Young Farmer Stories

Joanna Treasure – Cowra

"I run a mixed enterprise family farm with my Dad. I also work on a large Black Angus Beef property in Cowra, NSW. I grew up on the farm but never considered an agricultural career until I gave it a go during my gap year, which has been going on three years now. Farming is who I am, it chose me.

I became involved with NSW Farmers because I didn’t want to attend university and I know that knowledge and opportunities don’t just fall in your lap. Advancements in agricultural research and technology won’t wait for anyone, so I’m dipping my toes in every pool I come across - if I can’t change the world, at least I’ll be a kick-ass farmer.

As the Young Farmer rep on NSW Farmers’ Biosecurity committee, I’m learning heaps about the fast-paced and incredibly important world of biosecurity in the agricultural sector. My overarching goal in this position is to spread awareness and get conversations started that don’t begin with a cocky at the sale yards rolling his eyes because Biosecurity Plans were mentioned. Don’t risk an outbreak with stock and fodder being carted all over the countryside during the drought- ask relevant questions in order to protect yourself.

I’d like the NSW Government to focus on the traceability of exported and nationally carted stock and fodder. Australia has a reputation to uphold - our produce is second to none. It would, therefore, be wise for the states to put their heads together and maintain that standard during the drought, with a little active government involvement."

Charlotte Groves – Wagga Wagga

"Having being born into a farming family, agriculture has always been a major part of my life. My family has a mixed enterprise farm at Cowra, in the states Central West; so my university holidays are usually spent working at home helping out with a variety of tasks, from shearing, to hay season and harvest. I became involved with NSW Farmers because I wanted to be a part of the effort to advocate for agriculture in New South Wales, having been given the opportunity to be the Young Farmer representative for the Animal Welfare Committee.

Having just completed my second year of a Bachelor of Education, I have begun to spend an increasing amount of time in classrooms all around the state, meeting lots of children of different ages and backgrounds. This time has only further emphasised how important food and fibre education is and how we should be working to educate the next generation about what goes on their plates and what they put on their backs. A recent survey of school students showed that 43 per cent of those surveyed did not link science to primary production. The future of a vibrant, sustainable and productive primary industry sector depends on a knowledgeable and supportive community.

Going forward, the representation of agriculture as a respected and valued industry in our community will be dependent on attitudes which have their basis on science and facts. These facts, if food and fibre education is to be further supported by the state government, can be provided in the classroom, leading our students to make informed decisions moving forward.

I’m sure I am speaking for all Young Farmers when I say that I can only hope agriculture will gain more and more allies leading into the future, as the perception of primary production depends on the food and fibre education students receive – starting in the classroom."

Martin Murray – Curban

"I’m an agronomist working for a group called AMPS, we’re an independent agchem reseller with a very strong focus on on-farm research to improve grower outcomes. I work with our research team in the running of our trials and our growers to transfer our research findings into on farm results to further strengthen their businesses.

I joined NSW Farmers in 2015 as they are able to effectively represent the farmers of NSW, taking their thoughts and concerns to parliament. I also joined the Young Farmer Council so I could be proactive in representing the interests and concerns of young people in or entering agriculture.

There are two major ways we can give young farmers a hand up going into the 2019 state election. First, stamp duty relief will remove the significant disadvantage in relation to other first home buyers, because we can’t currently access the exemptions offered to young city residents purchasing homes zoned as residential. Second, we can help lift the productivity of our farm businesses through investing in our farmers’ digital, financial and risk management skills."

Emma Turner – Ivanhoe 

I have been brought up on a merino (wool growing) property near Ivanhoe, western New South Wales. I am currently involved in the young farming champions group, and have completed an honours project into 6 monthly versus 12 monthly shearing based in the western division. I am currently working within the wool industry - based in Tasmania.

I applied for the NSW Farmers Tertiary Scholarship to help support my honours project and also for a pathway to be involved in such an important organisation that lobbies for the benefit of all agricultural enterprises and is constantly looking for innovative farming practices.

While I may have moved away to further my own knowledge, the western division will always be my home and end goal. I love the diverse mix of agricultural enterprises spread throughout the area, and the strong focus on sustainable grazing and land management that is deep within the Western Division. Lacking the rainfall for improved pastures, the Western Division farmers take utmost care and have the highest respect for their natural resources. For all the space within the division, it’s also a pretty tight knit community, making it an easy place to call home, with an aim to return to it.

Caitlin Langley – Wagga Wagga

 I'm passionate about issues around sustainable agriculture that consider environmental outcomes and building economically and environmentally resilient solutions that keep the livelihoods of farming families in focus with the challenges faced with living rurally.

I believe it has never been a more critical time to be involved with the growing global demand for Australian agriculture; and the Future Foods Systems CRC is an ambitious project with potential huge benefits. With our reputation for safe, healthy, and trusted commodities, a growing world population, and an increasing expectation for social responsibility towards environmental sustainability - it's critical to our future to develop commercial solutions that balance many important considerations.

Becoming a member of NSW Farmers on the Ag Science committee was important to me to understand how and what the processes are that help make changes happen in policy. In my job I aspire to help improve producers’ ability to be empowered to make decisions through knowledge and learning. Being a member of NSW Farmers allowed me to have a more proactive role in being a part of developing strategies that work towards solving problems facing agriculture.

Brent Morton – West Wyalong

I have been farming at Lake Cowal, in the West Wyalong district for 12 years. I'm currently cropping 3500 acres of Cereals and Pulse crops, and run an off farm contracting business to help supplement income.

I was asked to join NSW Farmers to help give a insight from a younger generation farmer and through my involvement in the Grains Committee I hope I’m achieving that. I’m finding a lot of satisfaction in seeing how we are helping make it easier to continue in the business of farming with what we are achieving as a group.

As the drought goes on, we see that farmers are looking for alternative ways to protect their businesses. Farm income protection insurance is available on the market, but the products are expensive and they haven't been well-explained. There's a role for government to step in and provide rebates, tax incentives and education to encourage people to take up these policies.

Carolina Merriman – Yass

I am the secretary of the Yass branch of NSW Farmers. I joined the Yass branch because it is my home town I have previously been working in the Northern Territory and Queensland on cattle stations and with Wellard’s live export. I have now moved back to Yass to help my father run the farm. I am part of the NSW Farmers because I believe there is a great responsibility for our younger generation to start innovating to improve the future of agriculture. I am very passionate and enthusiastic about the agricultural industry and I know that NSW Farmers plays a big role in making a difference to farmers and helping their voices be herd.