Sophie Hanna joins Riverine Plains team as Livestock Officer

20 February, 2022

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Sophie Hanna joins Riverine Plains team as Livestock Officer

Riverine Plains Inc recently welcomed Sophie Hanna as the group’s new Livestock Officer. Sophie is a former John Hanrahan Scholar and recently completed a Bachelor of Agriculture at the University of Melbourne.

Riverine Plains CEO, Catherine Marriott, explained that Sophie’s appointment was especially significant as it makes a full circle of Sophie’s journey from John Hanrahan Scholar to full-time employee.

“Since receiving the John Hanrahan Scholarship in 2019, Sophie has spent many work experience hours with Riverine Plains and has really gained an appreciation of the type of research and extension work we do, as well as the challenges facing local farmers,” said Ms Marriott.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that the Scholarship was able to play a role in Sophie’s return to the Riverine Plains region — this really highlights how such opportunities can benefit both young people in their early career and the farming community more widely,” added Ms Marriott.

The John Hanrahan Scholarship was established to support and encourage local agriculture students. Sophie believes the Scholarship was a game-changer.

“The opportunities to gain work experience with the Riverine Plains team, attend field days and webinars, and extend my connections through the scholarship were invaluable and have been excellent platforms for kicking-starting my career post-university,” said Ms Hanna.

Riverine Plains has been increasing its focus on livestock production systems and Sophie’s role will advance this further explained Ms Marriott.

“Sophie’s experiences growing up and working on a beef cattle grazing farm in the Upper Murray means that she understands the industry and this makes her really well-placed to help us deliver projects that can improve our members’ livestock operations,” added Ms Marriott.

Last year, Sophie completed an Honours year at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, where she further developed her knowledge of soil science and investigated the influence of lime application on the mineralisation of organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in acid soils.

Ms Hanna said that she is particularly interested in livestock production, soil science and genetics and is keen to employ these interests to help farmers advance their production systems.

“I am very much looking forward to getting out onto farms and meeting with livestock producers to discuss production constraints and help address priority issues for the region,” she said.

“Through our projects, we are aiming to deliver information which directly addresses our member requests and the challenges faced by livestock producers,” she explained.

“I’m really excited to work with farmers to learn more about their needs and then provide the information and resources that can help drive their productivity and enhance efficiency,” added Ms Hanna.

Sophie is based at the group’s Mulwala Office and can be contacted on 03 5744 1713 or by emailing

Applications for the 2023 John Hanrahan Scholarship open 15 March, with further information available at



Riverine Plains Inc is an independent farming systems group specialising in farmer driven research and extension across north-east Victoria and southern New South Wales. For more information, or to become a member, please visit


More Information or Interview:

Claudia Powell, Riverine Plains Inc (0499 402 943) or email