Eva grew up on a wheat, canola, barely and sheep farm 10km east of Temora, NSW. After studying a Bachelor of Science at the University of Wollongong she ventured out to Western Australia to work as a mine geologist at the Super Pit in Kalgoorlie.
During this time she began using her skills in spatial science and soils to perform Precision Agriculture (PA) related tasks for the family farm. After spending some time travelling in 2016, she started working as a PA Advisor with Precision Agriculture Pty Ltd based out of Wagga Wagga.
She is now a Senior Research Officer with FarmLink Research and works on a diverse range of projects focusing on soil amelioration, nutrition, spatial science and new farming technologies. She also coordinates the PA aspects of the trial and commercial cropping at the Temora Agricultural Innovation Centre (TAIC).
Eva and her husband own and live on their property ‘Bonnie Doon’, located 10km north west of Barmedman. The farm is leased to her parents and brothers who operate a large mixed farming enterprise stretching from Temora to Girral consisting of wheat, barely, canola, brown manure peas and Merino wethers. She helps out on the farm whenever she’s not working on soil and data management.
For Eva, the best part about her role is the opportunity to help farmers be more productive and profitable.
“When a research outcome leads to practice change on farm or contributes to our greater collective knowledge in a research area, that is where I get the most satisfaction,” she says.
The most challenging aspect of her job is juggling a multitude of highly varied projects and tasks at a range of different stages.
What are Eva’s go-to sources for farm related intel to improve her business?
Eva’s knowledge sources are very broad.
“I use a combination of written information such as scientific literature, research reports, fact sheets/extension material, as well as communication with a great network of other researchers, agronomists/consultants and many innovative and enthusiastic farmers.
”How have advances in technology impacted Eva’s farm and the way she works?
Eva says new technologies are constantly changing and improving their ability to collect information about trials and to map their soils and crops.
“These tools allow us to better understand both the inherent characteristics of our cropping environment and to assess the impact of different treatments in more precise and objective ways than were previously possible.”
These technologies have also enabled them to transition from a tyne based conventional farming system to a stubble retained, disc system at the TAIC farm.
What’s Eva’s favourite way to spend the day on the farm?
“A big day harvesting a bumper crop is still the best way to spend a day on the farm – especially as part of a well-functioning team when everything is running smoothly and efficiently,” says Eva.
What words of wisdom does Eva give to someone just starting out on farming?
“No matter how long you are in farming there will always be something new to learn, so approach every day with a positive attitude and be open to change and adapt.”
What can Eva rely on her mates for in the grain industry?
For Eva, one of the best aspects of the grain industry is its extremely communal nature.
“Grain producers share a great sense of comradery which carries across the world. In 2016 my husband and I witnessed this first hand when we spent two months working on a family farm in Saskatchewan, Canada.
“During this time our hosts were extremely generous in sharing their time and knowledge to teach us about their farming practices and make sure we had a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
“The same can be said for the vast majority of farming families and the broader ag community across southern NSW and Australia – who look out for each other and are a big part of what makes farming much more than just a job.”