The agriculture industry quite rightly prides itself on being innovative and energetic. Queensland's $6 billion broadacre industry is at the cutting edge globally of best practice farming and environmental management.
This is a credit to the industry's passion, its commitment to providing the highest quality and most sustainable food and fibre, and its dedication to leaving the strongest possible legacy. It is obvious that for our industry to continue to grow powerfully, we must engage with the next generation. We need to cultivate 'a new crop' with the same resilience, energy and passion as the current crew.
The fact is that our industry is facing challenges that previous generations did not have: from an unprecedented focus on environmental protection driven by unworkable laws to lawless animal activists pouring over the back fence.
This week, which marks Queensland's first Climate Week and its 160th Queensland Day, AgForce has launched its Country Connection program aimed at attracting and engaging the future of ag.
Our Country Connection membership offers 18 to 35-year-olds with a passion for agriculture a chance to meet like-minded people and to build exciting careers in the sector. We want to harness their vision, their energy, their new ideas, and help them develop rewarding and successful careers in the sector.
The program will offer new opportunities to network, both at face-to-face and 'virtual' events, to share ideas, create connections and develop as professionals. It features an exclusive mentoring program, where young people can learn from the experiences and wisdom of their elders. Although I can assure you the learning won't be all one way!
I would encourage all young people working in the sector - whether farmers, agronomists, researchers, vets, suppliers, or truck drivers - to hop onto the AgForce website at www.agforceqld.org.au/ and make contact with their regional manager.
This is a unique opportunity to not just experience, but to BE part of the change that the Queensland agriculture industry needs to continue to thrive.