Australia: Next generation of growers looks bright

It is not often someone with no farming background makes such a significant splash in horticulture while still in their early 20s. Jennifer Hulme, assistant grower at Family Fresh Farms, an intensive glasshouse operation located on the NSW Central Coast is doing just that.

"To be 22 with no background in agriculture and land a role like this fresh out of university is still something I pinch myself over," Jennifer said. "As well as this though, the growth I have seen in myself over the last year is something I couldn't have dreamed of. It's been incredibly fulfilling working in this industry, so here's to many more years!"

Tucked away in Peats Ridge is Family Fresh Farms, which consists of two 2.5-hectare high tech glasshouses. The operation grows mini snacking cucumbers, known as 'Qukes', using a highwire, climate-controlled system and its produce is distributed to major supermarkets around Australia.

In her role as assistant grower, Jennifer Hulme supports the head grower in ensuring all operations on the farm are as efficient and effective as possible. This involves everything from managing a team of 70-plus seasonal workers, to monitoring and controlling the climate in the glasshouse. "The Qukes grow incredibly fast and are a very labor-intensive crop, but it always keeps us busy, all 365 days a year," Jennifer said.

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