MINYIP district farmer Tom McGrath says he is thrilled to be a returning member of the state government’s Young Farmers Ministerial Advisory Council.
The council provides advice to the state government on issues affecting young farmers and discusses ways to deliver programs to support young people in agriculture.
Joining Mr McGrath and his fellow returning member Sarah Thompson will be four new members – Dustin Kemp of Rochester, Sarah McLean of Purnim, Jennifer Zappia of Mildura and Alastair Tame of Strathbogie.
Mr McGrath said the council would continue to inform Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford on the relevant and current issues facing young farmers in Victoria.
“This is achieved by directly engaging with those working in agriculture,” he said.
“One particular recommendation the previous council presented to Jalaa Pulford was for the continuation of the YFMAC. I personally believe this successful recommendation was one of our bigger achievements.”
He said the council’s continuation would allow ongoing and up-to-date support for young farmers.
“The focus from one year to the next can change dramatically as we have seen most recently in New South Wales and Queensland,” he said.
“I would hope that the young farmer council remains an essential and important information tool for future ministers.
“I reapplied to be on this council because I feel that I can still contribute in a capacity large a enough to help sustain a positive future for agriculture, and in particular young people in agriculture which is the area I am most passionate about.”
The six council members will be joined by Pete Burgess from the Young Agribusiness Professionals, and Nhill Young Farmers group president Jess Pilgrim who was appointed to the council as a representative of the Victorian Young Farmers Network.
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The new council met for the first time on August 29.
“Unfortunately I missed my first meeting with the newly formed council and I am yet to meet with the other members face-to-face,” Mr McGrath said.
“I have no doubt they will be very passionate and enthusiastic about creating positive outcomes for our industry.
“We want to continue to ensure a bright future for Victorian agriculture. Passion and enthusiasm have been the key strengths of the council in the past and this will no doubt continue.”
Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said the council was a great way to support young farmers into the future.
“Our young farmers are our future and we’re so proud to work alongside our next generation in setting policy and providing advice direct to government,” she said.
“The advice provided by the Young Farmers Advisory Council will help ensure we continue to have effective programs and initiatives to support young farmers.
“I congratulate all members of the Young Farmers Advisory Council and look forward to working with them to take our industry forward.”