Young ag champs focus on the future

31 Mar, 2014 07:05 AM
Casey Dahl, Prue Capp, Josh Gilbert, Geoff Birchnell, Tim Eyes and Anika Molesworth.
It’s great to see such enthusiasm from the next generation
Casey Dahl, Prue Capp, Josh Gilbert, Geoff Birchnell, Tim Eyes and Anika Molesworth.

SIX young rural champions are set to help educate a new generation about agriculture.

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and Art4Agriculture today announced Geoff Birchnell, Prue Capp, Anika Molesworth, Casey Dahl, Josh Gilbert and Tim Eyes as their 2014 Young Farming Champions

The six will now undertake training to prepare them to act as advocates for the industry.

The program is designed to provide them with the skills and confidence to educate others about the opportunities in agriculture, starting as representatives for the Art4Agriculture program and Archibull Prize in schools across the eastern states.

MLA community engagement manager Pip McConachie said the 2014 Young Farming Champions showed that interest in agriculture was still alive and well among the younger generation.

“It’s great to see such enthusiasm from the next generation to not only work in agriculture, but to promote it through schools and the wider community,” she said.

Geoff Birchnell

Geoff has a Bachelor of Commerce and works as a chartered accountant in Brisbane however has strong connections to the bush through his family’s Hereford cattle stud. Geoff’s mission as a Young Farming Champion is to ensure he continues to grow, learn and share his knowledge and skills.

Prue Capp

Prue grew up on her family’s beef property in the Hunter Valley and is a six generation grazier. Currently based in Wagga Wagga, she is an equine dentist, a veterinary science student, an Australian Stock Horse judge and the 2013 Trans-Tasman National Rural Ambassador.

Anika Molesworth

Based in Griffith, NSW, Anika is an agribusiness banker whose love of agriculture stems from her family’s sheep property in far west NSW. She believes the industry needs ambitious and innovative people who see past the status quo to embrace sustainable farming now and into the future.

Casey Dahl

Casey is completing honours research at the University of Queensland on the preservation of bovine semen. Based at Gatton, Casey believes working together is the most effective way to share how wonderful agriculture is, to showcase how beautiful the land is and to demonstrate how passionate we are about it.

Josh Gilbert

An advocate from a different angle, Josh has a Bachelor of Commerce and is in the final year of a law degree. Josh’s family runs a Braford cattle stud at Nabiac and he dreams of building his own agricultural empire whilst providing legal advice to country people.

Tim Eyes

A farm consultant and manager of two commercial beef properties and a stud cattle show team, Tim was dux of his year at Tocal Agricultural College. Based at Wyong Creek, he believes in constantly striving for economic and ethical sustainability and demonstrates how you can be involved in agriculture without owning land.

Date: Newest first | Oldest first


Pete Rothwell
31/03/2014 6:10:22 PM

Nothing at all against these people, but I couldn't help but notice the common theme here. All young Australian's with a tie to the land but all, apart from 1, work away from it. To me it shows just how bad ag has become in Australia.
31/03/2014 7:23:58 PM

Just seems a shame non of these people are day to day farmers......I don't want to take anything away from their wonderful achievement but it would be fantastic to see some people who are actual farmers get the same accolade
1/04/2014 2:51:03 PM

Pete Rothwell and Freshy are examples of the challenge facing agribusiness representation in Australia. They don't see agribusiness, they just see farming. Until agribusiness - the food supply chain from paddock to plate - sees itself as the second biggest industry in Australia, it's going to continue to under-represent itself.
Lynne Strong
1/04/2014 4:06:12 PM

Hi Pete and Freshy I have the pleasure of working with these young people. Every single one of them is doing everything they can to get all necessary skills and knowledge it takes to farm successfully in the 21st century. We should be celebrating this!!! Imagine the wealth of experience they will bring back to the sector when they return to the farm and believe me everyone single one of them has that as their ultimate goal
Pete Rothwell
2/04/2014 4:57:09 AM

I disagree Simon. That may be true of some smaller sectors of agribusiness, but I hardly think players like Graincorp, Swifts, the banks etc are under represented. Ag is primary production, agribus is not. As I said Lynne, nothing against them, but are they really doing what they do now to get the skills to go farming? Or are they doing it because they are unable to go farming? Or maybe they want a good back up if it turns out that they can't make a living off the land. Either way I think its sad that the cream of the younger generation don't see a good future on the farm from the outset.
Josh Gilbert
2/04/2014 8:59:28 AM

Dear Pete- I appreciate that PP has a big role in ag, however ur comments are not a fair view on how the industry has worked & will continue 2. Agbiz, with ag research, is pivotal 2 long-term profit, respect and appreciation of ag. I travel 4 hours so that I can still live on farm & gain skills- my passion is ag & I assure u that I will return 2 the land! I reject any view that I do not see a future on farm & that I need a backup. Like previous farmers, I see huge merit in & the impact of ag. 2 ensure longevity of ag, we need unity and 2 support each other & the impact we ALL make. Josh


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