Jamie Pollen

"In agronomy there will always be problems that need solving and many exciting possibilities to be uncovered."


Why did you study agricultural science at UQ?

Demand is high for agricultural scientists who can find sustainable solutions to the complex challenges of food security and nutritional value under a changing climate. This is exactly why I chose this degree, to contribute to finding solutions to these issues.

I chose to study at The University of Queensland because it offered an amazing agronomy degree in an excellent rural location at Gatton. I wanted to experience moving away from my home town in Far North Queensland, and the Halls of Residence created an environment for me to have a home away from home.


How has studying at UQ helped get you where you are today?

The skills I developed during my time at UQ have equipped me to assess and manage complex challenges, thrive in fast-paced work environments, lead informed decision-making, and be recognised for my strong problem-solving skills and critical thinking capabilities.

This has fast-tracked me to the position of head agronomist and production manager for Queensland Berries.


What was the best part of your time at UQ?

I was able to have the opportunity to live on campus on the Riddell Hall of Residence for the first year of my degree, making lifelong friendships. Over the duration of living on campus there were many exciting sport events and fun club nights. The friends I made in the first year of university I still have now. Overall, the experience of being at university includes wonderful high moments but also uncomfortable low moments. No matter the experience, I am wholeheartedly glad to have been given the opportunity to grow and learn as a human.


What kind of work do you do as part of your job?

As head agronomist and production manager for Queensland Berries, I currently manage the continued growth and profitability of the business through insuring forward planning and liaising with external businesses over all 5 sites to ensure timely delivery and application of planting and manipulations, alongside forecasting.

I also oversee the agronomy aspect, which includes identifying strategies to improve overall crop health and yields, communicating better growing techniques, and adapting new techniques to improve the efficiency of maintenance and harvest tasks.

I’m also collaborating with Berries Australia to develop a young berry farmers community network that brings young agronomists and technical farm staff together to connect, network, learn from, and support each other.


What is the best part of your job? 

I have a passion for agronomy and the desire to create change. One of the main reasons I chose this career is because work done in agriculture today passes on something to those who come tomorrow. Whether you are working on the latest technology and research or continuing a long family tradition, agricultural jobs leave a legacy like no other.

My passion is problem solving and I think it is critical to not be afraid of looking at old methods in a different way and making suggestions to improve and optimise practices. In agronomy there will always be problems that need solving and many exciting possibilities to be uncovered. I love that every day is different and creates new challenges and opportunities to work with. 

Being a young female on a male dominated farm forced me to learn to speak up if I had any new ideas or opinions or problems. I am very fortunate to be in a position now where I can voice my opinion and be on the forefront of innovation and enhancing practices.


What advice would you offer to anyone thinking about studying at UQ? 

Studying at UQ has taught me many strong life lessons and equipped me with an amazing educational skill set. I would advise anyone thinking about studying at UQ to 100% give it your best shot. The professors and staff are incredibly supportive and provide the highest quality teaching methods for a strong foundation to your career.

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Jamie Pollen

Jamie Pollen

Job title
Head Agronomist and Production Manager, Queensland Berries

Bachelor of Sustainable Agriculture 

Profile published 2023

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