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Addicted to agriculture from a young age

INDI Lamond’s passion for the agricultural industry was sparked in primary school when she was learning about climate change and saw the direct impact it was having on her local area and neighbouring properties.

“I remember listening in class to the teacher talk about it and it really hit home how real climate change is, and how it’s hurting Australia’s agricultural industry,” Ms Lamond said.

“I could see its effects just looking around my own hometown and that made me really want to get involved and help the industry in whatever way I could.”

Ms Lamond has always been immersed in the agricultural industry, growing up on a 320 hectare property at York, with her dad a contractor agronomist.

Now in her third year of her Agribusiness degree at Curtin University and keen to travel, she recently applied for an exchange program to complete a semester of her studies at a university in the United States and at the time of writing, was hoping for a good outcome.

Not her first ‘rodeo’ when it comes to scholarships, Ms Lamond was successful in winning Curtin’s International Mobility scholarship this year, in which she was able to choose where she wanted to travel during her university break to learn about another country’s agricultural industry.

She chose to head over to Alberta, Canada in June where she spent three weeks.

“They offer it to ag students and you get a set amount of money where you can go anywhere in the world for as long as you like, and all you have to do is report back to the university and extend the information you have learnt,” Ms Lamond said.

“That trip certainly made all of the hard work and study worth it.”

Starting off her travels in Calgary, Ms Lamond attended the Lacombe Research and Development Centre, located in one of the most dense livestock regions in Canada.

The centre conducts research on integrated meat science and production systems as well as integrated crop, forage, pest and bee management strategies.

After attending a field day run by Farming Smarter in Medicine Hat, she travelled to Westlock to visit a feedlot at Jubilee Farms, as well as a dairy farm.

During her travels, Ms Lamond also visited a Hutterite community, who like the Amish, trace their roots back to the radical reformation of the 16th century.

She said the experience was like taking a step back in time.

“They’re like the Amish but more advanced because they have electricity etc ,” Ms Lamond said.

“The men are basically given a job when they are 16 or so and they do that for the rest of their life.

“The women get up every morning and cook for the men, clean, wash, garden, make clothes and sit separately to the men at meal times.

“They make all their own food and still make money because they’re massive in the agricultural industry over there.

“It was certainly an eye opening experience.”

However the favourite part of her trip was meeting an eccentric farmer who had purchased a John Deere tractor and made it autonomous by rewiring and creating its own coding program.

“He was really amazing, I’d never seen anything like it,” she said.

Ms Lamond already has her foot in the agricultural industry, having worked part-time for the Grains Industry Association of Western Australia (GIWA) for the past three years, and helping out at the Grains Research and Development Corporation with research updates in Perth and attending GIWA forums.

She has also completed harvests with CBH and goes back to York once a week to work for her dad, contributing to crop trials for a range of companies.

“I go out there and do weed counts and conduct assessments on things like biomass and how the various treatments have had an impact on crop growth,” Ms Lamond said.

After her work is complete in York, she spends time with her family’s eight horses, usually jumping on one of her own, Ruby or Shadow, whenever she gets the chance.

With horses a passion of hers, in June 2017 Ms Lamond did some work experience at Moolooloo cattle station in the Northern Territory.

“My brother was head stockman at the time and we had so much fun, riding horses while chasing cattle, it doesn’t get much better than that really,” she said.

Ms Lamond also has fond memories of competing in tetrathlons, which are comprised of four disciplines – shooting, swimming, horse riding and running, during her time boarding at PLC in Perth.

“I won a few ribbons, and it was a good excuse to get on a horse,” Ms Lamond said.

Upon graduating high school she won a scholarship to teach at a boarding school called Cheam in Headley, England.

“I think Prince Phillip went there for a bit, but to be honest, the experience turned me off teaching, but the countryside was really beautiful,” she said.

At 21 years of age the world is her oyster and she hopes to get a job in communications and be the middle person between researchers and farmers.

    Originally published by Farm Weekly.
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