As a fifth-generation grazier, working the land runs in Nathan Warnock’s veins and he always knew he wanted to work in agriculture.
Classroom to cattle enterprise
After graduating from high school, he jumped straight from the classroom to the paddock on an ambitious journey to kick start his career in the cattle industry.
“I had a great interest in dogs and horses from a young age and that evolved into the cattle side of things and I found a real interest and passion in running an agricultural business,” he said
Once Nathan completed year 12 in 2013, he was keen to immerse himself in the agricultural industry, completing his Certificate II in Agriculture and regularly attending best management practice workshops to build his knowledge and skills on cattle production and land management.
“Agriculture as a career is a very diverse area, it’s so interesting and I’ve developed a great passion for the fact that there are so many different options and ways things can be done,” he said,
Then, at just 19 years of age, Nathan received a First Start Loan from the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA). The loan helped Nathan purchase his first property, ‘Mountain View’, 197 hectares near Rockhampton which allowed him to buy into the family business where he now runs 300 head of cattle.
“Receiving the QRIDA First Start Loan was a great way for me to purchase my first block of land and use that as a stepping stone into the family business,” he said.
At 23, Nathan is well on his way to growing a sustainable cattle business.
“The infrastructure and herd value have gone up and I’m focusing more on regenerative grazing and adjusting cattle numbers to work with the land, so my business is more sustainable over the longer term,” he said.
Nathan said the help from QRIDA played a big role in allowing him to achieve his career goals and dreams.
“It was good to have someone to talk you through the process and to also make sure you have all the livestock data and figures. It was useful to sit down and go through a business plan, although three years on the trajectory has changed, I can always go back to the plan, modify and reassess,” he said.
Nathan’s advice to other young farmers considering a career on the land is to educate themselves on the opportunities and assistance available to them.
“Learn about the diverse opportunities [the industry] presents and explore all the avenues. Whether it be regenerative grazing, cattle management or whatever practices, I’d encourage you to pick up tips that might help create more financial security for you, and just go for it,” he concluded.