The Weekly Advertiser

Tom McGrath to advocate for farmers

Shearer Tom McGrath shows Haven students Lily Flett, Lexie Taylor, Lucy Hudson, Matilda Thornton and Aliyah Baker his shearing technique at the Wimmera Machinery Field Days.

REPRESENT: Tom McGrath shows Haven students Lily Flett, Lexie Taylor, Lucy Hudson, Matilda Thornton and Aliyah Baker his shearing technique at the Wimmera Machinery Field Days.

By Colin MacGillivray
Minyip’s Tom McGrath has encouraged young Wimmera farmers to have their say as he prepares to represent them at a meeting with new Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes next week.
Mr McGrath is a member of the Young Farmers Advisory Council, a ministerial advisory body working with the State Government to advocate for young farmers.
The council will meet in Melbourne on March 13 and expects Ms Symes to attend.
Ms Symes took over the agriculture portfolio from Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford.
Mr McGrath said it was a valuable opportunity to express the concerns of young people in the agriculture industry.
“What we’re aiming to get out of the meeting is to put down on the table the issues being raised by young farmers within the agricultural sector,” he said.
“What I’m encouraging is for people to continue to contact me so I can look at everyone’s thoughts and try to put it into a bigger picture that I can take into the meeting.
“It will be about providing advice to government and raising the concerns of young farmers.” Mr McGrath said the issues facing young farmers were myriad.
He said some of the biggest concerns among young farmers were mental health and land access.
“Trying to get the financial support to purchase a farm is hard with land prices being so expensive,” he said.
“Mental health can be related to all industries, but certainly it can depend on the volatility of weather, drought, floods, milk prices, grain prices and market conditions when you have good and bad seasons.”
Mr McGrath said the advisory council’s job was to work with government to come up with a way forward.
“In regards to access financially, I think we need to look at other alternatives rather than purchasing a farm,” he said.
“We need to have a really strong look at leasing opportunities and share farming opportunities as well.
“They are two things that could be focused on rather than trying to purchase a farm outright.
“It is a huge expense – not just the land, but the equipment – and you have to hope the season is kind to you. It is a big risk that you take.”
Mr McGrath said people could contact him to share their concerns by emailing thomasjmcgrath@outlook.com.

The entire March 06, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Mar 6 2019

Posted by on Mar 6 2019. Filed under Agriculture, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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