EVENTS like the Elmore Field Days can help engage young people with farming, agricultural experts say.
With fears of a “missing generation” of farmers who left after the drought and took up jobs in mining, the feeling around the Elmore Events Centre is that there are opportunities for those who want to pursue a career in agriculture.
Elmore Field Days president David Trewick said the field days promoted what was possible in agricultural careers.
“I think these days like today are great for showing kids what they can aspire to,” he said. “They can see the new technology and develop a passion for agriculture.
“I think farming has a very viable future and I definitely think there’s scope there for young people to come back on the farm and get into it.”
Tom Kelly, a shearing instructor from the Shearer Woolhandler Training Inc., was at Elmore demonstrating shearing and offering information on courses and certificates people can do in the field.
Mr Kelly said getting younger people into agricultural careers was about showing the opportunities.
“It’s about giving people the chance and offering education in the industry,” he said.
“If the opportunity is there, people will take it up.”
Mr Kelly said events like the Elmore Field Days were a great way to engage young people and display the benefits of a rural lifestyle.
“If you let them know you’re out there and available, then people may take it up,” he said.
“It’s a great lifestyle (and) the lamb and wool industries are up and about.”
This was a sentiment echoed by Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie.
Ms McKenzie was involved in a recent federal Senate inquiry into agricultural education.
She said young people were interested in agricultural careers.
“We have the right product, we need to get better at selling it.”