There’s a lot of talk lately around where the future Australian farmers and Ag professionals are going to come from and last week I was lucky enough to participate in not just one but two fantastic events involving the next crop of food producers that was well and truly refreshing and exciting!
The WA Department of Agriculture and Food horticulture research station down in the gorgeous town of Manjimup hosts a career day every year for young people in the Warren Blackwood Region. Home to some of the biggest orchards in WA (and Australia), a booming truffle industry and a world class vegetable industry Manjimup and the Southern Forests Region is an Agrifood superstar (http://www.southernforestsfood.com/)!
Thursday saw local year 10, 11 and 12s descend upon the research station to hear from DAFWA staff about exciting projects (https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/countryman/a/24374022/the-black-apple-of-worlds-eye/), Ag professionals about life and work in the industry and other young people currently undertaking traineeships. I was lucky enough to chat to them about the huge and diverse range of career options available to them and was thrilled to hear how industry aware they were and how engaged and keen they were to chat about the importance of farming – lovely stuff!
And to top off an awesome Ag week, who did we get down in the beautiful South West on Friday but the ever informative and energetic Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, the fantastic Dr Chris Smith (UKs Naked Scientist) and the inspiring Professor Lyn Beazley. Such an incredible line up to get out in the regions and well done to Stephanie Carstairs from the Southern Forests Seed Program (https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Southern-Forests-SEED-Program/659701337418619) for making the ‘Growing Science Forum’ happen. What a wonderful opportunity for the 100 plus group of students to listen, interact and discuss the importance of science in agriculture with such a high calibre of presenters.
Events such as these two are so important in keeping high school kids informed about the opportunities available to them but also getting them excited about ag science and their own potential in shaping the future of the industry. I for one can’t wait to follow this up and coming group of young farming enthusiasts. Great things are happening in WA – watch this space