Edwina Murray is an agronomist who lives in Young and works for New Edge Microbials. Raised in Sydney, she moved to Young after graduating from university and now she sees herself as a fully-fledged "country girl." The Land journalist Libby-Jane Charleston had a chat to Edwina about what a typical day looks like for her - she really loves her job!
Thursday June 8
My morning doesn't start very early. I'm not really a morning person so I like to get up as late as possible! But I'm usually up at seven-thirty and at my desk by eight.
I don't have a go-to breakfast. I've never really liked breakfast so I just have a coffee then I'll have brunch around 11 which is usually grabbing leftovers from the previous night's dinner.
The first thing I do in the morning is plan out exactly what I want to achieve; who I need to speak to, and where I need to go. Every day is different for me - there are days when I'm out in the paddocks, and other days I'm at the computer analysing data or planning trials.
I live on a small farm in Young where there are only 15 sheep so, in the morning, I generally tend to just walk outside and do a head count to make sure they're all there!
We put a wheat crop in our top paddock recently so I sometimes walk around there to make sure everything is okay. I'm a huge animal lover and I'm very devoted to my two dogs, cat, fish and chooks. They like to help out in the garden and around the farm - especially the dogs!
On Thursday, I drove to Wagga and spent much of the day at a glasshouse with one of our collaborators. We have just finalised a soybean trial and we had to take samples of soil which I prepared to send to the lab for chemical analysis to measure biological efficacy.
On a typical day, I'll go to different trials, whether in paddocks or glasshouses and I'll perform different assessments. This involves taking samples, and preparing them for lab extractions.
It's also an opportunity to see how potential new products are going, or new ideas, and see if they are increasing crop productivity or resilience.
I tend to do a lot of driving, so I had four hours on the road and it was getting late by the time I got home. I love to unwind by working in my garden, if it's not too cold! I also enjoy cooking a nice meal to enjoy and getting the fire started.
What do I love about the job? I love the variety. Every day is different and I love the variety; sometimes it's the paddock, or the labs, and other times it's about presenting data or talking to farmers about their practices. So it's a very varied role that keeps me on my toes. There's always something new to learn and someone new to talk to.
I feel really lucky that I'm working in a role that has real-life applications and not only helps farmers from a business perspective but also environmentally. I also like knowing I have a job that plays a role in making a difference in farming communities and food systems.
If you had the power to change anything to do with agriculture....what would you do?
I'd like to see agriculture and food systems involved more in the education system as a lot of people don't know where their food comes from or how it's made - this leads to a lot of ignorance. I feel if there were more resources educating people it would make a huge difference.
Fun facts: Edwina loves listening to rap music and she often wonders what people think when she turns up with Eminem blasting loudly from her car speakers.
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