Anika Molesworth is 28 years old and is a researcher comparing Australian and South East Asian soil fertilities for a PhD. But Anika is so much more. Currently based in Griffith in New South Wales, Australia, she calls a sheep station in the deserts of Broken Hill home, but is equally comfortable in a rice paddy in Cambodia. She has attended United Nations climate talks in Paris and won multiple citations including recently winning the Environment and Sustainability Award as part of the NSW/ACT Young Achievers.
Anika may have grown up in suburban Melbourne but when her family purchased Rupee Station at Broken Hill in 2000 she found her niche in agriculture. 2000 was the start of the decade long drought and as she found her feet she grew to love not only the beauty of farming in an arid environment but the challenges it presented.
Last summer was one of the worst in the far west but not prepared to accept things will always be a certain way, Anika organised a seminar bringing together farmers, researchers and the local rural community of Broken Hill to discuss the climatic changes and challenges occurring. The event was a huge success and is testament to the passion that drives Anika in all aspects of her life.
Anika has a Bachelor of Science (Agribusiness), a Masters of Sustainable Agriculture and her efforts to promote sustainable farming were recognised when she was awarded the 2015 Australian Young Farmer of the Year. But for all the awards it is Anika’s words that best describe her role as a Global AgWoman: “I am immensely fortunate to work in agriculture and live in rural Australia. I wake listening to magpies warbling in the morning. I get to see wind rippling wheat fields. I am researching the latest technology to help farmers manage their soil and water resources more efficiently, so more crop can be grown with less footprint on the environment. I check over lambs, wade through rice paddies in Cambodia, ride horses, and at the end of the day I get to watch the sun set over an unobstructed horizon. I can’t imagine any other line of work I’d rather be in.”
“When you spend some time in the outback, or on any farm, you develop a deep sense of familiarity with the landscape and the life it holds. The water in the creek, shrubs growing in the paddock, and the grazing sheep, are not resources to be exploited, but become intrinsic parts of your home; each component adding value to a whole system, and the farmer plays a pivotal role in that. I love what I do, because I get to witness the amazing interaction between life on farms, to study it and help share new knowledge.”
Many of us in the primary industries face a variety of challenges and we like the fact that you approach these head on. Loving the environment you are in is so important and is why so many do so well with a life in agriculture. You have such a positive attitude Anika!