Message from the FFN Chair

1 July 2022

 

Unified development, for 20-years

FFN was established in 2002, with the belief that there was a shortage of identified and communicated opportunities for young people in rural industries.

In celebration of our 20th year, the FFN Board recently revised its vision to ensure that it reflected the current state of play in the agricultural industry – which is now far broader than just individuals living and working on farm. The way the next generation engage and rely upon the rural network has also significantly changed from the days of party lines and fence peering. We are a collaborative generation; seeking knowledge, camaraderie, and opportunity; which is exemplified through the plethora of youth networking and advocacy bodies within each commodity sector, powered by advancements in technology.

As a result, the FFN Board settled on a vision to support the development and growth of every young person in Australian agriculture, by harnessing industry partners to deliver events and practical upskilling opportunities for young aggies.

This means, we’re not just for farmers – we’re for every young individual in the industry.

Rolling out fresh, new initiatives

In keeping with our revised vision, the FFN Board with its CEO Adele Laughton have been developing ways to refresh our existing service offerings, as well as establish new networking and educational opportunities for the benefit of young aggies in all industry sectors, including:

  • Reducing the cost of our membership, to make benefits more accessible to all young aggies.
  • establishing FFN on Tap – a pay-you-own-way networking event providing likeminded aggies an opportunity to engage and discuss matters pertaining to the industry in an informal setting.
  • enhancing the Young Beef Producers’ Forum operational frameworks to ensure the event, now in its 18th year and growing exponentially, will continue to service the local community and the Australian beef industry for many more years.
  • partnering with the National Farmers Federation to co-facilitate the Young Farmers’ Council – a program to increase the NFF’s engagement with young people in agriculture, across the commodities.
  • working with major industry bodies including GrainGrowers to develop a non-advocacy or politically based Cross Commodity Event, aimed at providing young aggies in all commodities with strong and united networking, engagement, and educational opportunity. The event, which will be held for the first time in June 2023, will enable young individuals to meet and discuss issues faced by the entire agricultural industry such as climate risk, food insecurity, global supply chain risks, and funding sustainable agriculture.
  • redeveloping our FFN Podcast and Top 5 – Ag Newsletter to cover industry topics relevant to all commodities.
  • contributing opinion pieces to The Land on issues relevant to young aggies – through the lens of FFN Directors.

Whilst the significance of the FFN is that we are the only national organisation dedicated to supporting young people in agriculture, in all commodities, we are proud of our ability – just like our members – to adapt to an ever-evolving agricultural sector.

It’s truly never been a more exciting, yet challenging, time to work in the agriculture industry. That’s why the FFN Board look forward to delivering these networking and educational opportunities, and many more, in the months and years to come.

If you would like to know more about the Future Farmers Network, please visit our website, or contact our CEO Adele Laughton – adele.laughton@futurefarmers.com.au.

 

Until next time,

Caitlin McConnel

FFN Chair & Non-Executive Director