1. Tell us about yourself!
Hi IZRA family! My name is Josh Gilbert- I’m 23 years old and grew up in rural NSW. I am really fortunate to have amazing parents that have dedicated their life to helping others and they have instilled this fire into my sister and I as we try and do our part. I now live in Sydney and work as a consultant and have a beautiful escape at the family farm on the Mid North Coast of NSW.
2. What do you love about farming and the land?:
I love that no two days are ever the same. Everything can change within 5 seconds whether you notice something different in the paddock or the rain starts to fall. Farming is incredibly rewarding and every day has its own challenges and wins. I feel a distinct connection to the land that my family farm and love being able to see the changing seasons transform the land. I love being able to watch the birth of cute cows too (and hopefully one day some sheep as well)!
3. When did you decide that you wanted to stay connected with farming?:
When I was young, I got caught up in the world of fast cars and fancy suits, failing to notice the absolute beauty and importance of the farm land I always grew up around. It wasn’t until a weekend away with my NSW Young Farmers Council when I was 21 that I was able to stop and realise how gorgeous the land was and that was really the time when things clicked. I got home that weekend, broke up with my partner at the time and bought a cow- things changed and I really started learning as much as I could about agriculture. Things became a lot clearer and as I explored the field more I just became more and more engaged.
4. Why is farming so important to Australia?:
In the next 35 years, the world’s population is going to increase by 2.3 Billion people. That’s a lot more mouths to feed off less land than ever before. Farming has always been a huge part of the Australian economy, but what’s more important is that it helped to build our rural and regional towns and enabled families in this area to flourish.
5. What does that look like for you now?:
Presently, I really believe I live the best of 2 worlds! During the week I work as a consultant in Sydney and still get to live out my corporate life, but I’m always desperate to head back to the farm on weekends. I still love engaging with agriculture through the week, so I am presently the Chair of NSW Young Farmers, an Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion and I like to write and talk about faming every chance I get.
6. Best parts of Farming?: There are really two great parts to farming- the animals and the people. Watching new calves being born is incredible, as is seeing them grow up into wonderful animals for the future. It is always exciting to take a cow you have raised out into the show ring too and compare it against some of the best cattle in the local area. Although the people are just as important too. I love being able to stand in the cattle yards with my Dad and Grandfather and talk about the cows. I love the connections that I have made with people right around the world. And I love the generosity that people from the land have and their personal desire to do the best every day.
7. Less than favourite parts of farming?:
The worst part of farming has to be the same as all life cycles- dealing with animals dying. We pride ourselves in spending time with each animal individually over their life, ensuring we can pat them in the paddock so that they are easy to manage. Unfortunately there are times that we have an animal die by natural causes- those are the days that suck.
8. You’ve started a pretty cool project called Tractor Talks, tell us a bit about that!:
Tractor Talks is an agricultural podcast that highlights the best of farming from right around the world! I know that in order to feed more people in the next few years we have to double food supply, so Tractor Talks provides farmers with the education on how to farm better and become more innovative to manage this feat.
9. Advice for others who might be interested a career in farming:
Jump into every opportunity that presents itself and never be afraid to say yes to something you don’t know much about. There is always someone there to give you a hand and share their story and knowledge with you to build something bigger. If you would like to know more or would like to chat about farming- please contact me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org!