Posted on : 10 August 2016
Every year, the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) runs a state-wide youth leadership program to recognise future agricultural leaders. In 2015, the encouragement of an RAS Councilor took Airlie Trescowthick on a journey she’ll never forget.
What attracted you to the Rural Achiever program?
I was intrigued by the opportunity to learn about the RAS and to meet like-minded peers in the industry. I was so glad to be encouraged to apply and be chosen as one of eight finalists.
How did the program affect you personally?
The program was jam-packed and full of diverse, uplifting experiences had a huge impact on me. Throughout the program I gained an incredible amount of confidence in my ability to be an ambassador for our industry.
The public speaking event in the Big Top Amphitheatre was a particular highlight. Each finalist had to prepare a talk on ‘How to market Australian agriculture to Australians’. It was wonderful to hear fellow Achievers speak with enthusiasm and, although it was nerve-wracking, it was a great opportunity to address a large audience about an issue I am passionate about.
And from a career perspective?
The spirit of generosity that you find in our community is embedded in the Rural Achiever program. So many people – industry experts, farming leaders, media personnel – were willing to help with my start-up, The Farm Table, from sharing advice and connecting me with others through to offers of continued support. Being an RAS Rural Achiever also opened up many opportunities for me to speak to the media about my business which I’m incredibly grateful for.
What is The Farm Table?
An online information portal (www.thefarmtable.com.au) developed to connect Australian farmers and the broader industry to independent, timely and relevant information.
It was born out of my own need to up-skill and keep up-to-date with research and innovation in the industry. Essentially I’ve created a central online toolbox so time-poor primary producers can find what they need quickly and easily.
Since the launch, I’ve had over 4,500 visitors to the site and 14,000 page views, which is incredibly exciting. Emails are coming in from people all over the country who love the site and have found it useful.
Is the Farm Table your full-time job?
I’m currently a business analyst with Paraway Pastoral, based in Orange. It’s a job that brings my analytics and consulting experience together with my love of livestock and farming. The Farm Table is something I enjoy doing in my spare time.
What’s the biggest issue in Australian agriculture right now?
A huge opportunity exists for Australia to supply products to meet the growing global demand for high-quality food and fibre. Ensuring our infrastructure and access to markets is improved will be vital if we’re going to get home-grown products to end users here and overseas more efficiently.
Who inspires you?
My dad and Lucinda Corrigan of Rennylea Pastoral Company (Holbrook, NSW). Both are generous with their time and knowledge. I am forever grateful for their support and mentorship.
WORDS: Jennie Smiedt
Article first appeared RAS Times October 2015