The world needs creative, innovative and courageous young people who can connect, collaborate and act. We know that youth may only be 20% of the population but they are 100% of the future. The time is now to let them share their dreams and design the future they want to see.
Our Young Farming Champions and I are lucky enough to meet lots of exciting young people through the increasing profile of Art4Agriculture. It was a pleasure to work with rising star young journalism student Courtney Deeth recently who achieved a High Distinction for this well researched and articulated expose on the challenges of young people entering the farming sector
Increased foreign ownership of Australian rural real-estate, high level of risk, and long out-dated laws, has seen leasing become an unpopular choice amongst our farmers in an already volatile industry.
But with rising land prices and an ageing farming population, it seems as though it may be the only option in the years to come.
Award-winning dairy farmer, Lynne Strong, is leading the way to the farming future in our country, and proves that it is possible to have a successful career on land that you don’t own.
For 7 years I have been an ambassador for Hands Across NSW. Hands Across NSW began as a charity organisation during the severe droughts to assist farming families and their communities.
Our vision and missions statements are to
“assist the rural communities in NSW affected by the drought and any other issues by providing help with dignity and to be a dynamic organization dedicated to assist those in need as well as providing a hand of friendship in times of distress, thereby ensuring our prominence as one of the leading, friendliest, and effective charitable organizations in this field originated in the Shoalhaven”.
Over the years we received donations of financial help to support our farmers to be resilient through grants of up to $5000 per individual. We also took donations of fodder and other feed products to provide for livestock in areas severely affected.
In 2009 we received a massive donation from the Bonds factory which supplied 30 different families with new underwear. Something we may take for granted, yet something so important as some of the women in remote communities could not afford new underwear and were too embarrassed to even visit a Dr because of the state of their underwear.
Between 2007 and 2012 we used donations from local communities to provide children with Christmas presents. It was so rewarding to see the looks on their faces
Hands Across continues to provide financial support to those in need through monitoring progress. This is essential as it indicates the degree of help that needs be provided in the future as well as monitoring the changes in the type of help required. This means our charity is under constant review so it can deliver what farmers need on the ground as soon as thye need it
I am very excited by the next phase that ongoing donations and support has allowed us to develop a program that provides scholarships for students in my local community who face financial hardship in transferring from primary school through to high school. The scholarship program is run in conjunction with the Berry-Gerringong Rotary club who have also raised funds
Check out Jess’ latest video which shares her amazing journey to date