Sharna Holman is a city girl who fell in love with agriculture. She now works as a cotton extension officer in central Queensland, Australia, in a role that connects cotton growers and consultants with the latest news, research and information; but agriculture was once a foreign world to Sharna who grew up in western Sydney and who discovered the industry through high school and agricultural shows.
Surrounded by dogs, birds, goldfish and even hermit crabs in her Sydney childhood home Sharna’s career aspirations were straight out of “Saddle Club” but with no family connection to the land, just how she was going to get there was a mystery. Then at high school her world opened up. She became involved with the school farm and show team, attended agricultural
camps, which gave her a real-world view of animal husbandry, livestock sales and environmental issues such as erosion, and for three years participated in the Junior District Exhibits at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
The Sydney Royal Easter Show was another eye-opener, introducing Sharna to farmers and allowing her to see first-hand how proud they were of their produce and animals. She became a volunteer at the show, working in various sections and became more and more exposed to Australian agriculture. By then she was hooked, and she completed a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) at Sydney University where her honours project studied the pest helicoverpa moth with the Australian Cotton Research Institute.
Sharna had not only found her passion but her specialty in the world of agriculture. Today in her role as an extension officer Sharna is thriving. "I love research and sharing solutions to problems that people encounter. Agriculture is at the forefront of some of the biggest challenges we face as global society: how to feed and clothe 9.7 billion people by 2050, how to use finite resources such as water and land wisely and how to take action on climate change impacts on agriculture. The agricultural industry is full of innovative and passionate people who thrive on challenges - I love waking up every day and taking on these challenges. I love sharing the information and research with people who work on a grass-roots level and who are implementing these solutions, which make a difference in our industry, environment and economy."
And the show movement is never far from her mind. Sharna will represent Central Highlands at the Brisbane Royal Show in the Rural Ambassador Awards this year – not bad for someone who was once a city girl but now is a shining agricultural woman.
We love to see people who find themselves in a life in ag and can't imagine themselves anywhere else. There is something about the industry that sucks people in and we are lucky to have you. We wish you the best of luck for the Brisbane show.