The third and final day of the 2017 WAFarmers Annual Conference: GROW2017 left delegates excited what’s to come for the Western Australian agricultural sector, with presenters focusing on the conference theme: growing regional opportunities and wealth.
State Minister for Agriculture and Food Hon. Mark Lewis MLC officially opened the formalities, stating that industry needed strong organisations like WAFarmers to work alongside government.
“The importance of grower groups, particularly organisations like WAFarmers, cannot be underestimated,” Minister Lewis said.
The Minister was followed by UWA Research Fellow Dr Neville Ellis who spoke about peoples’ sense of place, the mental health impacts of climate change and the resilience of agricultural regions, and then by Nuffield Australia 2014 Scholarship Winner Nick Gillett.
Newly-appointed Nationals Farmers’ Federation President Fiona Simson gave delegates an update on how the peak national body for agriculture was working with industry and its members, including WAFarmers, to ensure modern farming is not only viable and sustainable, but continues its vital and growing contribution to the nation.
The highlight of the day was the panel discussion featuring a group of young agricultural representatives who assured delegates that the future of agriculture is right here – Elizabeth Brennan from Moora Citrus, Tom and Jack Carmody from Clare Downs and Prenti Downs Station, and Alexandra Iljadica from Youth Food Movement.
As ever, the panel presentations generated thoughtful discussion about the future of farming and highlighted why the sector needs more young people in it to capitalise on opportunities.
The final part of the day saw Andrew Whitelaw from Mecardo and Robert Herrmann from Ag Concepts Advisory deliver their Beat the Market presentation, a demonstration that left attendees informed as to the three things they needed to know to facilitate their success in agricultural business.
WAFarmers President Tony York said the 2017 Annual Conference had built on the success of the previous year’s event, and was a reflection of things to come within the sector.
“In addition to being a reference to what it is that farmers and producers do every day, we wanted to highlight agriculture’s bright future by discussions growing regional opportunities and wealth,” he said.
“It has been acknowledged that agriculture in WA has the potential to double production by 2025, so by delivering the latest agricultural information and showcasing some of the brilliant people we have in WA agriculture, we hope we have inspired attendees to recognise opportunities for growth.”
All media requests must be directed to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Melanie Dunn on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].