At 28 , Emma Ayliffe is a successful business owner, nationally recognised agronomist, a fledgling farm owner and an in-demand public speaker.

Key points:

  • Emma Ayliffe has been named the 2021 Young Farmer of the Year
  • Ms Ayliffe has been recognised for her advocacy work, innovation and passion
  • She hopes to see more young people involved in agriculture in the future

Now, to add to the list, she has been named the 2021 Young Farmer of the Year.

“I think it’s a really good showcase example that you don’t have to be from a family that owns a farm to be eligible for awards like this,” she said.

Since she was a young girl, Ms Ayliffe has been surrounded by agriculture, with her father managing several cropping farms and sheep stations.

But she always hoped to own her own farm when she got older.

A woman squatting and holdiing a working dog in a rural landscape

Emma Ayliffe is an advocate for agriculture, encouraging future generations to consider a career in the industry.(

Supplied: Emma Ayliffe


Now, Ms Ayliffe and her partner own and operate a 688-hectare property at Lake Cargelligo in Central West New South Wales.

“I was just lucky to have the amazing opportunity with my partner and my partner’s family’s support to buy a farm,” she said.

The pair run half fat lamb production and half dryland cropping.

Ms Ayliffe said she would not have it any other way.

“It still amazes me sometimes that I get paid to drive around looking out of a window. It’s very cool.”

Crop doctor on the side

Ms Ayliffe also works as an agricultural consultant, helping farmers from Griffith to Lake Cargelligo with production.

“I’m like a crop doctor, I go in and work out if something is wrong with the crop and if there is then figure out what we can do to fix it,” she said.

“I work with both irrigation and dryland farmers to help them be as productive as they can be.”

Ms Ayliffe’s work allows her to check in with other farmers and connect with community.

“I think that farming, particularly smaller farming enterprises can often be quite a lonely job,” she said.

“Just being able to check in with neighbours will make a difference.”

Industry advocate

Ms Ayliffe is an advocate for agriculture, encouraging future generations to consider a career in the industry.

“The next generation is 100 per cent of the future whether we like it or not,” she said.

Ms Ayliffe believes getting off the farm every once in a while to educate larger communities about farming is worthwhile.

“I think it’s really important that we get into rural communities and larger metropolitan centres and showcase the amazing things going on out here.”

Bright future for women in ag

Ms Ayliffe said she was happy to see more females getting involved in agriculture.

“Back when I started doing agronomy it was not uncommon for me to be the only girl in the room.”

“And now when I go to stuff it’s really exciting because we sometimes make up to 20  per cent in the room.”

A farmer inspiring the next generation: Emma Ayliffe named as Young Farmer of the Year
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