Agriculture needs a new way of supporting our Young Farmers

I must it admit I was very sad when I saw the results of this survey. My heart went out to these young people that feel the answer to their problems is greater access to money  for I assume the 35% who want to buy farming real estate and start or grow a farming enterprise

I would have loved them them to say –

We want a new model for agriculture where  farmers get a fair return on investment so we have the confidence to borrow money and the opportunity to pay it back at commercial rates like everybody else 


NSWFA YFCouncil Survey

I believe it starts with getting out of our agricultural silos and working with communities and organisations who are supporting young people in diverse and exciting ways

What a great model the Foundation for Young Australians is

From their website…… 

The future is going to look very different. At FYA we believe young people are not a problem to be helped or solved. Young people are ambitious, creative and capable of rethinking the world and solving tomorrow’s problems today. And can do it all with a social conscience that will let them build a better world in the process. FYA is all about backing the next generation of young people who are going to rethink the world and create a better future.

At FYA we ❤ young changemakers – the innovators, the makers, the dreamers, the thinkers, the doers and the creators.

I know young people who have been through their programs – many of them using Heywire as a launching pad on their journey to be the change they want to see in the world

I also work with exciting young people in agriculture. They too are creative, ambitious, have a strong social conscience and have the capacity to solve tomorrow’s problems today

They can do this because they have put up their hands and said we have a thirst for knowledge and we want the tools  to create a new and fair model for the agriculture sector and young farmers

To do this they have sought out a diverse array of community experts and undertaken extensive personal and profession development so they can be

  • Be brave.
  • Be independent thinkers.
  • find and connect to purpose.
  • Think big.
  • Find their communities of influence.
  • Build their networks.
  • Take action on stuff that matters.
  • Lead and change the world.

Excitingly 50% of the young people surveyed said they want training and education. Its time for agriculture to genuinely invest in building the capacity of these young people.

This survey was undertaken by the NSW Government and NSW Farmers. They can both help by providing our young people with the tools and the knowledge to help

  • develop the substance of policy
  • understand who the influencers and
  • how to successfully lobby for change.

Most importantly this starts with giving them a world view. Young people in agriculture have same problems as young people across the world and politics is the art of the possible. Young people today struggle to get loans to buy a house. Agriculture is risky business and the last position the banks want to find themselves in, is having to repossess a farm

How do we deliver the change that agriculture must have?

For farmers this will mean working beyond traditional boundaries and challenging the conventional thinking of primary industries and individuals. It will require a paradigm shift in thinking and a collaborative re-allocation of resources and responsibilities amongst all stakeholders in the value chain.

It will require deploying agriculture’s young people into the community to build relationships with the next generation of consumers. It will need innovative and fun ways of engaging the next generation of consumers in considering the issues affecting sustainable food and fibre production.

The legacy is the ability of  farmers of all ages to participate in, and extract greater value from the field to fabric and the paddock to plate supply chain.

It is only in this way will we see a viable future for our young farmers and the communities that support them




As a matter of timely interest the Australian Farm Institute released today a wealth of insights on whether Rural property a good Investment found here 


Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life

%d bloggers like this: