NSW Young Farmers elect new chair

Orange's Mitch Highett elected as new chair of NSW Young Farmers

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Mitch Highett, Orange has been elected as the new NSW Young Farmers chair, stepping into the role held by Rachel Nicoll since 2019.

Mitch Highett, Orange has been elected as the new NSW Young Farmers chair, stepping into the role held by Rachel Nicoll since 2019.

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Mitch Highett has been elected as the new chair of NSW Young Farmers.

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NSW Young Farmers have elected a new chair to lead the youth branch of NSW Farmers, with Orange's Mitch Highett stepping up to the role.

Mr Highett, who owns farm management company Bullseye Ag and works as a project officer with the Department of Regional NSW, will replace Rachel Nicoll, Hampton who has served as chair since 2019.

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The Central West business owner said he had always had a very keen interest in farming and agriculture.

"That was mainly from my grandfather," Mr Highett said.

"We weren't a generational farming family, we had little farms but we always had jobs outside of that as well."

Mr Highett started Bullseye Ag in the Northern Rivers region five years ago but has since based himself and the business in Orange, servicing the Central West.

The company now manages more than 100,000 hectares across NSW.

"We mostly manage farms for absentee owners, but we also provide labour injections for people who don't have the ability to have someone on full-time, and we run our own cattle herd," Mr Highett said.

"Hopefully there will be an opportunity to go back up to that Northern Rivers region again and do some more work up there in the future."

Mr Highett became involved with NSW Young Farmers around three years ago to network with like-minded people and to be part of the solution when it came to helping young farmers establish themselves - a challenge for many given the capital outlay involved.

"Young farmers can struggle to get into farming, or to grow their business, there are intricacies that exist between young farmers and more established farmers," Mr Highett said.

"One issue that we're passionate about getting some resolve around is stamp duty for first time farmers.

"For many people who are wanting to enter into the farming sector, or separating from their family operation, there's a significant amount of money required in just the stamp duty to purchase your first farm.

"Obviously at the moment there's stamp duty exemptions for first home owners and we're looking at how similar policies could be applied for first farm owners."

Another key focus for Mr Highett is promoting the opportunities available in the ag industry to the younger generations, including through NSW Farmers' Kids to Farms program, which aims to increase awareness in primary-school students about where our food and fibre comes from.

Outgoing chair Ms Nicoll said she felt immensely privileged to have worked with NSW Young Farmers and the NSW Farmers Association more broadly.

"Whilst its the end of my term as chair, it's certainly isn't the end of my involvement alongside the most talented and driven members I've come to know," Ms Nicoll said.

Ms Nicholl runs her family's free-range egg farm alongside her brother, sits on the Central Tablelands Local Land Services board and is a Community Recovery Officer at Lithgow City Council, working on bushfire and flood recovery.

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