G'Day Got a Minute, with Richard Kohne

Why did you join the FFN Board & what do you love most about the organisation?

The ability to support youth in agriculture at a national level was appealing to me given the key issues faced by young workers and agricultural entrepreneurs are consistent across Australia. The FFN has the ability to harness feedback based on what is being experienced by members nationally and support them by providing tailored solutions.

I joined the Board to contribute to this supporting role the organisation takes and to try and reciprocate the help I received from so many young farmers since entering the industry, which I am now very passionate about.

What do you think has shaped your career, or had significant influence over where you are today?

I think not being too rigid in your aspirations is important as when opportunities pop up, they will rarely be in the exact form you had in mind. Whether it’s a different product, species, location or even a different role, I think these new opportunities are always worth considering. Often, they turn out to be far better than you anticipated.

What was it like transitioning your career from corporate Perth to regional Australia?

For me the transition has only been 30 minutes out of Perth city to Fremantle, so I can’t say it required much adjustment! But now having connections to regional agricultural in WA I can say I have learnt the importance of taking a community mindset. This is something I bring now to my work regardless of where I am stationed as it consistently delivers ‘win-win’ outcomes for everyone involved.

In your experience in the fishing industry, what are some of the biggest challenges facing the next generation?

I think it is going to be important for all primary producers (both land and sea) to take a wider ecosystem approach to managing sustainably in their operations. It is not enough to manage your impact to the ‘farm-gate’ as consumers are now demanding more. By working together primary producers can better meet consumer expectation and jointly consider what changes they may need to make to protect their long-term position in the industry.

What excites you about the future of agriculture in Australia?

There are plenty of talented and driven young people giving it a crack in the industry with a culture of innovation that seems to be deep seeded in the industries youth. Provided these people get the support they need I see no reason as to why Australia can’t continue to strengthen our position as a leader in global agriculture.