Young farmers outline their vision for future

The next generation of the state’s best and brightest farmers met in Dubbo today to kickstart their goal to improving the future of farming.

The NSW Young Farmer Business Program Advisory Committee met for the first time to discuss their plans for a fresh new approach to helping farmers and fishers to enter into or expand their existing businesses.

Following a call for ‘expressions of interest’ to join the Advisory Committee, a total of 28 applications were received to fill the four new independent committee positions.

DPI’s Deputy Director General of Engagement and Industry Assistance Brett Fifield said the Advisory Committee is crucial to ensuring the Young Farmer Business Program is strategic and relevant.

“The program aims to improve opportunities for younger farmers and fishers to enter into, or expand their businesses and to improve connections, knowledge, skills and experience through capacity building activities and access to information,” Mr Fifield said.

“It provides knowledge and skills to improve business resilience, manage risk, execute effective plans and make decisions that ensure the viability of agricultural and fishing businesses across NSW as well as access to new business ideas, tools and techniques.

“It also supports the access to a range of products and services that engage with a wide diversity of skills, knowledge and experience within the primary industries business sector and connects young farmers and fishers with opportunities that enable them to establish and /or expand their business.”

“Since the program began in 2017 it has reached out to more than 700,000 young farmers and fishers through social media, held 156 individual coaching sessions and 52 events across the state.”

The new independent committee members are:

  • Andrew Rice from Parkes, a partner in a mixed farming business near Parkes. Andrew also operates ASPIRE agri, an agricultural and management services business. Andrew is chair of the board for Foundation for Arable Research Australia and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
  • Angus Groves from Dubbo, who is a grain accumulation manager for Cargill Australia. Angus recently started an organic hops business at the Barrington Tops and is selling to local breweries.
  • Mitchell Plumbe from Broken Hill, who is a team leader with Local Land Services. Mitch has a Bachelor Degree of Rural Science from the University of New England and more than five years of experience in extension services.
  • Melissah Barrett from Coffs Harbour, who is a partner in a professional fishing business. Melissah works as a nurse and is actively involved with the Professional Fishermen’s Association.

They are joined by four stakeholder group nominated delegates including NSW Farmers Policy Director, Alexandra Bunton; NSW Farmers Young Farmer Councillor, Hannah Cargill; Future Farmers Network member, Olivia Falkiner and ASC Next Gen Vice President, Camilla Kenny.

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