Young Farmers Ministerial Advisory Council
The Victorian Government has established the Young Farmers Ministerial Advisory Council (YFMAC). This group of passionate individuals will give young people a strong voice in agriculture.
The YFMAC brings together 11 passionate young agri-business professionals to advise government about practical actions and opportunities to attract and retain young people in agriculture.
For the next two years the YFMAC is engaging with young people, considering research and talking to experts to identify practical actions and opportunities for government support and assistance.
YFMAC 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.
Caitlin Scholfield, Chair
Business Manager, Geoffrey Gardiner Dairy Foundation, Geelong
Caitlin brings 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 is currently a Director on the Future Farmers Network Board. By Chairing the YFMAC Caitlin will bring together informed and committed people who feel strongly for the future viability of agriculture and create an opportunity to better understand of the whole industry.
Andrew Bulmer, Deputy Chair
Managing Director of a horticulture business, 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 (VYF) State President from 2013-2015 and currently holds the position of VYF 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 currently sits on the Board of the North Central Catchment Management Authority, 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.
Engagement and Workforce Development Officer, Murray Dairy, Kialla
Sarah is the Engagement and Workforce Development Officer at Murray Dairy and the Young Dairy Network coordinator. Sarah is interested in ways to attract high school students to choose agriculture as a study area and career of choice. Sarah is working on targeting careers teachers in high schools and implementing a workforce development strategy for the dairy industry.
Farmer mixed meat and wool/ cropping business, Murtoa
Thomas is a young farmer at the start of his agricultural career. He is his helping manage a 5500 acre mixed meat & wool/cropping family farm alongside his father and younger brother. 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.
Communications Officer, Baw Baw Shire, 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 Communications Officer at Baw Baw Shire Council. As a long-term member of the Bunyip and District Agricultural Society, Maida helps year-round organising publicity and sponsorship.
Director 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 Nufflied Scholar (2015).
Project and Policy Officer, United Dairy Farmers 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.
Part Manager of a grains business, 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 YFMAC. Gregor's goal is to promote positive attitudes about agriculture, and spread enthusiasm in young people about working in the industry.
For more information about the Young Farmers Ministerial Advisory Council please contact:
Young Farmer Coordinator
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
Telephone: 03 5833 5254