Graduate horticulturist Tayla Field is learning how salad greens get from the paddock to your plate as her work takes her from Tasmania to Queensland – not bad for a young woman from inner Sydney who had no agricultural connections until she started an environmental degree at university.
Growing up Tayla considered many career paths, from teacher and vet to policewoman, before deciding to study environmental systems at the University of Sydney, and it was here she first came into contact with professionals in the agricultural industry. They must have been a pretty special group of people because Tayla changed her degree to Agricultural Science and has never looked back.
Tayla has availed herself of every opportunity agriculture presents. She has worked in cattle and sheep yards and broken in a heifer, spent time with a cotton agronomist and in fields of barley, and along the way has come to appreciate the technology and innovation underpinning the industry as a whole.
But perhaps her biggest motivator is to be involved in an industry that provides a bright and sustainable future for Australian food, and to that end Tayla accepted a graduate horticulturist position with vegetable producers OneHarvest.
Her new career began in the paddocks of Tasmania, learning the harvesting process of spinach, mizuna, tatsoi, rocket and coral lettuce. This involved training seasonal labour staff, becoming familiar with the farm software, completing crop forecasting and dealing with customers.
Then Tayla was transferred to her home town of Sydney in a production supervisor role. In this job she received the salad and vegetable products at one end of the factory and sent them out to customers – ready for your dinner plate - at the other end. At the end of the year she will move to Brisbane to work with the sales and marketing team to see how the front end of the business operates.
Tayla loves the travel and learning that comes with a job in agriculture and is keen to pursue professional and personal development so she can share her story with others. She has completed a Growing Leaders program with Horticulture Innovation and is a Young Farming Champion with Art4Agriculture.
"I am excited to work in an innovative industry that grows fresh food for Australian dinner plates. The production process is amazing to watch and learn about, all the way from paddock to plate. I'm proud to have the opportunity to work with other young people in the wider industry to influence the perception and future direction of the Australian Vegetable industry.”
It sounds like you have had the chance to experience a diverse range of experiences within Agriculture already Tayla. The supply chain is a fascinating one, and it is crucial to share how it all works with others especially the younger generation!