The Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) is encouraging its members to apply for two unique opportunities, designed to develop future leaders in agriculture.
The Leadership Exploration and Development (LEAD) program aims to build vision and skills across a range of tropical horticulture industries and is backed by the relevant peak bodies, who were successful in their bid for an Australian Government leadership grant.
It gives participants the chance to develop practical tools in areas such as team management, conflict resolution, advocacy and biosecurity.
Delivered mostly through two workshops, applications are now open and are to close shortly.
Growers are also urged to consider putting themselves forward for one of the most prestigious opportunities in Australian agriculture – a Nuffield Scholarship.
Through a $30,000 bursary and plenty of support, this program is a rare chance to travel the world, exploring cutting-edge ideas to further their own farms and industries.
Participants also develop valuable contacts, both with fellow Nuffield Scholars and through their international experience.
Far North Queensland banana growers Paul Inderbitzin and Matt Abbott both completed the Nuffiled Scholarship program in recent years.
“Essentially, I wanted to learn how to grow bananas better,” Mr Inderbitzin said.
“The chance to go overseas and explore techniques I could bring back to my business and banana growers more broadly was invaluable.”
Both Mr Inderbitzin, a current ABGC Director, and Mr Abbott also participated in an ABGC-led leadership program in 2014, similar to the LEAD program.
Mr Inderbizin acknowledged that both Nuffield and the current LEAD program require growers to invest their most important commodity – time.
“But opportunities like this repay you many times over in personal development, business improvement and industry progression,” he said.
“I know it can be hard to put yourself forward but my advice is simply to have a crack. You might surprise yourself with the results.”