How do you deal with a stressed grower? What strategies work when you need to have a tough conversation in a tough season? Is client conflict avoidable or is it part of the job? What should you take with you on every farm visit?
These are some of the questions experienced farm advisers and consultants were asked at the first session of a GRDC initiative developed especially for early career stage agronomists in Queensland and New South Wales.
The GRDC 'Emerging Agros Network' is designed to offer newcomers to the grains sector an opportunity to boost their professional skills, as well as connect with some of the industry's most respected consultants, farm advisers and researchers.
Agronomists at all stages of their careers are invited to the next session of the Network - being held in conjunction with the GRDC Grains Research Update at Wagga Wagga, on February 18 and 19.
The free session, which is open to everyone - regardless of whether they are attending the Update - will be held at 'The Deck' at Charles Sturt University, from 5.30-6.30pm on February 18.
Professional development opportunity
GRDC Senior Regional Manager - North, Gillian Meppem, says the 'Emerging Agros Network' initiative aims to:
- provide critical 'soft skill' development;
- link recent graduates with relevant research resources; and
- offer insights into how experienced advisers handle challenging situations and seasons.
"We want to support graduate and early career agronomists by providing them with opportunities to build their skills, networks and knowledge so they are well equipped to meet the needs of growers," Ms Meppem says.
"This project is also designed to ensure recent graduates understand and can effectively access the GRDC's extensive resources - which explain scientifically robust, validated research outcomes.
"Growers are increasingly reliant on agronomic advisers to stay abreast of new research information to guide farm decisions, so the GRDC is joining with experienced agronomists and farm advisers to empower the next generation."
Words of wisdom
GRDC Northern Region Panel member and seasoned agronomist, Andrew McFadyen, will share his experiences as a private and corporate farm adviser during the 'What I wish I had known when starting out' session at the GRDC Grains Research Update in Wagga Wagga.
"The 'Emerging Agros Network' is a great GRDC initiative and will benefit grain growers enormously by equipping young agronomists with networks and knowledge," Mr McFadyen says.
"Learning really begins when you leave university and find yourself in the paddock with your clients, where a mix of technical and relationship management skills are required.
"These short events focus on helping to develop emerging agronomists' communication skills and we'd also like to see more of our established agronomists join us at these sessions to pass on some of their knowledge to the next generation."
Mr McFadyen says the 'Emerging Agros Network' has a Facebook group, which is open to agronomists of all career stages and this was an additional place to share questions, comments and information.
'Emerging Agros Network' events will be held in conjunction with the GRDC Grains Research Updates in the northern region on:
- February 18 - Wagga Wagga at The Deck, Charles Sturt University from 5.30-6.30pm
- February 25 - Dubbo at the Dubbo RSL Memorial Club from 5.10-6.10pm
- March 3 - Goondiwindi at Retreat on Rivergum from 5.15-6.15pm
- March 10 - Barellan at Barellan and District War Memorial Club from 3-5pm.
If you are a recently graduated agronomist wanting to attend one of these events, or you are an established agronomist who has experience and knowledge you'd like to share at them, the GRDC would value your involvement. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The sessions are free but please RSVP for catering purposes via www.seedbedmedia.com.au/agronomists.
More information and registration: https://grdc.com.au/events/list.