She's on the frontline in the worst drought in living memory and now Tocal College graduate Catherine Mitchell has been honoured with a special award.
She has been named the Inspirational Young Person of the Year for Maitland/Dungog at the Regional Youth Service Awards.
The accolade took the humble young woman by surprise. She says everybody is inspirational in their own way and she's just doing her best to survive the drought and work in an industry she adores.
"I think everyone is an inspirational person, you look up to the people you are surrounded with and to be considered one of those inspirational people is pretty cool," she said.
"The other people who were in the running for the award seemed like amazing people, I think everyone one of them deserved that award. Dealing with the drought, and doing it tough, I guess it's a way of them saying we understand you've done it rough but you're doing the best with what you've got.
Ms Mitchell has been more fortunate than most on her agriculture journey. She managed to secure her dream job on a dairy farm in Tamworth about 15 minutes drive from her family's cattle property and started as soon as she graduated earlier this year with a Certificate III in Agriculture Production.
It's a busy role with 180 cows to be milked and looked after, but she loves every minute of it.
"I have a strong interest in cattle. I want to learn Artificial insemination (AI) and preg testing. I chose to do dairy because they do that stuff all the time and I felt I could learn that hands on experience," she said.
"That's also the way the industry is going with cattle. I can bring that knowledge back and apply it to my own herd.
"I'm 100 per cent lucky to have got the job, the connections I have in the area definitely helped. Getting into this industry at this time is hard."
Some of her fellow graduates are still looking for work.
"There is only going to be a few people this year or next year, if the drought continues, that will be able to get a job in these times. They want to be able to utilise their certificates, what they trained for, but it's just hard in these circumstances that are out of your control," she said.
The unrelenting drought around Tamworth is rife and Ms Mitchell said some farmers were losing hope and wondering just how long this awful drought would go on.
She said it was clear farmers needed more support to survive these tough times.
"A lot of farmers feel buggered, a lot think we're not even coming to an end of it ... that we're only half way through the drought. Hope is definitely dwindling," she said.
"There are good charity programs, and government subsidies, and that's pretty good, but we need further support. If this drought continues, it's not going to be good.
"It's going to take years and years for farms and businesses to recover from this. A lot of the family farms are selling up because they can't afford it, or the children have lost interest in taking it on."
Ms Mitchell knows firsthand how challenging it can be to battle the drought. Her family's property has been in drought for three years and now a dwindling water supply is posing another challenge.
Last year she was up feeding cattle at 5am so she could catch the bus to school at 7.30am to complete her final year at school. After school she would return home and be out feeding again until about 10pm. Despite this grueling routine she managed to complete her HSC exams.