Young Farmers Scholarship recipients break new ground
The young recipients of the Willunga Farmers Market pilot Young Farmers Scholarship first broke ground on Wednesday with soil regeneration of their market garden plot under way.
The $10,000 scholarship has been awarded to a collective of four youths from the Fleurieu Peninsula:
- Jay Kimber, aged 25
- Emmanuel Marquis, aged 21
- Aidan Jones, aged 21
- Alexander Steimanis, aged 21
Using permaculture guidelines and organic principles, the group will be farming heirloom vegetables on a property in Whites Valley; a mere 5 minutes from the heart of Willunga.
‘The scholarship has been an excellent opportunity to start doing what we’ve all really wanted to do for a long time,’ says Jay Kimber.
‘It’s a dream come true for all of us. We would never have been able to set up a farm for ourselves without the scholarship.’
‘The initial financial outlay and commitment was way too daunting. The added insecurity of not knowing if we’d have customers to sell it to meant that farming for ourselves just wasn’t a possibility.’
The Young Farmers Scholarship was made available to 18 to 35 year olds interested in farming but discouraged by the obstacles of entering the industry, like access to land, equipment and start up capital.
‘Willunga Farmers Market is providing the scholarship recipients $3,000 worth of small business and agricultural training together with a cash component of $7,000, available for items such as seeds, tools, land rental and insurance,’ says Steve Scown, Willunga Farmers Market Chairperson.
The Young Farmers Scholarship recipients also receive 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 to compliment the $10,000 start up capital.
‘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,’ says Steve.
For the editor:
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Steve Scown on 0418 853 911 or Jay Kimber on 0413 044 969.
More detailed information on the Young Farmers Scholarship can be found here.
Willunga Farmers Market is a not-for-profit organization providing fresh, locally grown produce direct from the farmer.
Willunga Farmers Market is open every Saturday, 8am til 12:30pm,