Holly is a permanent part-time HSE Administrator, casual Farm administrator & casual Farm Hand for Lawson Grains in the South West of W.A.
Holly grew up on a small cattle farm on the north island of New Zealand, so naturally, she has always loved the rural lifestyle. Having limited experience with machinery, Holly says she is rather surprised that she worked in the Grain industry and loved it.
Falling into the Grain industry was what Holly calls a “Spur of the moment decision” joining her partner for a harvest season near Esperance, Western Australia. After this Holly and her partner would spend three months travelling and then head back to Esperance for seeding and again heading off to travel before harvest came around again.
Holly said, “That was our life, on repeat, for about three years.”
Holly and her partner have ended up staying in W.A. working on Lawson Grain Farms as well as having the ability to purchase their own arable near Munglinup W.A, which is about 130km West of Esperance.
Holly says she has been lucky with her agricultural industry experience, having always worked for very encouraging, supportive employers. Moving from small family farms through to large corporate farms with big teams, Holly says “I can ask if I am unsure of anything – the response from the employer has always been positive. They’ve always been willing to teach me, and probably partly grateful that I didn’t just assume that I knew what I was doing, then proceed to break something or stuff up somehow.”
Holly has had a fantastic experience working at Lawson Grains. Stating that “the variety in my job is huge, no two days are the same. While I am mostly office-based on farm now, I always have the option to jump in a sprayer, header, spreader or any other machine for a day or two if I feel like a change of scenery!”
“The flexibility and variety are second to none; I love it! “
The machinery, equipment, operations, and technology are also a big highlight of working at Lawson Grains. Everything is modern and innovative, and there are lots of opportunities to learn and be involved in the latest farm technology and methods.
Holly stated that one of the things that she loves the most about being a rural woman is contributing to an industry that is so important, it is gratifying.
Holly also enjoys living rurally, saying “I love the close-knit community – everyone knows everyone, and people are always on the lookout for one another, offering a helping hand wherever needed.”
When it comes to being a woman in the agricultural industry, Holly stated some of the biggest challenges of being a woman in agriculture are the biases surrounding gender. While the industry has come a long way, now and then you will meet someone who dismisses your capability, or frowns when you state your job title as “Farm Machinery Operator” or “Farmer”. Holly’s best piece of advice is to stay determined, give it your all, and prove yourself to those people!
For the future of Rural Women in Agriculture, Holly hopes that the agricultural industry continues its
growth in accepting and welcoming women who want a career in ag, stating it would be so encouraging to see more females in farm manager or supervisor roles, Holly says “I do think that the industry is
heading in the right direction, however there is still a long way to go.”