​Media Release

Coa​lition supporting Australia's future farmers

1 September 2015

The Coalition Government has reaffirmed its strong commitment to the next generation of farm leaders, committing $500,000 for a range of initiatives aimed at improving agricultural education in schools and building leadership skills in young rural Australians.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the funding was an important investment in the future of Australian agriculture.

"Young people are the future of Australian agriculture, so it's vital we give them access to tools to build their skills and knowledge and that we also empower young people to share the positive story of Australian farming as widely as possible," Minister Joyce said.

"The current crop of farmers around the world aren't getting any younger and we need to find new ways to engage young people to consider agriculture for the industry that it is—one that is central to our national identity, way of life, and economic prosperity.

"It's an industry ripe with opportunity, one that underpins vibrant rural and regional communities, and one that offers a fulfilling career feeding and clothing people here and across the world.

"To attract and retain young people to farming however we have to ensure they earn a fair and decent reward for their endeavour—it is the best way to compete with other career options.

"That is why this government is focused on driving profits back to the farmgate and into the hands of our farmers – to ensure that Australian farming is as prosperous as possible for future generations. And that is unashamedly the focus of the Coalition Government's $4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper," Minister Joyce.

The grants announced today to support young farmers are:

  • ABC Heywire: $150,000 to continue the programme for another three years
  • Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia (PIEFA): $225,000 to improve agricultural education and awareness in schools
  • Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC): $125,000 to fund the Young Farmers Forum in 2015-16.

Minister Joyce said that ABC Heywire, PIEFA and RIRDC had unique experience in engaging youth in agriculture and have excellent track records in delivering good results.

"The Coalition Government recognises agriculture as a key pillar of the national economy and the backbone of rural and regional Australia—and I'm always pleased to deliver funding for organisations and programmes that share my passion for a vibrant and profitable sector."​