NSW farming industry to probe better education, training
26/07/2012 - The NSW farming industry will examine how to recruit more young people through a wide-ranging study into agricultural education and training.
Former Charles Sturt University agriculture dean Jim Pratley has been chosen to head the inquiry, which will make recommendations on whether the state's agriculture education sector can respond to industry needs.
Professor Dean will assess the quality of school, tertiary and vocational education programs across the state.
He will also consider projected industry needs and ways to promote careers in agriculture.
Primary Industries minister Katrina Hodgkinson said the study was essential to both the agriculture industry and the wider state economy.
"When agriculture contributes around $9 billion to the NSW economy every year, it is incumbent on us to ensure agricultural education and training in this state is second to none," Hodgkinson said in a statement on Thursday.
NSW Education minister Adrian Piccoli said school-age students needed a better understanding of food and fibre production.
"Only recently, research revealed that three-quarters of Australian children in their final year of primary school believe cotton socks come from animals and alarmingly 27 per cent were convinced that yoghurt grows on trees," he said.
"We also want to address the decline in enrolments for agriculture in the higher education sector."
Prof Pratley is to report to the ministers by June 2013.
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