Young farmers across the state are having their say on the future focus of Victorian agriculture.
Led by the Young Farmer Ministerial Advisory Council, young farmers are attending workshops to identify the support they need to excel in their future agricultural careers.
Over the past 18 months, council members have developed draft recommendations and are now working with their local communities and the agriculture industry to trial and test these with other young farmers.
The recommendations focus on how to develop future initiatives and create opportunities that will attract and retain young farmers in the food and fibre sector.
‘‘The work of the Young Farmer Ministerial Advisory Council is a great opportunity for young people working in agriculture to put their issues and ideas forward and inform government,’’ council member and Murray Dairy extension officer Sarah Thompson said.
‘‘As a council member, I feel I have a responsibility to speak to as many people as possible within my networks, and to ensure we fully understand the current climate for young farmers.’’
The council has identified social connected-ness and business management capacity as the two key priority areas for supporting young farmers.
Workshops have been held in Lindenow and Echuca and are scheduled over the coming weeks in Rupanyup and Woodhouse — the focus being on challenges facing young farmers and, importantly, finding solutions to meet their needs.
The council will have a meeting in early August to refine and prioritise recommendations that they will take to Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford later this year.
The council consists of 11 passionate young people in agriculture who represent various industry sectors, groups and regions across Victoria.
■For more information about having input to the process, email: youngfarmer.[email protected] or phone 5215 6041.