Giving a voice to South Australian rural youth
25 July 2016
The formation of an agri-political platform for youth in South Australia is on the agenda for NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion finalist Hannah Marshall.
According to Ms Marshall the state is lacking a program for young farmers and agribusiness professionals and she aims to initiate a program similar to Queensland’s Women of Lot Feeding group.
Supported by the Australian Lot Feeders Association, the group provides support, networking contacts and opportunities for women in all aspects of the lot feeding industry, paving the way for sustainable careers.
Ms Marshall, a livestock supervisor at a South Australian feedlot, will sit on the Cattle Council of Australia’s marketing, market access and trade sub-committee as part of the Rising Champions Initiative.
“Having an understanding of how foreign policy is made will be valuable for me,’’ she said.
“We have been lucky in recent times with the free trade agreements developed to open different markets, and understanding the process behind implementation will be useful.’’
Ms Marshall toured the Indonesian beef industry in 2014, and was impressed by improvements in feedlot nutrition, waste management and level of care.
Her goal is to have a long-term career in the live export sector.
“It is an industry which involves a lot of different skills sets such as understanding big data, foreign investment and animal welfare,’’ Ms Marshall said.
She said the lessons learnt by industry after the 2011 live export ban were evident during the recent animal welfare allegations in Vietnam.
“We have such strong leaders – (Australian Live Exporters Council CEO) Alison Penfold provided a united front for the industry and was proactive rather than reactive,’’ Ms Marshall said.
“The biggest challenge ahead for the beef industry is keeping up with demand – a huge amount of technology and innovation is in place resulting in Australia being efficient at producing beef but we are already seeing early abattoir shut downs, due to supply shortages.
“Another big challenge is getting everyone on the same page to fix the problem rather than point the finger.’’
Ms Marshall, 23, will be mentored by former Rising Champion finalist Amanda Giles, of SA, and is keen to be a mentor herself.
Coming from a non-rural background, she urges young people to stay open minded and take advantage of opportunities presented in agriculture.
“I would like to provide encouragement to younger people, especially girls,’’ she said.
“The youth are the ones who will have to eventually take over the job roles, so preparing them and giving them a voice so they know what the future holds is important.
“Rising Champions will be a fantastic opportunity to look into the policy making, and meet other young individuals with similar passions, interests and goals.’’
The 2016 NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion Initiative national winner will be announced at a gala dinner at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra, on August 24.
Hannah Marshall wants to start a program for young farmers and agribusiness professionals in South Australia.
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