June 10, 2013
The State Government has taken a step in the right direction today by launching a strategy to attract young people into agriculture. “We’re happy to see commitments to investigate establishing specialist Year 11 & 12 agricultural schools, convene an industry roundtable and appoint one rural industries career adviser,” VFF president Peter Tuohey said. “In the past 12 months two parliamentary inquiries have made a raft of recommendations calling for promotional campaigns, career development and more co-ordinated training to get young people into agriculture,” Mr Tuohey said. VFF Young Agribusiness Professionals acting chairman Chris Walsh said he was pleased the government had recognised the need to boost the image of agriculture and encourage young people into the industry. At this stage the government has promised to: • Convene a roundtable with heads of industry and youth groups that will plan to attract and retain young people into agriculture. • Appoint a rural industries career advisor to work in schools. • Plan to investigate creating specialist Year 11 & 12 agricultural schools. “Although a rural career advisor will be appointed to work in schools, we feel that adding more agriculture into the curriculum will be the foundation of changing younger peoples’ perceptions of the industry,” Mr Tuohey said. “Providing youngsters with career advice options is not the same as giving them industry related experience, which is what the VFF and YAPs recommended back in May. “There’s huge potential to build specialist agricultural secondary schools at Glenormiston, Longerenong and Dookie (tertiary) agricultural campuses.” The government has delivered on its promise to create a young farmer committee, its first meeting is on December 11 and will include members from; YAPS, Victorian Young Farmers (VYF), Ag Next, Young Dairy Development programme (YDDP), Future Farmers Network (FFN), and Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria.