​​Media release

​Picking the next generation of cotton leaders

15 January 2018

  • Cotton industry to share in the $5 million Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund
  • Cotton Australia Limited to receive $233,560
  • Part of the Coalition's 2016 election commitment for a stronger agricultural sector

The Australian cotton industry is set to benefit from the Coalition Government's $5 million Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund.

The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud made the announcement while visiting cotton farmers in Theodore, in Queensland's Capricorn region.

The Minister said Cotton Australia will receive $233,560 to develop the current and future generations of cotton industry leaders.

"This will make sure Australia's cotton industry stays strong for decades and continues to create jobs and economic opportunities in rural communities across Australia," Mr Littleproud said.

"Cotton farming is worth $1.53 billion a year, and Cotton Australia is there to make sure hundreds of cotton farmers are getting a fair go.

"Strong leadership will be vital to make sure our cotton industry remains successful and the Australian community understands the important contribution irrigated cotton makes to our nation.

"This funding will focus on making sure ​cotton farmers can tackle challenges facing the industry such as variable seasons, and water security.

"Cotton Australia will develop and implement the Represent Your Industry leadership program to train 40 current and 80 emerging cotton leaders. The cotton industry will also offer training places to other irrigated industries."

Member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd said the funding would also go towards a mentoring program to support leaders and create an irrigated industries forum.

"This program will build leadership skills in the cotton and other irrigated industries and develop networks of representatives that are ready and able to fight for cotton farmers," Mr O'Dowd said.

"This is an important project that will have a lasting impact, supporting the current and next generation of leaders.

Fast Facts

  • Australia's cotton production is forecast to rise by 4% to 968,000 tonnes this year (2017/18)
  • The industry exported $1.79 billion worth of cotton in 2016-17.
  • The industry directly employs 10,000 Australians in a non-drought year (source: Australian Grown Cotton Sustainability Report, 2014).
  • The Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund was announced as part of the Coalition Government's policy for a stronger agricultural sector.
  • It aims to support efforts to develop leadership capacity within the agricultural industries to enhance the ability of emerging agricultural leaders to advocate agricultural commodity priorities and drive trade opportunities.​