Young Farmers Scholarship recipient digs deep 8.4.15

Media Release

Young Farmers Scholarship recipient digs deep

 

Kate Washington dug deep to ensure she was successful for the second annual Willunga Farmers Market Young Farmers Scholarship.

Using organic methods, Kate will be farming heirloom vegetables on a reclaimed vineyard block in McLaren Vale; a mere 5km from the heart of Willunga.

Ms Washington, 31, applied for the inaugural $10,000 scholarship in 2014. After finding she was unsuccessful, she sunk her life savings into a small trial plot to learn what would grow successfully and reapplied for the second Young Farmers Scholarship.

‘Winning the scholarship has allowed me to realise something I’ve been actively working towards for the past 3 years,’ says Ms Washington.

‘To be able to run a small vegetable farm, to be able to trial different methods and to grow healthy food.

‘I want to grow exciting food to get people excited about buying local food and cooking it at home.

‘The access to formal mentorship and advice also just makes it easier to ask all those burning questions I have and to learn the things that are important to the success of my farm.

‘I’m just feeling the responsibility now of being able to move forward and not have the excuse of not having enough money to do it. It’s made me feel quite free actually.’

The Young Farmers Scholarship is available to 18 to 40 year olds interested in farming but discouraged by the obstacles of entering the industry, like access to land, equipment and start up capital.

‘Willunga Farmers Market is providing the scholarship recipients $3,000 worth of small business and agricultural training together with a cash component of $7,000, available for items such as seeds, tools, land rental and insurance,’ says Steve Ashley, Willunga Farmers Market Manager.

The Young Farmers Scholarship recipient will also receive a guaranteed licence to trade and weekly stall site at Willunga Farmers Market to supply primary produce for two years, with the first six months stall site, valued at more than $1270, free of charge to compliment the $10,000 scholarship.

‘Our aim is to ensure the next generation of Australia’s farmers have access to the support they need to enter and create a long, viable career out of farming,’ says Steve.

 

For the editor:

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Billy Doecke on 0416 174 375.
More detailed information on the Young Farmers Scholarship can be found here.
Willunga Farmers Market is a not-for-profit organization providing fresh, locally grown produce direct from the farmer.
Willunga Farmers Market is open every Saturday, 8am til 12:30pm,