Hollie plants seed of new career with Elders, thanks to CQU Agriculture degree

08 December 2022

Agronomist Hollie Faulkner still recalls the practical sessions and lectures from university that link to what she is doing in the paddock today.

The CQUniversity Bachelor of Agriculture 2018 graduate' who now works as an agronomist for Elders Rural Services in Emerald' believes the diversity of the course opened her eyes to where her future in the agricultural industry lay.

"I have always been interested in the agricultural industry' but did not know which path I wanted to take'" Hollie said.

"There were too many options – agribusiness' livestock' cropping' etc – and I didn't know where to start' until I knew about CQUni's Bachelor of Agriculture."

She said she was attracted to CQUniversity because it would "give me a taste of everything" and she could then choose which path to take from there.

"CQUni seemed to fit all the criteria I wanted when studying and still gave me the opportunity to live in Emerald and attend lectures online.

"I enjoyed the flexibility of learning from a remote location while still gaining all of the theoretical and practical knowledge."

As an agronomist' Hollie makes recommendations; checks paddocks/crops for weeds' pests and disease; and communicates with growers about their production systems. She delivers advice to clients to boost their productivity and profitability' while providing additional services' such as agricultural products and soil testing.

"Whilst studying at CQUni' I secured a part-time job with an agronomist. I enjoyed the day-to-day work and the challenges it presented'" she said.

"I was always learning and answering questions' which significantly boosted my knowledge in relation to cropping and soil health.

"The degree then gave me the theory and knowledge I required to confidently apply for agronomy-based jobs and begin my career.

"I work with an amazing team of people in all sectors of the agricultural industry' so we are always bouncing ideas and teaching each other about our roles and what they entail.

"I also love working with growers who strive to improve their production systems.

"It is a stressful job and sometimes very busy' but all of that pays off when you can see the success and happiness in a client's face."

Hollie believes the Bachelor of Agriculture prepared her well when it came to handling people and working in different environments.

"I learned a lot with in-field experience in terms of agronomy' however' to this day I still remember practical sessions and lectures which link to what I am doing out in the paddock."

She said she would recommend CQUniversity's Bachelor of Agriculture' especially people who do not know which direction they wish to pursue' as the course enabled students to have a taste of all sectors in the agricultural industry and provided exposure to these fields for future opportunities.

Her advice to anyone considering a career in agriculture? Free advice is worth the price you pay.

"Listen to people experienced and inexperienced. Listen to others' ideas and make conversation about it'" she said.

"Understand what people are talking about (even if you need to Google words later). Don't hesitate to ask questions.

"The ag industry is forever developing; changes are always happening and unless you ask questions' it will be difficult to keep up."

To explore CQUniversity's Bachelor of Agriculture visit cqu.edu.au/agriculture.