Esperance youngster making grains count
Inaya Stone has always been drawn to broadacre cropping.
The vast paddocks of grain throughout the Esperance region motivate the 20-year-old, who is intrigued by how innovation can potentially boost productivity.
“I think I like animals, but then I keep drifting back to plants,” Ms Stone said. “Trying to make everything the best it can possibly be through different trials at work is fascinating.
“Innovation in agriculture is almost like it’s never ending — there are so many opportunities.”
Ms Stone moved with her family from the Wheatbelt community of Quairading to the portside town seven years ago and her passion for grain growing has continued to grow.
Now juggling part-time work at South East Agronomy Research in Esperance, while externally completing a bachelor of agriculture degree at the University of New England, she is set to take time away from her busy schedule for a nine-day grain innovation tour.
Ms Stone will travel from Perth to Adelaide for a South East Premium Wheat Growers Association-led young growers’ excursion today.
It will start with a visit to Coopers Brewery in Adelaide and then head 35km south-east to Prancing Pony Brewery at Totness.
The tour will include a visit to cereal-based food manufacturer Blue Lake Milling at Bordertown to conclude its South Australian leg, before the group crosses the border into Victoria and tours AGT Foods’ facility at Horsham on Saturday.
Horsham-based farmers Tim McLelland and Tim Rethus will host the group at their properties to show how grain growers operate in the region.
On Monday, the group will attend this year’s Innovation Generation Conference at Ballarat.
This year’s two-and-a-half-day forum has many key agricultural industry speakers including livestock trend analyst Sarah Hyland and Mecardo analyst Andrew Whitelaw.
The expedition’s final two days will be in Melbourne and include a visit to agricultural chemical company Nufarm’s headquarters and a tour of Melbourne Port with Emerald Grain.
Attendees fly back to Perth next Saturday.
Ms Stone said she was excited to gain knowledge of Eastern States’ farming methods.
“It will be good to see how the other side of agriculture in Australia and how they go about it over east,” she said.
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