From paddock to the final product, working in agriculture offers countless diverse and fulfilling career paths. With this year’s National Agriculture Day theme, ‘Choose your #Agventure,’ we’re taking a look at the diverse roles – and the people in them – at the heart of GrainCorp.
Introducing Bradley Siddans, GrainCorp HR/IR Business Partner.
Growing up on a small dairy farm in Kingaroy, Queensland, Bradley knew he always wanted to work in agriculture – he just wasn’t sure when, or where.
Bradley completed a science degree or two in Brisbane and then, with the State’s dairy industry dwindling, started looking around for a different direction.
He tried his hands in several roles in a pork processing plant, including environmental compliance, engineering, operations supervision, safety and finally into human resources.
He had a stint in the beef industry shortly after, before landing at GrainCorp in 2019 as Human Resources Business Partner.
“My journey’s mostly been a case of taking opportunities that came up in front of me. I’ve never been restricted in what I’m prepared to have a go at,” Bradley says.
Lucky for GrainCorp, he’s a man of his word.
In 2020, he jumped at the opportunity to make a temporary move to an Area Manager position in Goondiwindi, Queensland, for three months, to support GrainCorp’s operations teams with a big winter crop harvest.
Being in an HR role at the time, Bradley had little experience in managing several up-country receival sites, however, he was willing to take the plunge.
“In my professional development, I’d identified a secondment into an Area Manager position as something that would be of great benefit to me,” he explains.
“It taught me a whole range of skills; from how to prepare grain storages fort harvest, to different grades of grain and how the stock is managed, plus how to communicate that to a range of stakeholders.
“I also got to enjoy the wide-open spaces: driving about 800 km per week, from Thallon to Goondiwindi and more.
He adds: “Ultimately, it allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the ins and outs of operations and, as a result, I’m better equipped to support operations teams back in my HR role.”
This year, GrainCorp hired over 3000 harvest casuals in a tight Australian labour market – with Bradley heavily involved in recruiting across Queensland and northern NSW.
His ability to manage change and be open-minded, particularly as labour shortages and COVID-19 border restrictions threatened harvest, was key.
“As a HR professional, we need to be aware of the environment we’re operating in, so we can navigate change and stay ahead of the game.
“This is particularly the case in the grains industry that, at harvest, is heavily weather-dependent and relies on casual labour as well as cross-border movements.
“The fact we secured our required workforce this year, despite a myriad of challenges, was a big challenge and a big achievement, and ultimately a great testament to the team.”
He adds: “Whether in my usual role or in working as Area Manager, the ability to move between hats is the same – it can be a challenge, but an exciting one.
“It’s these sorts of opportunities that I really love about working at GrainCorp.”