Exciting topics weaving innovative agricultural technology, farm investment opportunities and personal development journeys are on the agenda for the first Innovation Generation (IG) Local conference to be held this month in Wickepin WA. Grower Group, Facey Group has teamed up with peak national grain representative body, GrainGrowers, to bring local young farmers and agribusiness people together on 22 February from 2 pm until late for a program of networking and discussion. Not-for-profit body, Future Farmers Network, which is focused on building engagement and networking of young people in is also supporting the event.
Top speakers leading the conversation include Lewis Johnstone, a fourth-generation WA grain farmer who took over his family’s cropping and sheep farm at just 21, and who is keen to share his personal and professional farming journey. He will talk about opportunities to step off farm. Lewis completed GrainGrowers’ Australian Grain Farm Leadership Program in 2016.
Also speaking will be Blake O’Meagher, an agronomist from the Farmanco agronomy team who recently travelled to the US to view the use of drones in agriculture and whose passion for new and emerging technology is infectious. His talk will analyse current and prospective technology solutions and their integration in Australian agriculture.
Financial advisor, David McCarthy from Bedbrook McCarthy will talk about investing for the farm business – how it’s important for everyone, not just Mum and Dad!
More than 50 eager young farmers and agribusiness people from as far away as Williams and York are expected to attend the event which will be held at Wickepin Community Centre.
“We have listened to our younger farmers and have ensured our program includes the top topics they said they wanted to hear about, through our recent survey,” said Facey Group Executive Officer, Sarah Hyde.
“There will be plenty of opportunity to quiz the speakers. We have included time for networking, with a sundowner at the conclusion of the day,” said Ms Hyde.
GrainGrowers’ CEO Dr Michael Southan said that IG Local had grown from the need to bring GrainGrowers’ national farming conference to regional areas and to young farmers who through the pressures of work on the farm or distance and cost cannot make it to the annual event.
“The first event in Moree last year was so successful GrainGrowers is now planning several more in other regional areas,” said Dr Southan.
“The idea of bringing the ‘best bits’ of the IG conference program to Wickepin has been well supported by Facey Group and we are pleased to be involved with them,” Dr Southan said.