Get To Know: Renee Anderson, Regional Manager - Central Highlands, Cotton Australia

What does your role involve?

I represent Cotton Australia in the Central Highlands in Queensland by providing information, advice, education and services designed to upskill and advocate for cotton growers and the Australian cotton Industry.

I participate in the delivery of the Australian Cotton Industry's myBMP program – our environmental stewardship program, which includes the interaction between growers and the industry development team and their technical experts to provide guidance and assistance to growers.

It’s a key role in the interaction between the organization and the growers in respect to communicating key issues to help inform the setting of policies and positions for the industry and to inform advice that Cotton Australia provides to the Cotton Research and Development Corporation.

How and why did you become involved in the Australian cotton industry?

I started out in cotton research as a technical officer in entomology with the Department of Primary Industries, working on single gene cotton projects, including the resistance management plan for Central Queensland. I was really encouraged by the enthusiasm of those involved in the industry and being able to work with cutting edge technology that is genetically-engineered plants.

Why is the cotton industry important to Australia, and your local community?

Cotton and the growers are an integral and engaging part of my regional community with shared connections, committed volunteering and fundraising to support growth and empowerment within our region. We hold fun social day activities, such as charity golf and cricket days, celebrate the inclusion of women in our community through our Wincott professional development events, and support school, teacher and community education days.

What are you most proud of regarding the Australia cotton industry?

Farms are complex and interconnected ecosystems and the Australian cotton industry has keenly focused on continuous improvement and efficiencies with sustainable and biodiverse farms becoming a key priority over the last two decades. Their stewardship of the soil and education on the value and necessity of protecting healthy soils for future generations of farming using evidence based best management to improve their practices.

What are your future hopes for the Australian cotton industry?

I hope to see farmers increase the resilience and biodiversity on farm with a large focus on soil and wildlife habitat within their productive farming land. Increasing vegetation and cover between paddocks enables the water cycle to function more reliably and protects our farming landscapes from the ever increasing volatility that climate change brings with it.

If you weren’t working in cotton, what job would you be doing?

I’d love to be a Nuffield host and travel with farmers on their international education programs to learn and share ideas with others working in agriculture around the world.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I don’t have much spare time as I also farm, however I really enjoy swimming, pilates, catching up with mates, and travel adventures.

What is your ideal holiday destination and why?

A cabin in a rainforest with a fireplace, a comfy couch with a good book, beautiful bushwalks, a rocky stream to swim in, and fresh food.

What is your favourite movie/book?

My all time favourite books are To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and from my childhood, Matilda by Roald Dahl and The Enchanted Forest by Enid Blyton were two of the first novels I read as a young child.

What three famous people would you invite to a dinner party, and why?

Robin Williams, Barack Obama and David Attenborough