Australian biosecurity in safe hands with Tobie

Safe future for Australia: Tobie Payne, who is passionate about biosecurity, says he's a fan of Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce. Photo: Contributed

Safe future for Australia: Tobie Payne, who is passionate about biosecurity, says he's a fan of Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce. Photo: Contributed

While the idea of two blokes having a chat over a beer doesn’t sound out of the ordinary, it may come as a surprise to hear that that is exactly what Parkes local Tobie Payne would love to do with Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. Tobie, who is a big fan of Mr Joyce’s says he would “love to have the opportunity to sit down and have a chat with him over an ice cold beer.” 

While both men lead completely different lives, both Tobie and Mr Joyce grew up on farms in NSW and would probably have a lot more in common than one would first think, particularly keeping Australia free from diseases.

And although Boo and Pistol are different from cows and sheep, Tobie is just as passionate about biosecurity as Mr Joyce is.

After years of working with and studying livestock at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, Tobie’s interest in animal welfare has only grown.

He is currently on a three month industry placement at Meat and Livestock Australia and when he graduates from University at the end of the year, he hopes to begin a career in either the biosecurity or equine nutrition industries.

“Biosecurity is a big interest of mine. When you look at the threat that diseases pose to the Australian agricultural industry, if an outbreak was to occur, it would have a catastrophic result,” he said.

“A classic example of this is foot-and-mouth disease. This passion has developed throughout my degree as well as gaining an understanding of not only the effects it could have, but also the chances of it occurring.”

Tobie was born in Parkes and grew up on a small hobby farm. His fathers decision to buy a header initially sparked his enthusiasm for the industry.

For 5 years harvest was highlight, which resulted in Tobie’s decision to attend Yanco Agricultural High School to complete Years 11 and 12.

“This was great opportunity to be exposed to agricultural activities and as well as learning key life skills through being a full time boarder,” Tobie said.

After school he worked at an agribusiness for 12 months whilst studying University via distance.

In 2014 he decided to go to University full-time to continue a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at CSU.

“Throughout the next three years, I grew a big passion for the livestock side of agriculture. The exposure and hands on approach from my subjects really gave me an insight to the opportunities that are available,” he said.

Outside of his studies and work placement Tobie certainly keeps busy with volunteering on farming committees and groups.

He is currently chair of the NSW young farmers Wagga Wagga branch, and is on the NSW young farmers council.

Tobie is also a member of the NSW farmers biosecurity committee, a member of the Wagga Wagga show society next generation committee and a Future Farmers Federation member.

“Another thing I’m passionate about is youth in agriculture. I believe there are so many ideas, knowledge and enthusiasm throughout the industry that more efforts and resources need to be put into this area,” he said.

“However, it is great to see some organisations realising the importance of youth in agriculture. A great example of this is Toby Locke from FFN, leading the way for young people in the industry.

“I reckon you wouldn’t find a better man for the job, a really passionate and knowledgeable fella. Another positive example is also NSW Farmers approach.”