Jess Lehmann was privileged to grow up in a diverse farming environment including sheep, cattle, horses, cotton, legumes, cereals, jojoba trees, and even Narrabri show-worthy silver laced Wyandotte chickens in Narrabri, New South Wales. Her father, one of the cotton industries’ most passionate and innovative, men; Mr Chris Lehmann, left a legacy of being the first independent cotton consultant in Australia. Through her family, Jess has a genetic attraction to the rural environment, and with her father’s words of support ringing in her ears Jess set on a path of innovation and agricultural research.

"I may be biased but agriculture is the best industry to work in and the more enthusiastic young people we have in our industry the more promising our future will be.

"I may be biased but agriculture is the best industry to work in and the more enthusiastic young people we have in our industry the more promising our future will be.

Jess was recently selected as one of the 2017 Cotton Research Development Corporation (CRDC) Young Farming Champions. This inaugural award identifies youth ambassadors and future influencers in the agricultural industry, with the mission of promoting positive images and perceptions of agriculture, as well as engage in activities such as the Archibull Prize."I’m so privileged to be selected for the Young Farming Champion program. I dreamed to be part of the generation who have the opportunity to change the face of agriculture in the wider community and I am lucky enough to say that dream is coming true. I will be a rural ambassador for the agricultural industry and help lead the way for the next generation of farmers"

A member of the Farmers for Climate Action organisation Jess is amazed to think how much of our food and fibre supply could be lost even in the tiniest variation of weather! The very thing we depend upon for survival is subject to one of the most unpredictable forces on the planet. This makes me think; “How are we going to feed and clothe the world? It is this question, alongside my agricultural background that has kept my passion alive to be an innovative bright minded and active change maker in this industry." Jess has been involved with research projects that deliver environmentally sustainable and ethical agriculture including a world first biologically based pesticide to support global food security called Sero-X® and topics that showed a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in ruminant animals.

Jess's passion for the primary industries is clear. "I may be biased but agriculture is the best industry to work in and the more enthusiastic young people we have in our industry the more promising our future will be. I can’t wait to inspire and be a rural ambassador for the youth of today and show them a industry and career they never have considered before."

We think you are a truly inspiring AgWomen Jess, good luck in your future research and Young Farming Champion Programme. We look forward to following your journey in the primary industries!

If you would like to read more on Jess's agricultural story pop over to her blog - https://art4agriculturechat.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/meet-jess-lehmann-not-only-is-cotton-part-of-her-dna-it-flows-through-her-veins/