Introducing our Farmer eXchange Farmer Advisory Team
Aimee Snowden wears many hats and I really don’t know how she finds the hours in the day to do all that she does!
She is generous with her time and knowledge and exceeds in everything she puts her mind too. We are thrilled to have Aimee involved in the Farmer eXchange project and loved sitting down with her to learn more about this amazing woman.
Aimee, tell us a little bit about yourself!
I, along with my parents, Phil and Lynda Snowden, moved to Tocumwal NSW from Mittagong in the Southern Highlands. Mum and Dad had both been involved with their respective family dairy operations, and wanted to go out on their own.
Mum and Dad, together with my brother, his fiancé, my sister and I, have been based near Tocumwal for the last 27 years. We specialise in the production of high quality lucerne hay for the chaffing market, hay and silage for the local dairy market, oat hay, some winter cereals, and the finishing of trade steers.
Upon finishing school, I worked in a local accounting firm undertaking a Financial Services traineeship, before joining Murray Irrigation in Deniliquin. I worked on the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program for 3 ½ years helping to deliver over $100 million in funding in the local area.
In 2014, I returned home to the family farm to complete my studies. I graduated with a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management from Charles Sturt University (CSU) in December 2016.
I currently work within the farm business and our manufacturing business, have my own business, Little BRICK Pastoral, which celebrates Australia agriculture through unique photos of a LEGO® farmer minifigure, am a Casual Outreach Officer for CSU through their Wangaratta Regional Study Centre, and do some freelance work in agricultural communications and PR.
What is your farming dream and vision?
Currently my farming dreams centre on Little BRICK Pastoral, agricultural education and communication. I am excited to be involved in, and passionate about, an industry that is diverse, full of creativity, technology and innovation! And an industry that feeds and clothes the world!!
I focus my own work on three areas; celebrating Australia agricultural, increasing agricultural education in schools, and increasing career aspiration in the wider agricultural industry. My vision for Little BRICK Pastoral is that we can work across all these areas, and make a difference in the way agriculture is perceived by the wider community. I hope that by using LEGO® and unique photos we are reaching a new audience and inspiring them. In 2016 we released our first Teacher Resource Kit, and in February 2018 we have been selected to attend the ABC’s Trailblazer program to work on Little BRICK Farmers, our career aspiration project.
Why did you get involved in Farmer eXchange project?
I am a big believer in collaboration, and working together, and Airlie’s project through the Farm Table and the Farmer eXchange champions these ideas. I was a user of Airlie’s original Farm Table and have since followed her journey in Australia agriculture. Airlie is someone whom I admire and am inspired by, and it is an honour to assist her with the Farmer eXchange.
In terms of agricultural advocacy in Australia, Airlie is on the front foot. Through Airlie’s work she is ensuring our farmers stay up-to-date, have access to the best information, and have the ability to network with like-minded individuals from around the country. The Farmer eXchange offers a huge opportunity for all Australian farmers to increase their knowledge, learn new skills, and stay networked. And it is all these reasons (and more) that I am so excited to be involved!
Who you think will benefit from the Farmer eXchange?
I think the Farmer eXchange will be a huge asset for all Australian farmers, and I hope that it is used by all – all ages, all experience levels, all industries, all sizes!
I also see a huge benefit in the wider community tapping into the Farmer eXchange – imagine the wide audience a PhD student looking at consumer trends could tap into, or a Year 12 student researching wheat varieties, or a scientist looking at reducing pesticide use, or a local school wanting to know what’s wrong with their tomato crop, or a consumer wanting to know more about how beef is farmed in Australia. The opportunities are endless! And the fact that the questioner is tapping into industry and “everyday farmers” is a huge benefit.
In terms of agricultural education in Australia, this is a resource like nothing we have yet seen, and it will be so valuable!
Your vision for the Farmer eXchange
I hope that the Farmer eXchange will be an active, evolving community of open and honest Australians. I hope that questioners feel comfortable in asking any questions, remembering that no question is silly. And that answerers feel comfortable in responding and sharing their ideas, remembering that there is no right or wrong answer, and that different things will work for different climates, different businesses, and different industries.
I hope that the Farmer eXchange is a bustling community – full of excitement, respect and a drive for collaboration.
I hope that the Farmer eXchange reinvigorates parts of the Australian agricultural community that feel isolated; that they know and feel part of a community that champions their success and shares their failures. May it stir a sense of belonging. May it be a safe place for sharing.
And may it be a passionate community with one driver – the success of Australian agriculture.
What is the first question you would ask on the eXchange?
This has to be the hardest question you’ve asked!
- From a farming perspective, I’d love to find an app that could minimise our double entry of key farm tasks. Finding one that allows for multiple harvest (being fodder producers), irrigation, and livestock would be ideal. Also needs to run across Apple and Android devices, phones and computer, and sync with financial management. I may be asking too much! (I have been using the Farm Table’s Accelerate to research this too).
- From my own business perspective, in Little BRICK Pastoral, I’d love to know the background of users and what attracted them to agriculture. Have they been involved in any programs, awards, or conferences they would recommend? Did they undertake any work experience or qualifications?
- And from a photographic perspective, I’d love to find a sunflower grower close to where I live!
We hoped you love getting to know more about Aimee as much as we did!
Also, we couldn’t finish this blog without mentioning the amazing work of Aimee’s mum as well! Lynda Snowden has been taking a photo a day on their family farm since 1 Jan 2013, and publishing it here: www.ourfarm-ily.com. Be sure to check out @ourfarmily on Instagram.