudes and trends.
This is Meg Rice’s story
My name is Meg Rice and this a little bit about me and why I love agriculture and rural communities. My passion and interest has been inspired through living and working on my family’s mixed livestock and cropping farm located in Central West NSW.
I have always taken a keen interest in the management practises of our family farm. This interest has been greatly influence by my father and the great passion he has for agriculture. Dad has always encouraged my sisters and I to be involved in agriculture and to consider why certain things happen the way they do. We were often quizzed on car trips about the varying agricultural practises and have all developed quite a knack for spotting various weeds when driving around the property.
Dad and his three girls
I am currently in my third year studying a Bachelor of Agriculture and Law at the University of New England. In undertaking this course I hope to gain a greater understanding of the issues and policies surrounding the agricultural industry and to be able to provide assistance and support to rural and regional communities. I would like to contribute to the success and growth of agriculture and hope to become involved in agricultural policy. In the future I hope to travel overseas and broaden my understanding of agricultural policy and practises in other countries.
Our property “Kimbar Park”
I have been inspired by the many people who I have met through my agricultural studies. It is truly amazing the different stories and experiences that everyone brings to their studies and how these shape the way they perceive the industry. Everyone always has a yarn as to why things are the way they are and how they could be different if they were running the show! I have been encouraged by the many beautiful friends that I have gained as well as the mentoring opportunities that I have been privileged to have had. During my first year of study I was fortunate to be mentored by Associate Professor Amanda Kennedy, Deputy Director of the Australian Agriculture and Law Centre, who encouraged me to purse my legal studies and encouraged me to seek opportunities to apply these studies in agriculture. It was through a contact of Amanda’s that I was able to experience a week of travelling and working with a rural lawyer. This was an amazing opportunity and it was through this experience that I discovered that I may not want to become a solicitor but rather use my acquired legal knowledge within agriculture. I was also very privileged to have a College academic mentor who helped me through the trials of the first year of university as well as encouraged me to get involved in as many committees and organisations that my schedule could handle.
My beautiful friend and academic mentor, Kate, graduating with a Bachelor of Rural Science
Whilst at UNE I have been involved as Farming Futures Industry Dinner Co-ordinator for the UNE Farming Futures initiative. I am also honoured to be the current President of the Rural Science Undergraduate Society (RSUS). Committees such as RSUS and Farming Futures enable students to gain practical skills that are applicable within the agricultural industry as well as provide social and networking opportunities. I believe that they also help to promote the many opportunities that agriculture has to offer and highlight the significance that it holds not only in rural and regional communities but within Australia as a whole.
I have been involved in a range of agricultural industry sectors. I have been involved in the grains sector through my employment at GrainCorp as a weigh bridge attendant and sampler. I really enjoyed learning about the receival and processing of grain as well as the getting to know the many characters of harvest on their numerous trips in and out of the site. I recently had the privilege of representing UNE at the Inter-Collegiate Meat Judging competition. I have also been an office secretary or the ‘Saturday morning girl’ at a local stock and station agent where I have spent many Saturday mornings booking in cattle for Monday’s sale and having a yarn with the regulars.
2016 UNE Inter-Collegiate Meat Judging Team
Whilst I have not chosen a particular agricultural sector to specialise in, I think perhaps that I would like to dabble in a bit of everything as I have a great interest in agriculture as a whole. I aspire to become involved in agricultural consultancy and policy. I am very interested in the actual and perceived barriers for the adoption of new and emerging agricultural technologies. I am also interested in litigation regarding agricultural issues that are highly sensitive and require specialised agricultural knowledge and expertise. I am passionate about showcasing the wide range of opportunities present within agriculture.
Love this guest post from Meg. Super kudos to Meg’s dad for encouraging his daughters love of the land and to follow careers in the agriculture sector How divine is that photo of Meg and her sister in their school uniforms with their dad. One thing that hasn’t changed much in my lifetime (sadly) is school uniforms.