Women in Agriculture

A desire to help people and make a meaningful difference led Lesleigh Wright to a career in Agriculture

Lesleigh Wright joined Impact Fertilisers (the wholesale trading name of Ameropa Australia) in the role of Key Accounts Manager in early 2021, bringing expert customer support and strategic focus to the role with several years of customer service and key account experience.

Lesleigh says she had never envisioned a career in Agriculture, “Growing up, I wanted to go into Biomedicine and be an academic working on Cancer Research – I wanted to help people and make a difference. In 2016, I graduated from LaTrobe with a Double Degree in Biomedical Science and Biological Science with 3 Majors.”

“Towards the end of my degree, I took up a few Soil Science and Botany subjects and volunteered at a seed bank to pass the time. I can’t lie, volunteering at the seed bank was boring, but while counting seeds, bagging them up and weighing them, I couldn’t help wondering where in the country they were going? For what purpose? Where would the produce end up?”

From here Lesleigh decided to sound out a career in Agriculture and began working for Gallagher Animal Management. “I loved learning about the industry which as you can imagine is quite different from Biomedical Science. However, I still chased the opportunity to help people and make a difference – this is when I began working with Impact.”

“Moving into the Key Accounts role at Impact Fertilisers was exactly what I was looking for, providing a challenging role, and working in an industry I am truly passionate about. At the end of the day – without fertiliser, Australian agriculture stops, and this is where I connect to helping people and making a difference in Australian agriculture.”

“Learning about the Company and the fertiliser industry has been a great adventure and Impact has a fantastic Company culture. I enjoy speaking to people all over Australia and being part of a Company that’s playing a large role in where our produce comes from.”

“I encourage anyone to consider a career in Agriculture, it is a rewarding career and there is a strong sense of community.”

Vanessa Milham’s Career has Gone Full Circle Back to Where it All Began – in Agriculture

Vanessa Milham has brought years of knowledge and experience to the role of Regional Operations Manager Tasmania since joining Impact Fertilisers.

Vanessa says “I started my career in the pulp and paper industry in research and development. This was an exciting role which led to being involved with the modernisation of a key New Zealand plant to produce Dixon free pulp back in the 1990s…also covering  printability, fluted mediums and cardboard.”

Vanessa’s career then moved into the Adhesives industry, where she applied her knowledge and experience of the paper industry. “From here I moved on to work in quality management and ISO accredited companies in various food industries manufacturing coffee and tea, wine and cheese, sauces and pickles, and desserts, …needless to say the kitchen cupboards were always full.”

“I then transferred across to production and factory management, utilising all of the skills I had picked up along the way. I met my husband and ventured into the world of Transport and held a senior executive role for around 10-12 years.”

Just before moving into the role of Regional Operations Manager at Impact, Vanessa held an operational position with an Australian glass manufacturer. All up she has around 10-15 years’ experience in Manufacturing and the equivalent in Transport….and all within the world of male-dominated industries or sectors.

“My role at Impact has me calling on all of this experience as a Regional Operations Manager. Whilst I am learning about the Agriculture sector,  I have in one way or another, been in a food-related business or supply chain environment which has a connection to the farming industry. I feel that my career has gone full circle back to where it all begins, at the grassroots level.”

To Visibly See the Impact Our Work has on Food Security and Supply is the Most Rewarding Part of Working in Agriculture, says Shannon McDonagh

Shannon McDonagh joined Impact Fertilisers in 2021 in the role of Product Marketing Manager. She has a broad range of experience from her time as Marketing Coordinator at a major Agricultural Chemical Business and other roles within Horticulture and the Soil Science fields.


Shannon says “I started studying a Bachelor of Agriculture hoping to move into Veterinary Science to become a vet but found myself interested in plant and soil science. Studying at Dookie consolidated my passion for the Agriculture industry and community, and I swapped my majors from Animal Science to Plant and Soil Science. An internship in my second year with a local Agronomist opened my eyes to the wide range of career opportunities within the industry.“

Throughout her study and after graduating, Agriculture has always been an industry Shannon has been drawn back to. “I have had quite a few jobs in agriculture including picking up a few shifts in a piggery; wool classing, and at a dairy as well as working in a spinach farm for a year. Whilst the work at times was demanding the visible impact it has on food security and supply has always been rewarding.”

“In my third year of study, I moved into a graduate role of Marketing Coordinator at an agrichemical company. I joined Impact Fertilisers last year as Product Marketing Manager and have learned a lot about the fertiliser industry. Impact has a great Company culture and a real focus on learning and development. Whist Agriculture is typically a male-dominated industry I have no doubt that choosing a career in Agriculture was the right choice for me. I would encourage more women to consider a career in Agriculture.”