Nurse-turned-farmer crowned all-island farm champ
Chelisa Osbourne, the Wakefield, Trelawny, woman who gave up a career in nursing and embraced agriculture, was last week crowned All-Island Youth Farmer champion at the Jamaica 4-H Clubs National Achievement Expo 2022 at the Denbigh showground in Clarendon.
"Winning this competition means that I have now been able to overcome some fears. At one time I harboured a little fear as to whether I would succeed in business," she told THE STAR.
Osbourne, 25, who won the champion youth farmer award at the parish level last month, was rewarded with several prizes including cash, a pig, a water tank and hoses as well as a one-year scholarship to study agro-processing and marketing.
"You can see joy and happiness all over me. Since winning the parish championship I focused on being crowned all-island champion. My aim was geared towards expanding the activities on my farm. This dream is coming faster than I planned and I am happy, happy and thankful," she said.
Osbourne's embrace of farming comes despite her possessing a bachelors of science degree in nursing from the University of Technology Jamaica, where she specialised in midwifery. She has been a farmer for the past two years and is focused on not only becoming financially successful but moving her community forward.
"One of my early ambitions was to provide employment for some people in my district. I now employ two persons, and with the planned expansion [of the farm] there is going to be employment opportunities for more persons," she declared.
One of those persons who is now under her employ is her mother, Nassie-Ann Bennett.
"My mother, who was disappointed when I gave up nursing has now decided, since Friday, to be one of my employees," Osbourne said.
"I am very happy to have my mother as an employee. She is here at home with me and we can discuss plans going forward and the path the must expansion should take."
Meanwhile, Ronald Blake, the executive director of Jamaica 4-H, said that having young people like Osbourne involved in agriculture is refreshing.
"I am proud of her even more because of the history behind her decision to become a full-time farmer, which all started in 4-H. The pride is heightened because she is female," Blake said.