Meet Adele. A superstar within the Wool Industry. She knows her way around a fleece and is a wiz with a weigh computer, and so many other things. Adele works with many amazing women and one by one I hope to have them all featured here too.
Name? Adele Smith
Occupation? Wool Technical Officer/eID Advisor – Young & Temora
What does a typical day look like? Well, it depends a lot on what the weather has been doing! If it has been fine and sunny there’s a good chance, I’ll be out at a few shearing sheds throughout the day – whilst there I’ll be talking to wool growers and then the wool classer of the shed to discuss what has been happening in the wool market and what they might be able to do in order to maximise the returns for the grower. No two days are ever really the same in my job, I could be on the phone ringing clients to discuss wool valuations or sale results one minute, then I could be chatting about the latest eID gear with other sheep producers the next. I could be in a shearing shed talking about clip preparation, in the yards helping assess sheep or at a Field Day promoting our services.
How did you get into your job? I have always wanted to work in the sheep & wool industry, ever since I was a little girl. I was always willing to help with any sheep work at home! I started out in a sales & admin role with Moses & Son for 2 years and then I took the opportunity to move into my current role in order to get to work more closer with wool growers. I had previous experience in an admin role before I started this job, and so each job has been a steppingstone that has gotten me to be where I am today. I have worked for the same company for over 8 years and am so excited to continue to work where my passion lies in the sheep and wool industry!
Do you have any other qualifications?
Cert III Business Administration
Cert IV Wool Classing
Diploma of Agriculture
What are your hopes for the agriculture industry? To see more people taking a career in the agricultural industry. Working in the agriculture industry can open and lead to so many opportunities and I believe the more people that can see this as a career the better the agriculture industry will be going forward. For the most part, whatever you have a passion for there is an opportunity to work with that passion in this great industry!
On a side note with the wool industry -I would love to see wool processing happening back in Australia – I know I’m happy to pay more for a wool garment and how great would it be to go to a store and look at a wool jumper, be able to scan a code to find out that it was grown in the South West Slopes Region of NSW!!
What advice would you have for any women or girls wanting to get into agriculture?
DO IT! I actually think we have come a long way in Agriculture, nowadays I am treated no differently because I’m a girl. Recently I had a client say to me “I’ve now got a female everything – bank manager, agronomist & wool rep.“
My advice would be don’t doubt yourself, you can do anything you put your mind to. Don’t be afraid to find whatever start you may be interested in and to look at all opportunities, whether they look to be sidewards or upwards moves, they’re all potential stepping stones. Once you find your way into the industry, it gets easier to move in your preferred direction and every opportunity to learn typically leads to better things.
Be honest & admit to any mistakes, people will respect you a lot more and situations/problems are easier to fix if you can start to fix them instead of digging yourself a deeper hole.
In the same vain, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it – think of how prepared you are to help people yourself and understand that most other people get the same satisfaction out of helping others, especially if it’s something that’s one of their strengths.