Inbound News

Riverina’s best on show for the US’s brightest young farm leaders

National Future Farmers of America Organisation - Inbound Tour group

Best practice seedstock and commercial cattle and sheep operations in the Riverina have been showcased to the future agricultural leaders of America during a tour this month. Australia was chosen to host the 2024 International Leadership Seminar for State Officers of the National Future Farmers of America Organisation comprising of an 11-day tour.

US State officers had the opportunity to meet with Australians destined to have leadership roles across Australian agriculture, visit farming operations representing best practice in sustainable agricultural management, and meet with US diplomatic personnel and Australian rural industry leaders.

The itinerary was designed to inspire a global mindset through agricultural related cultural awareness experiences. This dynamic youth organisation fosters future chemists, veterinarians, government officials, entrepreneurs, bankers, international business leaders, teachers and premier professionals in many career fields. It provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education, drawing members from grades 5-12 and college.

Each year, 75 officers are invited to apply for this event and range in age from 17 to 23 years old. Delegates toured Sydney and Canberra, hearing from speakers from the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and the Office of Agricultural Affairs, US
Embassy, and the Future Farmers Network of Australia, before making their way to the Riverina.

There was a visit to renown racehorse breeders, Sandy and Kathy Tait’s historic Gunnong-Jugrawah, property, Coolac, followed by an overview of the Matrix farming technique by Gundagai agronomist Mark Lucas, Pasture Agronomy Service.
Mr Lucas outlined the role perennial pastures play in improving carrying capacity, soil carbon and overall sustainability.
He said, “Matrix farming was instigated in the early 1990s and uses a base understudy of soil fertility and weed manipulation to achieve elevated stocking rates and the ability to finish lambs or steers to the most profitable market

Delegates then moved on to the Lucas family’s Reiland Angus at Killimicat, Tumut, a stud established for 52 years, selling 250 bulls annually and running 1800 breeders across several properties. Mark, Sam and Huw Lucas and Jess Reynolds gave an overview of the production system, their genetic philosophy and a display of bulls, breeding cows, replacement heifers and Dohne Merino sheep. Mark Lucas said the Reiland genetics were used by southern cattle producers to breed feeder steers for finishing at 450kg at 13 to 15 months off grass.

Delegates then moved on to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area to inspect irrigation farms growing barley, wheat, Merino and crossbred sheep at Gogeldrie. Dr Chris Proud, Rice Breeding Australia, outlined rice production in the MIA. A visit to Southern Cotton Gin, the Whitton Malt House, Hutcheon & Pearce and a Griffith citrus packing shed rounded out the day.

The group also received presentations from Murray Dairy, visited Pepperton Poll Dorset and White Suffolk stud at Elmore, Cobram Estate Olive Oil processing plant, and Marcus Oldham College.

Quadrant Australia Inbound and Domestic Manager Emily Brett said it was the first time Australia had hosted the National Future Farmers of America Organisation’s leadership tour. Ms Brett said Quadrant Australia worked with international agricultural tour operator, Agrotours Inc, of the US, to develop an informative and interesting itinerary for the young officers.

The tour was hosted by Quadrant Australia and sponsored by John Deere and Bunge.

If you would like to discuss an agricultural focussed Australian inbound group tour, please submit an enquiry form here.


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