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Government investing in leaders to support farmers
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Luke Hartsuyker, today announced grant funding for the National Farmers' Federation (NFF) and several other farm representative bodies while attending a special National Agriculture Day (AgDay) event at NFF House in Canberra today.
Australia's $60 billion agricultural industries, including irrigated agriculture, are set to benefit from funding to develop their leadership capacity from the Coalition Government's $5 million Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund.
"The NFF will receive $206,070 to deliver an eight-day immersive leadership course run through the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation," Minister Hartsuyker said.
"This will establish a pool of up to 50 leaders who will work across the whole agricultural sector and mentor emerging leaders.
"The National Irrigators Council will receive $137,900 to train future leaders within member organisations through external training provided by the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and the Peter Cullen Trust.
"This will enhance the capacity of member organisations and the National Irrigators Council to better engage with government and the community, respond better to and manage change and improve corporate governance.
This will establish a pool of up to 50 leaders who will work across the whole agricultural sector and mentor emerging leaders.
The Hon Luke Hartsuyker MP, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
On AgDay, the farm sector’s peak body, the NFF has welcomed $206,000 in Federal Government funding for the development of leadership and advocacy capability across agricultural representation.
The NFF is one of several national farm sector representative bodies, to receive funding to enable them to enhance the leadership skills of their farmer representatives.
NFF Chief Executive Tony Mahar said the $5 million Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund was recognition of the value the Government placed on ensuring the continued success of Australia’s food, fibre and forestry industries.
“Today’s announcement is an investment in the future of our sector’s capacity to advocate for what’s in our best interests and to take advantage of the opportunities before us.”
Mr Mahar said the Federal Government, through the agriculture, trade, transport, energy and other related portfolios, continually demonstrated a willingness to understand and consider the requirements of the farm sector, when developing and implementing policy.
“As such, as a sector, we need to ensure we have representatives with the necessary leadership and advocacy skills, to continue to put our case to Government.”
... as a sector we need to work together better, less in silos and more as a united force. Developing an army of ag leaders is a great step towards achieving this.
Tony Mahar, CEO, National Farmers' Federation
National agricultural representative bodies were required to submit proposals for projects that they believed would address leadership gaps across their organisation and the industry.
Funded projects include governance training, recognised leadership courses and works to reform and modernise organisational structure.
Mr Mahar said while it was always difficult to generalise about agriculture given its diversity, at the moment in the main, agriculture was enjoying a golden era and it was more important than ever that the sector work together to achieve lasting prosperity.
“Latest national accounts show food and fibre production is the biggest contributor to GDP growth," Mr Mahar said.
"Agriculture and the industries that support it, employ 1.6 million Australians.
“Global demand for our produce is unprecedented.
“However, as a sector we need to work together better, less in silos and more as a united force.”
“By doing so we will get the best return on our resources and ultimately a better deal for agriculture.”
“Developing an army of ag leaders is a great step towards achieving this.”
About National Agriculture Day
AgDay is a national celebration of Australia’s farm sector, happening for the first time on Tuesday, 21 November 2017. AgDay was the idea of Mrs Gina Rinehart of Hancock Prospecting and Kidman and Co, one of Australia's largest beef cattle operations. AgDay is hosted by the National Farmers' Federation, a not-for-profit organisation representing the interests of Australian farmers. Since its inception, AgDay has grown to be a broad collaboration between industry groups, corporate Australia and government. Learn more at www.agday.org.au
However you choose to mark Ag Day, join the national conversation by sharing your celebrations on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #AgDay