Emerald woman shatters stereotypes with huge ag achievement
A YOUNG Emerald woman has been recognised as a youth ambassador and future influencer in the agriculture sector.
Twenty-two-year-old Alexandria Galea has been nominated as an Arts4Agriculture Young Farming Champion.
Alexandria was one of three women who were announced as a champion, and was supported by Cotton Australia.
Based in the Central Highlands, Alexandria works as a sales agronomist at Cotton Growers Services.
Her role includes agronomy work with growers, checking crops, engaging with growers and providing them with chemicals and information.
It's a role she has held since July last year and one she stumbled across.
Alexandria grew up on a farm in Emerald, but didn't see herself as having a career or role in agriculture at the time, she said.
Loving education, she went on to university to study secondary education teaching.
Throughout university, Alexandria worked in the agriculture industry to pay for fees. She found herself loving it and could see a potential career.
While she did graduate, she is still yet to work as a teacher. But going into agriculture instead is not a direction she regrets.
"I am really glad I did and I haven't looked back," she said.
She also feels like she uses her degree every day.
"Communicating with growers, sharing with them, I feel like it is relative. It is all education, it is all sharing," Alexandria said.
As a Young Farmer Champion, Alexandria will get the chance to be in a classroom.
Ambassadors will represent their local food or fibre industry, Alexandria's being cotton, and engage with students and schools using the Art4Agriculture program as a platform. The ambassadors will undergo a series of training and workshops for this.
The goal is to share what agriculture is. In the past five years the programs and their key messages have reached more than 120,000 students in schools, almost one million people through exhibitions and close to 1.6 million people through print, TV and radio coverage yearly.
And it is something that Alexandria is more than passionate about.
"Agriculture is an industry that isn't part of our education system together," she said.
She will be a youthful face of agriculture, banishing the stereotypes about what is agriculture.
"Let them know there are opportunities out there," she said. "It isn't just about hard laboursome work, there is great deal of technology out there. You can tailor a job to what you are interested in.
"Bridging the gap, exposing students to another industry which they don't get to see."
The Central Queensland region is home to a wealth of agriculture but often students miss how much it really affects the economy.
"Children live in a community which is based upon agriculture or mining, the backbone of it and they still don't fully understand," Alexandria said.
"I grew up in agriculture, I went to school in a small community and I still didn't see how I could have a career in it either.
"Anybody of all skills can participate, you don't have to be the most academic, or the most physical to have a career."