Gateway to Small Scale Farming Pilot Program


Pillar four of the Shires Food Economy and Agroecology Strategy identifies limited training opportunities for young people and a lack of career pathways for new entrants as key limitations for the growth and resilience of the agriculture, food and beverage sector. To address this challenge opportunities for hands-on learning, mentoring with industry experts and pathways into real farming careers need to become available.

The Gateway to Small Scale Farming Training Pilot Program is an initiative of a group of passionate Mornington Peninsula farms to help build the next generation of small-scale farmers on Mornington Peninsula land. The program aims to address local issues of farm labour shortages and food security by equipping young farmers with the skills, contacts and land necessary for successful market gardening enterprises.

The pilot project will commence in September 2023 and aims to train 2-4 young people in all aspects of growing, harvesting, and selling produce for an initial period of 12 months. At the end of the 12-month program, participants will not only have been provided with valuable learning experiences around small-scale regenerative market gardening practices, but we also hope to provide genuine pathways for those interested in continuing to farm.

The Shire is now seeking consultants/individuals with the skills, experience and local knowledge to design and implement this first-of-its-kind young farmer training program. Interested parties are invited to read the attached Consultants Brief and email us for more information or a copy of the quotation document.

This role is suited to someone with hands on market garden experience and an ability to nurture and educate participants. Planning, budgeting and marketing experience is also advantageous, however if you don’t have these skills, please don’t let that stop you applying. The working group will be happy to work with and support the right applicant.  

Expressions of interest (EOIs) are now also open for young people who are eager to learn and be part of the program. If you are interested in this opportunity to pursue a career in small-scale, regenerative market gardening see the attached EOI and be sure to apply by 18 August 2023.

The project is funded by Agriculture Victoria and Mornington Peninsula Shire with in-kind support and facilitation from Torello Farm, Uncommon Folk and Barragunda.