By 2023, Agricultural Shows Australia (ASA) aims to have sustainable Next Gen communities in place throughout Australia. With financial assistance from a Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ Commonwealth Grant in the Landcare – Smart Farms – Capacity Building program, a project to assist develop these communities is underway.

Dr Rob Wilson, Chair of ASA said he was delighted to have secured funding that would enable activities such as the national Next Gen Young Farmer Challenge to develop and grow.

Apart from providing quality entertainment at shows, the Young Farmer Challenge provides opportunities to educate the broader community on the role of farmers, engage youth in agriculture and promote farm safety. However, the long-term success of such activities relies on stakeholders to commit to the Challenge. 

“The primary stakeholders will be members of the Next Gen communities and that is why ASA will work with them in setting up bona fide groups”, explained Dr Wilson.

Dr Jo Pluske and Ms Aimee Snowden will facilitate the project. They will work with young people in each State to assist with matters such as constitutions, insurance, sponsorships, partnerships, competition regulation, progression pathways, publicity and community agreement. While some groups were well on the way to achieving the project aims, others are yet to begin. Nevertheless, by the completion of the Project, all States should be in a position to participate in national competitions such as the Young Farmer Challenge.

The ASA Conference to be held in January 2020, will provide a perfect platform to enable the first networking sessions to take place. From these sessions, achievable outcomes will be ratified by the participants.