A passion to be in the paddock and make an impact

A passion to be in the paddock and make a real difference in the agricultural industry is what drove operations coordinator and agronomist Jack Yorston to join Precision Pastures.

Precision Pastures’ newest recruit Jack Yorston joined the business mid-way through his university studies, motivated by his enthusiasm for agriculture and desire to make a difference to an industry loved.

With a background in environmental landscaping, rehabilitation and land care, Jack has always enjoyed working outdoors amongst nature. This led him to pursue a Bachelor of Agriculture at the University of New England in Armidale in 2021, where he discovered Precision Pastures, a local soil, pasture and carbon agronomy business. 

Gaining some initial exposure to agronomy and carbon farming through his tertiary studies, Jack felt compelled to reach out to Precision Pastures to apply for some work experience, which he says “opened his eyes” to a whole new industry and a fast-growing service provider.

“Soil carbon wasn’t something I was too familiar with, but I did receive some initial exposure to it at uni,” Jack says. 

“I found it really interesting – not because of how big it was at the time, but because of how big it will become. As we know, there are still many unanswered questions about soil carbon, but joining Precision Pastures has given me the opportunity to get on the front foot to learn and develop skills in this industry.”

Jack’s keen attitude and natural interest in the emerging industry led to a full-time position upon graduation. In late 2023, Jack was appointed as an operations coordinator and agronomist – a role he describes as “linking the office work to the paddock”. 

“I manage the coordination of soil sampling operations and look after all our equipment used for testing, mapping, and baselining. I am also now applying some of the agronomy skills I picked up at university to assist the team with variable rate application, to help our clients address soil health issues, and to maximise the productivity of their farms,” he says.

“I love being out in the paddock and being able to answer questions that have a real impact on growers and clients, helping them make a real difference to their farming system.”

Jack says his role comes with its challenges, given the limited soil carbon knowledge across the agriculture sector. 

“Adoption remains a challenge with the carbon industry being so new. Sometimes it can be challenging to explain the science in a way that everyone can understand. Testimonials help in that regard, however we do what we do because we understand the science and we are able to demonstrate to new clients that the science does work.”

All in all, Jack believes those who are proactive will reap the rewards of the soil carbon movement – an attitude he has maintained in his own professional pursuits. 

“As far as the ag industry goes, you just have to jump in and have a go,” he says

“It’s a pretty accepting industry of people who are willing to have a crack and get amongst it. If you’re passionate about something and have an inherent interest in what you’re doing, why wouldn’t prospective employers give you a go?” 

Precision Pastures CEO Hamish Webb echoes Jack’s sentiment.

“We are pretty a fast-growing business, constantly evolving and grafting in new services to help our clients understand and take advantage of soil carbon opportunities. This means we are always on the lookout for people with the right attitude and skills to join us,” he says.

“From the beginning, Jack was easy to work with, professional and practical. He could operate any of our machinery, but could also understand new technology and systems, so naturally, this led to a full-time position – he is a great fit for our business and team.”