Welcome to National Farm Safety Week 2022!
We can think of no better way to acknowledge this critical aspect of a HUGE Australian industry than by showcasing some of the brilliant careers across agriculture (it’s kind of what we do!)
So, without further ado, let’s jump in.
Firstly, What is National Farm Safety Week?
Did you know there are, on average, ten quad bike-related deaths on farms annually across Australia – most of them involving young people?
Fatalities, injuries and emergency scenarios are not new on farms, but many can be prevented through awareness and education. For this reason, National Farm Safety Week was started to help create a safer environment and industry for all – whether working, living on, or visiting Australian farmland.
The theme for National Farm Safety Week 2022 is Recipe for Averting Disaster and will focus on many intangible risks and hazards, including:
- Fatigue and complacency.
- The blurred line between the home and work environment.
- Labour shortages and an aging workforce
- Stress, health and well-being
Australia Agriculture: Industry Overview
The Australian Agricultural industry is a huge national and international player – around 70% of farmed produce is exported globally. In Australia, agriculture includes four primary sectors:
- Grains and plant produce
- Dairy produce
- Animal meat and related produce
- Cotton and wool produce
Historically, the industry has relied on contract and seasonal workers to support business practices, but things are definitely changing. With increased technological advances and a renewed focus on developing innovative, sustainable practices, the sector is constantly opening up new job roles and career pathways.
There is a strong demand for people entering agricultural careers to come from backgrounds involving the sciences – particularly biology, chemistry and physics – to help support the innovation now required in the sector.
There are lots of people doing some incredibly inspiring work to meet supply chain demands, technological advances, and sustainable practices – as a key player in the industry, Australia is leading the way on some cutting-edge farming developments.
5 Emerging Careers in Agriculture to Know About
Traditional farm roles are still going strong, but as the industry seeks to evolve and meet changing demands, new roles are emerging – and it’s expected these will grow in popularity in the years ahead.
Here are five that we think are definitely worth knowing about:
1. Agroecological Farmer
Agroecological farmers grow crops and biofuel while restoring agricultural balance. With a focus on cultivating ecosystems that work in sync with each other, they aim to create an effective and sustainable way of farming that meets supply-chain demand while also giving back to the planet in positive, climate-savvy ways. Agroecological farming has taken off in more urban areas, where vertical farms have become more popular, but they’re also growing in rural areas. Using various technological advances (including robots and big data insights), agroecological farmers employ a depth of knowledge about how different plants, soil, insects, animals, nutrients, water and weather interact to create living systems. You’ll need a solid analytical mind, impeccable problem-solving skills and real grit to calibrate a farming system that delivers lasting results.
2. Cricket Farmer
No, we’re not referring to setting up farms on cricket fields – we’re talking about the protein-packed little critters that could become a significant food source in the future! Cricket farming is on the rise as an urban agricultural practice already proving incredibly sustainable. Crickets require minimal space, consume plants, reproduce quickly and are packed with high-value nutritional qualities including protein, micronutrients, zinc and iron – they leave a very minimal carbon footprint. Cricket farming isn’t new but has struggled to take off recently. With climate change and droughts making livestock farming more complicated, the industry is starting to see a shift, and lots of product testing is underway. Cricket farmers need to be strong collaborators to work across the food production industry and uncover innovative ways to promote and utilise their products.
3. Farm Safety Advisor
We couldn’t miss this one for National Farm Safety Week! Although Farm Safety Advisors aren’t new in the industry, the role has been transformed recently with the increased reliance on various emerging technology practices. The role of safety advisors is shifting to help farmers and agricultural businesses develop new safety management plans and help to identify any new risks that might arise with the latest technology. You’ll need to be familiar with farming practices and work environments, the ways technology or new techniques might represent new risks (a great analytical mind and the ability to think creatively about different scenarios), and the ability to develop strong, collaborative relationships with others.
Going hand in hand with cricket farmers, beekeeping has seen a huge revival in recent years. Bees are integral to a wide range of agricultural and horticultural practices – honeybees significantly contribute to the cross-pollination required for over 70% of the world’s crops. Sadly, bee populations have been in steep decline for several years – but many individuals want to see this turned around. Some commercial beekeepers raise hives to sell honey, beeswax, and related products. Others specialise in the care and propagation of bees, including research on cross-breeding bee species to address issues related to the population decline of bee species.
5. Hydrologist Engineer
Water is a vital resource for all agricultural businesses and farming – and it takes a lot of water to maintain many farms. Hydrologists work to find sustainable solutions to help support farming practices while minimising water waste as much as possible. They also work to find solutions for various water-related issues across the industry, especially those related to availability and quantity. This science-based role requires strong analytical and problem-solving skills and the ability to work across various levels of the industry to help implement practical, effective strategies – including at the policy/governmental level.
Where to Find Out More
If you want to find out more about agricultural and farm safety, Farm Safe Australia has plenty of fantastic resources to help kit you out.
You can also head to our dedicated Agriculture and Horticulture Industry page to learn more about the sector, career pathways and other roles you might be interested in exploring!
AND don’t forget to check out some of the super employers who are working hard to provide sustainable career pathways across the sector – check out Nutrien Ag Solutions, Teys, Thomas Foods International, and CPC to find out more.