Female agricultural leader to ’never stop learning’

AGRICULTURAL NETWORK: Simone Kain has had a strong passion for agriculture and food since she can remember, growing up on a farm near Hatherleigh. Ms Kain was recently featured in the 21st milestone AgriFutures Rural Women's Award publication after winning the state award in 2017.

By Molly Taylor

IF SIMONE Kain could give her 21-year-old self any advice, it would be to never stop learning.

Ms Kain is among a handful of women who were selected to feature in the 21st memorial publication of the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award.

Released last month, the book aims to showcase females who have participated in the award since its inception and asked all profiled what advice they would give their 21-year-old self.

Winning the state award and placing running runner up for the national accolade in 2017, Ms Kain has always been passionate about agriculture and its role in the community.

Growing up on a farm near Hatherleigh, Ms Kain’s parents operated a livestock transport business for around 30 years where she was surrounded by farmers, stock agents and truck drivers during her formative years.

Now living in Penola with husband and farmer Justin, Ms Kain works as a graphic and website designer, co-owning creative agency Hello Friday with colleague Ben Hood.

Ms Kain and Mr Hood also established the educational brand, George the Farmer which has grown into eight picture books and paddock-to-plate videos on ABC amongst many other components.

George the Farmer was named after Ms Kain’s eldest son and is designed to educate children about farming, food and fibre.

“We want to ensure we’re providing as much content as we can to really satisfy children’s thirst for agricultural knowledge, while also being a great support for the sector,” she said.

“It just grew, with different opportunities popping up especially within the ag space and fantastic feedback and ongoing support from fans across Australia.“

Ms Kain said it was a privilege to be included in the AgriFutures publication and after reading through the other stories, she was inspired.

“There has been a strong global movement in highlighting women’s contributions to all industries, but females definitely play a strong role in the agricultural world,” she said.

“Women make up 50pc of the agriculture workforce, we are pretty strong out there.

“I also think women are passionate about being involved in ag because it is typically perceived as a male dominated industry.”

Ms Kain said the advice she would give her 21-year-old self was to never stop learning about yourself, others and the world.

“I’ve participated in a broad range of professional development over the years, but there is still so much more to learn about business, about yourself and others,” she said.

“There is a wealth of information on the internet, from e-Courses to listening to professional and self development books. I wish I had’ve started on audiobooks a lot earlier.”

Ms Kain said AgriFutures had been an amazing organisation to be part of and encouraged any interested female in the agricultural sector to consider the awards or put their name forward for one of the organisation’s industry panels.

“The award provides a great platform to share whatever it is that you’re passionate about to a national audience while really opening up networks across Australia,” she said.

“If anyone has the desire to develop themselves further, I would highly recommend it.”

Former Limestone Coast resident, state award winner and national runner up for 2007 Abi Cook (Spehr) was also featured in the publication.

The 2020 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award state/territory winners, will remain as state/territory winners until September 2021 when the national winner and runner up will be announced at a gala event.

Applications will open again, directly following the gala event in September 2021 for the 2022 program.