Ones to watch: Young agent clocks up $30m in property sales

Ones to watch: Check out the final installment of ag's future leaders

(Clockwork) Paddy Ward, Jess Fearnley, Kate McBride and Sam Finlayson.

(Clockwork) Paddy Ward, Jess Fearnley, Kate McBride and Sam Finlayson.


This is the final part in a four part series that has been released online at 6pm.


What does a real estate agent, beef exporter, advocate and fruit researcher have in common?

All under the age of 35, they share a passion for Australian agriculture, which means they don't think twice when they're still working late at night or cram another role onto their jam-packed resume.

This is the final part in a four part series that has been released online at 6pm.

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Paddy Ward.

Paddy Ward.

Paddy Ward, 29, Condobolin 

Paddy Ward has only been in the real estate game for less than 18 months but he's already clocked up close to $30 million in rural property sales in an area he considers 'God's country'.

Having grown up on a livestock property near Condobolin, Paddy loves his backyard and the agricultural sector it relies on to thrive.

When he left school, he undertook a traineeship at Fletcher International Exports at Dubbo where he learned how to fly an aircraft on his days off.

In 2015 Paddy came home to work on the family farm but with the drought biting hard he studied for his certificate of registration as a stock and station agent.

It was then he got a call from Ray White Parkes Forbes Condobolin who offered him a job in real estate.

He sold his first house for $45,000 and just the other day had the hammer fall on a rural property worth $3 million in his role as rural property and residential sales at Ray White Condobolin.

"I love this area and being a member of this community. I want to stay here as I was born and bred in the Condo district, more scrub less people," he said.

"There aren't many jobs where you get to drive to farms and talk to people or jobs where you can go to the pub and are still working."

Sam Finlayson

Sam Finlayson

Sam Finlayson, 22, Armidale

As an Angus branded beef exporter Sam from Three Creek Beef, Armidale, grew up on sheep and cattle properties where he developed a deep passion for livestock and business that still follows him to this day.

In 2016 the Finlayson family started the boxed beef export brand Three Creek Beef for the Chinese market.

"It started off with 50 head for the first shipment, then 30 head a month, 100 head a month... prior to COVID we were turning off 300 head a month," he said.

With a background in livestock and business Mr Finlayson was involved in the managing of international relationships and trade.

Throughout university, Mr Finlayson always had a passion for the export industry, moving to an economics degree with the intent of exporting and importing agriculture commodities to and from South America and China.

Sam was involved in the Angus Youth Consultative Committee and the GenAngus Future Leaders Program.

Kate McBride

Kate McBride

Kate McBride, 23, Menindee 

You'd be hard-pressed to find a 23-year-old with a bigger resume than Kate McBride.

She is a researcher at The Australia Institute, one of the youngest board members of the Western Local Land Services, studies a masters in global food and agriculture business, is a WoolPoll panel member, a public speaker and works on her family's 500,000 acre sheep property, Tolarno Station, in western NSW.

Kate admits she loves learning and networking and as she advises other young people, she takes every opportunity that comes her way.

"It doesn't matter if you don't feel you are ready; number one you can learn on the go but two, no one is ever ready," she said.

"At the moment we are at a crucial point in the ag industry. Of course we hear about how old farmers are and the average age but we have so many young people that are coming through the ranks that have open minds and incredible ideas.

"I'm just waiting for the ag industry to take off with all of these ideas coming through and young people behind them."

Everyday Kate wears a necklace filled with dirt from the family's station -it's a constant reminder of why she works so hard.

Jess Fearnley

Jess Fearnley

Jess Fearnley, 24, Orange

Jess is a NSW DPI temperate fruits development officer working in the horticulture unit having graduated in 2018 from a bachelor of rural science with first class honours from the University of New England.

Her research involves working in the cherry and apple industry in a variety of different areas of crop production and the supply chain where she leads an Apple Variety Evaluation project, Apple Soil Nutrition Project and is currently taking on a situational analysis of the NSW Cherry Industry.

She also works on investigating the suitability of the cherry industry in reference to climate change and wants to improve the cherry supply chain through traceability measures.

Outside of work, Jess is completing her master's of global development, majoring in climate adaptation and mitigation to work with smallholder producers in low-income countries to improve their agricultural sector.

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