Poppy Blooms Into Champion Tech in WA's Wheatbelt
Being named Parts Apprentice of the Year at the 2023 John Deere Technician Awards is not something Poppy Blohm could have ever imagined.
Poppy is a second-year apprentice at AFGRI Equipment's Narrogin John Deere dealership in Western Australia's Wheatbelt region — a far cry from her Perth upbringing.
"I moved to Narrogin to experience country life — I had no idea I'd ever achieve something like this," she said.
"To be honest, I was never that enthusiastic about machinery or mechanical work, but I decided to just give it a go and now I wouldn't change it for the world.
"Working at AFGRI Equipment has given me so much respect for the people who work in agriculture and the farmers we serve.
"Supporting those who contribute to the nation's food supply fills me with pride. I've come to understand that farming is a 24/7 endeavour, and even when we go home, their machines keep working to provide for everyone. Being part of this cycle motivates me to give my best every day."
AFGRI Equipment Narrogin Branch Manager, Willem Fourie, said Poppy has been integral in ensuring the efficiency of the Parts Department since she came on board in early 2022.
"She's been invaluable," he said.
"With her support we've streamlined processes and implemented effective systems, resulting in significantly improved performance.
"Poppy consistently goes above and beyond to deliver exceptional customer support. She exemplifies professionalism, integrity, and a strong work ethic."
Poppy said she was surprised but grateful for her win at the Technician of the Year Awards.
"It's always nice when your hard work is recognised by other people," she said.
"I take great pride in being a dependable team member, and really value the relationships I have with my colleagues and appreciate the mutual trust and support we share.
"Becoming a trusted advisor relies on delivering exceptional service. I strive to support customers to the best of my abilities."
The 20-year old hopes to one day move into a customer sales representative role.
"I'm just taking it one step at a time, trying to immerse myself into learning everything I can to improve as a salesperson," she said.
"To any young people who may be thinking about a similar career, you don't always have to go straight into what you love doing at the time. You never know if you just give something a go — you may grow to love it like I have!"