15 July 2016
A small equity ownership model in a stud herd developed by Rising Champions state finalist Rob Ewing could spell opportunity for young people carving a career in the beef industry.
Mr Ewing of Cape Paterson, Victoria, developed the model in conjunction with his business partners and through it Mr Ewing is allocated four animals randomly selected from the stud herd each year and retains one third of the progeny.
Mr Ewing, now into the second year of the scheme, said small equity ownership was an alternative option for retaining young producers in the cattle industry.
“For young farmers, they need an incentive – we get paid a minimum wage, we put so much effort in and can walk away with nothing at retirement,’’ he said.
“This gives me an interest in the stud herd and I’m building my own herd over time with no financial outlay.’’
A diesel mechanic by trade, he has had a lifelong interest in farming but was discouraged as a school leaver to make agriculture as a career.
Mr Ewing believes the opportunities in agriculture are endless and aims to be a mentor to disadvantaged young people wanting to be involved in the industry.
He said it was important for youth to have a voice on industry matters.
“Industry policy and advocacy needs to be more accessible to youth.
“Most young people in farming are concentrating 100 per cent on their career and young farming groups are located in capital regions making it difficult to get to meetings,” Mr Ewing said.
“Young people with political aspirations will be at those meetings and those without an interest, will never go.”
“But, we must keep promoting the industry in a positive manner and that comes down to everyone.’’
Mr Ewing relies on social media, courses, workshops and field days to update his business and technological skills. He completed the rural leadership course at Marcus Oldham College, Geelong.
“Rising Champions will help with my personal development, public speaking skills and education on political matters – it will be a learning experience,’’ he said.
Mr Ewing believes the future challenges for the beef industry are animal health, welfare and biosecurity and will be sitting on Cattle Council’s sub-committee as part of his Rising Champions experience.
He aims to tackle the experience with an open mind.
“I want to learn a lot more about Cattle Council’s role and what’s happening at a government level,’’ Mr Ewing said.
“There is no point doing Rising Champions and walking away, that won’t achieve anything so I will make an ongoing commitment.’’
Mr Ewing, 27, is the Victorian finalist in Cattle Council’s 2016 NAB Agribusiness Rising Champions
The 2016 NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion Initiative national winner will be announced at a gala dinner at the National Museum, Canberra, on August 24.