Declan Honner is tired of seeing the future of farming portrayed in a dim light, especially during the dry times.
“There is always a way to get around the drought. A good income comes from enterprising and at the moment, that might be through selling off hay,” he said.
The year 10 student comes from generations of farmers and recently moved to Junee High School to pursue subjects that will land him in his dream job as a diesel mechanic.
He is now the school’s farm manager, and along with year 11 student Lauren Anderson, he is looking forward to the fourth biennial Ag Vision on September 7.
“I’m interested in equine careers,” said Lauren, who is the first in her family to forge a pathway in agriculture.
“For me, there’s about four different careers [at Ag Vision] to look at, breeding, training, muscle therapy, and farrier.”
This year’s Ag Vision is principally sponsored by Junee Lamb, and will include 60 different practical workshops led by 110 experts.
“The learning opportunities are all very practical. It’s not a sit and listen event, it’s immersive,” said event organiser Sandra Hefferman.
More than 700 students from more than 40 schools are expected to pack out the grounds. Some will have travelled up to nine hours to be there.
When we started in 2012, we had 32 workshops and about 300 students came. But it quickly got around that this is not your average careers day.- Sandra Hefferman
“We started it because we wanted to provide more positive approaches to careers in our rural community and stop that flood to the city.”
Ms Hefferman believes the next generation has been turned off careers in agriculture by the generations that lived through drought.
“Ag can still be very successful in times of drought. In the hard times, that’s when more innovation happens,” she said.
“These careers are for everyone, they’re highly academic fields from finance, to marketing, to robotics, engineering, everything.”