“I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few job offers this year, but the thing that sealed the deal for me with Corteva is their foresight,” Ms Tabone said.
“As a global company, Corteva has a commitment to looking into the future and is fully embracing the fact that genuine time with growers and encouraging true collaboration is a worthy investment,” she said.
“The time for playing the short-term game in agriculture is gone, and it’s amazing to work somewhere that’s invested for the long haul.”
They are wise words for a 24-year-old, backed up by a short but impressive career, including graduating a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with Honours at the University of Sydney to taking on a production management role at one of the largest carrot sheds in Australia, based in south-east Queensland.
“It was a great learning environment and I was lucky enough to have that learning supported further when I was selected to take part in the Growing Leaders program funded by the Austalian horticulture industry’s research and development corporation, Hort Innovation and supported by AUSVEG,” Ms Tabone said.
A testament to her rising profile, this year Steph landed firmly on Corteva’s radar when she was named as a finalist for the 2019 Young Grower of the Year Award, sponsored by the company as part of the National Awards for Excellence held at Hort Connections.
“Being part of the whole Young Grower experience was incredible,” she said.
“I didn’t win on the night but the new opportunities to build my skillset and professional experience and of course, the relationship I was able to foster with Corteva was a huge benefit to my career.
“The week leading up to the Awards evening throughout Hort Connections was all about Corteva recognising the hard work and commitment of young people in the industry which in turn motivated all of us to want to give back in a positive way.
“I found becoming connected with people in the industry after university was quite challenging, especially as I wasn’t from a farming background, so networking events through support from the industry is crucial to securing new young people interested in pursuing a career in horticulture, and agriculture more broadly.”
Corteva was so impressed with Steph’s commitment to the industry, they’ve welcomed her on board to fill a newly created role.
Nick Koch, Marketing Manager for Horticulture & Insecticides for Corteva Agriscience, said the Commercial Effectiveness Analyst position was developed specifically with Steph in mind.
“It’s a project-based role that’s focused on supporting long term sustainable farming practices and helping growers to take up new systems to help them remain robust decades from now,” Mr Koch said.
“This will be more than just desktop research though. There’s a huge emphasis on helping to foster stronger relationships between Corteva and the entire supply chain from retailers to growers to supermarkets to consumers,” he said.
“Steph is the perfect person to be asking the big questions around the value to growers to considering changing the way they farm and whether consumers appreciate the efforts they’re making.
“Corteva recognises that there’s no point in starting these discussions if we don’t understand the challenges growers face in adopting new practices and technologies, and adapting to change can only be made easier if we’re actively working alongside the new generation of millennial professionals.”
Mr Koch said Corteva is committed to empowering young people, building a diverse workplace and recognising the strength of the new generation mindset to support the success of Australian farmers into the future.
“We pride ourselves on being thought leaders and market shapers, trying to take the strength of being a multinational organisation and combining that with the shared knowledge of the agricultural industry to produce positive change, and Steph embodies all of those values and ambitions,” Mr Koch said.
“Being able to identify the unique skill set and talent in Steph is a brilliant outcome of Corteva’s involvement with the Young Grower of the Year Award and is a great example of industry collaboration working to invest in young people,” he said.
It’s a sentiment echoed by Steph Tabone.
“Big companies talk about their values and morals a lot, but at Corteva it’s so much more than words on paper,” Ms Tabone said.
“We say our focus is on the grower and the future – and the company is truly committed to executing strategies focused in these areas” she said.
“As a young woman in agriculture, I really hope that I am a good example of what can be achieved when companies and farming operations are open to employing people of all genders and all experience levels.
“It’s empowering to be part of a workplace that is actively engaging with the next generation and is passionate about supporting people like me who are open to every experience possible and to work hard for Australian agriculture."