Over the past two years, we have had to make many changes to the way we live, socialise and behave as a society. We have seen people panic-buy. We have seen people reunite in domestic airport terminals after not being able to see each other for two years. But a change that I have seen in more recent times is a shift in perception and opportunity for young people in Agribusiness. They may not necessarily fit the mould of your typical 3rd-5th generation individual who learned to drive in an old ute before starting Pre-School, but they are eager nonetheless. Agriculture often runs in the family, yet that does not mean that someone outside the family will not be welcomed.
Having been born into Agriculture, you can often take for granted the benefits of being exposed to an industry from a young age. Unlike the son or daughter of a Real Estate Agent, Engineer or Accountant, you probably could be deemed as ‘Casual Staff’ from the moment you help feed the working dogs or sit on a tractor in your school holidays. It is the motivation of someone that does not have this early exposure that really intrigues me, and we need to cultivate this intent.
Students now deciding to study Agribusiness or people seeking a career change could be put down to escaping Metropolitan fatigue. Yet I think the Australian Agricultural industry presents a pretty damn good case for career and life satisfaction. Whether you are a Marketing Consultant from Fitzroy, a school graduate from Western Sydney, an Electrician from Bunbury or a Station Hand at Cloncurry. Diverse knowledge and experiences across all levels of the supply chain will contribute to our common goal as an industry of sustainable food and fibre production.
The industry is well and truly in growth mode, as it sets its sights on being a $100b industry by 2030, and we are seeing drastic advancements in technology and sustainability. Succession of people in the industry, let alone actually growing it, cannot solely be self-resourced from the sons or daughters of a grain or beef farmer. Like we see in many other industries, we need to be more receptive to people that we do not subconsciously accept as being ‘experienced’ in agriculture or from ’The Bush’. As we see pressures on our labour force, we cannot be too selective as an industry, nor should anyone who is unsure of their career path discredit working in Agriculture.
We need to change how we better integrate fresh blood into our industry, now more than ever.
Just a thought….
Author: Will Burke, FFN Director and Agribusiness Manager NAB