Despite starting out in life on a mixed sheep and cropping farm, WA Young Achiever Awards Agriculture Award finalist Nicholas Hardie did not immediately pursue an agricultural pathway.
Boddington local Nicholas (20) said while he did not fully understand at the time how much of an impact growing up on a farm had on him, it really was the start of a love and passion for agriculture as, after spending two years boarding in Perth for secondary school, he felt that there was something missing.
“I spent two years at Aquinas College which I’m glad for because it set my background education up, but I felt there was something missing – I didn’t have the spark or motivation that I knew I would need to succeed throughout school,” he said.
“Then in year 10 I decided to attend WA college of Agriculture – Harvey and I immediately hit the ground running; I looked forward to going to school as well as working on the farm.
“I knew agriculture was where I wanted to be and I knew that I wanted to carry on into higher education studies.”
Come the end of Year 12, Nicholas graduated having received the highest achieving in class subjects, Dux, and the highest ever ATAR recorded at the College.
Since then, he has continued to impress the agricultural sector with his hard work and commitment to his industry: he was offered a job working for Murdoch University looking after stud and veterinary animals grown specifically for study, received the Jack Bendat Royal Agricultural Society Youth Scholarship, studied for a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management at Muresk Institute, became a member of the AgConnectWA Committee, and was offered a place to complete a Commonwealth Bank 10-week industry placement, to name a few.
Nicholas now works for CSBP Fertilisers as Area Manager for the Moora and Dandaragan region, which involves giving detailed advice on select fertiliser needs, delivering agronomic advice as well as providing a service for growers to help them achieve gross margin maximisation.
“Too many times I hear ‘how much did that crop yield’ or ‘how many lambs did you get’ – what I want to get out to producers is the most important part of a business is the gross margins,” he said.
“I am now in the positing to start pushing to farmers that gross margin efficiency is the best way to go about forwarding and improving your farming business and, being involved with one of the biggest costs to a farming business, I am in good stead to try and really make a difference.”
The achievements of Nick and the remaining three individuals will be acknowledged at the presentation dinner on Friday 12 May, with the category winner to be announced that night.
One of the eight category winners will then be selected as the Western Australian Young Achiever of the Year and will win an additional $2,000 and a state trophy.
Tickets to the presentation dinner in the Golden Ballroom at the Pan Pacific Perth are available through www.wayaa17.eventbrite.com.au and must be purchased by 28 April.