THIRTY of Australia's future leaders in agriculture, including Todd Fotheringhame, Karlgarin, were in Sydney last week to participate in an innovative 12-day scholarship program delivered by Woolworths.
The Woolworths Agricultural Business Scholarship Program invited 30 young people involved in agriculture from Australia and New Zealand to participate in the program to gain a broader perspective of the industry from key academics, experts and Woolworth's business leaders.
Woolworths head of fresh food Pat McEntee said the program addresses some of the key issues facing the agricultural sector.
"With the average age of the Australian farmer increasing and the sector facing a skills shortage, it is important that as an industry, we work together to attract and retain young people in agriculture," he said.
"The scholars selected for the program represent the diversity of careers in agriculture. Among the scholars we have young farmers, agronomists, a meat buyer, a financial controller, a beef extension officer, and an agriculture teacher.
"The program provides an opportunity for participants to interact with the whole supply chain to fully understand the paddock to plate concept and equips participants with the knowledge they need to address key issues surrounding food, agriculture, health and the environment."
As well as learning from other industry leaders, the program provides an opportunity for participants to meet, network and learn from other people in the industry.
Mr McEntee said the program was an investment in the future of agriculture.
"These dynamic young people are the future leaders of our industry - this program is a great opportunity to harness and develop their skills to their full potential," he said.
"It's really encouraging to see how passionate these young people are - the future of agriculture is in safe hands."
The program covered a range of topics including finance, marketing, sustainability, succession, and the role of social media providing the participants with access to industry experts including Australian Farm Institute's Mick Keogh and National Farmers' Federation's David McKeon.
The 30 scholars also gained an insight into the process of buying and marketing with a tour of Flemington markets, Woolworths distribution centre and the store operations.
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