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20 March, 2022

Young farmers look into the future of agriculture

The next generation of farmers have travelled from across the state to discuss the future of agriculture in Dubbo, including Armatree’s very own ‘blow-in’, Martin Murray.

By Emily Middleton

As a representative of the Young Farmers Council, vice-president Mr Murray was on a panel discussing challenges and opportunities facing the sector.

He was able to discuss with the audience how right now is a pretty good time to be in the agricultural industry.

“The commodity is good even with rain,” explained Mr Murray.

“We discussed land prices, and how that can be a barrier to entry, however once you’ve got that, it’s a real safety net. So it can really be a double edged sword.”

Mr Murray grew up a farm in Carathool, between Hay and Griffith, and always knew it was something he would pursue himself.

“I have always enjoyed farming, I have always wanted my own place. Most people in ag grow up in it, and you just continue doing what you love.”

Another farmer in attendance was Rolanda Clout- Collins, a young farmer and accountant from Scone. Ms Clout-Collins said it was critical there was a strong future for agriculture, and young people in the industry were the beginning.

“Farming produces the food we eat and the fibre we wear, so really we all have a stake in making sure we have a strong agricultural industry no matter where we live,” said Ms Clout- Collins.

“With the high price of fuel and fertiliser and the price of land going up, there’s a lot of barriers to entering the industry as a young farmer, but I’m thankful we’re seeing a lot of tenacious people tackling the problem head-on.”

Like many young farmers, Ms Clout-Collins earns an income off-farm as an accountant while still doing that important agricultural work. The group in a attendance discussed the importance of being business-savvy and finding ways to grow their enterprise.

“There’s good money to be made working in agriculture, and it is almost more of a lifestyle than a vocation, we just love it,” said Ms Clout-Collins.

“We’re keen to see more young people enter the industry and take up those great opportunities to help grow the world’s best food and fibre.

“It’s critical that the young farmers of today have their say on the sector of tomorrow – I’m pleased to say we’ve got some good heads getting involved in driving our industry forward.”

Overall, Mr Murray said that the event was in good attendance, and it was great to see so many familiar faces of farmers from the Dubbo and Gilgandra region.

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