Western Australia has been a major producer of grains since the early 1900s. The grains industry has maintained its strong position and today it provides over $5 billion of value to WA, making it the largest contributor to the economy from the agricultural sector. The grains industry employs a number of cutting edge technologies, which drives its competitiveness, and unlike some other industries, the value of the grains industry is expected to increase, bringing with it an even greater wealth of career opportunities.
While there are currently 6 jobs for every student of agriculture studies, the grains industry clearly recognises the need for people with backgrounds in engineering, arts, science, commerce and law to name a few. In fact, jobs exist for people from every background and with every level of qualification. The industry is incredibly diverse, as are the career options available.
The diversity of the grains industry is apparent in many ways. In 2016, 18.2 million tonnes of grain were produced in WA and this included wheat, barley, oats, lupins, oilseeds and pulses. The grains were grown over an area of 8.4 million hectares, from Geraldton, down to the Great Southern and across to Esperance. Converting seeds of grain to this tonnage and getting it onto export ships requires people working in a wide range of roles on farms, in rural towns and in the city.
The roles include farmers, farm machinery technicians, grain seed breeders, precision ag specialists, soil science researchers, meteorologists, bankers, grain silo operators, truck drivers, engineers, marketers and traders. There are roles for everyone and plenty of them available!