Growers around the nation are eligible to apply for a range of levy-funded capability-building opportunities being delivered through Hort Innovation.
Hort Innovation chief executive officer Brett Fifield said the grower-owned organization is delivering more than $6M in development initiatives for the sector right now, with new opportunities on offer.
"We know workforce and skills development are both key to Australian horticulture's prosperity, with projections showing the sector could reach $20 billion by 2030," Mr. Fifield said.
"To keep pace with growth and balance the opportunities industry is facing is a challenge. We have heard a clear message from Australian horticulture that investments to bolster business practices and the next generation of leaders has never been more relevant.
"Our training opportunities are bespoke to growers' businesses and offer the chance to learn about best-practice internationally and build networks that support learning from and sharing with peers."
The following opportunities are on offer right now, with more available throughout the year:
- Nuffield Scholarships: Multiple $35,000 scholarships on offer to individuals involved in apple and pear, avocado, onion, raspberry and blackberry, and vegetable production. This unique program offers participants the opportunity to learn best-practice from a global network of leaders in their fields. Applications for 2024 close on Friday, June 9, 2023.
- Horticulture National Lean Leaders Program: Multiple scholarships on offer to employees of apple and pear, onion, raspberry and blackberry, and vegetable levy-paying businesses. The leadership course seeks to educate participants on how to lead and sustain continuous improvement in their workplace. Applications for 2023 close Thursday, May 11, 2023.
- International Fresh Produce Association Produce Executive Program: Multiple scholarships are on offer for vegetable growers to attend the IFPA Executive Program May 21-26, 2023. Applications for 2023 close Tuesday, May 9, 2023.
Michael Densham, who runs a mixed-production organic farm that produces a diverse range of organic vegetables and cut flowers, received a 2021 Nuffield Scholarship supported by Hort Innovation and said a week doesn't go by in which he doesn't call upon a lesson, skill or insight he gained through the program.
"Since beginning my Nuffield Scholarship, I have traveled to seven countries, visited more than 80 farms throughout the world, and made friends for life," Mr. Densham said. "I have developed a deep appreciation for the breadth and diversity of global agriculture and gained a powerful and practical skill set to use in my business. Don't think twice, apply now!"
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