Young Farmers Advisory Council

The Young Farmers Advisory Council (the Council) provides a strong voice for young people in Agriculture and related industries. The Council also serves to develop the sector leaders of tomorrow.

The Council is a group of enthusiastic young people from various agricultural industries and regions who work with Agriculture Victoria to grow a sustainable and profitable agriculture sector. Council members also act as young ambassadors to attract new entrants to the state's vibrant agriculture sector.

The Council meets two to four times per year to assist government to better understand the needs of young people in agriculture. Council members may be called upon to engage and consult with other young people in agriculture, with industries, communities and networks, and to consider research opportunities.

Current Council Members

The new Young Farmers Advisory Council were welcomed at their first meeting at Parliament house on the 4 October 2023.

Image shows the 2023 Young Farmers Advisory Council. In the front row, left to right are Clay Gowers, Amabel Grinter, Joshua Williams, in the middle, left to right, are Millie Enbom-Goad, Dee Commins and in the back, left to right, are Charlie Barnes, Orianna Edmonds, Nick Blandford and Thomas Giltrap. Absent is Amy Cosby.

Pictured front left to right: Clay Gowers, Amabel Grinter, Joshua Williams

Middle left to right: Millie Enbom-Goad, Dee Commins

Back left to right: Charlie Barnes, Orianna Edmonds, Nicholas Blandford, Thomas Giltrap.

Absent: Amy Cosby.

Introducing New Council members

Clay Gowers Chair of the Young Farmers Advisory Council.Clay Gowers, headshot outside grass and trees in background

Managing a broadacre farm in Carwarp near Mildura, Clay’s been in the industry for a decade.

Deputy Chair of the Council since 2020, his leadership skills continue to shine. He’s completed the Northern Mallee Leaders Program and Rural Leadership Foundation Program. Clay is a 2019 recipient of the Young Farmer Upskill and Invest Scholarship, which he used to invest in drone technology.

Passionate about sharing positive agriculture stories, he’s also an active community member.

You can hear from Clay himself, on our ‘Ag Vic Talk’ podcast channel, available on your preferred podcast platform and at the AgVic Talk podcast series web page.

Amabel Grinter Deputy Chair of the Young Farmers Advisory Council.

Amabel is a dairy farmer from Campaspe Shire. She and her husband run Visscher Farmers in Tongala.Photo of Amabel Grinter in a blue t-shirt.

With a degree in Agricultural Science and experience in the field, she’s all about making a difference.

Growing up on her family’s dairy farm, Amabel knows farming inside out. She’s not just about the farm though; she’s also an active community member who’s working to shape the future of agriculture.

Amabel completed the Fairley Community leadership program and participates in groups such as Young Dairy Network and Central Dairy Business Network. She’s keen on helping young farmers succeed. As Deputy Chair, she’s excited to bring fresh ideas to the table and ensure young farmers’ voices are heard.

Professor Amy Cosby: Young Farmers Advisory Council member.Amy Cosby standing next to a chicken coop gate.

Amy shines as a dairy farm owner and manager in Leongatha South. With a Bachelor of Agriculture, Bachelor of Law, and a PhD, her knowledge is extensive. Beyond the farm, she’s a senior researcher in agri-tech education and innovation. Committed to a prosperous and sustainable agriculture sector, Amy’s impact is undeniable. She’s driving progress and advocating for positive change.

Charlie Barnes: Young Farmers Advisory Council member.

Charlie’s a dynamic farm manager overseeing a superfine Merino property in Dunkeld.Charlie Barnes standing with a sunset in the background.

With a degree in Agriculture Services, a master's in science, and ongoing studies in business administration, his commitment to growth is evident.

Drawing from experience in New Zealand, Charlie’s expertise is a valuable asset. His passion lies in overcoming challenges and uncovering opportunities that propel the industry forward.

Joshua Williams: Young Farmers Advisory Council member.Joshua Williams kneeling in front of a garden.

Joshua is the part-owner and operator of Tumpinyeri Growers, a flourishing market garden business in Blampied. Armed with an associate degree in environmental horticulture and a graduate certificate in garden design, Joshua runs a thriving small-scale business, selling directly to local households, restaurants, and retail. A dedicated business owner, he was a recipient of the 2022 Young Farmer Upskill and Invest scholarship. Joshua’s passion extends to sharing his insights about land sharing with fellow new entrants in the field.

Millie Enbom-Goad: Young Farmers Advisory Council member.Millie Enbom-Goad standing on a field in front of beehives.

Millie is a driving force as the director of Enbom Honeys, a thriving family-run business in Dunnstown, near Ballarat. Living on a bustling sheep and cropping farm, she’s deeply rooted in agriculture. Millie serves as secretary and executive board member for the Central Victorian Apiarists’ Association.

With a master’s degree in legal practice, a law degree, and a science, resource and environment management degree, Millie’s knowledge is well-rounded. Millie’s passion lies in rural community, sustainable agriculture, and robust food networks.

Nicholas Blandford: Young Farmers Advisory Council member.Nick Blandford holding a dog on an empty field.

With a stronghold in livestock management, Nicholas manages sheep operations in Meerlieu in East Gippsland. A participant on the National Centre for Farmer Health Advisory Group Member, East Gippsland Shire Advisory Committee, and Landcare Group, Nicholas has a strong commitment to the agriculture sector.

His passion for sustaining the momentum of the Young Farmer Advisory Council and fostering new members also underscores his commitment to this thriving industry and its growth.

Orianna Edmonds: Young Farmers Advisory Council member.Orianna-Edmonds with a goat in a shed with haystack in the background.

Orianna is a trailblazer in the world of dairy goat farming. The St Andrews’ farmer is founder and CEO of Naturally Goat – a thriving skincare business. Beyond her business, Orianna is making her mark in the Nillumbik Shire community. Orianna is a serving as board member on the Nillumbik Economic Development Advisory Committee and the Youth Council Advisory Board. Empowering young minds is her passion. With fresh perspectives and strong commitment, she’s inspiring the next generation of young farmers.

Thomas Giltrap: Young Farmers Advisory Council member.Thomas Giltrap headshot on a field with cows in the background.

Thomas is a prominent figure in the Wagyu beef farming industry. Calling Mitta Mitta home, he owns and operates Giltrap Pastoral. A passionate advocate for addressing challenges faced by young farmers, Thomas will play an important role on the Council. He holds a Bachelor of science in environmental management and ecology. In addition to his farm work, Thomas is deeply engaged in his local community. His broad networks and diverse roles are a testament to his dedication to agriculture.

Dee Commins: Young Farmers Advisory Council member.Head shot of Dee Commins.

In the heart of East Gippsland, Dee is a portfolio manager in the agribusiness sector. She’s also a dedicated beef farm manager at her family’s Swifts Creek property. She has a commence degree, with a focus on economics and marketing. Beyond her work and education, she’s a community cornerstone with a vast network spanning the agribusiness landscape. With a passion for supporting rural communities, she will continue as a valued and experienced Council member.

More information

For more information about the Council please contact:

Young Farmer Coordinator
Agriculture Victoria

Page last updated: 01 Nov 2023