Henry, tell us a bit about yourself…
I am from the Swan Valley in the Northern Suburbs of Perth in which my family had an interest in beef cattle. After completing high school, I studied agriculture at university with an aim to move into Farm Management. This career path has taken me around most of the wheatbelt of WA as I predominately work in mixed or continuous cropping operations.
Why did you want to join the FFN Board?
I joined the FFN board as I had been following the organisation on social media for some years. I met FFN’s Executive Officer at Perth Innovation Generation and was really interested in the organisation. When I realised had been following FFN’s social media accounts, without actually having any idea what this national group was about, I thought I had better join to help increase the national spread.
Tell me about your career…how did you get from high-school to where you are today?
I studied agricultural business at university completing an honours project. I then applied for jobs on farms and have worked my up from there.
Have you had any great mentors throughout your career? If so who, and what made them so influential.
I don’t per se have any great mentors. I have worked for some very good farmers and farm managers who I still keep in contact with. I have taken on board how they operate, to improve the way in which I operate.
What do you think has shaped your career, or had significant influence over where you are today?
Probably the best way to sum up how I have ended up where I am is to take any opportunity that has been towards my aim. I have also moved on when these have not worked out. There are people who stay in the wrong job for too long and do not end up in a good place due to financial commitments. By having a good work ethic and not burning bridges I am able to pick and choose options.
If you could go back and give your 18-year old self some career advice, what would it be?
Listen to your own advice: sleep on any major decision before committing.
In your experience in the farm management industry, what are some of the biggest challenges facing the next generation?
- Finding the next generation and financing them. I was recently informed that if I wasn’t a third-generation farmer then finance institutes are not interested in looking at me.
- This insistence that a shop must be at the end of every road for families to exist in regional areas.
What excites you about the future of agriculture in Australia?
The involvement of our consumer in the growing and producing of food and fibre is really a great opportunity for the industry to take up.