Lots of interest for Young Farmers at Conference
The inaugural Farm World Young Farmers Conference will be held in conjunction with Farm World Field Days at Lardner Park, Warragul, on Saturday April 9.
With ABC Gippsland Rural Reporter, Laura Poole, as master of ceremonies, the conference will focus on prime areas of interest for young farmers such as new technology, succession planning, alternate farming business structures and leadership opportunities in agriculture.
New technology for livestock producers available now and coming in the future will be the subject of a presentation by Zac Economu, a sheep farmer and research fellow at the University of New England. These advances would include precision livestock management, virtual fencing and remote sensing of pastures.
New Zealand dairy farmer, Ben Smith, will discuss his concept ‘Circular Solutions’, which incorporates a closed loop system where effluent waste is converted through a bio-digester to produce either fertiliser for pasture and crops, fish food for his developing aquaculture business or bedding material for his cows.
He uses a large range of technologies including electronic cow, effluent, water and irrigation monitoring and is planning to add an automated dairy system in the future.
Alternative farming models and the options for being self-employed in agriculture without owning land assets will be discussed by John Mulvany from OMJ Consulting.
Succession planning is one of the biggest challenges facing farmers and involves a process that may take 10 to 15 years. A panel discussion chaired by the Commonwealth Bank will address the issues. The panel participants cover the diverse areas of agriculture in the region:
Dairy – Damian Murphy (Dumbalk North)
Potato – Stuart Jennings (Thorpdale)
Beef/piggery – Robert Bayley (Blackwood Piggery, Trafalgar)
Cropping/Livestock – Tim Paulet (Millring Pastoral, Toongabbie)
Shane Hellwege, Group Manager Industry, People & Capability at Dairy Australia, will head a presentation on ‘The future shape of the dairy industry - where are the opportunities for young people’.
Also Paul Ford who is the chairman of Agribusiness Gippsland will present on the career development opportunities in agriculture, and this session will include a case study from Graeme Nicoll, a dairy farmer and Nuffield Scholar.
All in all a full gamut of important issues that will be of great interest to young farmers from all sectors of the industry. The conference will commence at 9.30am and is planned to finish at 12.30. The $70.00 cost per head will include entry into Farm World, morning tea and lunch. Bookings can be made through www.trybooking. com/169137, but interested people are urged to be quick as numbers will be limited.
The Farm World Young Farmers Conference will be a feature at Farm World this year.