Supporting Young People Key to Agriculture and Innovation

Retaining young people and a skilled and innovative agricultural workforce is key to the future of Australian agriculture and our industry’s capacity to take advantage of coming innovations and to meet new challenges.

17 April 2017

RETAINING young people and a skilled and innovative agricultural workforce is key to the future of Australian agriculture and our industry’s capacity to take advantage of coming innovations and to meet new challenges.

While that’s not a new notion, it is the founding principle of ADAMA Australia’s investment in its Young Achiever Awards according to the company’s general manager of marketing, Adam Phelan.

“By supporting and encouraging young achievers in agriculture and agri-business through our Young Achiever Awards we believe we send a message to young people that they are valued and that we appreciate the key role they play in agriculture in Australia,” Mr Phelan said.

“As a company we strive to create simplicity for farmers, and one way we do that is by developing innovative solutions to farming problems, and young people are often innovators.

“We only need to look at the way young people in agri-business have embraced new ways of communicating, such as via social platforms including Twitter, and how they’ve embraced new tools and ways of doing things, such as using drones and digital decision support tools.

“So not only do we need young people to stay living in rural areas and working in agriculture and agri-business so we retain an agricultural workforce, our capacity to embrace new ways of working and meeting new challenges also rely in good part on them,” he said.

For the past two years ADAMA has awarded its Young Agronomist of the Year Award with more than 200 agronomists aged under thirty nominating across the two years. The award has become highly sought after, both for the professional recognition it brings but also for the overseas study tour awarded to the winner and two runners-up.

In 2017 ADAMA has added sponsorship of the Australian Cotton Industry Awards ADAMA Chris Lehmann Trust Young Cotton Achiever Award.

“The Chris Lehmann Trust Young Cotton Achiever Award presented an opportunity for ADAMA to further encourage and support young people in agriculture in Australia and, in this case, young people working in one of Australia’s key crop-based industries,” Mr Phelan said.

“We were very happy that the award also allowed us to acknowledge one of cotton agronomy’s founding fathers, Chris Lehmann, and support the legacy and association of the Chris Lehmann Trust with the Australian Cotton Industry Awards.”

The ADAMA Young Agronomist of the Year for 2016 was awarded In March to Daniel Hillebrand from YP AG in Kadina, South Australia. Runner’s-up for the award were Tim Heath of GT Ag Services in Tolga, Queensland, and Edwina Simpson of Western AG in Kaniva, Victoria.

“Daniel, Tim and Edwina are very impressive young agronomists,” Mr Phelan said. “But the entire field of nominees highlighted that today’s young agronomists are of an extremely high calibre and that under their stewardship our industry’s future is in good hands.”

Nominations for the ADAMA Young Agronomist of the Year Award 2017 will open in coming weeks.

The winner of the 2017 ADAMA Chris Lehmann Trust Young Cotton Achiever Award will be announced at the Australian Cotton Industry Awards ceremony at Griffith in July.

For information please contact:
Scott Harlum | Campaign & Brand Manager | E: scott.harlum@adama.com

(This article appeared originally in Rural Business Magazine)