Where did you grow up? What were you doing before you joined CSBP?
I grew up on my family’s mixed farming enterprise in Katanning. Before joining CSBP I completed a Bachelor of Agribusiness at Curtin University. This gave me a well-rounded understanding of the fundamentals of agriculture in WA, including agronomy, animal production and business management.  I was very keen to start working directly with farmers, to learn from them, and to help improve the profitability and sustainability of their businesses. 

What inspired you to work in agriculture?
Growing up on the farm led me to attend the WA College of Agriculture in Denmark. I really enjoyed learning about the diversity of enterprises within agriculture, and the variety of office-based and practical field work. There are new and interesting opportunities in agriculture as we learn to farm in a changing climate and feed the growing global population. And the people in the industry are friendly, encouraging, passionate, and resilient.

How long have you been with CSBP and what’s the most rewarding part of your role?
I have been with CSBP for close to four years. I started as a trainee account manager based in Katanning and then moved to Wongan Hills as an account manager. For me, the most rewarding part of the role is building a trusted relationship with customers. I enjoy helping them choose the best products and rates for their farm based on soil and plant testing managing logistics and market variability, and seeing my input have a positive impact on their business. 

What have you enjoyed learning in your role?
I have enjoyed learning how to develop a nutrition plan based on strategic soil samples, understanding the soil characteristics, nutrient profile and what the grower is trying to achieve. I enjoy identifying any factors that may be restricting the crop from achieving its potential and delivering a fertiliser recommendation backed up by trial data from our field research team. It’s great to work with customers who are constantly trying to improve their system through well-researched agronomy. 

What are some highlights of your career to date?  
I’m proud of receiving the Kott Gunning Scholarship when I was at university and graduating with my Agribusiness degree. There’s no doubt farming can be a tough gig so it’s really fulfilling to see customers when they’ve had a good year and to know that I was a part of that. 

How are you involved in your local community? 
There’s no better way to meet people in a country town than joining sporting teams. The great thing about Wongan Hills is the access to a range of sporting facilities. I enjoy playing netball, basketball and volleyball. 

What do you do when you’re not at work?
I enjoy getting into the garden - you could say I like watching things grow. Aside from that, I like getting involved in team sports and catching up with friends. 

What’s your favourite time of the growing season? 
My favourite time of the growing season is from July to October. The crops are up, and I enjoy being able to get out and see how everything is growing in different areas, on different soil types and under different management strategies. I also enjoy looking over trials at field days and then estimating yield potential as the season draws to a close.
 
Lois Kowald
By Lois Kowald
- Senior Account Manager

Lois grew up on a sheep, cattle and cropping farm in Katanning. In 2017 she graduated from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Agribusiness, where she had worked as a Research Assistant for the Centre for Crop and Disease Management.

As a Senior Account Manager, Lois enjoys working with farmers to assist their decision making in order to improve their productivity, profitability and sustainability.

 

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