Cotton LEADS

Championing sustainable agriculture for the next generation

Emma is an agronomist and a researcher, working in the southern valleys cotton growing region. This area has taken off in recent times, and this growth brings with it a new set of challenges for growers and the broader industry. Because it is such a diverse growing region – comprising rice, melons and orchards – it is important to consider how decisions made for cotton may affect the wider community.

“I love research as it puts me at the cutting edge of improving the cotton industry, whether it be techniques for improving nutrient or water efficiencies to softer pest control and whole farming systems,” Emma says. “I also love being agronomist; it means I can take all of the things that I learn through the industry and my research and apply it to my clients’ businesses to ensure that we are being as productive and progressive as possible.”

“A day in my life can be everything from bug scouting (measuring the number of beneficial and detrimental insects in the crop and determine if there is need for control) to water management to nutrient management to whole enterprise assessments. My clients may grow cotton but that is only part of a much bigger picture of their farming system, so it is imperative that we manage every aspect as well as possible to ensure that the business is profitable and sustainable over the long term.”

Emma is also part of the Southern Valleys Cotton Growers Association and Irrigation Research and Extension Committee team, which lets me help all growers across our region have better access to new ideas that can help their business.

She is a Young Farming Champion and the Vice Chair of the Youth Voices Leadership team. This is a group of young people passionate about their industry – and agriculture in general – who are helping to ensure that the next generation know where their food and fibre comes from.

“I spend time in metropolitan and regional communities sharing the great news story that is agriculture and all of the great things that our farmers are doing to ensure that the industry is here for many years to come,” Emma says.

Get to know other growers and researchers