Ag Inspirations - choosing career paths

Last week I had the pleasure of facilitating another ‘Ag Inspirations’ program with Manjimup Year 9s, for the Shire of Manjimup.  The main focus of the program is to get out on farm and for interested young people to get the chance to talk to producers and Ag support industry professionals and really get an idea about the diverse range of career opportunities available within Ag.

Another thing is that by doing this, the realisation hit home that most career paths aren’t straight lines.  They veer and wiggle and change direction countless times before hitting home and settling on something that feels and sits right.  But this feeling isn’t by chance, it’s a result of all the different skills they have learnt and different experiences they’ve had along the way that might not have seen related or useful at the time but that all help to set you up on a path that fits you.

One clear example of this was Charlie and Coleen from CharCol Springs in West Manjimup.  An inspiring young couple, both originally from the wheatbelt in WA, they have both had several different careers – Charlie was a shearer for about 10 years travelling the world, Coleen a nanny/childcare worker who also caught the travel bug.  However over time they painted a picture about what they wanted for themselves as a career and also their family and that was to set up a family farm.  They now run aprox 1000 pastured chickens and a small, developing beef herd on their 70 acres and their passion and the joy they find in their farm is so obvious for all to see and definitely made an impact on my group of year 9s.  As part of the program they had to document the ‘career journey’ of someone that made an impact on them during the 4 days and the majority of the group chose either Coleen or Charlie.   And the points that we kept hearing, those things that had hit home were phrases and words like:

  • Love their animals, love their farm
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things
  • Find a way to do what you love and don’t waste time doing something you don’t
  • Work towards goals as they will happen
  • Always do your best in any job – you’ll learn new skills in everything you do
  • Keep your sense of humour and spend time enjoying your family, friends and surroundings
  • There is a definite future for people in agriculture and you don’t need to be from a farming background to have a go, you just need to love and connect with producing food

They’re a wonderful couple with a great story and a real love for their farm and their animals.  It definitely hit home with my group and with me too.

Check out more of CharCol Springs here