Emily Dempster is a Broadacre Farmer, Wife, Mother and General Manager of Planfarm Marketing. Emily grew up in Zimbabwe and only moved into the Australian Agricultural industry ahead of marrying her husband, a Goomalling farmer. Prior to that, she worked as an economist in Sydney. Pivotting her career in 2012, Emily joined Planfarm Marketing as a grain marketing adviser. “The grain market is all about supply, demand and price, so my economics skillset was still relevant.” Taking the role was an ideal pathway for her to continue with her career whilst living in the regions.
The first taste of the Western Australian Agricultural industry was significantly different to anything Emily had been exposed to in Zimbabwe “I couldn’t believe that broadacre crops would grow without any irrigation at all”. Emily states that WA broadacre farmers are world leaders in risk management, considering their ability to operate sustainably given rainfall, soil, and labour constraints.
Moving to the country for Emily was extremely rewarding. “I became part of a strong community in Goomalling where if you give something of yourself, you get lots in return”. Noting that there is a different pace in life and the focus is slightly different from the city counterparts, “You can focus on things that feel more grounded and important”. Emily states that the only downside to regional living is that there are some things that she can’t access living in the regions, noting her love of ballet.
Emily’s role in Planfarm as General Manager of Grain Marketing & as a Grain Marketing Advisor is to coordinate and support the Grain Marketing team activities. She moved into this behind-the-scenes role after transitioning back into work from maternity leave and desiring the flexibility to work and still have time for her children. Planfarm provides Emily the flexibility and freedom she needs for work-life balance. A day in life for Emily sees her working from whichever location best suits her jobs list that day. Be it from the nearest Planfarm office, or working remotely from her home office, her local Community Resource Centre, or the co-working office space attached to the local daycare centre. Additionally, she enjoys the benefit of flexibility of time, being able to swing more workdays into play when necessary. Especially during the busy periods, such as during harvest or when Grain Marketers are on the road and grain still needs to be sold.
Some of the biggest things Emily has learnt since moving into this role have been – “You can have a job description, and you can be paid for it, or you can make the most out of opportunities and provide more for your team.” Emily states that this will not only lead to financial rewards but also to job satisfaction as well. Working in the Agricultural Industry for Emily allows her to help provide service and skillset to help make the industry better. “Anyone can become part of this industry if they are willing to immerse themselves and learn.” Emily states Grain Marketing is exciting as it is constantly changing. You don’t know what you are going to get on any given day. “But most of all, there is nothing better than forming a relationship with your clients and helping them achieve their goals.”
As a RRR Women, having the opportunity to further her career in the regions allows Emily to stay sane, admitting that interacting with her children all of the time is a struggle for an introvert by nature. “Working off-farm helps me keep a healthy perspective, I feel rejuvenated and retain my self-confidence”. For women wanting to progress their career in Regional Western Australia, Emily says, “Be open to opportunities, and find a way to merge your current career experience with available opportunities and be willing to take those risks”.