Boosted #NextGenAg4D – not reinventing the wheel

September 9, 2020

The Crawford Fund and ACIAR both encourage the next generation (NextGen) in their studies, careers and volunteering for agriculture for development, with great involvement by RAID Network members.

2019-20 saw an enhancement of our usual NextGen program with a grant from ACIAR to enable us to identify, connect and (where possible) join with others with similar aims to improve awareness of the varied, meaningful and beneficial outcomes for both Australian students, Australian agriculture and for developing countries where the NextGen is engaged.

We were proud to recently report to ACIAR on the first year of our NextGen project which set out to ‘not reinvent the wheel’ but add the element of ‘international’ agriculture to activities of those who have been ably involved for some years in engaging young Australians in agriculture.

“In short, the response from these existing organisations and individuals in the NextGen space could not have been more positive,” said Cathy Reade, the Fund’s Director of Outreach who also manages the NextGen range of activities.

“Despite COVID-19 impacting some of our original strategy, results have been beyond what we had planned thanks to the power of partnerships.”

In this first year to June, the NextGen project included 14 physical or online events, with another four held since then. And almost 30 blogs were published and more than 20 videos were produced or are about to go online.

“A very special thank you to ACIAR who supported this work and has come on board for 2020-21. And to members of the RAID Network – we had so many of them happily give up time to be involved in the events held around the country and online.”

The NextGen project saw broad involvement of the Fund’s staff, coordinators and board members.

“I particularly want to thank Larissa Mullot, who worked so hard on what was such a very busy and exciting NextGen year, also including the Fund’s student awards, conference scholarships and volunteers; and Samuel Stacey who is our behind-the-scenes help with the very active social media push and video production for the project,” said Cathy.

Perhaps one of the most exciting parts of the project is our foray into high school teaching materials.

“We were surprised to find so few materials to engage high school students in agriculture for development, when our experience with NextGen is that it is such a satisfying, beneficial and exciting area of study and work.”

“So we hope to plug that hole a bit and our new free materials will be completed in time for World Food Day in October, which coincidentally happens to be when high school teachers will be working on their 2021 teaching plans. Stay tuned,” said Cathy.

And follow #NextGenAg4D on our social media channels!