Farmers welcome investment in ag education

NSW Farmers today welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement that it would reinvigorate and invest in the future of agriculture education in the state.

The statement followed an announcement that more than $35 million would be invested in a new Hurlstone Agricultural High School at the University of Western Sydney (UWS) Hawkesbury campus.

The proceeds would come from the sale of 140 hectares of land at Hurlstone which would be more than matched with access to 1,400 hectares of agriculture land available at the Hawkesbury campus to be transformed into a state-of-the-art agriculture learning facility.

NSW Farmers’ President Derek Schoen, a mixed farmer from Corowa, said: “Quality education is the key to helping our future primary producers be innovative producers of food and fibre.

“The Minister has found a progressive solution to a complex problem and at the end of the day, our industry, its future and students have all come out in a strong position.

“Students interested in agriculture can start at Year 7 at the new Hurlstone Ag School and can then stay on the same campus for tertiary education with UWS.

“The 1,500 selected students will have access to university professors and cutting-edge science and agriculture facilities.

“Our industry contributes more than $12 billion a year to the NSW economy and supports more than 65,000 jobs in agriculture. This investment will help sustain our industry into the future,” he said.

The school is expected to start enrolling students from 2020 and will include boarding facilities and access to 1,400 hectares of agricultural land and facilities suitable for learning about modern day farming practices.

“Following this positive announcement, NSW Farmers looks forward to hearing further from the NSW Government about how it will continue to progress the recommendations of the Pratley Review into Agricultural Education,” Mr Schoen concluded.

Ends

18 November 2015

Contact: Charlie Cull

Phone: 1300 794 000

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