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In 2018-19 Australian agriculture was worth $62,208 billion to our economy and this is expected to fall to $59,353 billion in 2019-20.

The hope is with the next generation of Australian farmers and the introduction of technologies and management strategies to help farming become more efficient and keep ahead of international competitors.

Hannah Cargill who is in her third year of Agriculture and Business at UNE in Armidale, paints a realistic picture of Australia’s farming landscape.



Bachelor of Agriculture/Bachelor of Business

University of New England (UNE)

Braidwood and District Education Foundation
SELX-CEF scholarship
UNE Foundation-CEF co-funding recipient

I think the agricultural industry sectors are more important than ever. Agriculture is the backbone of rural and regional Australia.

“The drought impacted so many communities across not only NSW but the whole of Australia. So many businesses are still on the road to recovery. In my region [Braidwood], many properties and businesses were also impacted by the bushfires for a number of months and then effects of COVID-19 followed,” says Hannah.

Hannah’s passion for the agriculture industry has been recognised with support from Braidwood and District Education Foundation and she is also a recipient of a SELX-CEF scholarship and UNE Foundation CEF co-funding.

I would love to pursue a career in helping and assisting businesses and communities build strategies around strength and resilience so they are able to stay strong and overcome the challenges and disasters such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, the recent bushfires and widespread drought.

The South Eastern Livestock Exchange (SELX) annually offers eight $1,000 scholarships to students studying agriculture from the CEF Local Foundations of  BoorowaBraidwoodCootamundraGoulburn, HardenSnowy MonaroYass and Young.

Rowena Abbey
SELX Chairman

“Providing rurally located students with opportunities for study is so important and we see this as the best way for us to give back to our community,” says SELX Chairman, Rowena Abbey.

CEF is at the forefront of ensuring rural and regional students have the support and opportunities at their fingertips to develop a strong foundation of further education in their chosen profession.

“The recent devastation of drought, fires and COVID-19 have shown we need to make changes in how we operate as an industry. With the next generation of students returning to agricultural professions they will bring with them new ideas, knowledge in new technology and help to mould a dynamic and transformative industry of the future.

“SELX is so proud to be supporting students like Hannah who want to use their rural upbringing and their studies as a way to give back to their community. Hannah’s interest in the development and education of rural communities to become resilient to an ever-changing world already demonstrates that she will have a bright future in agriculture.”

Now in her third year, Hannah is establishing more contacts, boosting professional skills and looking for opportunities such as summer jobs. 

She believes the future of the agricultural sector is in our younger generation who have already faced many challenges in the last 18 months that have given them skills and knowledge that they will carry with them.

“Education of the agricultural industry to the wider community is something that we have been striving for years to achieve and I believe now is our best chance to showcase rural and regional NSW and what the agricultural sector can do for you.”

Growing up in rural and regional NSW, I have encountered the challenges anyone faces in a small community. I have also discovered how many opportunities there are. To me, staying in these areas is so important for the future of not only those communities but potentially NSW as a whole.

The opportunities I have been fortunate enough to have access to in a rural community have helped me be where I am today. I hope that I will one day be able to ‘pay it forward’ to other rural and regional young people and businesses.


Fantasy dinner party guests: name five individuals dead or alive?
Grace Brennan (Buy from the Bush), Robin Williams, Neale Lavis (local Olympic equestrian rider), Michelle Obama and Sidney Kidman.

Best advice you have for CEF students?
Do not give up on the what you want to achieve no matter how many times you get knocked down. Always be confident in yourself and never underestimate the power and opportunities in networking.

Sunrise or sunset, and why?
Sunsets – I love the “golden hour” and watching the last sun touch the landscape.

First place to take visitor to your hometown?
A coffee and a meal at The Albion Cafe.

Last book you read?
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – highly recommend!!

Dream holiday destination?
Road trip around Australia.

Support students like Hannah get access to education.


Author Ashlea

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