Why I Chose FBN® Pride Edition: Sarah Woolford, Business Development Manager, Community Builder Program

Melissa Niedrich

14 June 2022

Our ‘Why I Chose FBN’ series features stories from employees across different roles, teams, and geographies on how they got to FBN, what it’s like to work here, and how their teams help fulfill our mission of putting Farmers First®.

In celebration of Pride Month, we are honored to share the stories of our employees who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community and highlight how they've experienced Pride at FBN.

When did you join FBN, what is your current role at FBN, where are you based, and what are your responsibilities? 

I commenced at FBN in August 2021, with my first day being the Dowerin Field day in Western Australia. My role is the Australian Business Development manager for the Community Builder Program. My base is Western Australia, but I travel to all states. My key responsibilities are building and introducing FBN's Community Builder program to prospects in Australia and assisting in building FBN's brand in the regions through my Australian Network. 

What was your previous work experience before joining FBN

My career has given me the ability to work in various industries - retail, construction, banking/finance and now agriculture - the best industry by far! My tenure in the agriculture sector has been 12 years, and I’ve had the opportunity to work in grain marketing/trading, product development (financial), IT management and commercial manager (pork industry).

What did you first find compelling about FBN that led you to want to learn more? 

FBN’s purpose - putting farmers first, this is what makes you go above and beyond every day! 

Why did you ultimately decide to join FBN? What did this thought process look like for you? 

The entrepreneurial mindset, continual improvement and innovation that is being applied through every facet of FBN. The big one - the PEOPLE! The thought process was understanding the purpose, strategy, the products and services offered that are so innovative and meet the challenges farmers face, and talking with people who work at FBN.

Now that you’ve joined, how would you describe FBN’s culture and what it’s like to work here? 

Open and transparent - make a mistake, make it fast and move on. Everyone has a voice, so you can share thoughts and ideas. Extremely collaborative.

What kind of impact are you and your team having on the company’s future? 

We in Australia are building FBN's brand and market share that is seen as a disruptor. It is a disruptor for the benefit of farmers, as they now have the ability to understand the pricing of different products/inputs in the market and make better informed decisions, they have the opportunity to enhance efficiency through accessing the data analytics platform, and the community hub to learn from other farms and access informative articles.

How does FBN’s mission come to life in your day-to-day work? How does your work positively impact farmers? 

FBN's mission is key to every conversation and decision we make as a team. This can be seen in the product offerings, transparency in pricing and our marketing intel to support our Community Builders and farmers. Ensuring we have a presence in the regions via our Community Builders is critical so that we can continue to give back and promote the sustainability of not only farmers but the communities they operate in. 

Why do you celebrate pride?

Celebrating Pride is so important to me, as it is a reminder to all that we need to accept people for who they are and a time during which we can celebrate people's differences in a positive way. It is especially important to me as my own daughter is part of the Pride community, and it has been a journey for me to become more educated and to overcome some of my unconscious biases. My life is fuller from having diverse people around me.

How have you experienced FBN supporting the LGBTQIA+ community?

Amazing! The journey for FBN has only just begun, and the momentum is growing - it's an exciting time. Agriculture in general has been slow to embrace Pride, but FBN is a prime example for other companies to follow in our industry.

We know you have a life outside of work - what kinds of things do you do for fun? 

Reading, continual learning, and I love keeping fit (running) - I live a very healthy life whereby mental and physical health are a priority in my life.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone considering FBN

Join up to a team that is innovative and collaborative, that is pushing the boundaries in the agriculture sector to remain sustainable for future generations.

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Melissa Niedrich

14 June 2022