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ANNOUNCING OUR 2019 NATIONAL AGDAY CAREERS COMPETITION

Imagine your dream career in agriculture !!!!!!

In conjunction with Sydney Science Park we are launching our third “Imagine Your Dream Career in Agriculture” competition to coincide with National Agriculture Day on November 21. The competition encourages students in Years 5-12 to envisage their own career in STEM based agriculture.

Aimee Snowden from Little Brick Pastoral has created ten STEM agricultural photographs showcasing LEGO® minifigures to represent science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. The careers are an agribusiness banker, an agriculture teacher, an agronomist, a biosecurity officer, an engineer, a geneticist, a GIS specialist, a mechanic, a scientist and a stock and station agent.

Lego Characters

Students may choose one of Aimee’s characters on which to base their entry or alternatively may build and photograph their own LEGO® character. They are then asked to identify their interests and the subjects they excel at, research pathways they might take to achieve their agricultural career dream and to write a day-in-the-life story on their chosen career.

Entries will take the form of an infographic and a $2000 prize pool is on offer.

FIND OUT EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW HERE  

For Teachers

The Where Might a Career in Agriculture Take You unit of inquiry has been created for students and teachers participating in The Archibull Prize.    It  can easily be adapted by teachers to meet the brief of the National AGDay Careers Competition. If your school would like to hear from a Young Farming Champion please contact us here 

#YouthinAg #YouthVoices #STEMCareers

Competition Details

Anika Molesworth inspiring the next generation of changemakers and proving distance is no barrier to conecting rural and urban

 

“When I hear about what these students are doing – I could not be prouder!

Having youth talk so passionately about climate change solutions for a sustainable agriculture sector makes my heart sing.

Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I am part of these incredible programs which connects me in far western NSW to students 1,000 kms away so we can share ideas and stories. There are no other programs which make such an impact on the lives of young people – both rural and urban – like these ones, when it comes to farming and sustainability.”

Anika Molesworth Young Farming Champion,  Australin Financial Reveiw 2019 100 Women of Influence, Young Australian of the Year Finalist

Students participating in The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas love getting visits from their Young Farming Champions but it’s not always possible for the two to meet physically. Enter technology. Using tools such as Zoom and Skype YFC Anika Molesworth recently took her climate change message to James Erskine Public School (JEPS) and Hurlstone Agricultural High School (HAHS).

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Anika and the students from Hurlstone Agricultural High School 

Students from JEPS were already on a sustainability trajectory before a giant white fibreglass koala landed on their doorstep. They have been involved in Clean Up Australia Day and National Tree Day, they maintain a vegetable garden, a sensory garden and a bee garden, and they recycle paper and cardboard weekly. They have begun collecting recyclable containers through Return and Earn and have used the credit to adopt a orangutan through WWF.

They are also using their Kreative Koala to focus on climate change and so Anika was a perfect fit to virtually zoom into the classroom. “Anika described life on her farm and how it is affected by climate change and the kids were like little sponges and asked some very relevant questions,” teacher Taryn Pears says. “The kids wanted to know what they could do and after listening to Anika they were saying things like ‘I’m going to waste less food’ and ‘I’m going to take shorter showers’. Anika targeted them very well.

“Personally, I was blown away by the number of young women in agriculture. I have some female students who I think would make outstanding agriculturists and Anika has definitely sparked their curiosity.”

 

Anika at James Erskine Update (3)

Anika and the students from James Erskine Public School 

Down the road from JEPS secondary students at HAHS are working on another masterpiece for The Archibull Prize as they study sustainability and biosecurity in the sheep and wool industry.

“We were able to get in touch with a Young Farming Champion, Anika Molesworth, via a Skype call, in which she discussed the effects of climate change on far western NSW and gave us insights on her view on how to tackle the issue as the young generation,” the students said in their Archie blog. “We could all definitely sense her strong passion towards her agricultural work as she educated our team with her amazing presentation on how we, as individuals, could make a difference to climate change with our social, political and consumer influence.”

Using modern platforms of communication Anika is having effective and inspiring conversations with both primary and secondary students – the next generation of young climate champions.

Anika Molesworth a case study in expertise – Young women in agriculture finding innovative ways to connect from the heart.

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Continuing our Lessons Learnt series

The vision of Picture You in Agriculture is to inspire pride in Australia’s agricultural industries and to empower youth voices to do this. Through Young Farming Champions, the Youth Voices Leadership Team,  The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas this vision is being realised. The next step is to take key messages beyond traditional agricultural and educational circles and in this Young Farming Champion Anika Molesworth is leading the charge.

Business newspaper the Australian Financial Review, conservation organisation World Wildlife Fund, French cosmetic producer Klorane, high fashion celebrity magazine InStyle and food-focussed event Global Table may, at first glance, have nothing in common. They are not traditional agricultural avenues, but Anika is using all of them to champion her message of climate change.

“I’ve recently had opportunities to share my story and the work happing in Australian agriculture with urban-based audiences,” Anika says. “I describe to them the incredible landscapes, the innovative people and opportunities we find by overcoming adversities. And I love it when I see their eyes light-up, their jaws-drop, and their hands-raise to ask questions. It’s not hard to get people excited about food and farming – because this sector is steaming ahead in problem-solving, creative-thinking and community spirit.”

In 2018 YFC Jo Newton was named in the AFR 100 Women of Influence list and this year it is Anika’s turn to shine, making the list for her career in science communication and for promoting rural resilience in the face of climate change. Anika’s profile has also been enhanced by being named a governor with WWF-Australia.  According to the WWF website governors  are appointed because of their commitment to WWF’s mission, their standing in the community and their ability to contribute to our success.

“World Wildlife Fund invited me to become a governor as they have a substantial interest in promoting sustainable agriculture, as well as land stewardship and climate action, amongst many other things,” Anika says.

When cosmetics company Klorane went in search of women making change in biodiversity and sustainability they, too, arrived at Anika’s door.

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“Our #KloraneChangemakers echo what we here at Klorane think: that the environment is something we should protect, not take away from,” the company says on its website. “Through protecting, exploring and sharing knowledge, our #KloraneChangemakers are doing their part to make sure our planet will be healthy for years to come.” Joining Anika as change-makers are Sydney apiarist Vicky Brown and owner of ethical furniture company Koskela, Sasha Titchkosky.

While the AFR, WWF and Klorane accomplishments are all recognition of Anika’s hard work, talent and determination, it was at the recent Global Table event in Melbourne where Anika truly shone. “I was moderating a panel on Disrupting Climate Change, and then got to have a one-on-one conversation with [68th US Secretary of State] John Kerry,” she says. “I told him my story – who I was and what was important to me. He sat back in his chair and said ‘Wow! You have to get your story out there. It is so important that you share this’.

Anika John Kerry

And Anika is doing just that – sharing her story beyond agriculture, getting her message out there. “There are so many exciting things happening in ag. We are using drones to monitor crop health. We are raising ruminants that produce less methane through feed improvements. We are growing crops that are more heat and drought tolerant. We are drawing carbon out of the atmosphere and into soils vegetation. We are building a native food and botanicals industry that celebrants the unique flora we find in this country. But the problem is, a lot of this is happening a long way from the majority of the population, and so many people don’t hear of these amazing goings-on,” she says. “For Australians to really celebrate the incredible work of the agricultural sector we’ve got to take our story out of ag, and to the people.”

Anika will continue to take her story beyond agriculture this year as she prepares to travel to Antarctica with Homeward Bound.

You can join us in supporting Anika to travel to the Antarctica by donating to her crowdfunding campaign here

You can join us in supporting Anika to travel to the Antarctica by donating to her crowdfunding campaign here

 

Young Farming Champions Muster September 2019 2nd Edition

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the globe. 

In the Field 

Spring is here and our young farmers are starting the season on a high. They’re planting trees, shearing sheep, hanging out with cute little lambs and stopping to smell the wildflowers along the way. 

Wool YFC Melissa Henry, from Quebon Coloured Sheep,  has been busy planting trees with her three year old daughter Ruby on their farm near Young, NSW. “ We’re planting Yellow Box, Apple Box, White Box and Blakley’s Red Gum,” Mel says. “These species are part of the threatened ecological community of Box Gum Grassy Woodlands on the SW Slopes of NSW. We are planting paddock trees to provide connectivity across the landscape for the Superb Parrot and other woodland bird species as well as providing shade for our sheep. It’s a win win.” 

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Another Woolly YFC and YVLT Communications Creative Team Leader Bessie Thomas is enjoying the first season of wildflowers in three years on her sheep station in far west NSW. Bessie says good rain received in April and May has lead to the spring flourish at their Wilcannia property, while drought has made conditions too dry to grow wildflowers in the previous two years. With temperatures heating up quickly and bushfires across Australia’s eastern states we’ve got our fingers crossed for some spring and summer rain for all those who need it. 

Bessies Wildflowers

YFC, agronomist and director of Summit Agriculture Emma Ayliffe took a break from her usual work outside among the cotton and almond crops to rousey in the shearing shed on her farm near Lake Cargelligo, NSW. Emma and her partner Craig shore their 200 Dohne Merino ewes and crutched their remaining 100 lambs. “Considering how dry it has been we have managed to keep the stock in great condition,” Emma says. “The remaining 100 lambs will hopefully be sold in the next 4-6 weeks.” 

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In keeping with the wool theme, our resident Local Land Services (LLS) vet and Wool YFC Dione Howard has been hanging out with the cutest little lambs near her hometown of Lockhart, NSW, during lamb marking: “These little ones were too young to be marked so they were hanging out waiting.” 

Lambs

Dione has started a new Instagram account with the Riverina LLS vet team showcasing what’s happening in the field. Check out @locallivestockvets on Instagram to follow Dione and her colleagues, along with all their cool cases, seasonal warnings, animal health updates and more. 

Local Livestock Vets Instagram

And check out these cuties hanging out with our newest Australian Wool Innovation YFC and shearer Tom Squires on the north coast of Tasmania! What a glorious start to spring!

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Out of the Field 

It’s been a huge fortnight on the ag social calendar for our YFC, as usual! 

YFC Emma Ayliffe, Chloe Dutschke and Lucy Collingridge attended the Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner & National Announcement at Parliament House, Canberra. 

Lucy Collingridge Rural Womens Awards

With over 500 people in attendance, the sell out event included a large number of agri-influencers and provided a range of networking opportunities. Senator The Hon. Bridget McKenzie, NFF’s Fiona Simpson and Tony Maher and journalist Pip Courtney were among those present.

Our YFC also caught up with some friends of the program – NFF 2030 Leader Nicole McDonald and Country to Canberra’s Hannah Wandel were also enjoying the night.

The dinner was the announcement of the national winner of the Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award, with a big congratulations to Jo Palmer from The Rock, NSW for securing the national title.

YFC and YVLT Communication Social Media Coordinator Lucy Collindridge says, “Last night was an amazing opportunity to meet and be inspired by some of the leading female agriculturalists from across Australia. Passionate, hard working, resilient and humble. In the words of Senator The Hon. Bridget McKenzie, ‘You can’t be what you can’t see.’ The 2019 national finalists are a group of rural women showing the world exactly what you can achieve!”

Emma Ayliffe Rural Womens
Sue Middleton, 2010 Rural Women of the Year, FRRR board member and Twitter influencer with our wonderful Youth Voices Leadership Team vice chair and YFC Emma Ayliffe. 

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Emma Ayliffe home after Rural Womens Awards

Last week Wool YFC Adele Smith was out and about at the 2019 SWS Stud Merino Breeders Field Day in Harden, NSW. Adele’s employer Moses & Son were sponsors of the event and Adele enjoyed the day chatting to producers and studs about the services they offer – including wool weighing, shown below: 

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Wool YFC and LLS Biosecutiry Officer Lucy Collingridge coordinated a landholder meeting to finalise a pig ecology and community engagement research project in her area. The project, which is part of a larger scale PhD project for Darren Marshall of SQ Landscapes, looked at the movement of pigs through the environment, the impact of coordinated management programs and the attitudes of farmers in the group to feral pig management.

ABC Landline was back again to film the project, with a segment coming up about the results of the project. If you’re interested to learn more about the project, check out the original Landline story here. 

YFC and Local Land Services vet Dione Howard attended Farmers for Climate Action’s conference in Orange and she says it was unlike any conference she has attended before! “The theme of the conference was ‘Risks and rewards of farming in a changing climate’ and the line up of speakers presented just that – the facts of climate change and the effects which are already upon us, but also the opportunities and real solutions that exist to minimise agriculture’s contribution to climate change. It was empowering to take home strategies for land and animal management, resilience and wellbeing.”

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University of New England (UNE) YFC Ruby Canning was at the recent Tamworth Show judging for the F002 Qualifying beef paraders. The top 12 from the class will go forward and represent at Sydney Royal Show next year. 

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Taking advantage of a recent uni holiday break, Ruby ran a workshop at Kempsey High School about parading, clipping and junior judging, which included tips on how to get over the fear of the microphone at judging competitions, show preparation, and beef showmanship. 

“This was organised after I judged an outstanding group of students at Kempsey Show earlier this year and about 32 students attended the all-day workshop,” Ruby says. “It was great to be able to provide some guidance to a group of passionate young beef enthusiasts, and hear about some of their aspirations within the industry. I enjoyed sharing my knowledge and insight about my experiences in junior judging and paraders and giving some tips. The feedback was positive, as students enjoyed the opportunity to participate and ask questions, and they were all very appreciative of my time which was lovely.”

Last week NFF 2030 Leader Matt Champness attended the Asia-Pacific Weed Science Society (APWSS) Conference in Kuching, Malaysia. Matt is currently working with rice farmers in Laos and presented some of his work on week control at conference. 

Matt Champness at Weeds conference

Matt sent us this recap from the event: Unsurprisingly due rice being the major crop grown in the region, controlling weeds in rice was the basis for many of the presentation – of high relevance to me. Herbicide resistance would appear to be a major issue in the region – as it is globally. I was therefore disappointed to see so much work on developing new chemistry or differing mixes to overcome this issue. As Einstein famously defined insanity “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” 

I delivered a presentation on the work the Crawford Fund is doing to build capacity in weed identification and control weeds in direct seeded rice in the Lao PDR. The crux of the presentation was the inter-row cutter we have developed to control weeds. Fortunately there were some great presentations on biological control of weeds and physical and cultural controls – crop competitiveness, row spacing, clean seed etc (a bit more sophisticated than my whipper snipper presso!) I also learnt a great deal about successful methods of capacity building and extension in the region – something I am incredibly passionate about. The conference provided a great opportunity to learn and network with leaders in the region. I must thank the Crawford Fund for their continued support.

Matt Champness whipper snipper

Congratulations to fellow NFF 2030 Leader and LEGO Farmer Aimee Snowdon who was the keynote speaker at the gala dinner for the Australasia-Pacific Extension Network (APEN) conference in Darwin. This year’s theme was Extending Horizons – fitting for Aimee’s first trip to the Northern Territory – and she also joined the other keynote speakers and conference organisers on a panel to wrap up the conference. 

“I was really inspired by the sharing and collaboration of the delegates,” Aimee says. “The concurrent sessions showcased projects from right across the Australasia Pacific region and across industry. The passion and knowledge of our extension officers, and their drive to deliver improvements, efficiencies and technology for growers is impressive! As a collective they have an incredible story to tell, and make an invaluable contribution to our industry. It was a honour to share the LEGO Farmer with them.” 

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We’ve got fresh pics from Global Table where Climate YFC Anika Molesworth moderated a panel on Disrupting Climate Change. She also spoke with former US Secretary of State John Kerry about sharing the story of agriculture and how to engage others on climate action.

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We’re on LinkedIn! As we continue to innovate and raise the profile of emerging leaders in agriculture, we’ve taken to LinkedIn with the Picture You in Agriculture page. 

In the last 30-days, we’ve had more than 6,400 people read about the stories of Young Farming Champions, the Youth Voices Leadership Team, Lynne Strong’s journey leading the organization and all of the support that our range of diverse partners provide us.

If you’d like to learn more about what our team is up to, please look us up, follow our page and let us know what you think. 

Coming up Out of the Field… 

Henty Machinery Field Days is this week! It runs from Tuesday 17th-Thursday 19th September and there’ll be tractors and trailers and big cultivators. YFC Dione Howard will be at the LLS shed on Wednesday and LEGO Farmer Aimee Snowdon will be speaking at the Charles Sturt University Innovation Hub on Tuesday. Don’t forget to say hi if you see them!

Prime Cuts 

What a week for YFC,  InStyle Farmer for Change and founder of Climate Wise Agriculture Anika Molesworth! Anika has been named one of the Australian Financial Review’s 2019 100 Women of Influence. Congratulations Anika! She’s joined by an inspirational and diverse array of influential women, including friend of Picture You in Agriculture and founder of Farmers For Climate Action Anna Rose. Mega kudos to you both. 

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Congrats  to our eggs and poultry YFC Jasmine Whitten who will be heading out west to the NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference in Broken Hill next month! 🎉 She has been selected as 1 of 5 young people from across NSW to receive the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust/Intrepid Landcare sponsorship to attend the conference. Wool YFC Melissa Henry is also heading Broken Hill way for the conference so watch this space for a full recap next month. 

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Congratulations to Grains YFC Calum Watt who has had a phenomenal week of wins. Calum won the Murdoch University’s 3 Minute Thesis competition where research students have to explain their doctoral thesis in less than 180 seconds. He’s is now heading to Brisbane in October for the Asia Pacific finals. 

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Also this week Calum won the Paul Johnston memorial award for best presentation for an under 35 year old at the National Barley Technical Symposium.

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And last but not least, Calum has been accepted into the Fresh Science 2019 WA program, a national competition helping early-career researchers find, and then share, their stories of discovery.

Calum’s PhD sees him using CRISPR technology to improve the productivity of barley crops and he has just submitted his second paper for publication. Huge, huge congrats on all Calum! 

Huge congrats also to YFC Emma Ayliffe who has been nominated in the 2020 Telstra Business Women’s Awards! Good luck Emma!

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UNE YFC Becca George has just been just announced as one of the ALFA SMARTBEEF Conference scholarship recipients from Angus Australia. She’ll be heading to Dalby, Qld, to attend the conference in the first week of October. Well done Becca, we can’t wait to hear more! 

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Beef researcher and YFC Steph Fowler (pictured center) attended the the NSW DPI Central West Cluster Regional Research Roundup and won best early career research presentation. Congratulations Steph! 

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Our two newest wool YFC Tom Squires and Matt Cumming featured in the latest issue of Australian Wool Innovation quarterly online magazine Beyond the Bale. Click here to read about these two shearers who are going above and beyond to make their industry the best it can be. Great read, Tom and Matt! 

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YFC Emma Ayliffe was featured in The Land newspaper this week for her research on using parasitic wasps to control whitefly in cotton crops. It’s fabulous to see you positively changing the Cotton Australia industry Emma. Read the story: Parasitic wasps effective against cotton crop pest, silverleaf whitefly. 

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Dairy YFC Sally Downie is also in The Land this week, after telling her story of mental health battles and triumphs in the Hear Them Raw podcast. This is a truly touching story about one incredibly strong woman, who used her personal experiences to launch the Grassroots Blueprint initiative for better rural and regional mental health at a grassroots level. Read Sally’s story here and listen to the podcast Hear Them Raw here. 

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In conjunction with Sydney Science Park and Little Brick Pastoral, Picture You in Agriculture has launched our third “Imagine Your Dream Career in Agriculture” competition to coincide with National Agriculture Day on November 21. The competition is open to school students Years 5 to 12 and we want them envisage their own career in STEM based agriculture. National Farmers Federation blogged about our comp on Australian Farmers this week: Imagine Your Dream Career in Agriculture

Or head straight to the competition link on our website HERE

Lego Characters

Lifetime Highlights 

Congratulations to Little Brick Pastoral (aka LEGO Farmer Aimee Snowdon) on your 5th Birthday! 

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We loved this blog entry from superstar YFC, auctioneer and wool technician Sam Wan, which we’re sure must have been a lifetime highlight!  Did you know Icebreaker has a lifetime sock guarantee on its merino socks? We didn’t! Read Sam’s blog Wool For Every Day to find out how she went about returning and replacing her worn out merino socks for FREE! What more incentive do you need for buying wonderful wool? 

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Archie Action 

Wool YFC Peta Bradley visited Skillset Senior College Bathurst and WOW, check out their work in progress!

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Anika Molesworth loved her Google Hangout with James Erskine Public School students, who were super excited about their Kreative Koalas learning and loving doing composting and recycling in their school. Anika says they asked awesome questions and they are planning to give a presentation to their 500 peers on climate change. 

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#ArchieAction #YouthinAg #YouthVoicesYFC

 

Shed Happens – outsourcing agriculture’s story to the experts

Its harder to hurt some-one if you know their story

Picture You in Agriculture has a vision for an empowered national network of 1000 diverse youth voices working together to inspire pride in Australian agriculture. But as Lynne Strong says:

“We know can’t do this alone and so we get a huge buzz when we meet organisations and people doing fabulous stuff we can amplify.”

Such was the case when Lynne attended the Heywire/FRRR Grant Winners  announcements and met Andrew Viney from arts and social change organisation BIG hART. BIG hART began in Burnie, Tasmania 27 years ago and tells the stories of regional areas across Australia.

Big hART

“The majority of our work happens in regional and remote communities so we have a natural affinity with communities with strong agricultural connections. Our focus is on increasing the visibility of communities and of the issues which affect them and our model involves long term (3-10 years) projects. Consequently we only have a few projects happening at any given time, such as during the Millennium Drought when we had a project running in the Murray-Darling Basin called Gold.” Andrew says.

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Andrew Vinney (left) at the Heywire/FRRR Grant Winners  announcements 

Another innovative and successful project was the Acoustic Life of Sheds, a music and arts exhibition with a difference – held in five sheds across regional Tasmania and winning the 2018 APRA/AMCOSS AMC Art Music Award for Excellence in a Regional Area.

BIG hART’s latest project is Shed Happens, winner of a Heywire FRRR 2019 Youth Innovation Grant. Shed Happens aims to help people understand what life is really like on Australian farms by engaging directly with farmers on an everyday basis through an online video series. The $9,800 grant will develop digital media and literacy skills through workshops and creation of five films featuring stories of rural youth.
Kassidy Fuller from Bullfinch, WA is part of the Shed Happens Team, along with Alexander Rajagopalan from Bruce Rock, WA, Kurt Richards from Dowerin, WA and Hayden Di Bella from Ingham, QLD.

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“Last year was tough for my family, The wheat crop struggled through drought, but I was grateful the sheep were happy, healthy and worth a lot of money. Talk of a ban on live sheep exports changed that. My family rely on exports for our main source of income. I believe Shed Happens could have given my family a voice in that difficult time.” Kassidy Fuller

By building strong relationships on the ground with farmers Shed Happens envisages giving these farmers a voice to the public and, in turn, the opportunity for the public to ask questions directly to those farmers. It is an engagement that sits well with the visions of Picture You in Agriculture.

“If you want to build enduring relationships you have to be prepared to be in it for the long haul, because respectful, trusting and open relationships take time and committment. That’s why we are so successful with The Archibull Prize . Our Young Farming Champions are on the ground working with students in schools for six months at a time. We’re building interpersonal trust and this is what BIG hART does. They are working side by side with the people on the ground and the people on the ground trust them to tell their stories. They’re doing beautiful things for farmers in innovative ways. That’s why I love Shed Happens.” says Lynne .

Katherine and Deb Bain – farming AgVocay in the genes

For seven years from 2006 the Farm Day program initiative of Deb Bain introduced urban people to the delights and challenges of farm life, and although the program ended in 2013 its effects are still being felt and appreciated. Those effects have rippled all the way through to Deb’s daughter Young Farming Champion Katherine Bain and teachers in the 2019 Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future Challenge.

Cassandra Lindsay is a teacher at Oxley Park Public School and driver of their successful Kitchen Garden project. She is also helping steer the school through Kreative Koalas and she recently met Katherine at the Picture You in Agriculture Teacher Tocal Professional Development Day. The two shared conversations that led to their shared connection with Farm Day. Cassandra took part in the program in 2012 and Katherine’s mother was the person who instigated it.

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“My husband read about this program where you could meet a farmer so we put our names forward and were invited to visit a family in Quambone,” Cassandra says. “We thought participating would open not only our own eyes but those of our children.”

Cassandra, her husband and two sons stayed with the O’Brien family at their property ‘Yahgunyah’, where they helped with fencing, rode in large farm machinery, locked their car (which they still laugh about) and experienced genuine hospitality from people they had never met before.

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“We realised there was a stark contrast to our lives, such as buying groceries in bulk, storing food and reliance on water – things we take for granted on a day-to-day basis,” Cassandra says, “but we were welcomed with open arms and treated like family, and we gained an understanding of how they managed their farming practices including crops and cattle.”

Katherine’s mother Deb Bain believes it was not only an opportunity to start new conversations with city cousins, but it provided farming families with a much-needed energy boost.

“From the farmers’ point of view so much was learned as well,” Deb says. “Farmers realised people were interested in them and that was really inspiring and positive for them to see. It refreshed their vision of what a farm can look like from the outside.”

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The Bain family: David (left), Alexander, Deb, Katherine and Georgia at their Stockyard Hill farm. The only son, Alexander, 21 is studying architecture. Photo creditJoe Armo Source 

For Katherine, the advent of Farm Day came at a pivotal moment in her life. “I was heading into high school where there seemed to be a much larger disconnect to where food comes from compared to primary school,” she says. “I think a lot of that was to do with the shift towards more academic study instead of ‘hands-on’ learning. So I was seeing what mum was trying to achieve by bringing city and farming families together in a positive situation, but then at school there was just no talk of a career in agriculture unless you were going down a biology research path.”

Although Cassandra’s Farm Day visit was brief it heralded a life-long friendship with the O’Briens staying with her own family on several occasions. The two families remain in contact seven years later via phone and Facebook. “Remaining in contact has allowed me to understand the highs and lows of farming life and the sacrifices they make as a family at times when farming is tough. We have seen our farm family experience severe drought with not enough feed for the cattle and failed crops due to lack of rain and it is devastating for us to sit on the outside and look in and have no real way of helping.”

Deb is encouraged by this engagement between city and country. “It is wonderful to hear Farm Day has created long-term conversations about agriculture in urban lives,” she says.

Katherine finds a similar engagement as a Young Farming Champion.

“Meeting Cassandra at the workshop was like two worlds colliding,” she says. “ Here was a teacher who had done Farm Day and is now educating kids on food and fibre. It was so lovely to hear that even all these years later there are still lots of fond memories of Farm Day. In a way, I think the YFC has picked up from Farm Day in creating a bridge and a platform for people with no connections to Australian agriculture to talk to people on farms and hear their stories. I’m very proud to be keeping the Farm Day spirit alive and carrying it on into the YFC.”

Cassandra now takes her understandings from Farm Day and Young Farming Champions to the classroom at Oxley Park Public School. Though her students may not experience life as a farm child does, Cassandra is able to instil in them an appreciation and an insight into the world of farming as it produces the food they eat and the fibre they wear.

“I am truly grateful for Farm Day,” she says. “It gave us memories and experiences that shaped our family’s ideas and respect for our farmers.”

Young Farming Champions Muster September 2019 1st Edition

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the world. 

In the Field

We all know dogs are a human’s best friend and when it comes to farm dogs they are both best friends and highly valued team members! This week celebrated International Dog Day and YFC Peta Bradley sent us these beautiful pictures of her family’s gorgeous farm dogs from Armatree, NSW. 

YFC Dr Danila Marini has been enjoying her week of work outside testing potential applications of virtual fencing with a small flock of young merino ewes. She says the new applications look promising! Good luck with the write up, Danila. 

Danila Marini Virtual Fencing

Out of the Field 

YFC and Drought Coordinator for Forbes Shire Council Sally Downie hosted a Drought Business Forum on last week as an opportunity for small businesses to come together and speak with a business support service. 

“Two presenters from Central West Business HQ attended and contributed to the discussions. They presented on how businesses can adapt to the changing retail environment, how to get other business streams and finance issues. They were also able to offer free additional follow up support for all businesses in a range of ways depending on their individual needs. This is exactly what businesses need due to the limited assistance for drought affected businesses currently available,” Sally says. 

“The feedback from event was very useful and will be used to compile a report and sent to relative parties and for council reference to help better support our local businesses.The goal now is to ensure there is follow up and action taken to improve support and create widespread awareness as well as to generate support for these businesses to those outside of Forbes.” Well done a very important community event Sally! If you’d like to read more, head over to our Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page for more. 

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PYiA founder Lynne Strong represented the YFC team at the Heywire FRRR Youth Innovation Grants Announcements on 18th August and was so inspired by the foresight and courage of the program she blogged about it here: Can we teach Courage? We are huge fans of the Heywrite program, with several of our YFC – including Sally Downie – being Heywire Alumni. 

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Lots of news in from AgQuip 2019 last month with many of our YFC meeting up at the largest agricultural field day in the country. Ruby Canning sent it this great pic of our five new University of New England YFC, Becca George, Forbes Corby, Ruby Canning, Haylee Murrell and Emily May. AgQuip UNE YFC.jpg

Wool YFC Lucy Collingridge was working with the North West Local Land Services at AgQuip. As part of her role as Biosecurity Officer she spoke with landholders from across the state to provide best practice pest management advice. From wild dogs to rabbits, deer to feral cats, the environmental and agricultural impacts of all pest species were discussed. In her lunch break, Lucy had a quick catch up with egg YFC Jasmine Whitten and grains YFC Marlee Langfield. These three superstars form part of our Youth Voices Leadership Team social media committee and it was the first time they had all met face-to-face together! 

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YFC and 2019 Peter Westblade Scholarship winner Chloe Dutschke is currently on a wool classing tour of Western Australia as part of her scholarship. Chloe is travelling with Scholarship chairman Craig Wilson and has visited Billandri Poll Merinos, viewing rams and tagging lambs with genetic ID tags. She is currently at Wattle Dale Merinos preparing rams for their inspection day. Have fun Chloe! 

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Exciting week for YFC Hannah Hawker who got the best seat in the house for the Parkes Show. 

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Following a stint as an intern in the announcers box at Sydney Royal this year, I’ve picked up a few gigs for local shows in my area. As much as I am a sucker for any country show, I was particularly excited as we came into the last week of August for my beloved local show,” Hannah says. 

“Parkes has a huge selection of events that actually run over four days if you include the horse program on Sunday. I’ve seen the show from a number of angles over my time but this might well have been the best, and I don’t just mean the view from the second story box perched perfectly over the centre of the main arena. A special pass into the pavilions before they opened to the public gave me an insight into the massive effort judging and set up was- run completely by volunteers, usually families, and all for the joy of showcasing our local excellence. People in it for the love of it. 

“Print outs, results, sponsors bios, run sheets passed along my desk as the day went on. I had a brief moment to stop and think at the enormity, and level of professionalism, involved in this event. 

“Announcing was a hoot as the old hands welcomed me in with enthusiasm and trust well beyond my experience. Events of the days and sponsors making it possible was standard, but the horse events and dog high jump gave opportunity for excitement and ad libbing, getting the crowd involved and sharing some of the knowledge I’d gained over my years. Congratulations to the committee of Parkes PA&H and thank you for letting me be involved!”

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Coming up Out of the Field this fortnight: 

YFC and Cowra farmer Marlee Langfield is heading to Pizza and Pitch for Cowra Youth, a meetup with Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke. The initiative aims to help MP Steph Cooke inform her priorities and goals to make towns in the Cootamundra electorate better places to live. Steph Cooke is calling for young locals to pitch ideas for their communities and we’re no doubt the incredibly community minded Marlee will have some great ones! 

Are you heading to Global Table in Melbourne this week? YFC and InStyle Farmer for Change Anika Molesworth is, along with friend of the program and National Farmers Federation (NFF) 2030 Leader Oli Le Lievre. 

“Global Table brings together leading international and Australian agrifood events under one umbrella to join the conversation on solving our biggest food challenges and creating tomorrow’s breakthroughs. Global Table kicks off with a three-day conference at the Melbourne Showgrounds, featuring Seeds&Chips – The Global Food Innovation Summit, coming to Australia for the first time.”

Anika is moderating a session called ‘Disrupting Climate Change,’ while Oli is working in the Innovation Precinct, hosting programs like the Agrihackathon. Good luck to you both and we can’t wait to hear how the week goes! 

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YFC Lucy Collingridge, Emma Ayliffe, Chloe Dutschke and friend of the program and YVLT minute secretary Sophie Howard  will be attending the 2019 Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner and National Announcement at Parliament House in Canberra. 

Youth Voices Leadership Team vice chair and agronomist Emma Ayliffe is gearing up for her role as keynote speaker at the upcoming Chicks in the Sticks event in Victoria’s Grampian Ranges next month. Tickets via here. 

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Friend of the program and NFF 2030 Leader Matt Champness beamed in from south-east Asia to speak to the Victorian Country Hour this week chatting about his work with farmers in Laos. Matt is presenting the findings of his work at the Asia Pacific Weeds Society Conference in Kuching Malaysia this week. Break a leg, Matt! Take a listen to Matt on the Country Hour here. 

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NFF 2030 Leader and Lego Farmer Aimee Snowden has a busy month ahead, say hi from us if you see her at any of these upcoming events: 

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UNE YFC Ruby Canning is off to Kempsey High School this week to give the students some guidance and tips on parading and cattle showmanship. Ruby joined forces with their Ag teacher after  judging the cattle at Kempsey Show earlier in the year. And if you were at Tamworth Show this weekend you may have spotted Ruby judging the qualifying round of beef cattle that will be heading to Sydney Show:

Watch this space for a recap from Ruby. 

Prime Cuts 

Huge congratulations to superstar Wool YFC and Elders wool technical coordinator Samantha Wan who was last week announced winner of the 2019 National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia Broker Award at the Wool Week Dinner in Melbourne. Read more about this amazing industry leader here and see Sam highlighted on Sheep Central here.  We’re so proud of you Sam! And we hope you had a ball in Canberra this week as part of your Ambassador role with WoolProducers Australia. 

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Well done to YFC Sally Downie who penned this opinion piece in The Land, “Drought policy needs to create a lasting change.” 

Sally Downie in The Land

Drought is devastating by its very nature. It creeps up on the landscape and even after its end is declared, the impacts keep coming. That is the nature of Australia and drought, it is a part of our climate and we know to always expect it. 

Despite this, our drought policy is not well established but we do seem to have a well-established pattern every time drought strikes. 

Conditions set in and it’s crisis time. It is all over the media, donations flood in from those far removed from the dry dams, dying stock and failed crops. 

Months pass, no rain, no relief, more stress, debt and work. Farmers are in the thick of it, but why is everything quiet?” Keep reading here. 

Lifetime Highlights 

Congratulations to YFC Laura Phelps who has been working in the UK for the last 12 months and has extended plans to stay, taking on a new role as Head of Banking, Business Investment and Tax in the investment area for the Department for International Trade. Best of luck Laura! 

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Mega Congrats to YFC Meg Rice who graduated from UNE with a Bachelor of Agriculture/Bachelor of Law this week! We can’t wait to see where your hard work and dedication will lead you Meg.

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Thanks to the Farming Futures UNE Facebook page for this great photo of Meg on her graduation day. 

Archie Action 

It has been a HUGE week of Archie Action for YFC going into and Google Hangout-ing with schools across the country for the 2019 Archibull Prize. 

Samantha Wan had a blast at Manly Secondary School Campus, Burwood Girls High Schol in Sydney and Irrawang High School in the Hunter. 

YFC Tayla Field had a great day at McAuley College in Beaudesert. 

Tayla Field school Archie

Dairy YFC Sally Downie is hanging out with Beaudesert State High School in QLD and East Lodden College in Vic this week, Wool YFC Peta Bradley is heading to Skill Set College, Bathurst for a Face-to-Face visit, Wool YFC’s Lucy Collingridge has an e-meeting with Greystanes High School and Bessie Thomas is hanging out with Hurlstone Agricultural High School. Good Luck everyone! We know you’ll have a ball! 

#ArchieAction #YouthVoices19 #YouthinAg #YoungFarmingChampions

 

Young Farming Champion Sam Wan anounced as top wool broker for 2019

We are sooooooo proud of this fabulous young woman – Mega congratulations Sam.

The content for this blog was sourced from story by Terry Sim at Sheep Central

A YOUNG Australian wool broker who has made the industry her life by innovating to provide the best experience for service company staff and grower clients has won her sector’s most prestigious award.

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Elders wool technical co-ordinator and auctioneer Samantha Wan, 31, last night was announced the winner of the 2019 National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia Broker Award at the Wool Week Dinner in Melbourne.

In a hard-fought contest of live presentations, resumes and quizzing on industry issues, Sam was judged the award winner against Australian Wool Network wool and sheep specialist Russell Macgugan from Victoria and Western Australian Landmark broker Matthew Chambers.

Sam said she appreciated being part of the award alumni, especially among the several Elders brokers who have won the award and who she now looks up to.

“This is very much, as with anything I’ve ever done, a testament to all the people who have helped me get to where I am.

“Those who have given me a chance and supported some of the strange things I’ve decided to do and been prepared to give it a go and see how it flies.”

Although not born into the sheep and wool industry, after starting with Elders about seven years as a trainee, Sam said she has built her life around wool through her support role, advocacy, community work and involvement in industry programs.

“It’s all been because of wool, all the opportunities have been because of wool.

“So it’s not just a wool family, but it’s building a life around it,” she said.

“But it is very much a family and (tonight) I’ve been able to see some faces I don’t see very often and to have that support network — I know they are all there.”

The award’s prize includes an economy airfare, accommodation and Congress fees to attend the IWTO Congress in Tongxiang, China in May 2020 and a tour of the Chinese wool textile industry. The Award recipient will be exposed to the wider wool industry beyond greasy wool auctions and the international trading rules system for wool.

Sam’s passion persisted from the first interview

Elders National Wool Selling Centre manager Simon Hogan said it was so satisfying to see Sam win the award, whose passion first stood out in a telephone interview for a wool technical support officer role.

“It was her passion and enthusiasm for agriculture and wool, and her desire to get into the industry.

“She had researched the role, she had researched Elders and it is still showing through now,” he said.

“Sam is so passionate, and her dedicated and her willingness to dot the i’s and cross the t’s to make sure everything is done has followed through from day one.

“Wool is Sam’s life, she wears wool, she knows all about the product…Sam is wool 24 hours. She is up against it not coming from a farming background with so many challenges to overcome.

But what she brings to our team is a point of difference, she brings a different skillset.

This included her IT, social media and marketing skills.  Sam’s role at Brooklyn includes completing all weekly sale operations, providing technical advice to clients, district wool managers and the branch network. She auctioneers weekly in Melbourne and as required in Sydney and she is an excellent auctioneer,” Mr Hogan said.

Sam also created an internal weekly wool market report podcast and is always looking for ways to expand the Elders Wool digital and social media footprint. Her IT skills helped develop, implement and support of Elders’ new wool-valuing system across all three wool selling centres. She is also studying a certificate on Blockchain technologies.

Mr Hogan said examples of innovations introduced at Elders by Sam included livestreaming of the wool catalogue.

“Without Sam we wouldn’t have thought of that and now the whole industry is doing it.

Sam brings a different dimension to our team — she breaks the mould.

Sam brings that diversity and that’s what makes a good team – she’s a brilliant asset and we all love her.”

Mr Hogan said every district wool manager has their grower clients.

“But Sam’s clients are everybody’s clients, she supports the whole lot and makes the district wool managers look good.

“Her attention to details and perfectionist manner makes it all comes together.”

Keep looking outside and to the future

Despite her achievements, Sam said there is still work to be done. The broker award and the Elders ‘Thomas Elder’ Employee of the Year award she won last year for improving end-to-end service to wool growers, helped set the bar for her.

“You just need to keep looking to the future.

“It’s a traditional industry which is what I love about it, but there are still things being used in different industries that we can bring in to make more money for the growers.”

Next week as part of her ongoing work in advocacy and educational work with youth as an Archibull Prize  Australian Wool Innovation Young Farming Champion she will talk about her wool career at three high schools in Sydney.

“There a whole bunch of us Young Farming Champions in different fields of agriculture out there sharing our stories.”

Calibre of broker award finalists was excellent

On behalf of fellow judges WoolProducers president Ed Storey and Sheep Central correspondent Murray Arnel, AWTA raw wool general manager Ian Ashman said the calibre of all three presentations was excellent.

He said the complexity of modern day wool broking and the detailed skill set needed to do the job effectively was clear from the finalists’ presentations.

“In a close run race, the panel believes that Samantha best met the assessment criteria.

“In particular, Sam impressed with her strong focus on communication, education and engagement, both within the wool industry and to the wider community in general.”

“Her innovative approach and ability to introduce new tools and techniques to assist both broker staff and clients to get the best possible financial returns is extremely impressive.”

Mr Ashman said it was extremely difficult to separate the finalists and all would be very worthy winners.

All finalists impressed the judges with their passion and dedication to the wool industry, commitment to providing outstanding service to grower clients, their work in educating the next generation of brokers and the extremely high quality of their written submissions and face-to-face presentations.

The judging panel this year gave equal weighting and consideration to applicants who were office or field-based, within criteria that including innovation, service delivery, business outcomes, performance standards, ethics, presentation, dedication, business relations and industry awareness.

The content for this blog was sourced from story by Terry Sim at Sheep Central

#youthinag #youthvoices19 #wool #wearwool #lovewool

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