$15,000 up for grabs for aspiring young farmers
Round 3 of the Willunga Farmers Market Young Farmers Scholarship opens Friday 16 October, after the outstanding success of previous scholarship recipients.
With partnership support from the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board the $15,000 scholarship is open to 18 to 40 year olds interested in farming but discouraged by the obstacles of entering the industry, like access to land, equipment and start up capital.
Application packs will be available for download from the Willunga Farmers Market website from Friday 16 October and close Friday 6 November.
Over 12 months the scholarship will provide the successful recipient with:
- $12,000 start up capital to grow primary produce on the Fleurieu Peninsula
- Mentorship in small business management and farming practices at the value of $3,000
- A guaranteed licence to trade and weekly stall site at Willunga Farmers Market to supply primary produce for two years, with the first six months stall site free of charge (valued at more than $1200)
- Assistance in locating possible land on which to farm on the Fleurieu Peninsula, if necessary.
‘I was always interested in a career farming, but I just didn’t know where or how to start.’ Says Jay Kimber, age 27, one of the recipients of the 2014 Young Farmers Scholarship.
‘The scholarship opened doors that I never thought existed or that I was too scared to explore. Without the scholarship I don’t think I would have had the courage to have started my career farming.’
‘The passion for farm direct produce and the growing number of farmers markets in South Australia is encouraging, but the number of active farmers is steadily declining,’ says Steve Ashley, WFM Market Manager.
‘Farmers only represent 1.7% of all employed people in 2010-2011 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Currently 23% of farmers are over the average retirement age of 65*.
‘That’s almost one quarter of all our food producers. We need to continue encouraging our young people to become involved in this industry as a matter of urgency.
‘Our aim is to ensure the next generation of Australia’s farmers have access to the support they need to enter and create a long, viable career out of farming. We as consumers can also continue to support our farming community and buy locally produced foods in the years to come…
‘Willunga Farmers Market, together with the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board, is helping guarantee the future of farming on the Fleurieu Peninsula in the same spirit of innovation that has positioned us as SA’s first and premier farmers market.’ Steve says.
For the editor:
More detailed information on the scholarship can be found on the Young Farmers Scholarship page on our website.
Willunga Farmers Market is a not-for-profit organisation. The Willunga Farmers Market is open every Saturday, 8am til 12:30pm, and provides fresh, locally grown produce direct from the farmer.
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Pip Forrester on 0414 530 386