Aimee Snowden is the creator of the Little Brick Pastoral and is passionate about attracting the brightest and most innovative minds into the agricultural industry.
As a 2018 graduate of the 2030 Leaders Program, Aimee shared her experience of the Program and encouraged others to apply.
Applications for the 2030 Leaders Program have closed.
How did you come to be so passionate about Australian agriculture?
I was raised on an irrigation farm in southern NSW where I still live today. However, my passion for the industry didn’t come about until I was in my early 20s when I was finding my feet in the workforce.
My formative years in high school were during the millennium drought, at a time where careers in agriculture were not actively encouraged by both industry and the community, especially for those who were more academic or less likely to take a traditional role within the sector.
It wasn’t until I was working in my local community with farmers (in accounting) that I felt the pull towards the industry. I didn’t know the diversity and breadth of opportunity within Australian agriculture, until I started to put my hand up.
What are your aspirations for your career in agriculture?
I love sharing the story of Australian agriculture, celebrating its diversity, highlighting the wide range of careers from paddock to plate, and showcasing how food and fibre production occurs. I feel incredibly lucky that I have a career at the moment that covers communications, education, PR and careers development. It’s one that I didn’t even know existed when I was in high school!
My aspirations are to continuing working within agriculture by combining my passion and love for the industry with my skills and talents. I love that my days are diverse and varied, that I am continually learning, and that I am challenged to grow and develop. And it’s an added bonus that it currently includes playing with LEGO on the side!
What do you see your role to be (or potentially be) in assisting Australian agriculture in becoming a $100 billion industry by 2030?
To continue to be a world leader in growing the best food and fibre, we need to be attracting the brightest, creative and innovative minds into our industry. I see my role in inspiring the next generation to join our great industry.
Whether it be celebrating Australian agricultural on social media, creating education programs for primary school students, participating in careers expos targeted at high school students, or career development programs for university students and graduates. I want to highlight the vast array of careers on offer in Australian agriculture, and to also showcase the incredible opportunities available to those who put their hand up!
I’m not going to be the next scientist who works on increasing the water efficiency of cotton, or the next policy maker who works on developing farm loans for under 35s, but those future scientists and policy makers might be sitting in our classrooms today!
I see my role as inspiring them. Showcasing the scope and breadth of our industry with them. And highlighting how there is a career in agriculture for everyone. Whether you are creative, great at maths, love getting your hands dirty, or are a computer whiz; Australian agriculture, and indeed food and fibre production around the world, needs you!
What was your experience participating in the 2030 Leaders Program and how did it assist with achieving your aspirations?
The 2030 Leaders Program provided an opportunity for both personal and professional development which was invaluable. It was unique in its drive to grow emerging leaders from across the Australian agricultural industry, whether from agribusiness, education, agtech or on-farm.
It has helped me to articulate and refine my aspirations, and to work together on a collaborative project for the whole of Australian agriculture. And to top it off, I now have incredible people in my wolfpack. They challenge me. We chat daily about our industry and sectors. And we support each other in our leadership journeys.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership is inspiring others, motivating them to be their best self, and bringing people together to work towards a common goal. Leadership is not about titles, accolades and giving orders. Leadership is not about being out the front, or being the spokesperson. Leadership is an attitude and behaviour, not a position or title.
For me leadership is about bringing people with you, engaging people in discussion and work, and ensuring that everyone is positively contributing to something that they feel strongly about. A good leader recognises that we need compromise to work together, we need to listen to others to engage them before making decisions, we need to learn from others, and that we need to plan, plan and plan!
We must bring others along the journey with us, otherwise it is a lonely road.
What advice would you give to the 2019 cohort?
The 2030 Leaders Program will challenge you. It will inspire you. It will probably leave you with more questions than it answers. It will drive you. But most importantly, it will change you.
Listen carefully – some things are not what they seem. Lean on one another. Be open and be honest. Be kind to yourself – change is never easy. Take the opportunity. Put your hand up! And remember you are stronger than you think.
Finally, reach out. To us as the 2018 2030 NFF Leaders Cohort, to those you meet along the way, to your networks, to your mentors, to your sector, and to your family and friends. Our industry, Australian agriculture, is stronger because of the people in it – people like you!
The NFF 2030 Leaders Program helps develop the leadership capabilities of people over the age of 18 and currently involved in agriculture. The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), in conjunction with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF), look forward to working with our 2019 cohort in helping Australian agriculture reach $100 billion in farm gate output by 2030.