Published: 14 Feb 2020
Agricultural Science graduate Sally Stone-Schack is a Junior Field Agronomist with South Pacific Seeds and spends most of her time outdoors.
Sally moved from South Gippsland in Victoria to study Agricultural Science at the University of Tasmania and hasn’t looked back.
"Living in Melbourne or another big city didn’t appeal to me. I fell in love with Tassie when I moved here and the outdoor lifestyle is great."
“Ag science is a tight knit community and very welcoming. There are interactive classes, regular social events and lots of opportunities.”
The University gives students industry connections that put them in the best position to secure employment when they graduate.
Before Sally graduated her lecturer put her in touch with the manager at South Pacific Seeds, an international company with offices in Tasmania.
Sally now works there as a Junior Field Agronomist based in Longford, Tasmania. She said the role is diverse and what she does changes from day to day.
"Most of the time I am outside, which I really love. I always wanted a job where I could get out and about."
There is no such thing as a “typical day” in the office.
In one week, Sally might be working with bee keepers on preparing hives for pollinating crops, running field trials for new seed varieties, managing crops for pests and disease or problem-solving issues on the ground with farmers.
“There is so much to vegetable seed production that I had never thought about before. Most people take it for granted, but it involves a lot of work to grow the best crops,” Sally said.
“I love the biology application – it’s like being a doctor of a crop. You are interpreting what you see to diagnose the issue.”
Being part of an international company means that travel could be a big part of Sally’s future.
“Part of my work is with the packing of the seeds and talking with customers from places like France, Japan and the Netherlands,” Sally said.
“When they visit, we show them the crops and a bit of Tasmania. Hopefully in a few years’ time I’ll get to go overseas and see their production crops too.
"I love the idea of travelling and Ag science will let me do that."
Sally’s degree provided her with a sound understanding of science and biology, which she draws on every day for her role.
“My degree has given me a good knowledge of biology. I also use a lot of the soil science, plant physiology and entomology,” she said.
“I have learnt a lot on the job, especially about vegetable seed production, but my degree gave me a good grasp on key concepts and a great head-start.
"The great thing about ag science is there are such a wide range of opportunities and directions. I never saw myself getting into vegetable seed production, but I am loving every minute of it."
Find out more about studying Agricultural Science here.