Ag adventure gives Lockyer students a taste of a future in farming

Students from the Lockyer have embarked on a trip of a lifetime as part of the Australian Future Farmers Exchange (AFFE).

Declyn Cable, Brooklyn Friels, Sophie Radke, William Nielsen and Emily Markwell, who attend Faith Lutheran College, are in Victoria broadening their farming experiences and seeing the opportunities in the agriculture industries.

The Australian Future Farmers Exchange, the brainchild of Lockyer resident and educator Russell Berlin and co-founder Amanda Naish, aims to address the critical challenge of an ageing farming population and the widening gap between young individuals and the agricultural sector.

“This initiative not only shows students the realities of farming and agricultural business but also fosters connections with industry professionals, potentially guiding their future career paths,” Mr Berlin said.

“Our goal is to empower the next generation with the skills, knowledge and enthusiasm for agriculture.”

As part of the exchange, the Lockyer students will see firsthand new farming systems and careers in viticulture, beef production, boutique farming enterprises and tourism in North-West Victoria.

It is a trip of a lifetime for Emily Markwell, who thanks to her involvement through her school and AFFE, has her sights set on a future in the agriculture business.

“I’m looking forward to travelling outside the region and exploring the different aspects of agriculture and the opportunities,” Emily said.

“For me, agriculture is about hard work and teamwork. I want to travel to Australia to help on farms and learn more.”

Member for Lockyer Jim McDonald MP said calling the Lockyer Valley home, a region rated among the top ten most fertile farming areas in the world, was an excellent start for a future in agriculture.

“Our farming future lies in this next generation’s hands, and it is wonderful to see the opportunities the program gives these students,” Mr McDonald said.

“Congratulations to the students involved for putting their hand up to try it and learn more—the future of farming is an innovative and exciting space.