Why new agriculture students are vital to the future of Australian farming
by Craig Boyle
Posted: January 02, 2019
Australia’s farmers are absolutely vital to the future of our country, providing food not just for Australians, but for those around the world. Our produce is renowned for its quality. As such, it’s unsurprising that demand for qualified agriculture workers is higher than ever, with farmers even calling for a new agriculture visa to attract employees. With demand so high, here’s why 2019 is an amazing time to start studying agriculture…
Between severe droughts, new technology and the fluctuation of world trade deals, Australia’s agriculture industry is in a state of flux and opportunity. Farmers are now looking towards the future and planning strategies to support an increasing population with changing nutritional needs and values. With the National Farmer’s Federation targeting $100 billion in farm gate output by 2030, we’re discussing how new talent might cope with change and help enhance growth…
Change is here
The next decade is going to be a pivotal time for Australia’s farmers. In 2017 alone, Agriculture was one of our fastest growing industries and this is only set to increase, by 2030 our country will have preferential trade deals in place with five of Asia’s largest economies. This means now is the perfect time to start studying towards a career in Agriculture.
This rise in demand is coupled with challenges presented by changing habits. Meat demand remains strong, but meat alternatives and non-traditional crops are also rising in popularity as part of a wellness movement. This gives farmers who can adapt to change and meet these new demands a strong target market to diversify into. Another pressing concern is that of climate change, which poses new challenges that new farmers must be ready to tackle.
Increasing demand means increased opportunity
Export and domestic demand on Australian produce is higher than ever before. Australia’s global brand is trusted and sought after – meaning we must ensure quality standards are maintained even as production increases. To accomplish this, the industry is going to need bright new minds like yours.
KPMG suggests that by 2030, all major regions in the country must have a borderless fresh food precinct that can air-freight out produce directly to key markets. By studying agriculture, you can help discover new ways to increase output and efficiency.
Changing eating habits
Australians are now eating more consciously, driven by environmental and ethical factors. A modern farmer must understand the popularity of health-food crops such as Quinoa. If you’re entering your studies now, you’ll be able to strategise around these habits and help farmers improve their offerings in new markets.
Climate change and emissions targets
New strategies must also be developed to help lower our emissions. Forecasts predict that emissions are set to grow by 1.2% per year until 2050, where total emissions from agriculture will reach 132.51 Mt CO2-e. These rising projections mean we will likely miss the Paris climate targets if nothing is done. Fortunately, new technology such as methane capturing devices and enhanced efficiency fertilisers are helping farmers fight this change.
In addition, climate challenges such as droughts and early ripening of crops pose risks that must be planned for. As a new student, you can learn the most modern techniques available and can also boost your understanding of digital tools, both of which will establish you in an indispensable role in your new career.
Why now is the best time to enter a career in agriculture
Farmwork is often perceived as lonely, difficult and not rewarding. For agriculture students, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only will you live in a rural location, which are famous for great communities and lower cost of living, you will also get to bring your knowledge to an industry that is desperate for new talent. You can think your way around problems, develop solutions and help improve the overall efficiency of the farm you work on.
The need for new talent is apparent: there are calls for a specialist agriculture visa designed to attract new workers. By studying agriculture, you’ll be able to enter at a more operational level – helping incorporate new technology and find solutions to problems like drought and increasing output.
Study Agriculture online at Open Colleges and you’ll be engaging in innovative digital learning that helps build the solid foundations needed by farmers, whilst also familiarising you with the modern education systems you can access online. You can use this knowledge to begin a role in agriculture where you’ll be actively working towards a bright future for Australia’s growing farming industry.
Ready to start learning?
Start shaping the future of farming in Australia by studying our AHC30116 Certificate III in Agriculture online. Enrol today.
- Q Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 2017