for farmers

Growing tomorrow’s farmers

  • Employ a young Australian to work on your farm for 10-12 months and share your skills, knowledge, and industry insights as a farm-host
  • Contribute to the future agricultural workforce by giving someone a start in industry
  • Access a new labour market by leveraging AgCAREERSTART’s recruitment process
  • Challenge yourself and develop skills as an employer and a mentor

What’s in it for you

When you participate, you will:

  • Receive a $2,000 grant
  • Get support from the AgCAREERSTART team to mentor and train your participant
  • Benefit from AgCAREERSTART’s national recruitment strategy, accessing keen new talent for your business
  • Gain access to industry events and the broader National Farmers’ Federation network
  • Benefit from the program’s community of experienced Host employers

“This is a very important program, and it is our chance to give young people an opportunity and experience within our industry.”

Lea, Seafood, NSW
  • Matching Process

    The matching process is a critical component to the success of the placement. Matching is a holistic process that aligns Host Farmer and Participant on key factors such as skills, culture, aptitude, and future career goals.

    Matching can be an intense process, and certainly a nervous time for our applicants. Here’s what you can expect to happen;

    1. Applications close, candidates shortlisted.
    2. Preliminary Matching
      • Host Farmers sent at least one candidate profile
      • Farmer has a short time (72hrs) to review the candidate profile and respond*
      • Farmer can decide to interview the candidate, OR;
      • Farmer can reject the candidate and return to the matching process
      • If Farmer decides to proceed, Host Farmer profile will be sent to the candidate, who also has a short period of time to consider the match
      • Candidate can accept the match, OR;
      • Candidate can reject the match and return to the matching process
      • If both parties agree to proceed to interview, the match becomes CONDITIONAL.
    3. Conditional Match
      • Parties to the conditional match will be emailed instructions for interview.**
      • The interview should be conducted as quickly as possible, either online or in person.
      • Following the interview, the Host employer may decide to offer employment, or return to the matching process.
      • Likewise, the candidate may choose to proceed, or return to the matching process.
      • Both parties notify the AgCAREERSTART team
    4. Confirmed Match
      • Host employer issues a letter of offer and/or employment contract to the candidate, and employer onboarding process commences.
      • Start date is agreed upon and communicated to AgCAREERSTART
    5. AgCAREERSTART Onboarding commences

    *Please understand that the first match is likely the best one. Opting to go back into the matching process multiple times will impede the process and reduce the number of quality candidates you will have access to.

    **Farmers may interview multiple candidates, however this is not preferred, as it means additional candidates taken out of the pool, when they could be matched with other Hosts.

    Employers who delay the process without communicating may be removed from the matching process and/or have candidates returned to the pool. Farmers have important jobs, and we understand that things happen that will distract you from this process. What we do ask is that you communicate with us.

  • Onboarding

    Onboarding Host Employers

    Congratulations, you’ve made a confirmed match! Here’s what happens next:

    • You will issue an employment contract BEFORE your Participant commences on-farm.
    • You will agree on, and communicate a start date with the AgCAREERSTART team.
    • You will be invited to attend an online Host Farmer Onboarding Webinar.
    • You will be issued an Onboarding Handbook – consider this the AgCAREERSTART “bible”. Everything you need to know will be in here.
    • You will be issued a Host Farmer Agreement that must be signed and returned to AgCAREERSTART ASAP.
    • When your Participant commences on-farm, you will conduct a thorough induction, including completing the AgCAREERSTART Induction Template, provided by FarmSafe.
    • Once we have received your completed Employment Contract, Host Farmer Agreement, and your On-Farm Induction, we will issue your Farm Safety Incentive Payment of $2,000.00

    Onboarding Participants

    Participants also have thorough onboarding requirements. You can expect your Participant to be undertaking the following:

    • Participant will receive their Onboarding Handbook and Code of Conduct.
    • Participant will receive a Participant Undertaking (Agreement), which must be signed and returned.
    • Participant will be invited to attend an AgCAREERSTART Orientation Week (dates TBC). During this orientation, they will complete a First Aid or Chemical Handling course.
    • Participant must complete two online AgCARD Farm Safety Modules BEFORE they commence on-farm.
  • The On-Farm Experience

    We encourage you to go and read all the “Info for Participants” content on this website to understand what the program looks like for Participants.

    The “important stuff” though;

    • Participants gain access to a $4,500 Bursary to utilise throughout the year. They gain access by attending training meetings with the Training and Career Development Coordinator.
    • Participants and Host employers have access to a 24/7 phone number for emergencies, as well as a text line and email inbox.
    • Participants and Host employers have access to 8 FREE counselling sessions.
    • From the moment the Participant arrives on-farm, a rigorous interaction schedule commences, keeping the team in touch with you and the Participant.

    We ask that you communicate with us early and often, so we can help navigate issues and provide support as needed. The stronger the relationship between the Participant and the program, the higher the chance of program success.

    Industry Events and Training

    Throughout the year, Participants will get the opportunity to attend training activities and events. Likewise, the opportunity will be extended to you as well from time-to-time. Whilst we focus on peak, national, industry events, we encourage you to recommend local events of interest.

    As an employer, you can be as involved in the training process as you’d like to be. We encourage you to make recommendations to your Participant, and to us, if you think there’s training they should undertake.

    When Participants attend industry events or training, all costs associated with tickets and travel will be covered by the program.

  • Applying for the Program


    Any Australian farming business can apply if they can meet the employer obligations. We are looking for host employers who can have a positive impact on the next generation of Australian agricultural workers.

    Preparing your application

    Just like our Participants, Host Farmers need to apply to join the AgCAREERSTART program. Your application will take about 30 minutes to complete, so we recommend preparing some essential information beforehand;

    • 200 words on why you’re applying
    • 250 words on your business
    • 200 words on the role you are offering
    • 3-5 pictures to support your application

    It’s important to provide as much information as possible so that we can best match you with your Participant. Some of the content you provide in your application will be used to build your employer profile pack, which is sent off to candidates in the matching process.

    Host Farmer Screening

    All prospective Host Employers must complete a suitability screening with the AgCAREERSTART team. This will take up to 90 minutes and we will ask questions about topics such as your motivation for applying to the program, your on-farm safety practices, emergency management procedures and employment practices. The screening is a critical part of your application that helps ensure that you’re best matched and that you’re in the best position to provide a positive and safe experience for your Participant.

    You will be emailed a link to book your screening once your application has been received.

    Application timeline

    The AgCAREERSTART application process follows a strict timeline. Please see the important dates below;

    • Host Farmer Applications: NOW – 29th September, 2024
    • Host Farmer Screening Window: NOW – 13th October, 2024
    • Matching Window: From 29th September, 2024*
    • Program Commencement : From 1st January – 31st March, 2025

    *We aim to complete matching as quickly as possible. It’s important to complete your Host Farmer Screening as early as possible to join the matching process.


  • Be able to offer a safe and positive experience for a young Australian
  • Have the capacity to teach and support someone who might have limited experience in agriculture
  • Be able to offer full-time paid employment for a period of 10 – 12 months in 2025*
  • Offer flexibility to your participant so they can undertake training and attend industry events
  • Provide accommodation, or assist in finding accommodation off farm

*Participants must be paid at – or above-award wages. All host farms must provide a signed employment contract to AgCAREERSTART before the placement commences.

Farmer fact sheet

Find out more about eligibility, commitment, industry support and more.

If your download does not start automatically, please click the button below to download the file.


Frequently asked questions

  • What is involved?
    As a host-farmer you will provide paid, full time on-farm employment for a school leaver or young Australian under the age of 25 for a period of 10 – 12 months. This is a supported program, where the host farmer is asked to share their skills, knowledge and industry insights with the participant, while also allowing a flexible environment that enables the participant to pursue training opportunities and attend industry events.
  • Who can participate?
    Any Australian farming business can apply if they have a willingness to train and support a young person on farm. We are looking for host farmers who can have a positive impact on the next generation of Australian agricultural workers.
  • What incentives do farm-host business receive?
    AgCAREERSTART farm-hosts are eligible for a $2000 grant. This grant is contingent on you completing an on-farm safety induction program with the participant.


Established in 1979, The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is the peak national body representing farmers and agriculture across Australia. It is one of Australia’s foremost and respected advocacy organisations.

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