Jake is a grain grower located near Condamine on the Western Darling Downs in Queensland, farming with his wife and father. They grow mostly winter cereal and legume crops.
His family has been involved in agriculture in one way or another since their arrival to Australia in 1841 – that’s 180 years!
Jake says the most satisfying part of the job for him is seeing when a plan comes together.
“Whether it be watching a new crop germinating, seeing the limitless potential for successes and challenges, or seeing an earthmoving project being completed to change our landscape for the better,” he says.
The most challenging part, however, has to do with the bigger picture.
“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to maintain our social licence. Communicating the positive outcomes of our industry is challenging when it’s so easy to be drowned out by the sheer volume of online misinformation around Aussie farming.”
After several dry seasons, Jake and his family were very happy to have a solid 2020 harvest.
“Planting for the 2021 season is nearly complete and we are luckier than most to have a full moisture profile, so we are hopefully set up for a good year ahead.”
How have advances in technology impacted Jake’s farm and the way he works?
“GPS technology has increased the efficiency of our inputs while decreasing volumes overall – we no longer over-spray or over-fertilise,” he says.
“LiDAR surveying and GPS guided earthmoving equipment paired with world class design software is changing the way we manage surface water to prevent water-logging and erosion.”
What words of wisdom would Jake give to someone just starting out on farming?
“Never be afraid to say, ‘I don’t know, I need help’. The Australian farming community is extremely inclusive and full of some of the brightest minds in the world who are only too happy to help anyone at any time.”
What can Jake rely on his mates for in the grain industry?
“They continually challenge me and keep me motivated. They are great for bouncing ideas off, and when farming gets stressful it’s great to have someone to have a beer with and yarn about absolutely nothing.
“They remind me to not take life too seriously.”