A PARLIAMENTARY inquiry has supported the VFF in its plans to attract the next generation of farmers.
The findings of the inquiry into agricultural education and training have reinforced the key concerns of the Victorian Farmers Federations Gen F campaign.
The campaign has been spearheaded by members of the VFF's Young Agribusiness Professionals (YAPs).
The group has been running forums across Victoria to hear from young farmers about ways to attract and retain the next generation of food and fibre producers.
With the average age of farmers rising to 56, the industry has been keen to boost the profile of agriculture and agribusiness before it’s too late.
YAPs acting chair Chris Walsh said it was no surprise many of the Parliamentary inquiry's 45 recommendations aligned with issues raised by young rural Victorians attending our Gen F forums.
"The YAPs and VFF are investigating developing a program in partnership with government, which establishes a register of farms that are able to take on work experience students and or school groups,'' Mr Walsh said.
"YAPs is heavily committed to improving the image of agriculture through the use of regional champions, social media campaigns and presenting a modern image of agriculture.''
Just last month students at Gen F forums at Marcus Oldham College, Melbourne University and La Trobe University called for:
A one-stop shop website that contains information on career pathways, job opportunities, grants, scholarships and events;
A well-known and respected person to be the mediator between activist groups and agricultural groups;
Students to take the lead in manning careers stands at open days and portray the right image of agriculture;
Run more events for students to network with other students and for career prospects;
Rural champions to promote the professionalism and value of working in agriculture;
A campaign to counter the negative image of agriculture as a career among some young people.
The Parliamentary recommendations were:
Promotional campaign to improve the image of agriculture.
Developing an agricultural careers awareness program for Victorian school.
Improving the quality of agricultural careers advice in schools.
Developing an online agricultural careers hub.
Developing agricultural career pathways.
Supporting workforce development for the agriculture sector Recommendation 13 calls for opportunities for schools to work with local farmers and industries to provide students with hands on experiences.
- To join YAPs contact Ailsa Gibson on 1300 882 833