The global agricultural workforce is growing and thriving – with an increasing number of women taking prominent roles in this vital sector.
The United Nations International Day of Rural Women, observed on 15 October each year, is an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable women who make invaluable contributions to rural communities and industries across the globe.
On this special day, we sat down with two inspiring women from GrainCorp to delve into their career journeys.
From breakers to bunkers: Cloe’s agricultural journey
Nestled in the heart of the Liverpool Plains in north-west NSW, Cloe Churchill starts her workday in the tight-knit, productive farming community of Spring Ridge.
Sporting a pair of sturdy work boots and a weathered hat, it’s a far cry from her days growing up on the sun-soaked beaches of New South Wales’ Central Coast.
She was deeply involved in the local surf and soccer clubs, where she was a reserve-grade soccer player for the Central Coast Mariners.
However, her love of horses and aspiration to become a vet gradually pulled her to the country.
“I’ve had a strong appreciation for the agriculture industry from a young age.
“When I made the transition to life on a farm in the Liverpool Plains, I was captivated by the intricacies of the industry – from planting crops, spraying, harvesting and all the in-between.”Cloe Churchill, GrainCorp Spring Ridge Site Manager
Cloe’s journey into the world of agriculture began when she took a field research role for a local agribusiness, a position that offered her valuable insights into the grains industry.
When the opportunity arose to become the Site Manager at GrainCorp Spring Ridge, Cloe recognised it as a chance to build a meaningful career while immersing herself in the grains industry.
“I’ve had the privilege of crossing paths with some talented people within the industry; the agricultural landscape is incredibly diverse, with each person bringing a unique perspective and expertise to the table,” she says.
“I find it incredibly fulfilling knowing that the products we’re handling go into feeding not just us, but countless others and animals as well.”
As Site Manager, Cloe’s ready for any challenge – and doesn’t let gender or age stand in the way.
“I think my journey is a nod to the culture of GrainCorp and the support I’ve received from my managers. I’m working for awesome people, with great attitudes and approaches to what they do every day.”
“I enjoy the day-to-day challenges associated with the demands placed on site and have developed a range of skills that I didn’t think possible at first, from loading trains to operating heavy machinery.
Cloe is passionate about ensuring other young women are equally enthused by the prospect of careers in agriculture.
“I believe there’s endless opportunities for women to make a real difference in our industry,” she continues.
“I’d encourage anyone curious about the world of ag to take that first step and ‘give it a go.’ You never know what job might be out there, and more often than not, it can be an awesome stepping stone to another exciting part of this industry.”
Driving change in logistics: Taylah’s story
Taylah Morrish spent her childhood in regional Victoria, where she cherished the moments on her father’s farm in Ouyen feeding lambs, playing in the vibrant Red Mallee sand, and building cubby houses from old wooden pallets.
Taylah’s journey began during the COVID-19 pandemic, when she joined GrainCorp after completing her Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Science.
Over the past two years, she has transitioned from Quality Assurance to Logistics, steadily expanding her knowledge and immersing herself deeply in the company’s operations.
One significant lesson Taylah has learned is that a career in agriculture extends far beyond the traditional farming roles; it encompasses diverse fields such as logistics, biochemistry, engineering, law, finance, and more.
“Until I stepped into GrainCorp, I didn’t realise the wide scope of career options available in agriculture. You can do almost anything you put your mind to.”
For Taylah, GrainCorp isn’t just a workplace; it’s an environment that encourages collaboration, ideas exchange and mutual growth.
“Working in logistics demands a unique skill set, including adaptability, working under pressure, effective communication, and resilience.
“This role has enabled me to discover a different side of agriculture.”Taylah Morrish, GrainCorp Logistics Planner
Taylah believes that opportunities for rural women are expanding and, as her career continues to unfold, she eagerly anticipates witnessing more women taking the wheel of big trucks and conquering previously male-dominated domains.
“Thanks to my mentors and supportive colleagues, I’ve had the privilege of continuous learning, which has given me confidence to assert myself and approach anyone within the organisation with questions.
“I’m driven by a changing landscape where women can increasingly find their place in farming, trades, and even truck driving.”