A new group wants to support young people in agriculture.
Dookie’s Pete Geddes is excited to be a new member of the VFF’s Young Agribusiness Professionals executive committee.
Mr Geddes said the group’s main roles were to promote the varied agriculture and agribusiness opportunities to young Victorians; advocate policies that help young people in those industries; and align and work with other key youth groups.
‘‘We want to help young people realise there are a lot of careers in agriculture including, but not limited to, farming,’’ Mr Geddes said.
He said other careers with vital links to agriculture were in finance, marketing and science.
‘‘I think the agricultural industry will be a boom industry — as the global population grows there will be an increasing demand for food and fibre.’’
He said many farmers he saw at other meetings were aged in their 60s and 70s, and while young farmers could learn a lot from them, young farmers also had energy and new ideas to offer.
As well as a fourth-generation sheep and cropping farmer, Mr Geddes is also a full-time information technology consultant and feels he has IT skills to offer the committee.
His own experience of racing home from working in an office to get out in the paddocks and run he and wife Andrea’s farm illustrates some of the issues facing young farmers.
For example, he said the financial challenges did not stop at buying the farm; they were trying to achieve a healthy and balanced lifestyle for the family; and they were working to improve efficiencies by introducing new technologies and ideas.
‘‘In the last 12 months, YAP’s achievements included successfully championing the full stamp duty exemption for young farmers buying their first farm,’’ Mr Geddes said.
He said such an exemption would have been useful a few years ago when they bought a 202
The new Young Agribusiness Professionals committee was scheduled to have its first meeting in Melbourne on Friday, and because the members live and work across the state, throughout the year teleconference meetings will be held.
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