Velisha Farms are changing the way young people think about agriculture and promoting the vast array of jobs to school-aged kids.
The future of the horticulture industry is bright.
Thanks in large part to a school program ran by Velisha Farms to get kids excited about the opportunities available in farm businesses.
Managing director Catherine Velisha said the idea of the program was to promote the industry in a holistic and positive way.
“It gives young boys and young girls an idea the different opportunities of horticulture and agriculture,” she said.
While Ms Velisha said the program is for all primary school-aged children, there is a special focus on young girls.
“You can’t follow in the footsteps that you can’t see, and a lot of the perceptions about farming is that it’s a man’s trade.
“We want these young girls to feel inspired and then the rest will come naturally,” she said.
The program — funded by the Victorian Farmers Federation and open to school groups — is based on the Velisha’s facility in Werribee, and shows the day-to-day operations of the farm as well as starting important conversations about sustainability and food waste.
Ms Velisha said she hoped she could “sell the good side of my profession” and also help young people learn about where their food comes from.
“They’re quite shocked from the different elements involved in the supply chain and you can see when the penny drops about a lot of things.
“A lot of conversations in the media about ag are negative, and young people probably aren’t thinking of a career in ag.
“I want to change that and I think that’s the point,” she said.