MORE funding has been delivered by the Coalition government towards boosting national farm industry leadership, to coincide with National Agriculture Day.
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Assistant Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Luke Hartsuyker announced today two more recipients of the $5 million Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund that was first revealed in last year’s Coalition farm election policy package.
“The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) will receive $206,070 to deliver an eight-day immersive leadership course run through the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation,” he said at the NFF’s Ag Day event in Canberra which showcased farm produce from the ACT region.
“This will establish a pool of up to 50 leaders who will work across the whole agricultural sector and mentor emerging leaders.
“The National Irrigators Council will receive $137,900 to train future leaders within member organisations through external training provided by the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and the Peter Cullen Trust.
“This will enhance the capacity of member organisations and the National Irrigators Council to better engage with government and the community, respond better to and manage change and improve corporate governance.
“The Coalition government recognises how important strong industry leadership is to the ongoing success of our agriculture industries.
“We are ensuring these representative organisations are able to advocate agricultural and rural issues and champion their industries' priorities to the wider community and the government.”
Former Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Barnaby Joyce revealed the Fund’s round one recipients - with 27 in total but not all revealed as yet - late last month before he was disqualified over his dual NZ citizenship.
The first round of grant recipients included the Cattle Council of Australia to establish a new peak body, Sheepmeat Council of Australia to develop a Future Flock Network and WoolProducers Australia for the Raising the Baa Leadership Program.
NFF CEO Tony Mahar said the Fund was recognition of the value the government placed on ensuring the continued success of Australia’s food, fibre and forestry industries.
“Today’s announcement is an investment in the future of our sector’s capacity to advocate for what’s in our best interests and to take advantage of the opportunities before us,” he said.
“We need to ensure we have representatives with the necessary leadership and advocacy skills, to continue to put our case to government.
“Latest national accounts show food and fibre production is the biggest contributor to GDP growth.
"Agriculture and the industries that support it, employ 1.6 million Australians - global demand for our produce is unprecedented.
“However, as a sector we need to work together better, less in silos and more as a united force.”
“By doing so we will get the best return on our resources and ultimately a better deal for agriculture.
“Developing an army of ag leaders is a great step towards achieving this.”
NIC CEO, Steve Whan said his group’s member bodies were mostly not for profit and member-owned organisations and the leadership grant would help to build leadership skills “that are so vital to well-run organisations and to engaging in rural community leadership”.
“We thank the government and Minister Hartsuyker for the announcement today,” he said.
“National Ag Day is a great opportunity for all of us to acknowledge Australia’s farmers and to build appreciation in the wider community that without our primary producers we wouldn’t enjoy fresh food on our tables, nor would we have the ability to provide thousands of processing and manufacturing jobs in rural communities.”