Future Farmers Network.... is Australia's national network that supports young people creating prosperous futures in the rural industries.
Future Farmers Network has been in operation since 2002 and operates primarily online; providing its members with monthly email correspondence, opportunities to discuss agricultural issues via online discussions, a website full of useful information and the platform to exchange career and networking opportunities such as upcoming training and industry conferences.
FFN is a national not-for-profit organisation limited by guarantee. The Network is governed by a Board of Directors aged between 18-35 years representing a diverse range of agricultural commodities and sectors as well as providing a range of skills to assist FFN in providing value to its members. FFN employ a Network Administrator who manages the day to day operations of the Network and supports the Board in their functions.
FFN offers a range of opportunities for people to engage on different levels with the Network and with support from industry partners such as Grain Growers Association, Suncorp, Rural Press and Sunburnt Country Consulting, opportunities to expand their knowledge, industry connections and networks are endless.
FFN provides an information exchange platform for the next generation to engage on national agricultural issues and build national networks, as well as providing across commodity linkages; which will ensure we have a strong core group of industry leaders going forward.
Since its launch in 2002, FFN has provided a range of support for its members and the next generation in agriculture. Some of the Network’s achievements include:
- Established a national membership base of 680 members, and growing;
- Held Youth Agricultural Central (YAC) in 2010 which was the first ever gathering of all rural, regional and state youth groups from across Australia to discuss issues impacting on their future, how to leverage the groups to maximise the return to the next generation in agriculture and provide them up-to-date industry information to provide back into their networks;
- In 2006 coordinated, along with the 'Young Rural Professionals Committee' with support from PIRSA, the “Think Big SA” project with the aim of providing opportunities to encourage business growth, explore benchmarking opportunities and diversification through the value chain.
- Successfully delivered the “Should I stay or should I go?” project which provided leadership mentoring for ten young FFN directors in order to develop their skills to coordinate and lead forums; increase the links between FFN and peak agricultural bodies; provide members of the FFN with the opportunity to come together in their state or territory to discuss pathways for participation in rural industries; and strengthen a national network of young people committed to involvement in the rural. This proposal was accepted by the Parliamentary Secretary, Sussan Ley, and announced in August 2006.
- Ran Building Our Rural Futures project in 2004-2005 with the overall aim of encouraging and supporting young people to participate in activities that will enhance their involvement at all levels of rural industry activity.
- Awarded six scholarships to FFN members from across Australia (valued in Excess of $15,000);
- Successfully trialed a Career Mapping Service to provide members with information about career and training options in rural industries;
- Brought together a board of directors with representation from each state and territory in Australia;
- Raised the profile of young people in rural industries and the issues affecting them through various media outlets including the Australian Farm Journal, ABC National Radio and Rural Press;
- Held Bi-monthly online discussion forums and webinars regarding topics of interest to members to assist them in their daily operations;
- Hosted the inaugural Future Farmers Week involving 400+ young people from across Australia.
FFN operates through the generous support of our industry partners and membership subscriptions. Those interested in finding out more about FFN and how to get involved should visit the website, www.futurefarmers.com.au.