NEWS RELEASE October 15, 2022
Running to leap forward – happy Rural Women’s Day
Crestmead, Queensland (15 October, 2022) – John Deere is marking the International Day of Rural Women this Saturday, 15 October by celebrating its outstanding female technicians, who go above and beyond to provide vital in-field service and remote diagnostics to their customers.
Nine particularly remarkable women, include the three winners and six finalists who were recognised as part of the 2022 John Deere Technician Awards in Australia and New Zealand.
Sarah Lewis, Australian Parts Technician of the Year, manages Brandt’s John Deere dealership in Terang, southwest Victoria, and is especially passionate about promoting the role of technicians. Ms Lewis started a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in Commercial Law and International Management, but during her studies decided to work in agriculture.
"It’s awesome to constantly challenge yourself to decipher what people want and whether you have it, and to have customers say how much they appreciate the help," she said.
"I want to tell people about the shortage of service techs and encourage them to get involved in sales, parts or anything in the ag industry. This job keeps you interested and challenged every day."
Across the Tasman, Megan Tree never imagined she would be working as a parts technician, capable of sourcing and sending a rapid flow of parts and equipment to a diverse range of machinery operators across New Zealand.
Mrs Tree already had a deep connection with agriculture, having grown up on a sheep farm on the South Island where her parents also trained racehorses.
"I didn’t know much about heavy machinery because there wasn’t much tractor work on the farm. My first career was in veterinary nursing, and I worked in clinics for three years before I decided I wanted a new challenge and made a career shift to service administrator for Southland Farm Machinery in Gore," Mrs Tree said.
Here, she regularly filled in the parts department, and gradually built up confidence in the role as she sourced and delivered parts to farmers involved in cultivation, baling, dairy and sheep.
Six years later, Mrs Tree is John Deere’s 2022 New Zealand Parts Technician of the Year.
"It was funny being in parts because at first a lot of farmers wouldn’t speak to a female. They preferred to deal with a man. But that’s changing now, which is very cool," Mrs Tree said.
"The training and technology that came with the role made it not so daunting too, and I still have room to learn and grow. I think service is just about getting people going and keeping them going."
Australia’s Agriculture Service Technician of the Year, Jaymee Ireland, is carving out a stellar career amongst the broadacre cropping and viticulture industries of Roseworthy, near Adelaide.
As a teenager living on Kangaroo Island, Jaymee Ireland completed a Certificate II in Aircraft Line Maintenance, and at 17 started work experience with local mobile mechanic, Jason Barrett, before taking on an apprenticeship at Emmetts KI.
Two years later she moved to Emmetts Roseworthy, where she works with 15 technicians.
"I love my job. Every day we’re working on something new in the wine or grain or horticulture industries, either in the field, on farm or in the workshop. I’m learning heaps, especially about John Deere diagnostic support which is always advancing," Ms Ireland said.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing, though.
"When I started doing farm visits on my own it was pretty nerve-wracking because you could tell some farmers weren’t sure about a female fixing their tractor. But they trust me now, and some actually ask for me to do the job," she said.
"Fixing machinery that’s broken down at a critical time like harvest can have a million-dollar impact, so knowing that I’ve ensured a farmer's machinery is operating at peak performance is really rewarding."
The other John Deere Technician Awards finalists all agree that they love the scope of their jobs, from working on large-scale farming, forestry and construction machinery to advising home gardeners on new blades for their ride-on mowers.
- Sally Clayton, Forbes, NSW – Sally grew up in the sheep and wool industry and came up through the Hutcheon & Pearce Top Gun Apprentice Program.
- Kaylyn-Rose Netrval, Rutherford, NSW – Kaylyn-Rose didn’t have a background in agriculture but was passionate about a career in ag, and completed a parts apprenticeship with RDO Equipment.
- Caitlin Williams, Gympie, QLD – Caitlin worked in administration for RDO Equipment. When asked to fill in for the Parts Department, she fell in love with the job.
- Lauren Cortes, Dalby, Qld – As a jillaroo in the Northern Territory and feedlot pen rider in Queensland, Lauren saw John Deere machinery up close, and is now apprenticed to RDO Equipment.
- Deena Martin, Ashburton, NZ – After a long stint on dairy farms, Deena chose to work as a parts technician to support farmers, and enjoys learning about innovative machinery and new technology.
- Megan Foster, Mosgiel, NZ – She doesn’t have a background in agriculture, but Megan proved that you can make anything happen when you’re passionate and loves working in an industry that contributes to the livelihoods of thousands of New Zealanders and provides food to many more.
John Deere is delighted by the increasing number of women who choose a career as a technician and is committed to attracting more to the industry. To find out more about being a John Deere Technician, visit the John Deere website.
About Deere & Company
Deere & Company (www.JohnDeere.com.au) is a global leader in the delivery of agricultural, construction, and forestry equipment. We help our customers push the boundaries of what's possible in ways that are more productive and sustainable to help life leap forward. Our technology-enabled products including John Deere Autonomous 8R Tractor, See & Spray™, and E-Power Backhoe are just some of the ways we help meet the world's increasing need for food, shelter, and infrastructure. Deere & Company also provides financial services through John Deere Financial.
For more information on Deere & Company, visit us at www.deere.com.au/en/news/.