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8 August 2016: International Youth Day – removing obstacles for Queensland’s rural youth

8 August 2016

As a strong supporter of Queensland’s agricultural future, QRAA is looking forward to celebrating International Youth Day this month.

International Youth Day takes place on 12 August each year. Declared by the United Nations in 1999, the observation celebrates the world’s young people, and the ideas, passions and innovations that they bring to their communities.

This is something that Cameron MacMillan observes every day in his role as QRAA’s CEO, and which he hopes to see more of in coming years.

“The energy and drive of Queensland’s young producers is inspiring - they’re finding new and innovative ways to succeed in agribusiness, building on the success of previous generations,” he said.

“They’re achieving more with less – investing in technology, diversifying and value adding - to create profitable operations on a fraction of the land.”

Despite their drive, up-and-coming producers still have challenges to overcome before reaching their goals - but QRAA seeks to minimise these obstacles where it can.

The Department of Primary Industries and Young Farmers Council in New South Wales recently conducted a nationwide survey which found that 85 per cent of young, rural Australians consider finance their top barrier to entering agriculture.

“We pride ourselves on being able to help young Queenslanders past that barrier, by providing access to low interest loans that were specifically created with them in mind,” Mr MacMillan said.

“Our First Start Loans offer rates from as low as 3.11 per cent to promising producers looking to purchase their first property, buy into a partnership or set up their own primary production enterprise.”

As for the other obstacles, Mr MacMillan encourages established producers and agribusiness professionals to celebrate International Youth Day by reaching out to an aspiring producer.

“Whether they’re your employee, your niece, a neighbour or someone you’ve spotted on social media, don’t be afraid to reach out and help them where you can – they’re eager to soak up any advice and insight, and you never know what you might learn from them in return,” he said.

In the past five years, QRAA has approved more than $192 million in First Start Loans to 485 new producers.

With successful applicants as young as 18 years old, the loans are helping to open the doors of primary production to Queensland’s younger generations – the average Queensland farmer is over 60, but the average age of First Start applicants is 35 years young.

First Start Loans of up to $650,000 are available, with no fees or charges and on loan terms of up to 20 years.

For more information, visit www.qraa.qld.gov.au or Freecall 1800 623 946.

Last updated
10 May 2017