Melbourne-born Victorian Cam Parker tells how an inquisitive mind and a passion for growing things has led him to pursue a career in farming.
“A 'fill-in' job over harvest is all it took to spark a passion. I had always liked visiting mates on farms and lending a hand (or getting in the way!) on the weekends or when I had time off, but when the opportunity came up to drive over hay and grain harvest, all of a sudden the idea of farming full time became a reality.
Fresh from an all-indoor, high pressure work environment, the wide-open space, work flexibility, and reward for effort was more than enticing.
Within 18 months, my inquisitive nature had seen me enrolled in a Bachelor of Agriculture via online study, learning all about the ‘hows and whys’ of what was happening on farm.
Although I've been fortunate enough to work casually in a vast array of industries around my local area (sheep/ wool, dairy, wine grapes, chicken meat, beef, as well as grain and hay) my passion and curiosity has always been around plants.
How small seeds can be placed in soil, managed, and then feed the human race fascinates me no end. The year 2016 gave me the opportunity to be a part of GrainGrowers Australian Grain Farm Leaders Program.
Through this program I investigated how to move myself from being a wage earner, to someone who could truly earn an income from primary production in my own right.
I was also exposed to the wider grains and primary production industry.
This included realising the need for advocates for our industry and sector in both the everyday arena, as well as in the 'halls of power'.
As I am establishing my contracting and continuing employment in grain production, I have become more involved in industry groups.
I currently sit on GrainGrowers Limited's National Policy Group, and the VFF's Young Agribusiness Professionals committee.
I believe there is a strong future for agriculture in Australia, however it is a future we need to fight for, protect, and cherish. I look forward to being a part of some exciting times ahead. "