How a handshake secured a dream job

Annie Pumpa reflects on how she landed a dream job in the midst of a pandemic

Beef
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Almost 12 months to the day Annie signed that contract with ABS, she stopped for a handshake.

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Bill Cornell is one of the many mentors helping Annie Pumpa succeed. Photo: Supplied

Bill Cornell is one of the many mentors helping Annie Pumpa succeed. Photo: Supplied

Not many people can say they gained their dream job in the midst of a global pandemic but Annie Pumpa sure has a story to tell.

It was May last year when the 22-year-old started a new sales position with ABS Global Australia and she has already become a familiar face with the brand.

So how did a girl who deferred university, worked on a free-range pig farm and had no idea what she wanted to do after high school land such a significant role within the livestock industry?

"Never say no to a handshake," she said.

"I have met with a lot of people. I look back on the people I know now and 10 years ago they were the people I was scared to shake hands with. Now I call them best friends."

Almost 12 months to the day Annie signed that contract with ABS, she stopped for a handshake.

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Already running late for the interbreed, Annie was power walking to the ring when Angus breeder Jeremy Cooper insisted he had someone she should meet.

"I shook Bill Cornell's hand, said it's very nice to meet you but I'm very sorry, I need to go to the interbreed but hopefully I can catch up with you soon," she said.

"As I was on my way out to fly back to Geelong, Jeremy gave me his business card and said you need to give him a call in the next month.

"We kept in touch on and off for six months, I got to meet his offsider Fletch Kelly and then four or five months of serious conversations on how the role was going to look and I signed a contract."

Annie Pumpa in action parading cattle (centre). Photo: Supplied

Annie Pumpa in action parading cattle (centre). Photo: Supplied

Annie was raised on a commercial cattle property just outside of Culcairn and was exposed to the show circuit through her school's agriculture team.

She took on an animal health consultancy role with what was then Landmark, now Nutrien, but knew her passion was with the cattle industry.

Now within ABS she does everything from selling product, working with commercial cattleman and seedstock producers and operating as the Beef In Focus supply chain manager.

In between all of that Annie is also the Hereford Youth president and coordinator of the 2022 Angus Youth Roundup.

Being a female in the industry isn't something she considers a challenge having been raised on the moral; "If you have a passion to succeed and really want to do something, just get in and have a go".

"I go home most days and think to myself I'm very lucky to work for a company that has a global footprint and are giving me opportunities I couldn't gain anywhere else," she said.

"I owe my life to my mentors and the way they have driven me or exposed me to the industry.

"That doesn't just necessarily mean people that are in the industry, just really good friends of mine that give me good advice when I need it and I think it's quite important to have those people to pick up the phone to and they give you the best advice and you wake up the next day and go at it again."

Despite her short time at ABS, Annie has already witnessed some significant moments in the history of the beef industry including assisting in the purchase of high price bulls like the recent $160,000 Injemira Redford J006.

"To break a 35-year-old record isn't something you can put on your resume everyday," she said.

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