On receiving SA Sheep Industry Fund (SIF) sponsored tickets, fifteen local students and early career professionals attended the BIGG 2024 Annual Conference ‘Farming ahead: a changing landscape’ on Thursday 8 February at Lambert Estate, Angaston.
Senior High school students from years 11 and 12 came from local farms or were new to agriculture, with some currently undertaking a Certificate III in Agriculture. University undergraduate students in Agriculture and Animal Science, Environment and Policy, Health, Agribusiness and Finance also attended. University of Adelaide post-graduate students and early career professionals in agronomy, animal health, nutrition, livestock production, finance and consulting fields were also in attendance.
Georgie Keynes, BIGG’s acting Executive Officer and Sheep Connect SA Chairperson, said, “it was great to see 15% of the crowd being young and enthusiastic faces, and this was also echoed by many local producers and industry professionals. Young people in ag are our future, and I’ve personally really valued from the welcoming nature and support favoured to me by the grazing livestock sector, so it’s good to pay it forward. BIGG has a proud tradition of supporting and empowering young people in ag, and this year BIGG has offered a Communications Internship to a third year ag science student, Emily Adams”.
Graham Clothier Lucindale producer and SA Sheep Industry Fund Chairperson said, “building human capacity and education is a key pillar of the SA Sheep Industry Blueprint and the SIF fund, and we’re very proud to see the number, calibre, interest and proactive network building of students at the BIGG Conference”.
Jordan Ball, Graduate Agronomist with Crop Consulting Services said “the trade displays were a brilliant way to gain a snapshot of the services and products on offer to producers while building my networks, particularly in soil ameliorants, pastures and natural resource management. The program was diverse, which suited us and was bookended by inspiring speakers on topics that we didn’t get while at Uni including Warren Davies ‘The Unbreakable Farmer’, and author Fiona McIntosh who related her journey to some of the challenges and opportunities in ag”.
Emily Adams, 2024 BIGG Communications Intern and fellow University of Adelaide undergraduate student said, “as the inaugural Communications Intern it was great to meet and talk with, and video and photograph all the sponsors with trade displays and speakers. The content was inspiring and the organisational professionalism that resulted in the successful conference was a great learning experience.”
IMAGE: Some of the young conference attendees including Emily Adams, BIGG Communications Intern; Nicol Rios, University of Adelaide/ SA Dairyfarmers Association Intern; Jordan Ball, Crop Consulting Services Graduate Agronomist; Shania Cornish, University of Adelaide; Hales Steinert Faith Lutheran College; and Lucy-May Finch, Faith Lutheran College with Graham Clothier, SA Sheep Industry Fund Chairperson.