By Shelby Brooks

LAND workers under the age of 35 are being encouraged to apply for this year’s Upskill and Invest – Young Farmer Scholarships.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes launched the program this week which offers 12 to 14 scholarships for young farmers aged 35 or younger

“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of Victoria’s farmers and food producers, and supporting the work young farmers are doing will help us meet the growing demand for Victoria’s high-quality produce from right around the world,” Ms Symes said.

The program offers scholarships of up to $10,000 to support training and study in areas such as business and risk management, genetics and pasture management development.

Once recipients complete their studies, they will receive further funding of up to $5000 to invest in putting their new skills into practice in fields such as professional development and business planning, or to invest in on-farm practices, equipment and technology.

The Upskill and Invest Young Farmers Scholarship program has successfully supported 63 young farmers to develop their skills across a range of agriculture sectors since 2015.

Applications for this year’s round of scholarships are now open to farmers aged 35 or under who have been working in farm businesses for at least three days a week for the past three months, with at least two years total experience on-farm.

To find out more about the program and to apply for a scholarship, visit vic.gov.au/youngfarmers.

Applications close on Sunday, June 14.