National AgDay: Interview with Tristan Shannon

How has being brought up in a farming family shaped your attitude toward agriculture?

“I grew up on a third generation sheep, cattle and cropping property near Young, about four hours from Sydney. Growing up, it was difficult to separate my parents’ ‘job’ from our family’s lifestyle because they were so intertwined. This is why the saying ‘farming isn’t just a business, it’s a way of life’ rings very closely for me. Recalling my preschool and kindergarten days brings back memories spent on the farm; of helping out after school, on the weekends and even during the school holidays.”

He believes that this upbringing has been the main motivator in driving his career in AgTech. As Product Manager at AgriDigital, he is excited to be in a critical position that helps solve real problems faced by Aussie farmers.

“I believe that the agriculture industry is one of the innumerable complexities, yet never ceases to fascinate me.”

What attracted you to pursue a career in AgTech?

“I’ve always been passionate about problem solving and innovation. Growing up, I spent countless hours obsessed with Lego and Meccano toys. I loved being my own customer for my built creations. As I grew up, my tools evolved to woodwork saws and lathes, with Mum becoming the enthusiastic but unfortunate customer of my inventions. When I was about fifteen, I advanced to metal grinders and welders. It was exciting to be able to build actual farming equipment that Dad could use”.

These key experiences becoming the foothold for a career shaped around agriculture and technology. Now working collaboratively with a team of experienced software developers to build digital solutions for growers, traders and buyers, he believes that he has found a way to align his skills, interests and future goals.”

What makes AgDay special to you?

“Farmers are ranked in the top 10 as the most trusted professionals in Australia. However, we regularly see mistrust and misconceptions from the wider community about current farming practices. Within the agriculture sector, we regularly celebrate the achievements and success stories of leading farmers and agribusinesses. However, these success stories often aren’t conveyed or heard outside of the agricultural community”.

“Therefore, I see AgDay as a way to engage with and share these stories with a broader audience. It is also an opportunity to start taking the right steps enabling transparency, traceability and trust along the supply chain. As an industry, we need to be on the front foot of promoting Australian agriculture. AgDay is an excellent platform to accelerate this promotion and engagement.”