“My professional purpose is to improve broad acre farm management resulting in increased profitability and sustainability.”
“With large improvements to technology over the last decade, computer modeling capacity has skyrocketed. However, it’s not being used to its full potential in the farming industry. I am leveraging high-performance computing to build a farm optimisation model. The model will provide users with a fast and effective way to examine farm management strategy, saving years of trial and error resulting in improved production, improved sustainability and lower farm risk.”
“In the next year, I am going to start a farm consulting business using this model as a key tool. I will consult with both farmers and researchers to provide economic analysis of farm businesses and farm projects. Overall, the impact I want to have is to ensure long-term food security by improving broad acre farm management.”
Michael Young is one of our 2021 BBM Australian Industry Scholars. In 2019 he was awarded a BBM Global Industry Scholarship in Agriculture, but when COVID shut down all international travel, we took the opportunity to offer him a chance to pursue professional and personal development here in Australia.
“With the rise in technology and the corresponding increase in available agricultural data, I see great potential to improve farm productivity and sustainability through strategic whole farm planning.”
“I am most passionate about the use of farm models and simulations as methods to improve agriculture. Models and simulations are a great way to utilise farm data to produce relevant insights that help farmers manage their farms in the most effective way.”
We’ve asked scholars like Michael to take every step to become practical, holistic leaders of the future who are aligned to the United National Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), supporting our vision of a sustainable, significant Australia.
“My plans directly fit with UNSDG’s # 2 – Zero Hunger, #8 – Decent Work and Economic growth as well as #15 – Life on Land. I personally believe that with the current world population and conditions, a key part of world sustainability hinges on improving agricultural productivity.”
Zero hunger – “A key goal of the zero-hunger is for all food systems to be 100% sustainable. With the growing population, it’s highly important for our future that agricultural systems are sustainable today. Poor land management (destroying soil structure, killing soil ecosystem and net reduction of nutrients) will significantly reduce future productivity. My business has a long-term focus which is incorporated into the management advice provided. This ensures farmers adopt best practices that will maintain the sustainability of farming into the future. For example, some of the practices endorsed are keeping the soil covered, maximizing crop diversity, maintaining living roots in the ground year-round, and integrating livestock.”
Decent work and economic growth – “The farming industry provides thousands of jobs around Australia and a large proportion of Australia’s economic output. However, inefficient farm management significantly reduces economic output and labour requirements. My business will help farmers optimally manage their businesses which will build economic growth and keep demand for labour. Additionally, correct farm management ensures a decent work culture for farm employees (for example, ethical livestock handling).”
Life on land – “In Western Australia the long, dry, and windy summer can cause significant soil erosion and degradation. Farmers can lose up to 30cm of fertile topsoil compromising long-term sustainability. However, through better land management this erosion can be mitigated. My business will aid farmers transition to better land management by determining the long-term economic benefits (once farmers see the economics of better land management it provides them with the confidence to change their management).”
We look forward to supporting purpose-driven industry leaders like Michael in their journey towards leading the future.
“I’d like to undertake additional economic training to broaden my knowledge base. This will ensure that I can make the biggest difference possible towards improving the productivity and sustainability of the farming industry.”
“My long-term career goal is to become an independent farming consultant providing bio-economic business analysis support to large family and corporate farms in Australis using whole-farm models to assist me. This would make my business unique as the concept of using whole-farm linear programming models to provide advice to farmers is not widely used in Western Australia.”