Growing up on a station west of Mitchell in Queensland embedded a passion for a career in Agriculture. Distance Education, a mail and food truck once a week, satellite TV, and my only sibling as my closest friend were the daily norms of my rural upbringing. Since leaving boarding school, I’ve learned a mix of skills and had experiences across various industries that have contributed to my passion for this evolving, challenging but endlessly rewarding industry.

Recent difficult seasons combined with the pandemic and challenging global environment, including food security, to name just one, have changed the footprint of agriculture on a global scale. Despite the ever-growing list of challenges that have germinated from these conditions, I believe just as many opportunities have sprouted for us to readjust and grow.

Farming has evolved into an exciting industry offering many opportunities for a new wave of innovative thinkers. The image of the farmer wearing a big hat has now changed to be anyone who wants to be at the forefront of better management, sustainable farming practices and climate risk mitigation.

Global crisis, increase in commodity prices, interest rate fluctuations, and change of government would generally create an uncertain future; however, I feel this has put the the agricultural industry is in a desirable position to lead the way into the future. But what does this mean for our younger generation?

Young people in Ag have been positioned to embrace challenges head-on because this comes with opportunity. Recent research published by The National Australia Bank (NAB) in the Regional & Agribusiness Horizons Report shows that twenty-nine per cent of the business population is in regional Australia and, according to NAB data, thirty-nine per cent of business lending growth in 2021 came from regional businesses. Additionally, ‘there was a 20 per cent increase in the price paid per hectare for land over the last 12 months to April 2022.’ The current grain & livestock prices and an increase in technologies have exceeded all expectations, feeding through to overall business confidence and reassurance for people in the industry.

We are undoubtedly facing ongoing challenges stemming from the pandemic and global unrest, but this also means there are opportunities right here on our doorstep to be a part of the change. My passion for living out west is stronger than ever, and I believe there’s no time like the present for young people to work in Ag; jump on board and be the change you want to see in our future.

Author:  Liberty Walker, FFN Director and NAB Agribusiness Manager, Moree