Follow the career path you want and don’t be afraid to give different things a go
Charles Impey asks a promising student about her motivations, what she hopes to achieve and if there are any lessons for others with an interest in a rural career.
Kira is presently completing a Certificate III in Agriculture Traineeship through TAFE Western NSW Institute.
Kira is hoping to pursue a Certificate IV in Agriculture and a Certificate IV in Wool Classing, and she will be competing at the 2014 AWI National Merino Challenge in Melbourne on 24-25 May.
- At what age did you start to become interested in sheep and wool, and what influenced this interest?
My first exposure to the agriculture industry was when I was about 8, when my parents took myself and my brother on a holiday to their friend’s dairy farm.
I loved the experience but living in Newcastle didn’t offer many opportunities to be around farms. When I was 16 my older cousin became a jillaroo and after seeing her photos and hearing her stories, I wanted to become a jillaroo too.
However, because I did very well at school many people had different expectations of me.
So after receiving Dux of Year 12 I did what was expected and went to the University of Newcastle to study a Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Commerce degree.
I did the course for a year and even though I did well I wasn’t enjoying it. When my auntie said to me as a joke, “Why don’t you go join Sharn on the farm?”, I decided I would.
So at age 19 I enrolled in the Certificate II in Agriculture at TAFE Western Dubbo and this is where my passion for sheep and wool was first realised. Following this passion I completed a short shearing/wool handling course and have begun learning about sheep and wool as part of the National Merino Challenge.
- What careers or occupations are you interested in pursuing after you finish TAFE or will you be continuing with further studies?
When I decided that I really wanted to work with sheep my TAFE teachers helped me find a job opportunity on a sheep cropping and poultry farm, where I would be able to begin my Certificate 3 in Agriculture traineeship. I start this job the week after I finish my shearing course.
I am also going to be participating in the National Merino Challenge to gain more experience with sheep and wool. In the future I hope to be able to continue my training even further by doing the Certificate IV in Agriculture as well as beginning some woolclassing courses.
- What aspects of sheep and wool do you enjoy most?
I enjoy almost all aspects of sheep and wool. However, I have a strong enthusiasm for wool classing and I am really looking forward to competing in the national Merino Challenge and the activities involved within it.
- What is the best advice you could offer a young person at school who has an interest in agriculture but is not sure what this interest may be?
My advice to anyone at school would be to follow the career path that you want to, and don’t be afraid to give different things a go.
If you are interested in agriculture but don’t know what part of the industry to enter, then do some research online and try and agriculture course.
I highly recommend completing the Certificate II in Agriculture at TAFE Western Dubbo as it provides you with exposure in a supportive environment to most aspects of farm life including sheep work, cattle work, fencing, chainsaws, tractors and much more.
Through all these experiences you will be able to gain experience and work out what part of the agriculture industry you would like to be a part of.
- What do you hope to get most out of the National Merino Challenge?
I hope that by participating in the National Merino Challenge I will be able to meet like-minded people in the industry that share my passion as well as gain some further experience and extend my knowledge on wool classing, wool valuing, condition scoring, breeding values, visual selection and animal nutrition.