Horizon Scholarship alumni profile: Jasmine Whitten

27.07.20

Former AgriFutures Horizon Scholar Jasmine Whitten has never doubted her career choice. Even at the age of 15, the now 23-year-old says there’s no mistaking, a career in agriculture has always beckoned.

“I wanted to study agriculture in my final years of high school. After my year 10 advisor told me I would have to wait until the first day of year 11 to find out if the school would offer me agriculture, instead of waiting I went and found another school that would provide me with the opportunity to study agriculture,” said Jasmine.

With the support of her family, Jasmine even moved states to realise her ambition and it’s that steely determination and sense of self that has led her to now working her dream job in agriculture.

Jasmine is a now farm business analyst with Tamworth-based consultants Agripath with consultants located in Chinchilla, Gunnedah and Boorowa. She’s also involved in helping her family run a mixed family farm at Tamworth and a beef cattle property at Hughenden, North Queensland.

A large component of her job involves collecting and presenting farm financial and physical production data to farmers in a format that allows them to understand their business and assist them to make better business decisions.

“We build data by talking to farmers about how they’re using their land, how many paddocks they have, what they’re applying and so we build a picture of what is happening in the paddock,” said Jasmine.

Diversity is a key aspect of her role and that’s something she credits the Horizon Scholarship giving her in spades.

“My school coordinator suggested I should apply for the Horizon program and as a 17-year-old I remember filling out the application form and answering the question; where do you see yourself in five years’ time?” said Jasmine.

“On my way to becoming a consultant was my answer.”

Armed with a degree in Rural Science from the University of New England and honours in animal behaviour, life has offered plenty of unique experiences.

During her time with the AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship Program from 2015 to 2018, she’s secured placements in areas as diverse as being a jillaroo on the Western Australian/Northern Territory border, and stints within the Australian egg industry.

“The opportunities came my way through networking with people, building trust and working hard,” said Jasmine.”

“At an Australian Eggs conference, I met Greg Mills from Go Ahead Business Solutions and he took me under his wing. He is widely known as a consultant with a passion for challenging the status quo; he was also very involved in the poultry welfare model code process at the time. In the 2-week placement I had with Greg I caught 14 flights, worked in four different states and I had the opportunity to observe important industry conversations.”

Adding: “Initially, I just wanted to work in the cattle industry, but I am so pleased I was pushed out of my comfort zone and experienced other industries and gained insights into their unique issues.”

“While on placement with Greg Mills, I had the opportunity to engage with David May, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DA Hall & Co and who offered me a unique internship that enabled me to gain practical hands on experience in the egg industry, while also learning about business management aspects. It was one of the best work placements I did while I was at university.”

“This placement taught me that it’s really important to go and research the challenges faced by any particular industry so that you can provide an informed opinion.”

Jasmine now works with a wide range of producers; everything from cotton, grains, beef, sheep, feed lotters to horticulture crops.

“The scholarship enabled me to reach my full potential and it opened many doors that otherwise would have remained closed,” said Jasmine.

“It gave me the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and to spend some time walking in their shoes.”

“I knew I had one chance and I grabbed every opportunity and I am so pleased I did. Everything I do impacts on other people and it really is a privilege to work in agriculture,” said Jasmine.”

“No day is ever the same and everything I do has a purpose, not many people can say that.”