Northern Victorian agriculture educator Leon Carter does not just want students to become good farm workers; he wants to inspire them to be community leaders.
Mr Carter was sponsored by Gardiner Dairy Foundation to participate in the Alpine Valleys Community Leadership 2018-19 program and is keen to pass on his learnings to a new generation of potential leaders.
The Wangaratta-based trainer’s Ag Schools Victoria program in conjunction with Wodonga TAFE is now in 23 schools between Echuca, Castlemaine, Euroa, Wodonga and Bright and has grown substantially during the past four years.
Mr Carter, who has a small farm at Tarrawingee (14km east of Wangaratta), said the leadership program gave him a fresh perspective for his career, his farm and for his students.
‘‘You can have all the passion in the world but it’s no good if you don’t have focus and direction, and the leadership program has been really good for that,’’ he said.
He hopes to show students the importance of ‘‘one-percenters’’ and being involved more in their community and sporting clubs and getting off the farm.
After working in the thoroughbred breeding industry for 10 years and coming from a farming background, Mr Carter saw the need for more agricultural studies in schools.
‘‘I want to get them interested before they leave school and make sure schools and students see the value in ag training.’’
■Applications for the Alpine Valleys Community Leadership 2019-20 program close on Friday, May 24. They can be submitted at: https://avclp.org.au/