Dairy industry rising star

Western Dairy’s Jess Andony was awarded the Western Australian Young Achiever Award at a gala ceremony in Perth last night. 

The twenty four year old was recognised for her contribution to research and development in the WA dairy industry, her commitment to coordinating disaster relief for dairy farmers in the wake of the 2016 Waroona/Harvey bushfires, volunteer work with young people in agriculture and her work in establishing the WA Young Dairy Farmer of the Year Awards. 

Speaking about her award win, Jess said she was surprised and humbled at the recognition. 

“It does feel good, I did get a lot of recognition through the fires and it’s always nice to have that, although that’s not what you do it for.” 

Jess grew up on a dairy farm in Harvey and graduated with an honours degree in Animal Science from Murdoch University. 

She commenced full time employment with Western Dairy, one of Dairy Australia’s 8 Regional Development Programs, in 2015. 

In the aftermath of last year’s bushfires Jess organised the delivery of feed and supplies to affected dairy farmers and established a database to help coordinate the relief effort. 

“I just started calling a whole bunch of people and finding out who was affected. We’d lost half our farm, and so I was trying to help Mum and Dad but then there were so many other farms that needed help as well. We just jumped in and did it because it needed to be done.”

As the WA Young Dairy Network Coordinator, she is passionate about engaging with young people and encouraging them to take up opportunities to further their agricultural career. 

“I fully support anything that encourages young people to be involved in agriculture. If I can inspire someone else to give agriculture a go then that’s something that I love.”

She also spoke about the importance of having a great mentor, particularly the support of her boss Esther Price. 

“Having an amazing mentor in agriculture really helps to get you on the right track. Esther has been an amazing supporter and mentor and has done wonderful things for my career. It’s so important to have that support as a young person in agriculture.” 

Jess was unable to accept her award in person as she is currently on a study trip to Nepal to learn about the effects of Foot and Mouth disease in cattle. The Western Australian Young Achiever Awards are part of a national awards program that aims to encourage, support and promote the positive achievements of young people across the country. 

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