Portland’s Darren Shelden has been unveiled as the latest Great South Coast Food + Fibre ambassador.
The Australian Bluegum Plantations Port and Logistics Manager is based in Portland, but also manages the Albany port in Western Australia.
“Our customers are Chinese and Japanese pulp and paper companies,” says ABP Port and Logistics Manager Darren Shelden.
“I provide oversight and support to our two port operations to ensure that it operates safely and efficiently and to meet our customer’s needs.
“There is a lot more to agriculture than just farming. There are a lot of primary producing companies that export and we’re just one of them.”
Darren’s dynamic job highlights the diversity of the agriculture sector locally, as well as the critical economic injection it provides annually – valued at more than $2.5 billion. He says there is a broad range of job opportunities available.
“Agriculture is dynamic, there’s lots of opportunities, well and truly in terms of the technology that’s being used now.
“It’s definitely not just being out there being cold and wet.”
Darren encourages anyone with an interest in agriculture to research and decide which path is best for them.
“Talk to different companies, talk to people, look at the opportunities and courses. There are so many options, there’s a lot more than there’s ever been. Because of all those options, you need to research and think about what you want to do.
“There’s a lot of different avenues to get into the industry as well. I did a Bachelor of Forest Science but there’s dozens of other courses that can provide a career in agriculture.
“I like what I do, being involved with something that is about growing, putting something in the ground and looking after it, then producing a product that people want.
“It’s tangible, you’re physically involved with something. It’s very rewarding.”