Supporting our future farmers

Supporting our future farmers

Opinion
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Hundreds of young farmers gathered last Friday in Dubbo for the Young Farmer Business Program Conference.

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At the conference, Darren Mudford, Hermidale. Photo: Mark Griggs

At the conference, Darren Mudford, Hermidale. Photo: Mark Griggs

Hundreds of young farmers gathered last Friday in Dubbo for the Young Farmer Business Program Conference.

Jointly developed by DPI and NSW Farmers, the Young Farmer Business Program (YFBP) provides professional development, coaching, workshops, scholarships and mentoring to help make young people business ready and financially savvy.

Led by our Young Farmer members, NSW Farmers was instrumental in seeing the YFBP come to fruition.

A 2015 pilot demonstrated the need for such a program, and it still exists today. We are now calling for $6.5 million over four years to ensure young farmers can maintain access to invaluable networking and business opportunities.

Since 2016, over 140 events and 400 coaching sessions have been held under the YFBP program.

An online resource hub has been developed, the program has supported and funded grants for local Young Farmer activation activities, and it has engaged over 1.7 million people via its communications channels.

Feedback from program participants is overwhelmingly positive. 84 percent say they now have connections with other young farmers for networking and collaborating, 71 pc found the events increased their business knowledge and skills, and 75 pc said they gained access to new business products and services.

At NSW Farmers, we see how the program has benefited members.

Participants are now share farming, contracting, livestock trading or running their own farms, or have been confident to start raising succession planning. We are encouraged by the enthusiasm they show in the future of farming in the state.

The program is one aspect of our strategy to support younger generations entering or staying on farms.

As well as promoting opportunities in the sector, NSW Farmers' advocacy has focused on succession planning, new technology and stamp duty exemptions for first farm purchases.

  • Jonathan Tuckfield, NSW Farmers Regional Service and Sales Manager

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