PARRAMATTA'S Commercial Hotel was bursting with young farmers, agriculture students and agribusiness professionals on Tuesday night for the launch of the NSW Young Farmers Sydney branch.
NSW Young Farmers Council chairman Josh Gilbert was thrilled with the turnout, many of whom were keen to register as new members.
"(The launch event) was a really good indication of the level of interest in the branch and it could certainly pick up from here," Mr Gilbert said.
"Young farmers are going to be the ones that implement innovation in agriculture and it's fantastic there's so many who want to be part of it."
NSW Farmers opened its doors to metropolitan members of all ages last year as a way to include Sydneysiders with an interest in agriculture, but not necessarily involved in primary production.
The Young Farmers Sydney branch was launched to lure members under 35 years old from outside the agri sector and to bring existing members (who aren't based in the bush) together.
Young metro members won't have voting entitlements. The focus of the branch would be on generating informed discussion, networking and advocacy action.
Karl Sternberg, Griffith, went to the launch with a view to signing up.
He was already a member of the Youth Food Movement, which has close ties to NSW Young Farmers.
"I'm really interested in bringing awareness to agriculture and eating locally and sustainably," Mr Sternberg said.
"When I joined the Youth Food Movement they didn't have a lot of people involved who were from rural areas, so I've been able to use my background to provide input to the group.
"NSW Farmers will be another good way to network and meet new people."
Young farmer and Sydney University agriculture student Felicity Taylor, "Bramble", Moree, was keen to use the branch as a way to advocate for change.
"I'm looking to help my parents take over our grains and cattle property in Moree so having industry connections and knowing there's help available is important to me," Ms Taylor said.
"It's also really important to share information and be aggressive about advocating for the little guy. We need to make sure everybody's following best practice because that's the only way we can improve the image of ag."
Guest speakers on the night were host of ABC's Gardening Australia Costa Georgiadis and Earth Hour national manager and Australian Youth Climate Coalition chairwoman Anna Rose.
Mr Georgiadis said agriculture's presence in the city was vital in helping Sydneysiders realise the importance of the farming community, and to eat locally, healthily and sustainably.
"Our food future depends on youthful innovation, coupled with the voice of experience," Mr Georgiadis said.
"We need young farmers to be here to put out the type of dialogue and vocabulary necessary that can make everyone realise agriculture is the most important staple in life."