Intern insights: Precision Pastures
A smoko break with Maddison Fryer, intern agronomist, who shares her experience ‘in the field’ with Precision Pastures. Maddison believes precision agriculture has “unlimited potential”.
- Describe your role at Precision Pastures.
Currently, I am assisting with data collection for two research projects with Meat & Livestock Australia. This involves performing EM38 (Electro Magnetic) surveys, soil grid sampling to 10 centimetres, and (once the paddock is zoned) soil core sampling to one metre.
- What was your undergraduate qualification and where did you study? Why?
I am currently in my final year of the Bachelor of Rural Science with Honours at the University of New England (UNE). As I’m from Sydney, I chose UNE because I figured I should get out into the agricultural environment if that’s what I was going to study. UNE also had really good reviews for agricultural studies and I have been very happy with my choice.
- How did you find out about Precision Pastures?
I was contacted by the Head of Robb College, Jamie Moore, who I believed had previously been contacted by Hamish Webb, an alumnus and Senior College Room member, who was advertising the role at Precision Pastures. Jamie said the team was looking for interns and asked if I knew of anyone who would be interested, I said I was and ‘voila’.
- What interests you about agronomy and precision agriculture specifically?
For me plants and soils just make sense. I am definitely more interested in the pasture side than the cropping side, as it brings in the whole production line from soil, to pasture, right through to the final animal product (e.g. milk, meat, wool etc). Precision agriculture itself has a great future with unlimited potential, and it’s pretty exciting being a part of team that is involved with it.
- Describe your typical day at Precision Pastures.
A typical day starts at 8am at the office in Armidale where we collect all the gear and head out to the property where we are sampling that day. Once there, we set up all the computers and gadgets and head off. At the end, we pack up, ensuring everything is clean, and if there’s time, start looking over the data back in the office.
- Is there a particular highlight so far during your internship position?
I think the future of precision agriculture is going to be huge and it’s great to be a part of a small team and company that is part of this future. Milton Curkpatrick, the company founder, is great to work with, explaining everything in detail and never seems bothered when things don’t go to plan, which is typical in agriculture! I really enjoy coming back to the office after a day in the field and seeing everything come together on the maps and being able to start analysing the data.
- What are your medium to long-term career aspirations?
This is a big scary questions for a (soon-to-be) fresh graduate. I’m really interested in the whole production system and I would love to be part of a team that ties this all in together with the implementation of precision agriculture. Long-term, I would love to be able to advise property owners on how to get the best practice around their soil, agronomy, nutrition, animal husbandry etc. in order to benefit their whole production system.
Interested in an internship or graduate position with Precision Pastures? Contact us today: firstname.lastname@example.org