AgConnectWA makes plans for a busy year

AgConnectWA makes plans for a busy year


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AgConnectWA president Henry Gratte said a new wave of young people in agriculture were taking up opportunities that were previously not available.

AgConnectWA president Henry Gratte said a new wave of young people in agriculture were taking up opportunities that were previously not available.

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WITH a full agenda of events planned, AgConnectWA is again focused on facilitating a network of other like-minded young people working in agriculture.

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WITH a full agenda of events planned, AgConnectWA is again focused on facilitating a network of other like-minded young people working in agriculture.

It's most anticipated event for later in the year - the AgConnectWA annual forum and annual general meeting - is aimed at improving the future of the agriculture industry.

Other events throughout 2019 include the regional roadshow, which will go to the central Wheatbelt and South West and will aim to include niche industries such as dairy, horticulture and viticulture.

For young people at the start of their careers, AgConnectWA will be partnering with Value Creators to host the UpStart Program later this month and the popular Barbecue in the Bush events will continue.

AgConnectWA president Henry Gratte said he expected the industry to focus on managing social problems while continuing to become more transparent.

"To become transparent in the interest of our consumers has never been so intense," Mr Gratte said.

"This is what the industry does best - takes the problem in hand and turns it into a solution.

"I expect the industry to increase its brand of safe, sustainable produce and work on a better future for tomorrow."

Mr Gratte said the new wave of young people entering the industry were taking up opportunities that had never been available before.

"There has never been a more exciting time to enter the agriculture industry," he said.

"New entrants will have significantly higher training and be more aware of international events than probably occurred in the past.

"New entrants will also have to be aware of the past failures and successes of their chosen field and work with this broad range of in-depth knowledge to keep pushing the one per cent further."

In a constantly evolving industry, technology is said to be the sector to watch for career growth.

"Humans by nature want to find the easiest, most efficient way to complete a task," Mr Gratte said.

"The biggest problem at the moment is that technology is finding a problem for its solutions.

"Once this bridge has been broken, we will see the ag-tech scene take off."

Mr Gratte said no matter what the industry, standing out as a professional was key to giving your career a boost, especially for landing coveted positions.

For this to happen, he said, networking is crucial.

"One of the best and worst factors about the ag industry is that it is very network orientated," he said.

"Being active in the industry and getting your name out there is the best way to move through the industry.

"For a new entrant with no ag background, attend as many open days or industry events as possible along the lines of your interest.

"This could be to make sure that you are going down the right career path and you get the most out of your efforts.

"Being active and engaged like this also shows a stronger interest, which would help get with your name recognised come job application time."

Agriculture offers career pathways for aspiring professionals in almost all services - whether new to the industry or not - such as accounting, banking, media and communications, policy, engineering, law, science, teaching and more.

Mr Gratte said because ag was an industry that didn't have a big profile in the public sphere, young people in all industries had a duty to learn more about agriculture.

"As people in the industry, it is our responsibility to understand where our food and fibre comes from and educate the broader community about the importance of agriculture and challenges we face as an industry," he said.

"People not involved in the industry need to know about it for the same reason.

"There are practices which are carried out on a regular basis which are considered to be bad by people living in the cities, which are considered essential by farmers and industry professionals.

"Practices such as pest management with herbicides or genetic modification are misunderstood by our consumers.

"By being engaged with people not involved in the industry, we have the opportunity to convey the point that these practices are safe and ensure the sustainability of the industry."

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