Local Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia Landcare coordinator Erika Heffer is the region’s inaugural Young Farming Champion.
The 26 year-old will represent the local rice region at a series of workshops in Sydney later in the year, as part of a new collaboration between Art4Agriculture and the RGA.
The Young Farming Champions program identifies youth ambassadors and future leaders and provides them with the training and skills to thrive in the modern world of agricultural advocacy.
As part of the program Mrs Heffer will attend workshops in Sydney under the mentorship of some of Australia’s finest communication, marketing and professional development experts.
‘‘I expect to meet like-minded young people who love agriculture and to learn alongside them about ambassadorship, communication and connection,’’ Mrs Heffer said.
‘‘I am looking forward to attending workshops and undertaking professional development to prepare me to confidently share my rice story and be a young face of agriculture in my community.’’
Mrs Heffer added she sees the rice industry as an innovative and evolving one and is keen to share the good news story.
‘‘Our Australian rice growers use 50 per cent less water to grow one kilogram of rice than the world average.
‘‘The industry is continually improving our rice varieties to ensure we grow more crop per drop.
‘‘In Australia, rice production can be switched on or off depending on the water availability, which makes it perfectly suited to our variable climate.’’
Art4Agriculture has long been recognised for delivering community events such as The Archibull Prize and its training of young people with the Young Farming Champions program.
It works with a range of supporters and has added RGA to that list to spread the rice industry’s story across a greater audience.
RGA executive director Graeme Kruger said it was excited to be supporting the Young Farming Champions program with Erika Heffer representing the rice industry.