Seizing leadership opportunities opens doors for Penny

Networking and “next level” mentoring helped Penny Schulz, 2018 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program graduate and 2014 South Australian Rural Woman of the Year, prioritise her leadership goals.

With her family, Penny runs a sheep and beef operation in Field, SA. When she’s not in the paddock or sheep yards, Penny is working on her PhD investigating the adoption of app technology in the sheep and wool industry.

AustralianFarmers caught up with Penny and spoke about her experience participating in the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program.

What was your experience participating in the 2018 Diversity in Ag Leadership Program?

“My time in the program flew past so quickly but I gained so much in a short space of time. I built my networks both professionally and personally, I realised I wasn’t alone in the way I felt and thought about women in agriculture leadership. I received invaluable “next level” mentoring at a pivotal and challenging time for me.”

How has your life and career in Agriculture changed since participating in the Program?

“I’ve learnt to prioritise what I want to achieve, or what I want to see my agricultural sector to achieve. It’s a big balancing act with on and off farm responsibilities, plus juggling a young family, so I’ve needed to work out what’s most important.

Through the program I’ve also made some fantastic connections – the sorts of people that were able to help make things happen and drive positive change in my industry. I know I wouldn’t have met these people otherwise.”

What advice would you give to the 2019 cohort?

“Utilise your mentor as best as possible – have a think about what you want to achieve from the mentoring and be prepared at each mentoring session.

Cherish your network of Diversity in Ag Leadership alumni – put us altogether and we’re an amazing bunch of clever and well-connected women!”

Applications for the 2019 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program have now closed and the 2019 cohort will be announced on 30 April.

Andrea Martinello

Andrea Martinello

Andrea is the Community & Engagement Officer at the National Farmers' Federation.

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