See the good in what you do and what you can contribute to society.
In January 2013, Hannah Marriott hit “send” on her Nuffield Australia report on individual animal management in commercial sheep production. Her report outlined the findings from her one-year scholarship, which took her to New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, Ireland, Denmark and Kenya to complete her studies into using objective measurement to optimise production through to product.
Agriculture has always been a passion for Hannah, who through her Nuffield Scholarship, uncovered more about how objective measurement could deliver production benefits to commercial sheep producers.
As a second-generation sheep producer, Hannah grew up on her family’s property near Benalla in Victoria.
“My love for sheep as a young girl never wavered. When many of my friends were going to the beach during school holidays as a child, I was working as a roustabout with my siblings.”
After graduating from school, Hannah pursued her passion for agriculture, studying Rural Science at the University of New England before going on to work for an animal nutrition company in South Australia and Victoria which allowed her to do what she loves and make a living doing it.
In 2008 Hannah then went back to “Yarallah” to manage her family’s property she grew up on. They ran a breeding operation and a grain finishing enterprise finishing 10,000 lambs a year to a domestic contract. After 4 years, Hannah then moved onto manage other farms for 6 years before moving up to the Monaro in South East New South Wales.
Following her mother’s footsteps, today Hannah manages a farm with her partner at Delegate and Bombala in New South Wales running sheep (and cattle when it rains!).
“I feel so lucky to buy and run a farm with my partner. Working together to pay it off and run a really strong business with productive livestock, healthy soil and optimal pasture management is extremely satisfying and fulfilling.”
Hannah wholly and solely names her mother as her role model.
“When my siblings and I were just 5, 6, 7, and 9 years of age, my mum lost the love of her life (dad) to cancer. She kept the farm running and involved us in everything. We all loved helping out as much as we could. She still somehow made sure we got a good education and she didn't fall down in a heap when things got tough. She showed me that you need to be strong in life. Life is not easy even though we are led to believe that it is. Mum is truly amazing and has given everything in life.”
When chatting with Hannah, she held back from mentioning the many other accolades she’s achieved including completing the Institute of Food and Grocery Management’s Meat Executive Program as well as the Lifetime Ewe Management program and MLA’s Bredwell Fedwell workshops. Hannah has also convened the Southern Australian Grasslands conference in Wangaratta and sat on the Victorian Farmers’ Federation’s livestock council.
“Meeting many great people in the industry has brought me a high level of satisfaction and fulfillment. Positive people are essential, particularly when things aren’t going your way. This is what I value most about doing a Nuffield Scholarship – the people.”
After speaking with Hannah, it became clear that her positive, “go with your gut” attitude has been a major contributor to her success.
“I love what I do. The agriculture industry is full of challenges and opportunities, some of the key reasons why I enjoy being part of it. The challenges are always masked by the rewarding times farming allows and the sense that I am involved in an industry that is providing a service is something I love about agriculture.”
She leaves with us some advice for young women entering a similar profession:
“Go with your gut. If you love it, pursue it. See the good in what you do and what you can contribute to society. Question things, listen, observe and talk to older people, they have a wealth of information and experience you can't read in a book.”
We hope the ‘Hannah’ shirt story will encourage young women to pursue their dreams and see challenges as opportunities.