Published: 18 Oct 2018
What career is right for me? Should I go to university? What should I study when I get there?
Like many school leavers, Caitlyn Munnings wondered what to do after college and dug around to find a captivating career path.
“I remember how overwhelming it was to make a decision about what to do when I left school,” Ms Munnings said.
“I was interested in science and when I was in grade 12 I participated in the Science Investigation Awards. It was there that I heard about the Feed your mind, Feed the world camp.
“The camp was the perfect opportunity to find out if agriculture would be a good pathway for me, and my teachers encouraged me to apply.”
In 2014 Caitlyn was one of 15 who attended the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture’s (TIA) Feed your mind, Feed the world camp. The 3-day camp is held annually in December at Camp Clayton, North Tasmania, and is free to attend.
The camp is open to Tasmanian grade 11 and 12 students who are interested in finding out about the opportunities that a career in agriculture can offer.
“I was surprised by the diversity of career opportunities in agriculture and since going I haven’t looked back,” Ms Munnings said.
Four years on, Ms Munnings is months away from graduating with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from TIA.
“I’ve learned about so many aspects of agriculture – horticulture, business, marketing, animal science, plant pathology, agronomy, soil science, entomology, microbiology – the list goes on,” Ms Munnings said.
“The degree is full of field trips, where we get hands-on experience and meet people working in different parts of the industry. Our most recent trip was to Diemen Pepper in Birchs Bay.”
Ms Munnings has further boosted her work experience and professional networks through part-time work in horticulture.
“I worked at Stonecrest Cherries for three summers. I got to try different roles in the business, including supervising pickers in the orchard and weighing in.”
Early this year, Ms Munnings took up a job with the newly launched business Mill Farm Berries, where she is developing her knowledge of quality assurance.
“In my jobs and throughout my degree, I’ve been really well supported and mentored to develop my skills and try new things,” she said.
“I wouldn’t be getting these different experiences if I hadn’t gone to Feed your mind, Feed the world.”
Students attending this year’s camp will meet Tasmanian leaders in agriculture from a diverse range of businesses, from cropping and dairy, to vegetable and greenhouse tomato growing.
This article appeared in The Advocate and The Examiner newspapers on 18 October 2018.