Practicing in safe places – why it is important for supporting partners to provide action learning opportunities for Young Farming Champions

Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) is proud to partner with a range of organisations who support our Young Farming Champions (YFC) through their leadership and career development journeys. Two of these partners are Riverina Local Land Services (RLLS) and Corteva Agriscience, and both have recently shown the power of giving young people the opportunity to practice in safe places.

Riverina Local Land Services sponsors YFC Dylan Male and invited him to present to the Board and to join Board members on property tours. Dylan grew up in the Riverina (Wiradjuri Country) and although now studying in Melbourne he relishes the chance to return home. When general manager Ray Willis asked Dylan to present to the Board he took the opportunity to speak of this connection to the Riverina and how it sparked his interest in agriculture, which has led to a PhD researching the revival of an Aboriginal crop species. Following the Board meeting Dylan joined members for a networking dinner and then an agricultural tour of the Young Region.

“I am excited to not only be embarking on this learning journey [with YFC] but to also be joining such a great family of agricultural leaders motivated to achieve positive change. I look forward to future opportunities provided by RLLS that will continue to empower me on my journey to become a Young Farming Champion,” Dylan says.

Dylan Male with the Riverina Local Land Services Board

Ray, too, appreciates the partnership between PYiA and RLLS and the mentoring his organisation can provide Dylan.

“By providing Dylan with opportunities in our Board room, working alongside our staff and our individual one-on-one sessions, we hope to expose him to real world examples to show him how important building relationships and conveying your message is, no matter your situation. We plan on assisting Dylan build on his confidence, skills and abilities with a broad range of experiences with us,” Ray says.

Each year Corteva Day celebrates the launch of Corteva as an independent pureplay agriculture business and at an event held at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney recently YFC Steph Tabone and Connie Mort were invited to present to the group on their YFC experiences.

“The environment that Connie and I were able to talk within was safe as we knew everyone in the room, but it gave us the opportunity to step out of our comfort zone as we got to speak in front of the group, when normally we would be the ones listening in the crowd,” Steph says.

Rob Kaan presenting at the Corteva Day breakfast 

Following Corteva Day Steph has a range of opportunities coming up including attendance at a Think Tank event hosted by Green Collar and at the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW AgVision event, where she will share Corteva’s agricultural career pathways with year’s 9-12 students. This combined with YFC workshops, the YFC buddy system (where she is partnered with Dr Jo Newton OAM ) and mentoring with ANZ Corteva managing director Rob Kaan means Steph is fast-tracking her road to confident leadership.

“I feel grateful to be involved in the YFC program as it has already led to many positive things for me personally and professionally, and I appreciate the support and safe places to learn and challenge myself.”

Steph Tabone, Lynne Strong and Greg Mitchell at the Corteva Day breakfast 

Connie Mort was also invited by Rob Kaan to share her experiences with the Young Farming Champion program with Corteva team members at the organisation’s second birthday celebrations at the City of Sydney Botanic Gardens

I really valued the chance to stand up along side Steph and share what we have been doing with PYiA, and also how our values at Corteva align so nicely with what we are aiming to achieve as part of the YFC journey. There was great enthusiasm from our colleagues about how they can support us over the course of the YFC program, and that they can support the industry in which they work through their own involvement with PYiA, which I’m truly excited about.   

I am really looking forward to connecting with my fellow YFCs during the upcoming workshops and face-to-face events, and learning from those that have been a part of the program for many years already. It is encouraging to know that we have this safe space to communicate with our peers on this program when we are faced with challenges and need some feedback. I am enjoying being partnered with YFC alumni buddy Katherine Bain for the first part of my learning journey and looking forward to sharing my story with the Griffith Soroptimist club in July”

Rob Kaan is proud of the mentoring opportunities initiated by his company.

“At Corteva we are fortunate to have established some clear corporate values during the creation of the organization two years ago after our merger process.  People management and talent development is one of our key pillars, supported by a strong sense of promoting diversity and inclusion.  Within this, employee mentoring is a process we provide to employees seeking guidance, support and the opportunity to learn new skills and competencies from peers.  It’s often not a supervisor to employee relationship; mentoring works best when two employees build an open and trusting relationship built on curiosity, sharing experiences and providing guidance in a “safe environment”.   We help facilitate these employee connections and, in the case of young talented employees like Steph and Connie, YFC helps complement our mentoring programs very nicely,” he says.

PYiA’s vision to empower young people to reach their full potential through life-long learning and support is mirrored in organisations such as Riverina Local Land Services and Corteva Agriscience. When partnerships such as these, that invest in our young people, are formed and nurtured we will see agriculture and community thrive.

Celebrating our Cohort – Meet Dr Jenni Metcalfe

They say it takes a village to raise a child and at Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) it takes a village to support, mentor, teach and encourage our Young Farming Champions. One of our village “chiefs” is Dr Jenni Metcalfe from Econnect Communication who each year holds a series of workshops to enable our YFC on their leadership and career development journeys.

Recently Jenni conducted an online workshop Designing Compelling Messages including a mnemonic to capture her ideas:

  • Motivated – What is driving you to communicate? What do you want to achieve?

 

  • Empathy – Who do you want to communicate with? Have you tried standing in their shoes?

 

  • Specific – What is the concrete (not abstract) message that you want to convey?

 

  • Simple – Have you considered what your audience could misunderstand?

 

  • Acknowledge uncertainty – How sure are you of your information?

 

  • Game-change – Does your message include a call for change, in attitudes or actions?

 

  • Enable – Have you detailed how people can change?

 

This was immediately taken up and put into practice by YFC Bryan Van Wyk.

“I printed out the mnemonic and have it on my office wall. I have found it very useful to evaluate my presentations before sharing and will also use it to gauge any future articles, videos or reports I compose before publishing,” he says. In fact, Bryan used the mnemonic to test one of his favourite video creations: Born Free, Caught Wild. The Northern Prawn Industry and this was his assessment: “Motivated – yes; Empathy – yes; Specific – kind of, but there’s a lot of information to digest; Simple – relatively; Acknowledge uncertainty – thinks so; Game-changer – the message was to buy Australian and MSC-certified prawns, but it could have been clearer; and Enable – as above.” Great work Bryan.

At the beginning of June Steph Tabone had the opportunity to present to her Corteva colleagues about her YFC experience.

“I shared some insights on [Jenni’s] workshop as I felt that this topic would resonate with my colleagues. We have all been in social situations where we’re asked who we work for, and it can be a challenge knowing how to say you work for an agricultural chemical company because the people we are speaking with may not be as connected to agriculture as we are. I am proud of what we do and am proud to share the great things Corteva is doing, because we really have had a positive impact on the farmers we work with. I shared how these workshops help not only in conversations with adults who have existing perceptions of the industry, but also with the next generation in schools, engaging them in conversations about agriculture and the exciting career opportunities in our sector. I enjoy working for Corteva and I am confident other young people will too. Jenni’s workshop helped me understand how to share my story so it is engaging, relatable and memorable  ” Steph says.

Steph Tabone (left) and Lynne Strong at the Corteva birthday celebrations in the Botanic Gardens on June 1st

Connie Mort joined Steph on the Corteva stage and her take-home message from Jenni’s workshop was the relevance it had not only for her but for long-term YFC.

“We are in these workshops alongside alumni who have been with the program for up to eight years, such as Jo Newton and Anika Molesworth. This gives me confidence that content provided by the YFC program will be continually fresh and evolving, and that it is really all about life-long learning,” she says.

Most of our new YFC will now know Jenni from her workshops but few might know the full impact she has had on Picture You in Agriculture.

Program founder Lynne Strong has the backstory:

“The YFC program was inspired by the 2010 Climate Champions program I participated in. Jenni co-founded the program with Colin Creighton AM and delivered it for four years. The learnings inspired much of her PhD thesis. I was highly impressed by how much confidence and skills competence the program gave to farmer participants and I was committed to having it funded for young people.  Jenni and her partner in mastery, the wonderful Sarah Cole, then ran our first YFC workshop in 2011. Jenni is a world-leading science communicator with the vision to ‘bring science to life’ and we are very grateful to have Jenni as a central part of our team and carry on the legacy of the Climate Champions program”

and as Jenni so succinctly puts

“The YFC is an example of participatory science communication about sustainable agriculture. Like I found in my thesis, Rethinking science communication models in practice, this program works because of the relationships of trust that have grown between young people involved in agriculture (the YFCs), more experienced mentors and trainers, experts in sustainability, and educators.  Developing such relationships of trust takes time and have the power to create a legacy of transformational change.”

Our Young Farming Champions are extraordinary roles models of who you can be in the world of agriculture

Dr Anika Molesworth, Dr Jo Newton, Daniel Fox and Samantha Wan are just a small sample of the impact our Young Farming Champions are having on the world  

Crafting Careers in Agriculture – Professor Ian Lean shares the cutting edge vision for Hurlstone Agricultural High School

Picture You in Agriculture has a long history of working with Hurlstone Agricultural High School and their extraordinary art department with the school winning The Archibull Prize three times. We are mega excited that the new farm model designed for the school by Professor Ian Lean will see students immerse themselves in agriculture of the future where we get the best outcomes for farmers, consumers and the planet

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When it comes to the agricultural workforce of the future the role of the high school can never be underestimated and facilities at Hurlstone Agricultural High School (HAHS) are currently being upgraded “to continue its legacy and contribution to agricultural education”. In this edition of our Crafting Careers series we talk with Professor Ian Lean, managing director of Scibus, who is the industry consultant working with the school to upgrade their farm.

In the December 2020 HAHS newsletter the school outlined the proposed farm upgrade:

“Hurlstone will benefit from cutting edge agricultural technology in the proposed farm upgrade. A farm hub will be at the core of the upgrade and will co-locate farming enterprises, technology, machinery and housing for livestock. It will also provide improved linkages to learning and boarding spaces. The new central farm hub means students will have access to modern technology, more viewing and animal interaction opportunities, co-located learning space, and greater collaboration opportunities with teaching staff, industry and university partnerships.”

It sounds like a major undertaking but for Ian the driving factors are reasonably simple.

“We are marrying the concepts of compassion for animals with the science and data of modern agriculture,” he says.

In order to achieve this Ian and the development team must overhaul facilities to provide a farm that is potentially smaller but can sustain the same amount of livestock.

“We are looking at agriculture in an urban environment so there needs to be a deep consideration of the needs of the animals but also an awareness of how we interface the urban with the rural. The objective is to provide environments that would be extremely comfortable and animal friendly and also demonstrate that modern agriculture is precise, quantifiable, compassionate and oriented towards profitability.”

The dairy at Hurlstone has long been its showpiece and it has been central to the redevelopment. Robots will be introduced to aid in data capture and illustrate modern milking methods, showing students the role of this technology. All animal and plant enterprises will be designed to allow replication and research studies with a view to engaging senior students modem agricultural science. Agronomy and soil production systems will also feature.

“We want to retain the opportunity for humans and animals to bond the way they should and combine this with science so that students can understand modern agriculture. These are critical aspects that students need to see in order to formulate ideas about careers in agriculture and we will show them that we can feed the planet, nurture the landscape and look after our animals well,” Ian says.

Crafting Careers in Agriculture – Meet Kris Beazley Principal of Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education

The world has changed – we are living in a new norm. Today in our Crafting Careers in Agriculture series we are looking at how our education system is adapting to support our young people to be resilient and thrive in the new norm.

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Taking a new approach to learning by partnering with tertiary institutions, industry and community is the goal of Richmond Agricultural College’s Centre for Excellence in Agricultural Education. In this edition of our Crafting Careers series we talk with Principal Kris Beazley on how the new model works and how it equips young people for a career in the agricultural industry.

 

The recently formed Centre of Excellence is still developing and stretching its educational wings and Kris is excited to be on the frontline of an educational revolution. “The Centre of Excellence is a privileged place to be because we have had the luxury of taking some time to look at our curriculum and ask how we can do it differently, meet syllabus outcomes and ensure authentic, partnered and applied learning opportunities for our students,” she says. “In addition to our stand-alone AgSTEM high school we have the capacity to work with schools from Kindergarten to Year 12 across the state in delivering AgSTEM, sustainability and  careers education, and teacher professional learning.”

The Centre has five pillars of learning: agriculture, STEM, sustainability, Aboriginal Knowledges and career-transition. “Everything we do aligns to those components,” Kris says. “We want our young people to have the confidence and agency to use their capabilities, not only for career purposes but as change agents in community and society. We talk about our young people being social entrepreneurs in everything they do, and that is very important to us.”

Using a transdisciplinary rather than siloed approach to the curriculum the Centre of Excellence is underpinned by partnered learning, which is reflected in its location on Western Sydney University’s (WSU) Hawkesbury campus. But the partnering does not end with tertiary institutions. Instead partnerships with industry and community are actively encouraged. Students work on design thinking projects with members of society as diverse as astronauts, local permaculture community organisations and industry at a local and national level. “In all elements of our programs we have developed partnered learning opportunities for our students beyond the school,” Kris says.

Another aspect of the Centre is its ability to deliver programs into schools across the state, with a focus on agriculture and sustainability, on topics such as protected cropping and food production, the importance of bees and river health. As with the fulltime campus delivery, partnering is critical. “We give young people a real world problem and ask them to be part of a real world solution,” Kris says. “These programs give kids the power to go and stand side by side with people in industry and community.”

Hackathons are another innovative way the Centre educates. During hackathons students and teachers work to develop solutions to real world problems and create new future possibilities. In their recent series of Hackathons with Cotton Australia, Woolmark/Wool Innovation, Adobe and tertiary institutions students explored the future possibilities of sustainable fibre in Australia, considering issues such as the supply chain, circularity, impacts  on rural communities, cities and consumers. The Centre also delivers Hackathons linked to Bees and Pollinators, sustainable fashion, water management and other contemporary issues. A hackathon was a contributing factor in Penrith Valley Learning School’s winning entry in the 2020 Archibull Prize. “They did a full day hackathon with us where all students engaged in deep learning and critical thinking. All students in the group contributed to a collective design solution through developing their ideas, intense feedback, prototyping and testing; we thought about what they valued and gave them the research, communication and critical thinking skills to take their project to reality. Watching a group of young people stand up and have agency and voice was extremely powerful.”

Empowering young people to find and use their voice is the cornerstone to this revolution in agricultural education. With voice and agency students will not only become the changemakers of tomorrow, but will start this journey in their primary and secondary years today. They will be confident to ask the right questions and network with experts in industry, policy making, research and the community. In doing so they are confident consumers, wise decision makers and more importantly have a greater understanding of the opportunities available to them in the Australian Agriculture and STEM industries.  Australian agriculture will be stronger because of it.

 

Young people as agents of change – Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future 2021 program launch

Can you think of any substantial social and environmental movement that didn’t have young, fearless people at the centre?

Picture You in Agriculture was created 15 years ago to provide an opportunity for young people in the agriculture sector to take a holistic approach to building an understanding of, and capacity to address the complex issues (challenges and opportunities) facing the people and the places that provide the food we eat and fibres we use

By bringing together young people from different industries and different disciplines we are able to consider  scientific and academic knowledge, as well as practical, local and personal knowledge. Our programs are action-oriented, continuously evolving in the pursuit of a common purpose and we respect we are all a product of our life experiences, different value systems and social norms.

We soon recognised we couldn’t do it alone and set out to foster long term relationships between government, education, business and the community.

Working with a diverse group of curious and open-minded people, facing complex challenges, generates a supportive culture and we are finding the learning curve is very steep. Identifying opportunities for external knowledge exchange has become a priority.

Working with schools has been such a joy.

Imagine if every single student from infants to primary to secondary school to tertiary education was equipped with practical skill sets to innovate and drive social and environmental change. In a time when students are seeking careers with impact and employers are demanding core skills of problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, and teamwork, it has been highly rewarding to help teachers equip students with the changemaking skills to tackle complex social and environmental issues and future challenges not yet imagined?

Its happening in our schools across the country. Teachers are embedding resilience, creativity, empathy, curiosity, collaboration and systems-thinking into the curriculum and we are very excited to be part of the movement providing schools with access to real people who can help their students investigate real issues and share their big ideas for the bright future we are all dreaming.

Schools are engaging with their boarder communities with the flow-on effect of helping the wider community improve their understanding about our natural and social environments.

At our 2021 Kreative Koalas launch event in the Hunter last week we invited teachers and students from St Brigid’s Catholic Primary School (Kristine Jones and Kristen Raymond) at Raymond Terrace and Medowie Christian School ( Martha Atkins) to share their 2020 Kreative Koalas journey

 

 

We have discovered the Hunter is a unique environment where the Hunter Local Land Services have engaged Jane Lloyd-Jones as their school engagement officer . Jane provides the conduit between the schools and all the environmental services providers which has led to ground-breaking collaborations and great environmental outcomes in the region

Meet Jane

Meet some of the people Jane introduces to regional schools

Kristy Peters from Birdlife 

Meet Jo Hathway who is a Project Officer for Schools Education with NSW Department of Industry based at Tocal College

Meet Pauline Dunne from DPIE who is the Team Leader Community Engagement on Hunter Central Coast

The Hunter is a great example of teamwork truly makes the dream work

#education #schools #socialchangemakers #environmentalchangemakers

Young Farming Champions Muster May 2021

Headline Act
Often our headline act each month celebrates the awards and recognition our YFCs deservedly receive, but every now and again it is good to go back to basics and listen to the passion that draws them to agriculture in the first place. Marlee Langfield is a shining example of this and has commenced sowing her 2021 crops.

“We have been blessed with a full moisture profile and our canola crops have already received just shy of an inch of steady of rain. The soils are just beautiful this time of year – chocolate brown and full of worms! There are little plants just starting to emerge with these past few warm days.”

Marlee also expresses her love for the land in beautiful photos. Thank you Marlee for reminding us why we love agriculture.

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In The Field
Of course, all of our YFC get out of bed every day to work passionately in agriculture and this passion was recognised on May 10 when The Weekly Times ran an article featuring 15 promising Australian farmers under the age of 30. Making the cut were Emma Ayliffe for her work as an agronomist, Tom Squires for his work with wool and shearing and Peta Bradley for her work with sheep genetics. Congratulations all round.

However passion can be tested and mice are this year’s big challenge. Here’s a round-up of how it is affecting our YFC:
Dan Fox (Marra, Riverina NSW): “We are fairing pretty well although there are mice in paddocks and sheds but nothing like what is happening north of us, and nothing like the 2011 plague. We are still baiting everything we are sowing whilst planting but no damage or losses to stored grain or sowed paddocks.”
Keiley Noble (Narromine, North West NSW):

“We’ve been using a drum of ‘Mouse Off’ a week since mid-January on with our hay stacks. The mice have come back strong mid-May.”

Emma Ayliffe (Lake Cargelligo, Western NSW):

“We have had a few isolated issues with certain paddocks that were sown dry and waiting for rain. Sheds and silos are foul. Defiantly north of us are having bigger issues.”

Dee George (Nyngan, Northern) NSW:

“Hit and miss where we are. They are horrible in patches and then only light on in others. Our family (Nevertire) are baiting everything, and I’ve personally bought at least $1000 worth of domestic bait for around our house and shed. They are starting to damage early crops to the west of Nyngan where I work, and earlier in the year east of us they were damaging cotton (chewing holes in the bolls) which I’d never seen or heard of before.”

Marlee Langfield (Cowra, Central West NSW):

“They are around, especially in sheds, we baited off the back of the seeder with our canola because we are fearful of the damage they may do to new crops. At the moment, touch wood, emerging canola is doing ok.”

It’s not even mouse-free underground.  PYiA journalist Mandy McKeesick mines for opal west of Lightning Ridge:

“Mice are falling down the shaft into our sump (hole below mining level), which has water in it from recent rains. So imagine a black festering, can’t-be-emptied, 44-sized bucket right at your working shaft and that’s what we’ve got. They are also chewing out the ceiling lining in the camp.”

Let’s hope the onset of winter puts the brakes on the mice!

Melissa Henry is focussing not on mice but on the continued success of her sheep. At the recent Hawkesbury Show Melissa’s Quebon Coloured Sheep Stud took out Reserve Champion Black and Coloured Ewe, Champion Black and Coloured Ram, Best Coloured Wether and Supreme Exhibit!

“What a cracker of a season we are having. The pastures, trees and sheep are looking amazing. Many thanks to all of our fleece and sheep buyers from across NSW and VIC for their continued support.”  Melissa says.

Out of the Field
In more show news Becca George took to the microphone at the Dubbo Show to do her first ring announcing of the junior heifer section.

“We needed someone on day 3 to ring announce so I put my hand up to give it a go. I actually really enjoyed it once the nerves wore off!”

Well done for putting your hand up Becca.

Away from the agricultural shows and agricultural conferences and courses are the big thing at the moment. Meg Rice, Dione Howard and Dee George will attend the Young Farmer Business Program conference in Dubbo on May 28, Meg is also participating in GROW with Tocal College, Emma Ayliffe is lined up to speak at the River Reflections Conference for the Murray Darling Basin Authority in June and Bryan Van Wyk presented at the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program recently.

 

ht to Jill Briggs for sharing the pix of Bryan presenting to her Seafood Leaders

Having recently participated in Dr Jenni Metcalfe’s Confident Communicators workshop Bryan relished the opportunity to put Jenni’s mnemonic MESSAGE into action

Bryan has also been appointed as an industry member on the Northern Prawn Fishery Resource Assessment Group (NPFRAG). This decision making group is made up of researchers, government and industry and provides advice to inform legislation on the fishery.

“I am the youngest member on the group and our first two-day meeting was held in Brisbane earlier this month. Big win for me personally and very humbled to be accepted with open arms into this amazing group of people but it has also taken me incredibly far outside my comfort zone. When you’re sitting on an important decision making table surrounded by very intelligent and experienced people and you are asked to voice your thoughts and opinions on behalf of an entire industry it can be extremely daunting. Definitely one of the most challenging experiences for me so far this year.”

Dr Anika Molesworth has joined the Visibility Co team and recently facilitated a workshop for Researchers in International Agricultural Development on climate change leadership and visibility. The workshops had participants from around the globe, including Ghana, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Italy and Australia.

However the biggest shindig during May was Beef Australia held at Rockhampton where Jasmine Whitten teamed up with Greg Mills to share their knowledge of the beef industry with school students as part of the AgForce School to Industry Partnership Program. They spoke with over 500 students, conducted mock cattle auctions, ran a teacher professional development session and attended the agricultural careers evening. Now they’re taking 3 years to gear up for the next Beef Week in 2024. Oh, and Jas and Greg wore the brightest shirts to prompt conversations on mental health!

Also spotted at Beef Week was friend of the YFC Aimee Snowden in her new role with CQUniversity Australia Agri-tech Education and Innovation.

Climate Change YFC Anika Molesworth is moving into the world of film to spread her climate messages. “I’ve had the pleasure of supporting two amazing filmmakers, Sanne – Eefje Suzanne – Kragten and Tim Arnold AV, as they travelled around Australia filming the stories of famers and their mission to overcome climate change. The Positive Alternative film series provides both dramatic yet uplifting stories about how little changes can create a big positive impact on our lives, on climate change and the world at large.

Another film project Anika has been working with (Harsh Climate Harsh Truth) featured in the Canberra Short Film Festival in March. See the previews for both films here

and

Closer to the PYiA core and the YVLT’s Leadership is Language Series 3 continues with a chat with Country to Canberra CEO Han Worsley. Han had both Meg Rice and Dione Howard as interviewers. Catch all the action here

YFC are also connecting with school students with the popular online Paddock to Pen Pals organised by the ever-enthusiastic Sam Wan. Katherine Bain, Emma Turner, Dione Howard, Tayla Field and Chloe Dutschke participated. These are some of the student comments from Chloe’s session:

“I loved asking her questions and hearing her answers. She explained all about her job. I was interested in how she got into being a farmer and completing a Bachelor of Animal Sciences. She wasn’t a farmer growing up but just loved animals. It was great to meet a real farmer. It’s not a job I had ever thought of before!”

And, because they are not busy enough already, our YFC are commencing their training workshops for the year – learning from the best in Josh Farr and Dr Jenni Metcalfe.

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Check out Dr in waiting Francesca Earp, Dr Calum Watt and Dr Jo Newton’s wrap up in this video.

Prime Cuts

Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) is excited to be working with new partners this year and we welcome the Northern Territory Farmers Association to the fold. NT Farmers have selected Oliva Borden to participate in the 2021 Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program. When her YFC introduction begins with “a female incarnation of John Williamson’s Mallee Boy crossed with Crocodile Dundee” you know we’re going to have some fun. Welcome to the team Olivia.

 

Emma Ayliffe has been named as a finalist in the 2020/21 Australian Farmer of the Year Awards (Young Farmer category). The winner’s announcement ceremony will take place on 17 June at Parliament House in Canberra and will feature a live ABC Country Hour broadcast. Congratulations Emma, we can’t wait!

Lifetime Achievements

Anika Molesworth is in the final stage of turning her dream of writing a book into reality. The manuscript is currently with her publisher getting a final nip-and-tuck before going to print.

“The book will hit bookshelves at the end of August, and I am so excited to share this story with the world!”

Leadership is Language – Han Worsley CEO of Country to Canberra talks with Meg Rice and Dione Howard

In this episode of Leadership is Language CEO of Country to Canberra Han Worsley shares her tips for volunteer recruitment and engagement with Country to Canberra board member and YFC Meg Rice, and YVLT Chair Dione Howard.

 

Key Messages

  • Volunteering is about seeing and capturing potential within your network
  • Look for diversity in your team to reflect the diversity of your community
  • Extend and invest in your volunteers; create leadership pipelines
  • Choose volunteers motivated and aligned with your vision

 “Volunteers take on a position in addition to all the wonderful things that they do. The nature of the people who apply for these positions is that they are go-getters; they do have multiple things on their plate already and they are really committed to making a change in their community. We need to be conscious that they are also the busiest people with the least time.”

 

About Han

Han Worsley is a passionate educator, gender equality advocate, and public speaker.

Winning Country to Canberra’s inaugural Leadership Competition in 2014 began a dedication to young rural women and non-binary people, to recognise the value of rural communities and people, and create meaningful change across Australia. They have developed and helped deliver leadership and empowerment workshops to over 3,500 students in 80 rural Australian communities as part of the C2C Project Empower Program, and spoken passionately at events across Australia for organisations such as the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, the Australian Medical Students Association, the Australian National University, and the YWCA.

 

A current STEM Primary Education student at the University of Canberra, Han is also committed to improving the quality and accessibility of education across Australia. Han plans to return to rural Australia upon completion of university.

 

Connect with Han:

LinkedIn  

Twitter:

About Meg

Meg Rice is a Graduate Policy Officer at the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in Canberra. She is also a passionate Young Farming Champion and credits the program with giving her the skills to have insightful conversations with current and future leaders within the agricultural industry. Meg further employs these skills as the Innovation Hub Representative for the PYiA Youth Voices Leadership Team.

Connect with Meg

LinkedIn 

Twitter 

About Dione

Dione is a District Veterinarian with Riverina Local Land Services based in Wagga Wagga, NSW. She has been an active member of the Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) since its inception in 2018; holding the position of Mentor Leader and Innovation Leader. 2021 has seen Dione step into the role of YVLT Chair.

Dione’s seat on the YVLT Executive and the Picture You in Agriculture Board is enhanced by her completion of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Company Directors Course, which she undertook in conjunction with her role as Wool Producer’s Youth Ambassador in 2019.

Dione was recently awarded 2021 RAS Rural Achiever.

Connect with Dione

LinkedIn

Twitter 

Want to know more?

 Canberra to Country (C2C) supports young rural women and non-binary people to reach their leadership potential. Learn more about their program and competitions here and learn about their team member job titles here. C2C embodies the phrase “be the image you want the world to see.”

Announcing The Archibull Prize 2020 winners

   

In a year when the world was thrown into disarray and the notion of work and education tipped on its head, Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) is thrilled to announce that not only did the 2020 Archibull Prize go ahead in a modified format, but that all students and teachers rose to the occasion and excelled under challenging conditions.

The Archibull Prize is an internationally recognised program in secondary schools designed to engage students with agriculture and sustainability by challenging them to research an area of food and fibre production and to present their findings in multi-media and artistically on a life-sized fibreglass cow.

 

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The 2020 Grand Champion Archibull was awarded to Penrith Valley Learning Centre, (PVLC) for their exceptional Archie that incorporated a working hydroponic system.

PVLC is an SSP school that provides specialist and intensive support in a dedicated setting for students with moderate to high learning and support needs.

“Penrith Valley has 49 students who fall into a range of behavioural and emotionally disturbed categories so not only did they get artist’s therapy from painting but they also got practical knowledge on a hydroponic system. We have kids who don’t get along but would tolerate each other just to get access to the Archie, which was an amazing result. We wanted the Archie to be not just a beautiful object but to have a functional purpose for our kids and leave a permanent reminder in the school. We now have a hydroponic system that can grow life and sustain future generations. It was a lovely legacy for our senior kids to create something they knew would transfer to the juniors.” Ceramics and Visual Arts teacher Tara Wagner says

The Archibull Prize judge Wendy Taylor, from Red Blue Architecture, concurs with Tara’s comments.

“I look for intelligent design with layers of meaning.  Penrith’s entry is brilliant, intelligent, incredibly beautiful, engaging and really well done. It is a functional piece; a piece with purpose,” she says.

Other award winners in the 2020 Archibull Prize were:

Chevalier College in the Southern Highlands who won the Carmel Mills Memorial Award for Learning with Impact.

“The students and I thoroughly enjoyed the Archibull experience. As a teacher I found it a very valuable learning experience that enabled us to do project based learning and got the students to learn/ think in other ways in the complex COVID environment. I was inspired by the fact that the students investigative and critical thinking skills were very much extended by the nature of the task, something they weren’t used to in a conventional classroom. The students gained so much new knowledge about complex agricultural issues, without realising they were learning whilst being creative. A fabulous experience and result from an agriculture teacher’s perspective.”  Verity Gett Agriculture teacher

Innisfail State College in Queensland has won the Allan Eagle Memorial Award for Community Engagement

Archibull Prize lead teachers, Adrienne Shaw and Janet Lane, are very proud of what their students have achieved and are excited by partnerships they have built with their local council, industry and business.

“I am confident we have built sustainable partnerships beyond the school, benefiting our students by making real life authentic links with people working in the agriculture sector. A local agronomy business has invited students to participate in local field trials.  Cassowary Coast Council is providing ongoing support to open students’ eyes to the diversity of regional agricultural careers on offer, recently funding an excursion for year 12 students to visit the Jungle Creek Aquaculture facility ” Janet Lane says

Leonay Public School and Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School won the Partnered Learning Award for collaboration between primary and secondary schools.

PYiA director Lynne Strong was full of praise for the participating schools.

“Because of the pandemic schools couldn’t go on excursions, host Young Farming Champions or local experts and they found alternative ways of exploring agriculture and this has led to an increased connection with their communities. For example the students at Chevalier, who are surrounded by dairy cows, participated in Cows Create Careers and University of New England’s Voyager Discovery program “Soil Your Undies” to get diverse perspectives.

This new respect for local agricultural industries has led to the school building a close relationship with a local dairy farmer and are embedding a dairy farm case-study in the Year Ten curriculum. It’s been a wonderful outcome for the local region. It was an extraordinary complex year and I salute all participants – there is no more important role than investing in the future of our young people and opening their eyes to the diversity of ways you have can a career that has real world impact in the agriculture sector.”

Successful schools for the 2021 program have now been announced and expressions of interest for the 2022 Archibull Prize will shortly be open on the website.

Contact Lynne Strong, Picture You in Agriculture National Program Director, by email at lynnestrong@pyia.com.au for more information.

 

The Archibull Prize 2021 – Colourful cows to make an impact on Sydney streets

The Grand Champion Archibull in 2020 was designed and painted by students at Penrith Valley Learning Centre. Pictured are students, Electra and Kandis with Lead Teacher Tara Wagner 

A herd of colourful cows will make appearances on Sydney streets in 2021 as Picture You in Agriculture’s acclaimed Archibull Prize once again inspires secondary students to imagine and create a better future. The Archibull Prize is an innovative project-based learning initiative connecting students to food and fibre production within the sustainability conversation.

As part of the program schools are tasked with identifying a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal important to them and their region, exploring its challenges and opportunities. They will then design, deliver and report on their Community Action Project, create a digital learning journal and put their findings on their fibreglass cow in the form of art  a case study report  and an artwork on a life-size fibre glass cow featuring their future-focused solution for their area of investigation. The students will be assigned a Young Farming Champion and encouraged to identify tertiary, business and government organisations with whom they can partner in their quest to take ownership of the challenge and share their findings and recommendations.

Lynne Strong is the program director.

“This year all of our schools are located in Sydney, in clusters, which is a targeted approach to minimize our footprint and ensure teachers can take advantage of the professional learning opportunities we deliver,” she said. “We are excited to have a diverse range of schools including private and state schools, schools with low socio-economic status and schools where 97% of students are first-generation Australian with English as their second language. The Archibull Prize is proud to provide equal opportunity learning to all students, regardless of circumstance.”

Winners of the 2020 competition and Grand Champion Archibull school Penrith Valley Learning Centre will be joined in 2021 by Pymble Ladies College, James Ruse Agricultural High School, Eden College – Youth Off The Streets, Merrylands High School, The Scots College, Centre of Excellence in Ag Ed _Richmond Ag College, Mary MacKillop Catholic College and Riverstone High School.

In addition three regional schools – The Henry Lawson High School in Grenfell, Lake Illawarra High School in Wollongong and Beaudesert High School in Queensland – will re-join the program after being deferred last year due to COVID.

Schools considering engaging The Archibull Prize as part of their curriculum in 2022 are encouraged to come together to create clusters, in order to enhance their selection in this highly sought after program.

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Check out some of our extraordinary past artwork finalists

2021 Young Farming Champions – Introducing Olivia Borden

Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) is excited to be working with new partners this year and we welcome the Northern Territory Farmers Association to the fold. NT Farmers sent the call out for local early-career professionals with a passion to lead and advocate for NT agriculture. Here we’d like to introduce you to Olivia Borden who NT Farmers have selected to participate in the 2021 Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program.

If you can picture a female incarnation of John Williamson’s Mallee Boy crossed with Crocodile Dundee then you may have a notion of the adventurous soul that is Olivia Borden. One can just imagine her barefoot and racing through paddocks on her family’s farm on the Wimmera/ Mallee Border in north-western Victoria. Her family are fifth generation farmers with an intensive piggery, crops of wheat and barley and a contracting business.

“I started working on the farm as soon as I was old enough to lift a bucket, and I went up north to Queensland with my father contract harvesting. It was there I fell in love with large northern properties.” Olivia says

Olivia attended a 12-student primary school before transferring to Donald for the rest of her schooling.

“On the school bus I used to read the country newspapers and I’d flick straight to the job section, reading the station hand advertisements over and over again.”

Post high school she studied at Longerenong Agricultural College.

“The day after I turned 21 I fed the pigs for the last time, packed my ute and headed north. I rang a phone number off the back of a shearing singlet I’d been given and got a job just south of Ivanhoe the very next day. I threw fleeces, crutched sheep, lamb marked and occasionally, when we were down a shearer, got on a stand.  I loved the back country – I still think they are the best sunrises I’ve ever seen – but I was hungry for the real north.”

So to the north she went and landed her first job on the live-cattle export cattle-yards in the Territory.

“I vomited every day chasing cattle through the hot mud, in torrential rain and intense humidity loading road train after road train. Working in 45 degree shearing sheds was nothing compared to the heat and intensity of the export yards.”

From the export yards she moved onto stations,

“Where I found what I had been looking for; living out of a swag and off a fire for months at a time, aboriginal stock crews, buffalo, scrub bulls, helicopters, motorbikes and horses, rocky escarpments and flood fencing and untamed country.”

It wasn’t until Olivia spent wet seasons working in Katherine that she was exposed to the horticultural industry and realised the opportunity to make real agricultural change through agronomy.

“I didn’t think I would be capable of being an agronomist but my bosses believed in me enough to convince me to try. Then they threw me in the car and introduced me to the world of tropical pastures, watermelon and mango growers but it was the developing the northern cotton industry that won my heart over. I found every day incredibly challenging and stimulating I signed on as a trainee agronomist. I haven’t looked back.”

Olivia’s love of the diversity of Australian food and fibre production has seen her experience many of agriculture’s facets, an experience she sees as both a blessing and a curse and she has turned to PYiA to address this.

“It’s taken me a long time to settle into a career and being out bush for a lot of years has set me back in terms of professional development. I am looking to the YFC program to cultivate skills and attributes that will help me go from being an average employee at the risk of getting lost in the business world, to being a humbly confident, supportive agronomist and business woman, who can advocate for NT agriculture, build strong community rapport and encourage other young people to join agriculture and be part of the fast pace of its future development.”

Welcome to the Young Farming Champions family Olivia

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