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Ag leader drives her own future

2 August 2021

Jasmine Boxsell’s career path in agriculture is tied to some of the industry’s oldest institutional heritage. From a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Queensland in Gatton, straight into a Stanbroke-owned feedlot in Chinchilla, then a graduate position with AAco, and finally on to Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC) where she is now a Commercial and R&D manager.

All of these roles reflect Jasmine’s drive to broaden her experience and expertise in the sector.

“I made my way into agriculture from the semi-rural upbringing I had north of Brisbane, where I became interested in supply chains and AI and the things I could glean from raising the cattle and horses my family had,” Jasmine says.

“But while I was studying, I knew I had gaps in practical experience, and I set about filling them.”

In 2018, at the end of her first year with CPC, Jasmine was surprised and gratified to receive the ‘People’s Choice’ award at the company’s annual awards.

“It felt very special. It recognises an individual’s efforts and work in the business, voted by your peers, so it was very encouraging.”

In 2020, her organisation again showed its faith in her, supporting her to take part in the 2021 Australian Agribusiness Leadership Program (AALP), delivered by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

“I loved the program,” Jasmine says. “By design, it works at ‘breaking you down’ in some ways, to build you back up again. Learning how my brain ticks and being in a new environment where I needed to step up and lead and reflect on how I operate was fantastic.”

For Jasmine, the AALP coincided with having taken on greater responsibility in her management role at CPC.

“Stepping into more of a work leadership role in the last 12 months has been a steep learning curve. I’m enjoying learning through those challenges, but the program came at a great time.”

Within a supportive, open and honest AALP cohort, Jasmine found invaluable new perspectives.

“I work in agriculture’s northern beef industry. To meet people working in other industries connected to ag was so interesting,” Jasmine says.

“In ag, I think all industries can suffer from silos of information, and it can lead to tunnel-vision. Looking outside our sector is a great start, and it brought home to me that we need to look outside of our industry as well; to learn as widely as we can.”

While Jasmine was always certain that she wants to make a long-term contribution to agriculture, the AALP has given her fresh eyes on her own role.

“I’ve always felt there’s a lot to ag, and I’m just one person. The AALP helped me see my tendencies of being thorough, and particular and steady as strengths, but also taught me how to flex into other behaviours,” she says.

“It’s really helped me know what my values are, and where I can make a difference.”

Jasmine’s passion for successful carbon reduction projects in her industry is where she remains focused in her work with CPC.

“There are a lot of opportunities that we need to be exploring … I love the premise of projects that line up with the goals of the business, and one of these is the beef cattle herd methodology project,” Jasmine explains.

“It’s designed around awarding emissions reductions to producers who have taken steps like increasing turnoff weight and decreasing the age of herd and sale cattle, which increases herd productivity as well.”

Seeing such systems work for businesses and producers is a vision that inspires Jasmine, and is a big part of her job satisfaction.

“I’m keen to keep exploring other opportunities for northern pastoral systems that address challenges with land quality and land tenure. These are all future challenges we can work through, and it’s our responsibility to tackle them.”

The Australian Agribusiness Leadership Program (AALP) is a bespoke development program for agribusiness leaders, committed to their sector and to increasing their impact in the businesses and communities in which they live and work. Visit the webpage for more information.