Alan Hopkins and nephew Riley Jackaway were on the lookout at the Leongatha VLE Saleyards last Friday morning, with Alan noting the continuing high prices in the industry.

CATTLE prices have soared more than 45 per cent in the last year, according to data published by a service provider to the livestock industry.

Meat & Livestock Australia’s Eastern States Young Cattle, or EYCI, is a seven-day rolling average of young cattle from 23 saleyards across Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

This time last year, on December 8, 2020, the average price (c/kg cwt) was 790.71.

Last Wednesday, December 8, it had topped 1147.28.

It represents a more than 45 per cent increase in just one year.

And in other good news, increased confidence in the agriculture sector is resulting in a corresponding rise in employment opportunities with leading agribusiness Nutrien Ag Solutions filling 800 roles to date in 2021.

Nutrien Ag Solutions managing director Rob Clayton said there were dozens of jobs available in ag, ripe for the picking.

As of November, they had recruited just under 800 people across the organisation and almost half of those roles were filled by women.

Mr Clayton says their recruitment efforts were focused on addressing the changing skillsets required by the Australian agriculture industry.

“Technology, data and digital tools represent the next frontier for agriculture, so it’s no surprise that our digital team has experienced the biggest growth in new roles and opportunities this year.

“Our digital experts are developing the tools to better connect the people, processes, products and information that will help our farmers succeed,” Mr Clayton said.

“I don’t think the ag industry is at risk of ‘The Great Resignation’, in fact we are seeing an increase in professionals choosing to pursue a career in agriculture who are attracted to the industry’s innovation, commitment to sustainably feed the world and the positive outlook working in such an essential industry.

“Our graduate programs continue to attract the top talent from across the country – we had more than 250 applications for our 2022 Agronomy Graduate Program and the same strong response for our Livestock Trainee Program which we are currently recruiting for.

“This year we also launched new IT and Agribusiness Graduate Programs, and shortly we will announce opportunities to join Nutrien Water in our Irrigation Apprenticeships.

“We are also proud to support the passionate and innovative future faces of agriculture through our partnership with AgForce’s new Young Producers’ Council and our support of Student Horizons which brings students to regional Australia to experience firsthand the career paths available in agriculture.”

Animal production specialist Sarah Halleen said: “There is a buzz in ag at the moment – most farmers are experiencing a really good season, we are seeing high yields and strong commodity prices, and the industry is widely recognised as an essential industry – now is definitely the time to consider a career in ag.”