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successful first week for Ag training program, LEADAg Plus

A program to attract the next generation of workers to the agricultural industry has been extended in 2024 to include participants over the age of 18.

The new course follows CHRRUP’s successful LEADAg Youth programs in 2022 and 2023, which received over 200 applications.   

LEADAg is developed and delivered by CHRRUP, a community-owned, central Queensland based profit-for-purpose organisation dedicated to creating thriving, connected rural communities.

CHRRUP’s Agriculture Workforce Officer Meg Bassingthwaighte, said LEADAg has a heavy focus on linking the participants with producers and business owners in the region and that delivering this opportunity to people already in the workforce is just as important as reaching students in schools. “Just as in previous LEADAg programs, we took participants to working properties and into rural businesses so they could not only learn from the best, but also make connections and be exposed to the reality of living and working in these communities.”

“Meeting the producers was a highlight every day for the group and seeing different management styles and hearing producers’ views on current issues. I think some minds were blown at the sheer depth of knowledge required in this industry, but the participants were inspired by our mentors and very excited to join the ag workforce.”

The cohort travelled to Longreach for week one of the program from various parts of Australia, including Victoria, Brisbane and several other locations across Queensland to experience the first ever LEADAg Plus program.

Participants experienced the steps involved in wool harvesting including sheep handling, wool classing and shearing, thanks to trainers from AWI and our property hosts. The group also handled goats and cattle. They experienced presentations on biosecurity, pasture management, animal nutrition, breeding and genetics and tours of the WQLX saleyards and a local butcher shop. The many mentors throughout the week spoke to their own career journeys and the variety of career options in agriculture. There was also plenty of fun to be had through time spent whip cracking, boomerang throwing, camp oven cook offs, and a ‘farmers challenge’.

The participants were full of praise for the program and their experiences and are ready for week two in August. “I’ve had an absolute ball and it’s been a lifechanging opportunity I will never forget,” said one participant.

The 2024 LEADAg Plus program is sponsored by RESQ Plus, and their corresponding funding partner the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA), who administers the Community Development Program (CDP), with the aim to support job seekers in remote Australia to build skills, address barriers to employment and contribute to their communities through activities and training.


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