Young Farmers Advisory Council
The Young Farmers Advisory Council provides a strong voice for young people in Agriculture. The council also serves to develop the sector leaders of tomorrow.
The council is a group of passionate young people from various agricultural industries and regions, who advise government on issues affecting young people in agriculture and on program delivery. Council members also act as young ambassadors to attract new entrants to the state's vibrant agriculture sector.
The council assists government to better understand the needs of young people in agriculture and helps to develop solutions and shape support for young people on the land.
The council consulted broadly with young farmers, industries, communities and networks, and considered research to develop key recommendations for government to support young people in agriculture.
In 2018, the council will focus on implementation of its Recommendations Report.
Expressions of interests to join the Young Farmers Advisory Council have now closed.
Young Farmers Ministerial Advisory Council Recommendations Report
The Recommendations Report was presented to the Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford, on 5 September 2017.
The Report focuses on two priority areas for young people in agriculture:
- building farm business management capacity and financial literacy skills for the next generation of farmers;
- exploring the opportunities for young people in agriculture to network, connect, and engage with educational activities and events, and in a social capacity.
The Report is based on two-years of research and consultation with young farmers, industries, communities and networks. The Victorian Government will now consider the recommendations from the Report.
Members of the previous Young Farmers Ministerial Advisory Council
Caitlin Scholfield, Chair
Business Manager, Geoffrey Gardiner Dairy Foundation, Melbourne
Caitlin has a whole of industry perspective based on her extensive experiences in the agriculture sector. Caitlin grew up and worked on a sheep grazing property in South West Victoria and has worked on sheep farms in Australia and Scotland. Since completing a Bachelor of Farm Management (Charles Sturt University Orange) Caitlin has worked in agribusiness with professional roles for the Geoffrey Gardiner Dairy Foundation, Australian Fodder Industry Association, Tapex and Landmark.
Caitlin was a Director on the Future Farmers Network Board. By Chairing the Council Caitlin brought together informed and committed people who feel strongly for the future viability of agriculture and created an opportunity to better understand of the whole industry.
Andrew Bulmer, Deputy Chair
Managing Director of Bulmer Farms, Calulu
Andrew is committed to developing the horticulture sector in Gippsland. Andrew is the Managing Director of a large horticultural business and is focused on farm innovation and new technologies. Andrew currently chairs the East Gippsland Food Cluster and is involved in school based traineeship programs.
Victorian Young Farmers representative, Newlyn
Skye grew up in the high country and now lives in the potato growing district north of Ballarat. Skye was instrumental in the resurrection of Dean-Newlyn Young Farmers which almost closed in 2012. The group is now a strong and active club, which contributes to the local community through over 50 members. Skye was elected as Victorian Young Farmers State President from 2013-2015 and currently holds the position of Immediate Past President.
As the Past President, Skye is responsible for mentoring and coaching upcoming leaders of the rapidly growing youth organisation and ensuring good governance.
Farm Manager, Mixed Meat & Wool/Cropping business, Salisbury West
Prue has extensive experience in the agriculture industry. Prue manages and works on her family's sheepmeat/wool and mixed grain production property. Prue was a past Chair, and founding member of the Young Agribusiness Professionals group. Prue has been a Board Director Future Farmer Network and Chair of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Rural Woman of the Year Victoria selection panel, to name a few.
Prue sat on the Board of the North Central Catchment Management Authority, currently sits on her local Serpentine Recreation Reserve Committee of Management, and is a member of the Victorian Biosafety Committee. Prue was a member of the top 100 Women in Australian Agribusiness in 2014, and a top 3 finalist for the outstanding young achiever category.
Program Development Coordinator, Dairy Australia, Warragul
Sarah is the Program Development Coordinator for Dairy Australia. Her previous role was the Young Dairy Network coordinator with Murray Dairy. Sarah is interested in ways to attract high school students to choose agriculture as a study area and career of choice. Sarah has is worked with careers teachers in high schools and implemented a workforce development strategy for the dairy industry.
Farm Manager and Shearer, Mixed Meat & Wool/Cropping business, Murtoa
Thomas is a young farmer at the start of his agricultural career. He is helping manage a 5500 acre mixed meat & wool/cropping family farm, and also works as a shearer. The family farm has a 1000 head of Merino and the three most common crops grown are wheat, barley and lentils.
Leila Sweeney McDougall
Farmer, Fashion Designer and Secondary School Teacher, Tatyoon
Leila is a farmer, secondary school teacher, fashion designer and founder of Live Rural. Leila grew up on a Merino sheep farm in the New England region of NSW. She now lives on a sheep, cattle and cropping farm in Western Victoria. Leila established 'Live Rural' which is an organisation that focuses on promoting and raising awareness of the positive aspects of the agriculture industry.
Coordinator Marketing and Communications , West Gippsland Libraries, Warragul
Maida combines a passion for agriculture and skills as a communications professional. Maida grew up on a dairy and beef farm and now works as the Coordinator of Marketing and Communications at West Gippsland Libraries. As a long-term member of the Bunyip and District Agricultural Society, Maida helps year-round organising publicity and sponsorship.
Partner and Export Manager for an integrated asparagus business, Koo Wee Rup
James grew up on a mixed family farm in Tasmania and is now a director for a large integrated grower, packer and exporter of asparagus business in Victoria. James is a member of the Future Farmers Network and a Nuffield Scholar (2015).
Policy Advisor, United Dairyfarmers Victoria, Melbourne
Ashlee has been involved in agriculture all her life, growing up and working on dairy farms in northern Victoria and then continuing her studies in agriculture. She has highly relevant experience on the topic of attracting and retaining young people in agriculture.
Ashlee has been involved in the Horizon Scholarship, Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth, Ag-Youth Think Tank, Royal Melbourne Show, Heywire, Young Agribusiness Professionals and presented on a panel for 'Engaging Youth in Agriculture' at the Australian Women in Agriculture Conference.
Young Agribusiness Professionals representative, Quambatook
Gregor is part manager on the family farm 'Golden Wattle', a grains operation at Quambatook. While studying the Bachelor of Agriculture, Gregor was a committee member of the Melbourne University Agriculture Student Society and worked part time at Glencore Grain in logistics, organising bulk handlers. Gregor is the representative of Young Agribusiness Professionals on the Council. Gregor's goal is to promote positive attitudes about agriculture, and spread enthusiasm amongst young people about working in the industry.
For more information about the Council please contact:
Young Farmer Coordinator
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
Phone: (03) 5215 6041