With jobs and skills being discussed in Canberra this week, attracting new workers into agriculture has never been more important.
An increasingly popular school excursion program is giving the next generation of workers a taste of future career opportunities.
With the Australian Government’s inaugural Jobs Summit underway, NSW Farmers says it’s important to encourage the next generation of workers to consider a career in agriculture.
Georgia Campbell from NSW Farmers said the Kids to Farms program – a federally-funded initiative delivered in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – was crucial to developing tomorrow’s farmers.
“We want children to understand why farming is important – so they understand food and fibre production and learn about where it comes from,” Ms Campbell said.
“Kids to Farms is built on the ethos of ‘two by 12’, or two agriculture experiences by the age of 12, and so far, more than 3200 students have benefitted from this opportunity.
“This is important in helping those children who might grow up to become farmers to learn about this exciting industry.”
Throughout the pandemic the agricultural sector suffered from a shortage of workers, and while the Jobs Summit was designed to tackle the big issues around workforce, Ms Campbell said training up the next generation was also important.
“We see children really excited about the big machinery, the idea of working outdoors, and just the concept of working and feeding thousands – or millions – of people,” she said.
“With all of the new technologies emerging, like drones and precision agriculture, tomorrow’s ag workers will be coders and technicians and engineers as much as farmers.
“I’m confident the little seeds we plant through these excursions and this funding will grow into something all Australians will be proud of in the future.”
Head to https://kidstofarms.com.au/ for more information and to apply for funding.