EDUCATION IS THE KEY THAT WILL UNLOCK LABOUR SHORTAGES IN AGRICULTURE IN THE LONG TERM
I have been an educator all my life and must say I love seeing people build their knowledge and confidence when learning new things.
"If we are truly a product of our environment and the level of nurturing we receive in our formative years, the earlier we influence children in agriculture and the benefits of a rural lifestyle, the better."
In the Land Newspaper article “WhoIe-of-life ag education (Goodwin, S. 11.08.2022) Anthony Lee (CEO of Australian Country Choice) advocates for the formation of a single body that represents all agriculture with a remit to support the development and implementation of Ag education starting at a young age. Lee also highlighted the need to address “A curriculum being filled with negative messaging about agriculture from the uninformed”.
The responsibility for showcasing current and future opportunities must be shared by all stakeholders in agriculture. Labour shortages will be a long-term issue across many industries. It is imperative to analyse the desires, needs and expectations of all players in the agricultural sector.
What has served the industry to this point in its evolution may not deliver our future needs. Change is the only constant in Agriculture. Change must be embraced to develop appropriate resources for an expanding agricultural industry.
Learning, skill development, innovation and consistent, practical execution are the pillars of Agriculture that will lead to its future professionalism. We will need to jointly showcase the business and career opportunities to people who are not connected to agriculture from birth.
We must also change the perception that working in Agriculture is tough and hard to make a living.
I have always believed that quality education emanates from the heart of talented educators. While facilities and resources are important, good teachers could deliver effective education under a gum tree in the middle of nowhere.
True professionalism is based on shared values. I advocate that we extend the foundation of Agricultural education by investigating the current shared values of current and future participants.
A new message must be communicated to express the importance and integrity of the agriculture industry. We need to work hard to build trust in what we do to attract new participants seeking opportunities in a highly regarded industry.
It might be time to redefine the school of hard knocks for Agriculture.
Business Coach, Farmer, Author
The Farming Coach