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  • Rikki Lambert

It's been a big Ag Day

Victorian senator and Regionalisation Minister Bridget McKenzie with Jane Campbell from Campbell's Wines

Starting an 'AgVenture' could be the next step for the tree changers abandoning capital cities for country life, including young Australians on their gap year, according to the federal agriculture minister.

Nikki Reynolds from The Rural newspaper on the NSW Riverina the origins of Ag Day before the pandemic:

"Before COVID at the inception it was a chance for people to get together and have a BBQ maybe, have a break from work and maybe hold up one of those frames up you see on Instagram with a hashtag Ag Day and celebrate all things Agriculture."
"As this event has evolved, it has become a social media hashtag #AgDay or use different ones like #AgVenture and its just a grat chance to share everything rural. I've found in this area, people studying agriculture in uni are embracing it."

Hear the full interview with Nikki Reynolds here:

Amid worries on the winter cropping front that the bumper - and potentially near-record - 2021 harvest might be undermined by now having too much rain, confidence in the agricultural sector is on a high.

The New South Wales Agriculture Minister highlighted the incredible growth in the value of agricultural product in his state, 'charging past' all previous records and to an estimated $20.9 billion industry.

Minister Adam Marshall released the 2021 NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Performance Data and Insights (PDI) report on Thursday, showing NSW agriculture increased its Gross Value of Production from $15.7 billion in just 12 months.

“Wheat headlines this year’s bumper harvest and is the star of this more than $5 billion increase in primary industries GVP. The crop’s value produced actually rose 541 per cent on the year before to $4 billion.

Mr Marshall said the agricultural industry had exceeded NSW DPI’s long-term strategic target two years ahead of schedule.

Cropping achieved $8 billion of the $21.9 billion output, including;

  • Wheat up 541% year-on-year, with an estimated GVP $4.2 billion

  • Cotton up 383% year-on-year, with an estimated GVP $847 million

  • Oilseeds up 527% year-on-year, with an estimated GVP $844 million

  • Barley up 170% year-on-year, with an estimated GVP $769 million

  • Pulses up 527% year-on-year, with an estimated GVP $359 million

The Commonwealth Bank marked Ag Day by sharing some data on how confidently farmers are investing in the future. Financing with CBA for agri-machinery rose 25 per cent this financial year (July – October) compared to the same time last year, with wine-making equipment up 152 per cent, headers up 101 per cent, ag bins up 64 per cent and all-terrain vehicles up 46 per cent.

The Northern Territory has led the investment in agri machinery, up 138 per cent since this time last year, followed by Victoria up 60 per cent and Queensland up 49 per cent.

Minister Littleproud launched a new career opportunities pilot project, AGCAREERSTART, for young Australians to consider in their gap year after completing school:

“An agricultural gap year opens up a whole universe of amazing careers in this thriving, important sector, from livestock and cropping to technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.
“This new pilot program, to be delivered by an industry consortium led by the National Farmers Federation, is a structured employment program to help young Australians to start a career in agriculture in their gap year.
“It’s about encouraging young Australians to give working in the agriculture sector a go and provide a taste of what a regional lifestyle can offer. An agricultural gap year is a crucial pathway to attract young Australians to agriculture, creating long-term, meaningful careers.”


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