As my final View from the Paddock article I thought, what better way to finish than talk about young people getting involved in agriculture.
There is this perception that it is very hard for young people to get involved, that there is a wall put up from the older generation.
As a young (ish) person that has been involved in many ag groups, I certainly don't see this. What is required is for you to throw your hat in the ring and to follow through with what you want to achieve. I thought I'd break it down to how I've worked through it.
- It's all about networking. Putting yourself out there and expanding your network leads to many doors being opened. At my first few peak body events, both state and national, I was unbelievably nervous. I knew only a couple of people and didn't really comprehend the topics they were discussing. However, what I did find is that everyone in the room would make a huge effort with young people, as they were excited to see another age group getting involved.
- Be true. While we have great enthusiasm for the industry, there are some topics that we have had very limited experience with. It is OK to say that. There is nothing worse than trying to bluff your way through. By being involved in the discussion, it helps you to consider different views and to learn about the topic.
- Offer solutions, don't just state the problem. As a whole, our industry is terrible for saying what the problem is. Finding the problem is usually the easy part, the harder part is to find a solution to address it. Be prepared to have to put in a bit of time to work through an issue.
- Understand the process. One of the biggest learning experiences for me has been understanding due process. It would be fantastic if you could click your fingers and make something happen, however when wanting to make change there is a process that needs to be followed.
- Be part of the process before criticising. Our industry certainly does need streamlining but before making negative comments, learn what the systems are. Some work very well.
These are just a few points that I have observed during my first five years in the industry.
If you are serious about wanting to get involved, put yourself out there and make contact with an organisation. That will definitely be the hardest part.
- Central Queensland beef producer Sam Becker