2 February 2021. By AgForce CEO Michael Guerin. Also published at Queensland Country Life.

AgForce has a long history working to increase education into agriculture.

At the end of 2020, we participated strongly as part of the National Agricultural Workforce Strategy, doing everything we could to highlight the workforce issues currently facing the industry.

COVID and multiple border closures have also done a good job of that.

Training on the scale needed requires investment, and it seems the Federal Government realises this with Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud confirming recently the government was open to the former Longreach Pastoral College becoming part of a ‘university hub’ to deliver research and training.

Minister Littleproud acknowledged that Federal and State Governments working together could deliver a multi-faceted facility that would benefit the community, not only in skills training but also drought research.

Such a facility could also provide farmers with training in the use of cutting-edge equipment and machinery, giving them the skills they need to go on producing for future generations.

And those are the two biggest issues here: investment in people, which in turn equals investment into our collective future.

It’s why for the first time in our own history AgForce established our Young Producers’ Council, to not only raise awareness about what matters to young producers and the challenges they face, but to drive change and deliver positive outcomes for those striving to succeed in agriculture down the line.

But we’ll only get there with the type of strong vision and investment that outlives any single government’s term.

Industry-relevant training that ensures agriculture’s current and future workforce is ‘job ready’ with the skills needed in their employees benefits every single one of us, guaranteeing we all continue to enjoy our State’s world-class food and fibre.

The past 12 months has highlighted – perhaps more acutely than at any other time in our nation’s history – how important investment in the future of agriculture should be.

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