So who is Shelley Scoullar?
I grew up on a mixed farm between Mayrung and Deniliquin, the main enterprise been rice. Growing up I can distinctly remember how proud I was that my family grew and delivered to SunRice. I preferred helping dad fencing, cutting burs or driving tractors to helping mum around the house.
I saw firsthand how you could produce food and fibre, while at the same time caring about the natural environment. From my experience farmers were innovative, looking for ways to become more efficient, improve soil conditions and save water. When they were profitable then money was invested in environmental works on farm.
After completing primary and secondary school in Deniliquin I completed a Bachelor of Applied Science, followed by a Graduate Diploma of Education at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. I then followed my partner and now husband Paul to Adelaide where he played football in the SANFL and I taught science and special education.
A series of events, which I would now call fate, lead us to purchasing the property across the road from where I grew up in 2006, returning home with one child and one on the way. I am very fortunate and proud to be able to call myself a rice farmer, from the moment the water ran out of the channel and into the bay in 2010 for my first rice crop I was hooked.
We now have 3 boys and Paul works off farm for SunRice. I started my involvement in water advocacy in 2012 when I took on the position of West Berriquin Irrigators secretary. The Speak Up campaign began as a way of combining my passions of agriculture and farming.
I am so proud of the agricultural industries in our region. We are innovative, efficient, skilled and dedicated, but not only that, we are passionate environmentalists. Unfortunately, our story has been lost because of what appears to be a disconnect between the country and the city. Education and telling our story is the key to ensuring our entire nation is as proud of our farmers as I am. Hopefully through this blog we can find a way to reconnect and encourage our city cousins into the fresh country air where they are always welcome.