Primary Producers SA (PPSA) is a coalition of peak bodies representing primary producers in South Australia. PPSA has a vision for a strong, viable primary production sector in South Australia, which is valued by government and the community.
Nuffield Australia 2017 Scholar
Jamie Heinrich, from Parndana (on Kangaroo Island) in South Australia, receives a 2017 Nuffield Scholarship supported by Primary Producers SA.
He will investigate the key factors needed to attract and retain young people in the sheep industry.
Jamie believes the industry has a bright future, but needs the right young people in the right places to help get it there.
Jamie’s family owns and operates an 880-hectare seed-stock sheep operation, “Ella Matta”, a White Suffolk and Poll Merino stud, which he runs with his parents. His grandfather started the first registered stud in Australia to breed White Suffolk sheep.
The major focus of the seed-stock operation is increasing genetic gain through the use of LAMBPLAN and MERINOSELECT. The other part of the business is a commercial self-replacing 18.5 micron Poll Merino ewe flock.
Jamie’s research is particularly important as the sheep industry faces a large shortage of young people.
He plans to find out why other young people around the world are excited about agriculture, then work out how to use this information to attract, retain and develop more young people in Australia.
“ABS statistics show the age profile of farmers in our country has changed markedly over the past few decades,” he said.
“The proportion of farmers aged 55 and over increased from 26% to 47% between 1989 and 2011, while those aged less than 35 years, fell from 28% to just 13%.
“Defining young does not necessarily have to be a set age group, but rather people who can potentially have a long future within the industry. Personally I see a multitude of reasons for people to want to work in the sheep industry and I’m really excited about the potential.”
Jamie will travel to the United Kingdom, New Zealand, China, the United States, the European Union and South America.