Adapting in Agriculture, this discussion will address:
- Drivers of diversity and inclusion
- Programs or strategies to drive greater cultural awareness/safety in agricultural workplaces
- How product design or agtech developments are enabling greater accessibility/adaption and safety in agriculture
- Biggest challenges around misconceptions, policies or resources available for employing people with disability or building disability confidence in regional/agricultural areas
- Ageing workforce and technology advancements
- Roles and nature of work in agriculture - working within and beyond the farm gate
Ability Agriculture Foundation Ltd began as a passion project by Founder, Josie Clarke. Josie was only five when her dad Glen became a paraplegic in a truck accident. After her father was injured, Josie and her siblings helped their mum Tania run the family’s cattle property near Kempsey, on the NSW mid north coast. Josie and her family’s experiences in agriculture made her realise how little conversation and community there was for disability in the Ag world so she decided to do something about it.
And so Ability Agriculture, an online platform to raise awareness and enable opportunity was born after a chat with her dad in the paddock. The community group has over 2000 members sharing their stories, finding community, sharing what ag accessibility is - the challenges and the successes. Ability Agriculture held its first access scholarship in 2023 supporting farmers with disabilities to attend agricultural conferences. Shawn Kleinschimdt, a cattle and cane farmer from Texas QLD was their first recipient.
In the future, Ability Agriculture aims to continue to help enable people with disabilities to enter or remain, thrive and succeed in the Agriculture industry.