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Who will help run the farm? New report from cotton grower & Nuffield scholar (1 Feb 2019)

A new report has been released today by Nuffield Australia, from Nuffield scholar and Wee Waa cotton grower, Daniel Kahl.

Daniel was supported to undertake his Nuffield Scholarship by CRDC and Cotton Australia.

Daniel's focus for his Nuffield Scholarship has been on creating career pathways for the next generation of farm managers, as he outlines in his report titled 'Who will help run the farm?'.

According to Daniel, farming is all about the management of five key elements – land, water, equipment, capital and people. After expansion in his family operation and helping to restructure their farm management, he set out to explore limitations with people. 

“I wanted to understand how existing programs around the world attract, upskill and retain talent in agriculture and how these programs create a clear pathway that engages the next generation of farmers, setting them on their way to a long-term career in agriculture," Daniel said. 

Daniel's report contains the following key findings: 

  • For many in agriculture globally, an issue of concern is sourcing staff with the skill set to assist managing the operation of their farm businesses.
  • This report investigates existing programs based in industry, education and privately, that assist a person’s development towards a career in farm management.
  • Whilst not all findings may be applicable at farm level, it’s aim is to provide a viewpoint that can provide industry with a bigger picture on the pathway to bring more people into agriculture.
  • Advocate the development and adoption of teaching packages which use agriculture as a vehicle to deliver STEM subjects in national Australian school systems.
  • Expand existing programs linking farm businesses with new entrants such as Cotton Gap, providing a continuation of pathway from trainee to further training.
  • Individuals, once established on a pathway to a career in farm management, must be able to continue learning whilst tying new knowledge to on-farm experiences.
  • It is vital the agricultural industry work collaboratively to address the issue of the missing middle management within the available workforce.
  • Globally, programs exist to help address the issue of the missing middle. What is required is for those programs to be adapted, supported, implemented and linked together to create a clear pathway for the next generation of farm managers.

Daniel's report, and his presentation to the Nuffield conference, can be found here

On behalf of CRDC, our congratulations to Daniel on the successful completion of his Nuffield Scholarship.