Wakool farmer wants more young people farming

January 09, 2018

Future in our hands . . . Wakool farmer Darcy Hare, with his one year-old son Theodore, has called for greater involvement from young people in the industry.

A young Wakool farmer is calling on politicians to provide more support for young food producers and develop water policy which will encourage production.

Darcy Hare, who has recently returned to the family farm after a stint working in grain marketing in Melbourne, said he was looking forward to working on the farm and encouraged other young people to get involved in the industry.

‘‘My generation needs to learn and gain knowledge from industry leaders. Many of our neighbours have given countless years to the cause of keeping water in this area, trying to educate bureaucrats and politicians as they come and go,’’ he said.

‘‘They can’t do it forever, so we as the younger generation need to learn from them, lead by example and get involved.

‘‘We also have young farmers like myself who are chomping at the bit to produce food and fibre, taking advantage of system upgrades, technology and our ability to lead the world in farming efficiency.’’

A member of Wakool Landholders Association, Mr Hare said the Murray Valley region contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to Australia’s economy but he worried about how water politics surrounding the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and growing uncertainty would affect the future of food producers like himself.

‘‘I am passionate about this region and its capabilities, but frustrated by what is happening in political circles, which was highlighted by South Australian Water Minister Ian Hunter’s attitude at the recent meeting of state and federal water ministers,’’ he said.

Mr Hare slammed the decision by Mr Hunter to insist at the meeting that South Australia receives the additional 450Gl outlined in the basin plan.

‘‘It is disappointing when people elected into positions of high office put personal gains ahead of the prosperity of the entire nation,’’ Mr Hare said.

He said the Murray Valley region had been the hardest hit by the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and could not afford to lose any more water, and encouraged newly appointed Agriculture and Water Resources Minister David Littleproud to visit the region.

‘‘It’s too complex to get sufficient knowledge of all this from Canberra or Queensland ... only a personal visit will give the minister the insight he needs,’’ Mr Hare said.

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