2017 Young Farmers Scholarship Awards video transcript
Voice over: Victorian Agriculture is worth $13.1 billion – that's 23 per cent of the total value of Australia's entire agricultural production.
The future success of Victoria's agricultural sector rests with our young farmers.
Today, young farmers are busy with their families and other work commitments off the farm. Many work on large scale farms and most young farmers are tertiary educated. Most importantly, they really enjoy farming, it's a challenging and rewarding career.
However, with the changing nature of agriculture, the number of young farmers in Australia is declining. The average age of farmers is now 53. Only 13 per cent of Victorian farmers are under 35.
To ensure that the future remains bright for Victorian agriculture, it is vital that we invest in Victoria's young farmers.
In the future, it's likely that young farmers will be managing farm businesses that are larger, more diverse, and increasingly complex.
Young farmers will need a broad range of skills so they can adopt sophisticated business models, embrace new technologies, and respond to an increasingly volatile climate.
Our young farmers need to be informed, enabled, and engaged.
The Victorian Government is committed to supporting our young farmers and helping them build fulfilling and sustainable agricultural careers.
In 2015, the Victorian Government established the Young Farmers Ministerial Advisory Council. The group comprised 11 passionate, young, agri-business professionals who provided young farmers with a strong voice, advising government on practical actions and opportunities to attract and retain young people in agriculture.
The Victorian Government is also delivering the Upskill and Invest - Young Farmers Scholarship program.
The scholarship program is part of the Victorian Government's commitment to attracting and supporting the next generation of farmers and ensuring the future prosperity of Victoria's agriculture industry.
The program provides up to $10,000 for young farmers aged 35 and under to 'Upskill' and 'Invest' in their careers.
Since the launch of the program in 2015, a total of 38 young farmers have been awarded scholarships.
Michelle Badenhorst (2015 Young Farmers Scholarship Winner): It's a very important scholarship, especially for young farmers getting into the industry, you know it gives them the skills that they need once they start off on their agricultural career, they'll be able to make much more sound decisions. They'll have the knowledge that they need to be building up successful farm enterprises and in the end you'll just have smarter farmers builder smarter enterprises because they've build their decision making on knowledge that they've acquired along the way. With the Up-Skilling, I've done quite a few different things. I did an online viticulture course. I did W.S.E.T. which is all about getting general wine knowledge around the world but that's also touches on wine pairings, food pairings, wine terminology. I then did some brewing, master brewing course which of course helps with the brewing that we do. And then I finished it off with a soil test in the vineyard as well .... a water test as well.
Pieter Badenhorst (Owner – Suffoir Winery and Brewery): This scholarship has really changed our lives and given Michelle the confidence to be able to market our products but also to assist me here in the vineyard and here in the winemaking and beer making process.
Lauren Peterson - (2015 Young Farmers Scholarship Winner): The awards not only given me the education in terms of the knowledge and skills to help build upon my own skills and the work of our business but it's also given me the opportunity to have confidence and to reach out and ask questions to seek out more information to seek out other experiences and meet people along the way and that's been the biggest benefit of my studies – it's not just the actual foundation studies that I've learnt through my diploma but also the opportunities I've had since.
Caitlin Sauro - (2015 Young Farmers Scholarship Winner): I applied for the scholarship because I felt that I needed to further my skills in running the management side of farm rather than the labor duties. The scholarship has two parts, I really wanted to peruse my interest in developing my skills in financial management so what I did was – I put all the funds into my diploma of agribusiness management – I didn't segregate it like I know a lot of other people did.
Daniel Lutz - (2016 Young Farmers Scholarship Winner): It's just fantastic to see young people you know – given the opportunity and the government helping us and you know nurturing us and giving us the more skills going forward so I think it's very important because.... agriculture is everything without food – um without food and water we're nothing and I think agriculture has a very bright future but without programs like this you're not going to encourage young ones to keep going forward and get a bit more education so we can – you know grow our businesses better and have skills going forward .
Voice over: For more information on Victorian Government's support for young farmers, visit the Agriculture Victoria Website.
Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place Melbourne.