On the other side of the world – and loving it

Seven years ago Franzi Riegger boarded a plane in Germany, destined for Australia.

Backpacking around, she soon stumbled upon south-west Victoria.

And while we know it’s the heart of Australia’s food and fibre sector, it didn’t take long for Franzi to also work this out.

“I started working at Treloars Roses and also as a farmhand on another property. From there I decided to study agronomy,” Franzi says.

“This area is a great combination of rural spaces with almost city living. We have a combination of farms, coast and towns, which is great.

“And the food and fibre sector is just so strong here. From prime cattle and dairy, to horticulture and vineyards, it’s a true success story. Food and fibre is responsible for close to 60 per cent of this area’s economy, which is quite incredible. It’s a great place to be.”

Franzi is the latest of the Food + Fibre Great South Coast young ambassadors to tell her story of success in the local industry and encourage others to jump on board. She is encouraging anyone with an interest in agriculture to pursue a career in the field.

“I love the variety of my job. I get to talk to a lot of farmers and I get to talk about their operation, it’s interesting to see them grow with the work we’re doing together. There’s still so much potential for farmers to increase their productivity and it’s very exciting to help them do this.

“I like being outside and I also like being in the office where I can crunch numbers too, but the most satisfying aspect is seeing the things we have put in place working for the farmer.

“Agriculture has plenty of different opportunities for a young person, whether that’s outside getting your hands dirty or inside. I would definitely recommend agriculture as a career choice for a young person.”