AgConnectWA is the new name for the Western Australian Farmers Federation (Inc.) (WAFarmers) Young Farmers Section after the Committee elected to change the name to recognise that in addition to young farmers, there is a range of young people in rural, regional and metropolitan areas with a passion for agriculture and progressing rural communities.
AgConnectWA President, Andrew Whitelaw, said it was a tremendous honour to be the new President of AgConnectWA and he hoped the change in name and culture would lead to more young people becoming involved.
“I believe that AgConnectWA is a great way of focusing on the future of rural WA and by including non-farmer stakeholders, we can have a larger and stronger voice to improve community development,” Mr Whitelaw said.
“Part of our mission is to connect, represent and provide support to young people involved in agricultural industries and rural communities. AgConnectWA encourages you to become involved and have your say on the future directions of agriculture in this state and major sponsor, Westpac, is helping us with this pursuit, so thank you to Westpac Agribusiness for their generous support.
WAFarmers President, Dale Park, said it was pleasing to see the AgConnectWA side of WAFarmers be revamped.
“Our young farmers play a vital part in this organisation and all our councils want and need to hear and consider their views,” Mr Park said.
“They are the future of agriculture in this state and the policies and decisions undertaken at the moment will directly affect their agricultural careers.”
Mr Whitelaw thanked outgoing President, Stephanie Coombes, for her contributions to the Section.
“Stephanie worked tirelessly and with a great deal of dedication to initiate the changes we launched today. We wish her all the best in her new journey in Alberta, Canada,” Mr Whitelaw concluded.
Mr Whitelaw, originally from Scotland, settled in Perth in 2010 and since then has worked in the grains industry for Cargill and Emerald. At the same time he also began to study a Master of Agribusiness through the University of Queensland remotely, which is due for completion in June 2013.
In early 2013 Andrew started working for Rural Skills Australia as an agricultural apprenticeship adviser with a remit to encourage young adults to consider a career in agriculture, horticulture and conservation.