Future Young Leaders make their mark at evokeAG. 2020

Eight emerging leaders in agriculture have left evokeAG. delegates with their views on how we need to shift our agricultural industry.

Proudly supported by the Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations, each of the evokeAG. Future Young Leaders finalists presented their ideas on how we need to shape, and shake-up, our industry.

Leesa Chen said it was a nerve-wracking experience to present in front of more than 1,300 delegates but it was important for her to highlight the views of her generation.

“In face of shifting global markets, young people in food and agriculture today have a global mindset and we don’t want to be waiting ten or so years until we are engaging in cross-border dialogue,” said Ms Chen.

The 25-year-old has launched the China Australia Food Circle, which today, is still a small grassroots network connecting young people between Australia and China’s food and agriculture sector.

“Over time I hope evokeAG. delegates will see the initiative grow into something bigger. If we can sow the seeds today and reap the benefits of increased cross-border collaboration in the years to come, then that would be meaningful,” said Ms Chen.

Tim Lester, Executive Officer for the Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) says the partnership was important in meeting their overarching goals and objectives.

“The Rural RDCs are focused on ensuring future prosperity for our industries through innovation. This means we must be open to different thinking and perspectives, bringing forward new ideas and suggesting new ways of doing things. It’s an ongoing process.

“We also have a major focus on investing in people, in the skills and knowledge needed to be successful whether you are a producer or a researcher. The Future Young Leaders program ties both of these threads together, helping to build capacity for the sector and bringing new ideas to the fore on what a successful future means and how we can get there,” said Mr Lester.

Another evokeAG. 2020 Future Young Leader, Genevieve Griffin-George, Founder of PICMI, said the event was an opportunity to highlight how technology opens up new opportunities in our industry.

“We can see huge changes across the industry just by looking at problems through a different lens. PICMI showed that these changes don’t only happen with robots, lasers and other big tech – by using smart technology to ease the burden of hiring staff we can save so much time across the industry and unlock more potential for innovation,” said Ms Griffin-George.

The need for sustainable agriculture was driven home by all Future Young Leaders.

“The key message I wanted to get across in my presentation was that farmers and graziers are the most important part of agriculture and we need to include them in every conversation we have. At the end of the day, the decisions that will influence the landscape we all depend on rest with the landholders so we need to make sure they are the centrepiece of any conversations around how to manage our natural capital in a regenerative manner. In saying this, I also wanted to encourage producers to look further into the future and wider across out industry,” said George Stacey.

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See you at evokeAG. 2021.

Tuesday, 16 February – Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Perth, Western Australia

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