In recognition of the increasing need for sophisticated skills in the next generation of farmers, the Victorian Government has established a Young Farmers Scholarship Program tailored to the professional needs of young farmers.

Offering up to A$10,000 for farmers and farm workers aged 35 years and under, the Young Farmers Scholarship Program aims to boost existing skills, and also provide new skills to prepare for the agricultural challenges of the future.

photograph image of cows in paddock and farmer The Young Farmers Scholarship Program – upskilling the state's next generation of "agriculture leaders".

Not only are the scholarships aimed at supporting the development of Victoria's young farmers, they're also an investment "in the growth of the agricultural sector, and in the future of regional Victoria," said Victoria's Minister for Agriculture, who made the announcement about the Program on 28 June 2017.

A number of young farmers across regional Victoria have already reaped the benefits from the scholarship putting their new skills to work in the state's A$13 billion agriculture sector.

As key export markets such as China, Japan and New Zealand continue to have strong growth, and the global demand for clean, green and safe food and fibre products steadily increases, there's never been a better time for a young Victorian farmer to embark on a career in agriculture.

Funding of up to A$5000 is available for study backed by a further A$5000 to invest on-farm, or in professional development activities to help put new skills into practice. The Program also provides ongoing opportunities for long-term networking and support through the Young Farmers Scholarship Alumni.

Victoria's continues to be Australia's largest state exporter of food and fibre products accounting for 26 per cent of Australia's total food and fibre exports in 2015-16, while accounting for just 3 per cent of total landmass.

Applications for the Young Farmers Scholarship Program opened on 28 June 2017, and will close on 30 August 2017.

Find out more about the scholarship, and how to apply by visiting vic.gov.au/youngfarmers.