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Girl power at Janbeth

Briana Cole knows the ropes on a cotton farm and is happy to be working in a safe farming environment PHOTO TWH

One of the good stories during the COVID-19 crisis has been the resurgence of the local agricultural industries, including the cotton industry.

With good local rainfall, the Darling River running from top to bottom and most local water storages full or filling, a big cotton crop is expected at Bourke this year. Local cotton growers can plant a big crop for the first time in three years, and growers are busy employing new farm workers to get through a mountain of crop preparation work.

Work on Janbeth Station just downstream of Bourke is going full steam ahead, and women are ruling the roost when it comes to tractor driving. Janbeth is owned and operated by Australian Food & Fibre (AFF), and new AFF Cotton Farming Manager John Carter said that women in the industry tended to be excellent farm workers and had great attention to detail.

“We have been employing more and more people since the rain,” John said, “and we will be looking for more people as the cotton growing season approaches.

Amongst the crop of new farmhands at Janbeth are Birgit Trovato, Brianna Cole and Cheyenne Shelton.

Birgit Trovato came out to Bourke from Alstoneville, just east of Lismore on the north coast of NSW, when she and her partner ran out of work on the coast growing hay.

Read more in the printed edition of the Western Herald.

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