Welcome to the team – Jeana Pritchard

The Livestock Collective would like to welcome our new team member Jeana Pritchard. She has joined us as the new project coordinator and will be working on events and social media. She has taken over the responsibility of the Livestock Leaders socials, so if you’re wondering who the face behind the screen is – its her! Jeana will be out and about at our events so make sure you keep following our pages to see where we will be, and don’t hesitate to come and have a chat.

Jeana is based in WA and we asked her what life was like growing up. Keep reading to get to know her better. 


Explain what rural life is like for you and your family? 


Rural life for me was probably quite different from other kids that grew up on a farm. I wasn’t born into a generational farming enterprise, my parents just had a love for agriculture and a learn as you go mentality. Mum and dad had a White Suffolk stud in York, around 2 hours east of Perth, however that was just a hobby for them and both still worked full time jobs. My dad worked at the Department of Agriculture while mum was a soils and agronomy lecturer at Muresk Institute of Agriculture- which has since proven rather advantageous in my university agriculture studies!


Tell us more about your childhood


Spending time at Muresk was a highly valuable part of my childhood. Not only did my mum put me in a lab coat and decide to include me in student practicals (I’m surprised I wasn’t put off university), but I was also able to experience the importance of collaboration for global agriculture through the variety of international PhD students which studied at Muresk.  


When I was around 12, we moved to the city which was quite a significant transition, particularly as I wasn’t boarding with other country kids, but just another day girl. This experience gave me an understanding of how being raised in an urban environment doesn’t expose children to the same experiences I had growing up rurally, and perhaps it isn’t ignorance that disconnects people from production of their food, but a lack of education and resources surrounding it.   


Do you think there is a divide between rural and urban dwellers?


Yeah I do think there is a gap. I think bridging the rural city divide really comes down to exposure and education about the industry. Instead of shying away from conversations regarding the industry because it may seem ‘too difficult’ to explain to someone with no agriculture background, we should be trying to engage as many individuals as possible around the importance and practices of the industry. 


I think it’s really important to make agriculture seem a viable career choice to not only individuals with a farming background, but individuals from any walk of life. Agriculture is an ageing industry and it is important to understand that for us to evolve, we need collaboration, fresh faces and new ideas. 


In my opinion, the inclusion of food production into the curriculum would provide students the opportunity to understand the way food is produced, all while being hands on and interactive. This gives children who were not raised in a rural environment an opportunity to experience agricultural practices and perhaps open up an interest in a career they didn’t know existed.