This weekend Young Farming Champion Hannah Barber and I ventured to Melbourne to the Australian Women In Agriculture National Conference.
Hannah was a member of a panel I facilitated called ‘Engaging Youth in Agriculture’
What we hoped the audience would take home from the session was
- Exciting young people are choosing careers in the agriculture sector
- Agriculture has wonderful cross industry leadership pathways for young people
- Agriculture has a nationwide network for young people
- Agriculture has exciting in school programs
What I was hoping ( and the session’s sponsor was hoping) is the audience would be confident that agriculture is attracting young people and we need to stop asking “How do we attract young people” and start asking “How do we retain the people we attract”
Hannah and I had a bit of time to fill in before our flight home so I took her to Crown Towers to show her how the “other half” live and the ultimate in producer to consumer goods.
Hannah in Louis Vuitton
Hannah in Paspaley Pearls. The necklace that Hannah is wearing is worth $88,000
One question each of the panellists was asked was “Where do you see yourself in agriculture in 5 years time?”.
I would like to think that one day soon some-one like Hannah will say ‘In 5 years time I will have a career pathway in agriculture that provides me with the income to have a suite of Louis Vuitton luggage ( we weren’t game to ask what this little bundle was worth) and Paspaley Pearls in my jewellery box
Its time agriculture moved on to the next set of questions. We can attract young people but keeping them requires another set of tools and one of those is ensuring the sector is profitable. Farmers have just as much right as everyone else to make a fair return on investment. How can we work together to make this happen?