Agronomist Luke Pope moves into the private sector

AMID the continued uncertainty created by job cuts in the Department of Primary Industries (DPI), well-known district agronomist Luke Pope has made the move to the private sector.

Mr Pope has a young family and was the DPI district agronomist based in Cooma for the past 10 years.

"The family really enjoy Cooma and I was looking for a way of staying in Cooma," Mr Pope said.

"The opportunity came up [at Elders] after the previous agronomist left late last year."

With the announced 300 job cuts to DPI, the current two positions at Cooma - the livestock officer and agronomist - will be reduced to one position. There is still no detail about what that position will be or the qualifications required to fill it.

Mr Pope said he enjoyed working with his DPI colleagues and has been involved in long-term field trials on the Monaro.

"What I'll miss about DPI will be the people, my colleagues in DPI. It was a very strong team. We worked together collaboratively on important projects," he said.

Mrs Pope is looking forward to being able to spend more time concentrating on farmers on the Monaro.

"In my DPI job I was spread over a greater area, from the Southern Highlands to the Victorian border," Mr Pope said,

As the Elders agronomist he will provide practical advice on-farm about weed, crop and pasture management.

"Because of my history of giving impartial advice, I'm still giving that whole farm advice," Mr Pope said.

In summing up his time as the district agronomist he said things that struck him the most was the drought and the resilience of the land to recover from the drought.

"And the toughness and resilience of the farmers to cope with it."

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