When drought and ensuing severe water restrictions heavily impacted my turf business, I tried everything I could on a local level to change my situation.
As you can imagine, it is extremely difficult to drought proof a turf farm, particularly when you are in the thick of it. I became frustrated and disheartened. I decided to look further afield for answers. As a trained horticulturalist, I have always been passionate about growing things and have always been open to learning new skills. Further to this, I decided that if I was going to come out of the other side, I wanted to have something to show for this idle period. Through my professional membership of Turf Australia, I was granted a Hort Innovation scholarship to study the Masterclass of Horticultural Business.
This was a remarkable opportunity. It combined the expertise of three universities: The Wageningen Research Academy in the Netherlands, Lincoln University of New Zealand together with the University of Tasmania, Australia’s leading horticulture university.
As part of this course, I had the opportunity to visit some of the best horticulture farms in the country. I met many dynamic people who unbeknownst to them motivated me through the darkest hours. The learning process and the chance to collaborate, gave me new ideas and new tools that helped reframe my business. On completion, I joined the Hort Innovation Alumni Network. I was surprised to hear that I had been nominated for a Hargraves Innovator Award as I certainly did not consider myself an innovator. To be announced as one of the winners, was both humbling and reaffirming that I had made some positive choices in difficult times.
I am grateful for the support that I have received and continue to receive from my peers and mentors in the Horticulture Industry. I am stronger for this experience and confident that I can take the steps to recover from the drought and go on to improve my business. I encourage any grower stuck in a rut to look outside how they have always done things and be inspired by the Australian Horticulture Industry.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.