Knowledge sharing has long been part of the fabric of agriculture, but the weave looks a little different these days.
Fast-tracked by mentoring opportunities, networking events and awards that recognise up-and-coming leaders, industry stalwart Richard Rains has encouraged more aspiring agriculturalists to step forward, ask questions and make connections.
Speaking to Ben Law on The Financial Bloke podcast, Mr Rains said it’s much easier now to find the ‘right people that can give you a leg up at the times that you need it’, compared to when he was in the early stages of his career.
“If I had a problem, I would often ring my account manager at my bank and say, ‘hey, I'm a bit short on knowledge in this area, do you know anybody who might have the expertise that I might need’,” he said.
“Because they were talking to a myriad of different organisations, I thought that was a good place to get connected, which they were very happy to do because they wanted to see me succeed.
“I learned at a very early age that you've got to get that network going and find people that can probably shortcut the problems that you might have, so that you don't make the same mistakes that others before you have made.
“There's always a myriad of problems in business and you need as much advice and help as you can get. It just makes life easier, I think.”
One such way for young people to make connections and expand their knowledge is the Zanda McDonald Award which recognises determined and passionate young individuals from Australia and New Zealand who are making waves in the agricultural industry.
Applications for the 2024 award close on October 31, and Mr Rains is encouraging people to apply.
“The vast majority of those who float to the top in this award have often been encouraged by somebody else to apply,” he said.
“A little bit of a strange thing in our mentality that a lot of us think, ‘oh gee, I wouldn't be good enough to apply for that award’, until someone says, ‘hey you, you've got what it takes, and you should be there’.”
Click below to hear the full podcast, and find out what advice Mr Rains would give his 25-year-old self.
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