On The Land

24 February, 2024

Bridie’s sights focussed on ag future

RAISED on an expansive 9,300 hectare property situated near Banana in Central Queensland, Bridie Blinco spent a significant portion of her formative years there.

By Brigitte Daley

– Bridie Blinco who is completing a Certificate III in Agriculture at Rocky Creek Orchards in Tolga.
– Bridie Blinco who is completing a Certificate III in Agriculture at Rocky Creek Orchards in Tolga.

Inspired by new-found friends who were all very involved in the agriculture world, Bridie rekindled her passion for agriculture and decided to pursue a career in it.

“My agriculture teacher at Malanda High School, Mr Kilpatrick also really helped me to obtain work experience at Rocky Creek Orchards which led me to get my traineeship there,” Bridie said.

“I’ve always had a career in agriculture in my heart, I just lost the dedication for it for a couple of years.

“I did try a few other jobs to do with hospitality, but it just wasn’t my passion like agriculture is.”

Bridie, who is 17 years old and a Year 12 student at Malanda High School, is diligently working towards completing her Certificate III in Agriculture and is on track to finish her Certificate II in Rural Operations by the end of this academic year.

“I do two days of work at Rocky Creek Orchards in Tolga to complete my Certificate III in Agriculture and three days of school to be able to finish my Certificate II in Rural Operations,” Bridie said.

“I was aware that leaving school early was going to be challenging without any formal qualifications so I recognised the need to secure a traineeship.

“When my current employer Lorraine offered me one, I accepted it immediately.

 “I will always be grateful to have been offered this opportunity.”

A Certificate III in Agriculture has a range of different elements.

“You get to select from a large list of certifications which you would like to have e.g. a chemical ticket, forklift ticket,” Bridie said.

“All assessments have a theory component and some have a practical component as well, for example my trainer will watch me service a tractor to allow me to complete that unit."

At Rocky Creek Orchards, Bridie works with avocados, lychees, passionfruit and mangoes.

“A typical day at work will always be different, there are always so many new things to do and learn, one day I could be inside packing fruit, the next be outside picking that fruit," Bridie said.

 “I’d say my favourite crop I work with has to be avocados, they are the easiest to pack and pick in my opinion."

Bridie says she has learnt many valuable skills and insights since working at Rocky Creek Orchards.

One of them is communication, especially with working with many different cultures.

“I didn’t realise how important communication really is,” she said.

“As well as this, I have learnt so much about how much work goes into the fruit you casually buy off the shelves each day.

“Once you work at a farm you really understand why you will always need manual labour.

“I love the opportunities given to me, the wide range of skills I can learn in one place and overall, all my bosses are great people making it enjoyable to come to work.”

She acknowledges the challenges inherent in pursuing a career in agriculture and would like to encourage other interested young people to “go out of their comfort zone”.

“I think sometimes the hardest thing is finding the job, especially for young people,” Bridie said.

“My advice is to just give it a go and if you don’t like it leave, it’s as easy as that.

“You will never know unless you give it a red-hot go. Don’t wait for your dreams to come to you, chase them. Take every opportunity you can, experience is the key to the future.”

She has observed that many farmers have work available for young people, but those seeking employment on farms often don't know where to look.

“If more advertisements were put out by employers, it may be easier for young people to find more job opportunities in agriculture,” she said.

Bridie is yet to decide whether she will embark on further education at university.

“I truly believe it is always better to have real life experience for a good amount of time before starting a degree on something you know nothing about,” she said.

“I think growing up in a very remote place made me who I am today, if I didn’t grow up there I’d probably be scared to get dirty and scared of hard work.

“My Dad and uncle have always been really hard workers and have always proved themselves and all I’ve wanted to do since growing up is make them proud of my hard work.”

Bridie has achieved significant milestones, such as winning the 2022 Atherton Show Young Paraders competition in the beef cattle section in her first year of entering showing.

She has also won numerous cattle judging competitions and was crowned the 2023 Malanda Show Dairy Princess.

“My goal in life is to work as hard as I can and take any opportunity thrown at me,” she said.

“I want to earn as much as I can while I am young. I also wish to encourage more people to take up careers in agriculture for the sake of its future.

“I really do love working with beef cattle - two years ago I discovered a very strong passion that I have for showing cattle as a result of working with the Malanda High School show team.

“Once I leave high school, I will continue to keep showing cattle, for another stud operation.

 “In the future, I am working towards establishing my own beef cattle stud breeding operation with either black or red Brangus, Charbrays and Brahmans, all of which I have previously worked with.

“These breeds are my personal favourites at this point in time.

“I am looking forward to breeding elite stud heifers and selecting the genetics for my own stud cattle.”

Working in agriculture is especially rewarding for Bridie.

“The experience and skills you learn will forever be used in your everyday life for the rest of your life,” she said.


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