'Life changing' program for young farmers and fishers
TIMES are tough for the agricultural and fishing industries, and even more for younger farmers and fishers.
The Department of Primary Industries are encouraging young farmers and fishers aged between 18 and 35 to apply for the "life-changing" Young Farmer Business Program.
The business coaching program is aimed towards anyone operating a farm, commercial fisheries or aquaculture business where they identify with primary production and are growing or producing food and fibre.
DPI's senior projects officer Alexandra Hicks said it was amazing to see the impact of the "life-changing" program on participants last year.
"The power of a coach to generate positive change in business is truly profound. We're really excited that we are able to make this opportunity available again," she said.
Ms Hicks said the individual coaching program gives participants the chance to learn from an accredited business coach, who will provide 12 months of one-on-one business support, advice and motivation.
Participants receive weekly calls and attend five face-to-face meetings with business coach Chris Morrison, sharing monthly video blogs via the program's social media channels to facilitate peer to peer learning opportunities.
Mrs Hicks said a number of young agricultural operators had already benefited from the program, such as Forbes farming couple Jarrod and Emma Amery.
The Forbes-based farmers credit their experience in last year's program with changing their business.
"Business coaching has really made our business into the future a lot more profitable, and it's given us a lot more direction," Mr Amery said.
Manning Valley dairy farmer Sophie Cooke said the program had helped her and husband Adam manage their business through the drought.
"We're working on our business a lot more than we were," she said.
"The program has helped us increase our production, it's kept us motivated and kept us in the industry really."
Fisherman Danny Green said the program had fast-tracked the development of the commercial fishing business he and fiance Melissah Barrett run in Coffs Harbour.
"We've learnt four to five years worth of knowledge in 12 months," he said.
Anyone aged between 18 and 35 operating a farm, commercial fisheries or aquaculture business where they identify with primary production and are growing or producing food and fibre can apply online at http://bit.ly/IndividualCoaching2019 until September 8 2019.