With every high in agriculture, there seems to be a low just as great… but I love the people in Agriculture—their drive to succeed and prosper.
 
It’s Farmer Friday! MEET Aaron Prettejohn from SA’s South East!

Aaron was lucky enough to grow up among “some of the best cereal country in Australia”. Early on he knew his career would be on a farm, and relocated to Adelaide to study Advanced Agricultural Science at Urrbrae. Moving steadily north, Aaron worked his way from a Cattle Management Degree at Charles Darwin University to travel in America, “to see how things are done on the other side of the world.”

Back at home, Aaron uses the skills he’s picked up to manage a variety of agricultural enterprises.

“For many years the core of my business was broad acre spray contracting in the upper south east with a focus on lucerne seed production. However, as the face of agriculture is forever changing, so must my business to keep developing with the needs of the future.”

“I’ve shifted my primary focus from Lucerne to lamb. We hope to be turning 40,000 lambs annually out of our feedlots in the south east by the end of 2018.”

With a constant eye out for the “next big thing”, Aaron has also been developing a brand in the Australian agri-medical industry, with the hope of processing a product for the domestic medical market.

While it would seem as if Aaron has it all worked out, he’s not blind to the harsh realities of life on the farm. “My entire farming career has been about unpredictable seasons and commodity prices—and having to do more for seemingly less. You can go from a 5-ton crop and turning out the best weaners possible one season, to not even getting your seed back and having cows too poor in condition to get on a truck the next.”“For those that have witnessed the lows, it is absolutely soul destroying and really highlights the need for farmers mental health to be talked about.”

“Another example is that winter cereals are no longer a low-risk commodity option, the difference between production cost and silo price is just too close. You only have to get one thing to go slightly wrong and cereals become dearer to grow than to buy, therefore value adding has become vital in being able to reduce risk. It seems that the best returns are being made by people that can moderate/control/evaluate their risk the best.”With all the uncertainty in SA agriculture, what keeps Aaron on the farm?

“It’s seeing the wheat germinate and turning into a beautiful golden field, it’s seeing the lambs and calves growing into the best produce the world has to offer… and the local community is everything!”

“Your local community is your support network when things aren’t going to plan.”

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The team from FREE Eyre are dedicated to bringing competitive options to South Aussie Farmers.

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