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Damian helps farming survive

FINDING a way to assist new entrants enter the agricultural industry was the focus of Dumbalk dairy farmer Damian Murphy’s recent study.
In April 2013 he finished his report, Young Farmer Finance Schemes after receiving a Nuffield scholarship sponsored by the Gardiner Foundation.
“I was able to travel overseas to see what the rest of the world is doing to assist young farmers enter and progress in the agricultural industry,” he said.
“I picked the best of what I saw overseas and used it to develop a scheme I think will work in Australia.”
The result is the Future Farmers Fund (FFF), which was recently included in the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) and United Dairy Victoria (UDV) submission to the government’s agricultural white paper.
Mr Murphy said the establishment of a Future Farmers Fund will enable new entrants to enter and progress in the agricultural industry.
“A good funding model should assist all generations of farmers; the idea is it should be available nationally and across all farming practices, not just dairy,” Mr Murphy said.
“There has always been a lot of talk about the issues facing young farmers, but nothing seemed to get done about it, which was very frustrating.”
Mr Murphy said in his experience, young people come into the industry, but once they start looking to finance their large purchases they hit a brick wall.
“There needs to be an easier path to assist younger farmers to come in and stay in the industry. They need to know there is a future for them,” he said.
The aim of the scheme is to fill the gap when seeking finance. The FFF would provide co-financing with a bank to assist new entrants who do not otherwise qualify for a loan.
“One of the big issues when developing the scheme was deciding how to finance the fund, because we wanted to have two sources of funding,” Mr Murphy said.
“It is proposed the FFF be funded through two mechanisms: farm management deposits and through the establishment of an agriculture superannuation fund.
“I am not saying this is the only way farmers can be funded but it will provide an entry point and progression opportunities.”
The UDV and the VFF have jumped on board to promote the scheme and have helped Mr Murphy with meetings with banks and other agricultural bodies.
“It is really into the marketing side now. We have to push it and see what people think,” he said.
“The agricultural industry in Australia has an image problem that needs to change. By attracting the best and brightest people to agriculture, we will be able to change that perception.
“We can tell everyone it is a good industry to be involved in, but we also need to show them.
“We need to change the perception of the industry in the next 10 years and hopefully the FFF will be part of doing that.”

For the future: Damian Murphy has developed a Future Farmers Fund which he hopes will be able to help young and emerging farmers succeed in the agricultural industry.

For the future: Damian Murphy has developed a Future Farmers Fund which he hopes will be able to help young and emerging farmers succeed in the agricultural industry.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=11310

Posted by on Jun 24 2014. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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