The second instalment of the 2023 agricultural training program LEADAg will begin in Longreach on the 26th of June with students set to further extend their knowledge and experience in the agriculture sector.
Twelve students were chosen from 136 applicants to participate in this year’s program, which is designed to deliver hands-on, practical training to prepare them for the workforce.
LEADAg has been developed by CHRRUP, a community-owned, central Queensland based profit-for-purpose organisation dedicated to thriving, connected rural communities. It is the second year the program has been run and this is the first time it will be delivered outside central Queensland.
LEADAg Mentor Mike Pratt said the challenges and opportunities in western Queensland were very different to those in CQ.
“The students are coming out west to learn many things including sheep and goat husbandry, handling and welfare and there is nowhere better than out here, a region famously known as being ‘built on a sheep’s back’,” he said.
“We have an exciting schedule lined up that includes delving into wool harvesting with Australian Wool Innovation and goat and sheep management.”
“We’re also tackling some of the top issues faced by modern producers including workforce communication, biosecurity and agri-tech.”
“We’ll wrap up the week with an important session run by the Royal Flying Doctors Service around mental and physical wellbeing in rural areas.”
Project lead Meg McCosker said the program was designed in partnership with mentors like Mr Pratt and organisations in western Queensland to make sure the course met the needs of local producers.
“We have been overwhelmed with the support of the regions producers and businesses,” she said.
“It has meant we have been able to create an authentic experience for the students and, in turn, we hope that means they become valuable future employees and community members.”
LEADAg is funded by the Local Buying Foundation, SQNNSW Innovation Hub funded through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund, and Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network (QAWN) funded by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.