Meet Emma Egan, Future Livestock Consulting intern

06 April 2017

Emma Egan, 22, moved from Gippsland, Victoria, to Penguin in North West Tasmania to take up a Future Livestock Consulting Internship with consulting business, RMCG.

Supported by MLA Donor Company (MDC), the FLC program is designed to ensure the continuation of new consultants to the industry through a structured program that underpins the cost of livestock consulting businesses taking on entry level employees.

MLA caught up with Emma as she prepared to graduate from her two-year internship. 

What was your background before starting your internship?

I was working in Alberta, Canada on a beef property when I applied for the internship with the FLC program. Prior to that, I had recently graduated from an Advanced Diploma of Agriculture and a Diploma of Agronomy at Longerenong Agricultural College, and had commenced a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management with Charles Sturt University.

What prompted you to apply for the internship program?

I applied because to me, it was a rare and exciting opportunity. I had been seeking to get into livestock consultancy but there were limited options available, especially given the gradual withdrawal of government extension. When the FLC program was recruiting, I couldn't get in fast enough to try and get my foot in the door.

What has your internship involved?

RMCG is a diverse business with a wide range of consultants across not only agriculture, but also water management, environment and economics. This has provided me with a fantastic opportunity to broaden my experience and skills not only in the red meat industry, but also across other industries. My internship has involved working on MLA funded projects, running producer workshops and field days, as well as providing advice in data management and livestock nutrition.

In contrast to this, I have also been engaged with waste water audits, and bushfire loss assessments. I enjoy the variety of my day-to-day work, along with the different skills and perspectives it brings with it.

In addition to my position with RMCG, the internship has provided professional development opportunities, including undertaking a Graduate Certificate with the University of New England.

What skills do you think you bring to the business?

I think young people can bring a whole new mindset and, depending on the individual, a range of new skills into a business. For example, my role involves a lot of communications and website work, so having that digital technology knowledge has been an advantage.

It also brings new relationships, especially if it’s through programs like the FLC program – you’re opening up relationships with MLA, which in the case of our business was important given my role within the red meat industry. Bringing in those relationships and potential work has been very beneficial.

You mentioned technology - how important is technology when it comes to your work?

On a day to day basis, utilising technology makes up a significant part of my work. This can range from emails and report writing to building websites for projects and utilising different technologies to aid in data collection and processing. I’m always on the look-out for exciting new apps and technology to share with producers.

Is it challenging for young people to get a start in a career in agriculture today?

Generally, I don’t believe that it is.  Agriculture is full of exciting opportunities for young people, and of course, if you’re passionate about where you want to be, you’ll find a way there.

What’s the next step in your career?  

I have recently accepted the offer to continue with RMCG as a Project Officer over the red meat and horticultural industries. I’m looking forward to continuing to expand my skills and experience within the business in the long term, with a focus on livestock data management and analysis.

More information

Employers and potential interns interested in joining the program can contact Program Manager, Ben Reeve, from Meridian Agriculture on 0416 127 465 or 03 5341 6100, or email: BReeve@meridian-ag.com.au

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