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 Riverine Plains Cultivate & Connect supports Youth in Ag

Date: 7 August, 2023

Word count: 497

Riverine Plains Cultivate & Connect supports Youth in Ag

Riverine Plains hosted the highly successful Cultivate & Connect during late July as part of the 2023 Riverine Plains Youth in Ag Program.

Young farmers, students and early-career industry professionals travelled from as far away as Griffith and Wagga Wagga to participate in this youth-focussed field tour and mentoring lunch. The focus was on building connections while also developing the technical and business knowledge of participants.

Riverine Plains Project Officer and Cultivate & Connect organiser, Rhiannan McPhee, was thrilled that the event was so well received.

“This is the first time Riverine Plains has hosted an event like this for young people in our region, and we are so pleased at the energy and enthusiasm that carried right through the day, as well as the depth of conversations that were had,” she said.

The Cultivate & Connect tour began with a visit to Yarrawonga farmers, Peter and Maryanne White and their agronomist, Matt Coffey from Elders, before moving to the Baker Seeds facility, near Rutherglen.

Key themes across the visits included the value of passion and challenge in sustaining a long-term career or business in agriculture, the value of open and honest conversations in business, as well as the importance of building early connections and networks across the industry.

“Some key messages from the day were the importance of peer and industry networks for those working in agriculture, to share ideas and solutions.

“Sometimes building networks requires conscious effort, but over time these peer and industry networks can develop into a valuable resource that can be tapped into, especially when finding solutions to difficult problems,” added Ms McPhee.

As well as helping to establish connections between young people, the Cultivate and Connect event also provided useful direction for resolving complex issues, such as succession, that many young people involved in agriculture need to navigate.

Following the tour, a lunch and mentoring workshop took place at Buller Wines, Rutherglen, with 15 experienced industry professionals sharing their career insights. Small-group mentoring sessions then explored topics in more detail, including data and decision making, trade and markets, sustainability and ESG, research and extension, business and succession, production, policy and agricultural engineering.

“We had an amazing combination of well-known and experienced agribusiness mentors who participated in these sessions and it was great to see the group tap in to this experience by asking questions and being fully involved in open and honest discussions about these topics,” added Ms McPhee.

The 2023 Riverine Plains Youth in Ag Program is supported by Program partners Corteva Agriscience and Elders Rural Services, Elders Shepparton, Elders Yarrawonga and Elders Albury. This Program is also supported by FRRR, through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

“Riverine Plains is absolutely thrilled at the response to our Youth in Ag Program since it was established in 2022 and we are excited about the potential for bringing even more youth-focussed events to the region in 2024,” concluded Ms McPhee.

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Riverine Plains Inc is an independent farming systems group specialising in farmer driven research and extension across north-east Victoria and southern New South Wales. For more information, or to become a member, please visit www.riverineplains.org.au

More Information or Interview:

Katherine Seddon, Corporate Communications Manager, Riverine Plains (0433 812 889) or email katherine@riverineplains.org.au

Youth in Ag Program: Cultivate & Connect

26 June, 2023

Word Count: 474

 Youth in Ag Program: Cultivate & Connect

On Thursday 27 July, Riverine Plains will host the Cultivate & Connect event as part of the 2023 Riverine Plains Youth in Ag Program. The day will include a farm visit and agribusiness tour, as well as a mentoring workshop and lunch at The Pavilion (Buller Wines), Rutherglen.

Cultivate & Connect has been planned with youth in mind and is designed to showcase new products and practices across the region, as well as provide opportunities for networking and learning.

Riverine Plains Project Officer and Cultivate & Connect organiser, Rhiannan McPhee, said that the event follows the successful Youth in Ag Dinner, which saw 85 young people across the region come together for a night of networking and fun.

“At Riverine Plains, we are passionate about the next generation and Cultivate & Connect will maintain the Youth in Ag Program’s focus on establishing strong connections across the industry through learning and networking,” she added.

The day will include a visit to a Yarrawonga farm and will feature insightful discussions with the owners and their agronomist, as well as a trial site visit. Following this, the group will head to Baker Seeds in Rutherglen for a facility tour.

A gourmet lunch at Buller Wines’ The Pavillion Restaurant will provide networking opportunities with peers and industry experts.

This will be followed by a structured mentoring session and panel discussion with an experienced group of industry experts, including Rabobank’s Head of Client Sustainability, Crawford Taylor, the Chair of the Victorian Agriculture & Climate Change Council, Alexandra Gartmann, Elder’s State General Manager of Victoria/Riverina, Brendan Rinaldi, as well as the Member for Nicholls, Sam Birrell.

Riverine Plains CEO, Catherine Marriott has participated in various mentoring programs throughout her career and recognises their value, especially for people in the early stages of their career journey.

“Mentoring can be either formal or informal and is a great way for professionals to share their experiences and expertise to support young people on various aspects of career development,” said Ms Marriott

“Mentoring is really about creating connections that can be called on when needed, particularly when advice is given generously and with the sole aim of helping someone out.

“I’m so proud of the team for developing this initiative and I’m really looking forward to being a part of the day,” added Ms Marriott.

Cultivate & Connect provides a great opportunity to connect with young people in the region who have an interest in agriculture.

The cost is $40 for members and $60 for non-members (includes bus transfer from Yarrawonga, Albury or Corowa). Tickets sales close Thursday 6 July at 5pm. To purchase tickets, or for more information, please visit www.riverineplains.org.au.

The Riverine Plains Youth in Ag Program is supported by Program partners Corteva Agriscience and Elders Rural Services, Elders Shepparton, Elders Yarrawonga and Elders Albury.

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More Information or Interview:

Claudia Powell, Communications Manager, Riverine Plains (0499 402 943) or email claudia@riverineplains.org.au

Youth in Ag Dinner at Yarrawonga

Date: 27 March, 2023

Word count: 421

 Youth in Ag get together at Yarrawonga

 

On Friday 24 March, a Riverine Plains Youth in Ag Dinner event saw 85 young people involved in agriculture across the region come together for a night of networking and fun (as well as a little bit of dancing!).

The Riverine Plains Youth in Ag dinner was held at The Sebel, Yarrawonga, with the support of 2023 Youth in Ag Program partners, Elders and Corteva Agriscience.

The night was an excellent opportunity for young farmers, agribusiness professionals and students to get together and connect with like-minded people from across the region, while also receiving early-career advice from business leaders and Riverine Plains Scholarship Program recipients.

Event organiser and Riverine Plains Project Officer, Rhiannan McPhee, was thrilled at the night’s success.

“There was so much energy in the room and a real buzz as people made the most of the time to socialise, meet new people and create connections,” she said.

“One of the highlights was hearing Sam Whiting, Elders, who shared his journey from growing up on a farm in southwest Victoria, to a career in banking overseas, through to his return to Geelong to take up a position as Elders State Finance and Operations Manager,” explained Ms McPhee.

“Sam’s message about not needing to have your career all figured out from day one and to allow yourself the time to figure out your strengths, passions, as well as likes and dislikes, really resonated,” said Ms McPhee.

Corteva Agriscience Marketing Director, Dan Dixon, also joined the proceedings via video link, explaining the importance of investing in young people to support the future of the agriculture industry.

The evening included the official presentation of the 2022 Riverine Plains Scholarship Program recipients, with James White (John Hanrahan Scholar), Sam Marshall (Uncle Tobys Scholar), and Reily Menhenett (Corteva Agriscience Scholar) each speaking about how they are using their scholarships to further their education and practical experiences in their chosen fields.

After the official presentations were over, local live band Scott and Amanda ensured the dance floor was full until close.

“Riverine Plains is really passionate about supporting young people in agriculture to achieve their full potential and it was just wonderful to see people enjoying the night on so many levels”, said Ms McPhee.

“We hope everyone enjoyed themselves and we are already looking forward to planning next year’s event,” she concluded.

The Riverine Plains Youth in Ag Program will also include a Youth in Ag Mentoring Lunch and Field Tour, with more details available shortly from www.riverineplains.org.au.

 

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Riverine Plains Inc is an independent farming systems group specialising in farmer driven research and extension across north-east Victoria and southern New South Wales. For more information, or to become a member, please visit www.riverineplains.org.au

 

More Information or Interview:

Claudia Powell, Communications Manager, Riverine Plains (0499 402 943) or email claudia@riverineplains.org.au