Several youth scholars have outlined their ambitions, ideas and dreams for the agriculture sector at a recent innovation expo in Mulwala last week.
Jess Ryan, the 2021 John Hanrahan Scholarship recipient, spoke at the Riverine Plains Innovation Expo and said the opportunities are wide and varied if people are willing to take them on.
"Dreams - they are the starting point to anyone's career and whether you have dreamed of being a farmer or someone, anyone in agriculture ... every single job every person in this industry started their career with a dream," Ms Ryan said in her presentation at the convention.
Ms Ryan, who has been studying agriculture business at Charles Stuart University, believed in an adage that young workers should do their best to say yes to opportunities in agriculture.
Even if it means keeping couped up in a ute.
"Farming and agriculture are a huge part of me, and if you take that away from me, you don't have much left," she said.
"If you ask my friends, I've actually really been living in the driver's seat to my ute [studying] for the last two years, and some have decided the amount of hours I spent in a car is a little bit insane. "
"The amount of times I've spontaneously left at 3am from the pub or from a party to go home and help out mum and dad on the farm wherever I can is a little bit crazy."
Ms Ryan said the past two years have seen her achieve fantastic opportunities to network, study, and receive mentoring from those working in the industry.
The scholarship, which comes with a $5000 bursary, has also led to Ms Ryan taking on a harvest role for a contracting business.
Other organisations have also recognised her skills, with Rabobank also recently picking her for their Tertiary Pathways Scholarship to assist her in the last year of her studies.
The inaugural recipient of the Uncle Tobys Scholarship, Thomas Hatty, from Tocumwal, NSW, also spoke at the conference.
Mr Hatty is studying a combined Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Agricultural Science at LaTrobe University, has worked on a potato farm in Tocumwal and as a contractor based in Berrigan and grew up on a dryland and irrigation operation, growing wheat, canola, barley and rice.
He said he wants to work closely with knowledgeable people in agriculture to foster further innovation.
"Farming operations can continue to be more and more efficient, but also more sustainable," he said
"With the way the world is shaping, there is a greater push and focus on more environmentally friendly products and carbon neutral operations.
"This could mean that machineries moved from diesel powered machines to electric hardware, hydrogen powered and even self-driving machines."
Riverine Plains partners with both scholarships, and the organisation's chief executive officer, Catherine Marriott, said it was essential to foster ideas from young people in agriculture.
"To be able to play a small role in the investment of some really smart, dedicated, caring and driven people means that we can give them a hand for them to actually be the best version of themselves," she said.
"If they're the best version of themselves, they are able to contribute back to our industry as best as possible and apart from anything they inspire me and give me energy to keep going too."
Other young producers who spoke included Lachlan Quiball from Marungi and Sophie Hanna, who were recipients of the John Hanrahan scholarship in 2020.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.