Young growers encouraged to attend conference

There are now seven scholarships available for the VFF Grains conference

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CONFERENCE SCHOLARSHIP: Victorian Farmers Federation Wimmera branch president Graeme Maher says attending the annual conference will give a greater undersanding of how the organisation works and allow for networking opportunities.i

CONFERENCE SCHOLARSHIP: Victorian Farmers Federation Wimmera branch president Graeme Maher says attending the annual conference will give a greater undersanding of how the organisation works and allow for networking opportunities.i

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Young growers can apply for scholarships for this year's VFF Grains conference.

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Young Victorian grain producers have been urged to apply for scholarships, to this year's annual Victorian Farmers Federation Grains conference, in Echuca, later this month.

There are now seven scholarships available, offering tickets and accommodation for the two-day conference.

Several of the scholarships are limited to grain-growing regions of Victoria, but the others are open to anyone in the state.

Joel Pymer, Wonwondah, attended last year's conference on a scholarship and and highly recommended others do the same.

"It was good to have those high calibre people in the room, it wasn't confronting," Mr Pymer said.

"I picked up a fair few contacts, as a result of it, and it was good talking to a few of those well known Victorian grain growers who have big properties."

He said it opened doors for him.

'I brought a fair bit back for the property I was working on at the time, and my own property."

He was one of the first to sign up for this year's conference.

The VFF's Wimmera branch is one of the groups offering a scholarship, for residents of that region.

"It gives them an understanding of the work the VFF does and allows for networking," VFF Wimmera branch president Graeme Maher said.

"You'll get to see influential people and maybe get the chance to have a quiet talk to them."

Mr Maher said it was an interesting time for grain growers, particular with Brexit and the possibilities or opportunities that would present.

'Climate change issues have also become front and centre, in the last few years, mainly driven by fire and floods," he said.

"But we are working our way through that permanently, trying to adjust our systems to deal with the change."

After the recent wave of grain trader insolvencies, the future of payment security in the grains industry will also be a key topic at the upcoming VFF Grains Conference in Echuca.

Representatives from GrainCorp, Australian blockchain start up Agri-digital and the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman will participate in an interactive panel session, discuss future regulatory and technological tools to address this critical issue.

The 41st conference will be held on February 23-24.

Among the scholarships available are:

GRDC Young Farmer Scholarship [Statewide]

GrainCorp Young Farmer Scholarship [Statewide]

VFF Wimmera Branch Young Farmer Scholarship [Wimmera region only]

VFF Yarrawonga Branch Young Farmer Scholarship [Yarrawonga region only]

VFF Wedderburn Branch Young Farmer Scholarship [Wedderburn region only]

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers is also providing a scholarship.

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