New leaders at Young Farmers helm
NSW Farmers has welcomed new young leaders to its Young Farmer Council.
Hampton egg, horticulture and cattle producer Rachel Nicoll takes on the role of Young Farmer Chair, with Armatree-based agronomist Martin Murray as Deputy Chair.
Rachel highlighted her priorities for young farmers at the NSW Farmers Annual Conference last week, which includes increased engagement with the wider association and increasing opportunities for training and development.
“Our key actions will be centered on developing the young farmers of the future. Young farmers have to be learning as much outside of the industry as they are in it. They need to be getting exposure and experience, doing internships and building relationships with people,” Rachel said.
“The second part to that is getting an understanding of real world problems - skills to pick themselves back up when things don’t work and setting them up for success.”
Rachel is also eager to increase is the awareness of local food and fibre production among a growing consumer base.
“Millennials will have become the world’s largest body of online consumers we’ve seen by 2020. We will need a play a role in educating them and telling our stores about sustainable food and fibre production systems. These consumers want local food and they want to know more about when it comes from. “
Martin said that access to finance and land was a policy priority for the Council.
“We’re looking to bring New South Wales in line with other states in offering stamp duty exemptions on the purchase of a first farm. This was recommended in the Legislative Assembly’s report on its Inquiry into Zonal Taxation last year,” Martin said.
“You could go out now and buy your first home in town, and access that exemption – but if your first home is on a farm, you don’t get the same help. If we want to get young people on the land and ensure succession in the agricultural industry, we need the right policy settings.”
The Council thanked outgoing chair Tim Carroll for his work for young farmers in New South Wales over the last four years. Under Tim’s leadership, NSW Young Farmers significantly grew its membership, secured ongoing funding of the Young Farmer Business Program and successfully lobbied for low-interest loans for first-time farmers from the Australian Government.
The Council comprises Rachel Nicoll, Martin Murray, Tim Carroll (Cudal), Meg Rice (Canberra), Tom Matthews (Grenfell), Brendan Murray (Coleambally), Hannah Cargill (Armidale), and Nathan Hatty (Matong).