Natalie Sommerville

Farmer, advocate

Natalie is co-owner of Euromina Holdings PL, a cropping and livestock business in the Mid-North.

Through Partners in Grain SA, Natalie helps to deliver and organise professional development activities and events for local farming families.

She is also the state representative for the National Rural Women Network and a committee member for the Ag Excellence Alliance.

I studied at Adelaide University’s Roseworthy Campus, combining agricultural subjects in the final year of my Bachelor of Applied Science Natural Resources Management.

I have had many role models in my family, including strong women not afraid to get their hands dirty. My family influenced my love of producing food and I spent a lot of time on my grandparents’ cattle property in Northern Australia, helping with mustering, fencing and fire management.

After four years in Victoria with Bayer Crop Science, my husband Dane and I made the big move back to his family property in the mid north. It’s hard to start a new agricultural business but, in 2004, we leased the land, bought machinery and, with two business partners, established Euromina Holdings PL, focusing on wheat as well as barley, canola, beans and hay for export.

I am passionate about the environment and enjoy my role as chairperson of the local Landcare group and as a member of my region’s Natural Resource Management board.

The best decision we made was being proactive about succession planning, which can make or break a business and family relationships. We now have full ownership of Euromina and we are in a transition phase with Dane’s father to structure an agreement to purchase his farming business.

I love to think strategically and focus on business direction including risk management, which is so important as a farmer today. I also love the diversity and the physical work of farming. I realised how much I missed it once I had little children and how much I needed that tactile relationship with the land.

I have learned that, when people make assumptions, if you say nothing, nothing will change. I’ve been mistaken as a receptionist instead of the agronomist; I’ve not been recognised as a farmer in my own right; and I’ve come across situations as an Indigenous person that have left me speechless. I have learned to see it as an opportunity to gently educate.

Quote: "Women can get left out of a lot of conversations in agribusiness when they label themselves a farmer’s wife. I have observed that the less involved they are in decision-making the less valued they can feel, and the fantastic skills they can bring to the business are not being considered or utilised."


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