The Andrews Labor Government has appointed a talented group of young agri-business professionals to lead the development of initiatives to attract and retain young people in agriculture.
The Young Farmers Ministerial Advisory Council will advise the Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford, on the critical factors issuing young people in agriculture and on opportunities for attracting youth to the food and fibre sector.
Attracting and retaining the best young people in agriculture is crucial to meeting the growing demand from Asia for high quality, safe produce and improving access to new markets.
To extend the ideas and suggestions for the advisory council to consider, a series of online forums will run over the next two years on topics relating to the big issues for young people in agriculture.
The Young Farmers Ministerial Advisory Council members are:
- Caitlin Scholfield, Chair – Business Manager, Geoffrey Gardiner Dairy Foundation, Geelong
- Andrew Bulmer, Deputy Chair – Managing Director of a horticulture business, Calulu
- Skye Vermaas – Victorian Young Farmers group representative, Newlyn
- Will Ryan – Young Agribusiness Professionals group representative, Dumbalk
- Prue Milgate – Farm Manager, sheep meat/wool and mixed grains business, Salisbury West
- Thomas McGrath – Farmer mixed meat and wool/cropping business, Murtoa
- James Terry – Director for an integrated grower, packer and exporter asparagus business, Koo Wee Rup
- Sarah Thompson – Engagement and Workforce Development Officer, Murray Dairy, Kialla
- Leila Sweeney-McDougall – Farmer and Secondary School Teacher, Tatyoon
- Maida Anderson – Communications Officer, Baw Baw Shire, Warragul
- Ashlee Hammond – Project and Policy Officer, United Dairyfarmers of Victoria, Melbourne
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“This Government has a strong focus on attracting and retaining young people in to agriculture and breaking down any barriers that may exist.”
“Food and fibre are the future of our economy and building a competitive and skilled agriculture workforce is critical to growing and protecting this vital $11 billion sector.”
“There’s no silver bullet for getting younger people in to farming which is why we’re running an online forum to get as many ideas and thoughts as possible – if you have an interest in farming or agriculture then get online and have your say.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020