Alkira had always enjoyed being outdoors and working with animals, but it was a career development program with Nutrien that really opened her eyes to the value a livestock agent can bring.
“I love seeing clients and their businesses grow and thrive. It gives me great satisfaction, knowing I can offer my support and knowledge to others,” Alkira says.
“I enjoy learning about sustainable livestock production and best practices. These guidelines are changing and improving all the time with technology and if I can help one farmer implement change or educate them on something that improves their overall business, even in a small way, I get great satisfaction in that.”
Working as a livestock representative at Nutrien Leongatha, Alkira completed her career development program in 2022.
Nutrien’s comprehensive, 24-month program equips trainees with a range of skills critical to improving the businesses of their clients across livestock productivity, animal health, auctioneering and emerging technology.
It goes beyond just the core technical skills an agent needs, however, and takes a holistic approach to their development. Graduates have experience with the range of Nutrien business products such as rural supplies, wool, real estate, water, insurance, and finance.
They also get professional development opportunities to grow their business acumen, communication, problem-solving and data-analysis skills, all inside the world-class Nutrien network.
Pictured: 2022 Graduates of the Livestock Career Development Program
Nutrien Ag Solutions Regional Livestock Lead Adam Mountjoy says Nutrien is committed to supporting the continued development of livestock agents.
“For the sustainability of the industry, we need to foster and empower the next generation. development programs play a big part in the industry's development,” Adam said.
“I started as a trainee within the industry myself and know first-hand how valuable the career development program can be. The mentors, exposure to the industry and development of my skill set was instrumental to my career,” Adam continues.
Vanessa Murphy, talent attraction business partner at Nutrien says the feedback on the program has been consistently positive, with the graduates highlighting the career opportunities they have now been given.
“We’ve had so many graduates who have gone on to have outstanding and rewarding careers and it’s not just those from a farming background who have thrived, plenty from a non-farm background have done well too.”
Adam believes that it is an exciting time in the livestock industry, as the take up of digital tools delivers efficiencies and frees up more time to work with farmers.
“The opportunities at Nutrien Ag Solutions are endless, and it’s up to each individual to take them with both hands and take control of their future," Adam says.
That view is backed by Alkira Riley.
“It's a rewarding career, and every day brings something new to the table. Keep an open mind and you will never stop learning in this job.”
Pictured: Alkira Riley, Nutrien Ag Solutions Leongatha Livestock Agent