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Australia’s agricultural leaders will have the opportunity to develop their skills to strongly represent their industries thanks to the Coalition Government’s $5 million Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the fund will officially open for applications on 5 April, delivering on a key Coalition election commitment which recognises the continued importance to the Australian economy of strong leadership support in the agriculture sector.

“A stronger agriculture sector will boost Australia’s productivity, jobs and exports and to drive it we need strong industry leaders to champion issues as well as identify opportunities for their sectors,” Minister Joyce said.

“Through the Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund, we are supporting our farming, forestry and fisheries leaders to gain the skills they need to effectively advocate agricultural commodity priorities with authenticity into urban communities, join international trade delegations, open new markets and run national corporate organisations and agribusiness companies.

“The fund will ensure agricultural leaders and their organisations are equipped with the skills to fulfil regulatory responsibilities in consulting on use of farmers’ levy funds, supporting biosecurity responses and managing structural adjustment. 

“The fund is a competitive grant process open to Australian national agricultural industry representative bodies. The grants can be used to fund activities such as professional development, training courses, webinars or strategic planning activities to give industry members the skills, knowledge and support they need deliver on the challenging obligations national farm leaders face. 

“This initiative forms an important part of our policy for a Stronger Agriculture Sector, announced at last year’s federal election to support Australia’s farmers who contribute around $58​ billion to our nation’s economy.

“This once-off funding opportunity should enable peak agricultural representative organisations to develop the training and capacity to boost their elected representatives’ leadership skills long into the future.

“I encourage all interested industry bodies to get involved and find out more, including reading the guidelines that are already available.

“Information sessions in capital cities have already been held, and staff in my department are also happy to discuss the application process with interested people ahead of the grants opening.”

Applications open 5 April and close Wednesday 17 May, 2017.

For more information, including the grant eligibility requirements, visit:​ or call 1800 870 733

Those interested in receiving updates can register by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 1800 870 733.

Fast facts:

  • The Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund was announced as an election commitment in 2016, as part of the Coalition's policy for a Stronger Agriculture Sector.
  • It aims to support efforts to develop leadership capacity within the agricultural industries to enhance the ability of emerging agricultural leaders to advocate agricultural commodity priorities, lead biosecurity responses and drive trade opportunities and support farmers through necessary structural adjustment.
  • Funding will allow agricultural leaders to better articulate their points of view, to speak and act on industry representative bodies (IRB) behalf.
  • It will support them to strategically assess information to work productively towards meeting the needs of the IRB, government, or to participate in public debate.


Call 1300 834 775 to find out what assistance we may be able to provide you, or make an appointment with one of our experienced Rural Financial Counsellors.

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