Stephanie Tabone Age 23, Kalbar QLD
I am currently employed as a production manager in one of the largest carrot sheds in Australia. The role involves managing all processes of carrot production including washing, grading and packing in preparation for the customer. It is in my best interest to minimise waste and maximise packed product for our growers, whilst meeting the quality requirements of our customer’s specifications. I ensure our facilities are kept to a high standard of hygiene to ensure food safety, and that procedures are in place to ensure our employees work in a safe environment. I have set key performance indicators to achieve, along with the responsibility of maximising efficiencies throughout the facilities.
How do you feel about being nominated for the Young Grower of the Year award?
Excited and appreciative. I am grateful that my hard work and efforts have been recognised, and am looking forward to new opportunities that contribute to building my skill set and professional experiences.
Why do you think it is important to honour young growers?
This award builds great confidence in young people. It shows the industry's support of this person and gives them courage to step up into challenging leadership roles. It recognises a person’s hard work and motivates them to continue to give back to the industry in a positive way.
What are some of the major challenges of young growers?
Through my experience, becoming connected with people in the industry after university was quite challenging, especially as I wasn't from a farming background. I feel networking events through support from the industry is crucial to securing new young people interested in pursuing a career in horticulture.
In addition, once entering the workforce it can become difficult to step away from the role to experience new research and relevant upcoming opportunities to improve business practices and relevant skill sets.