Young Farming Champions Muster February 2021

Dr Jo Newton OAM

Headline Act

It was a proud moment for all involved with Picture You in Agriculture when our very own Young Farming Champion Jo Newton was presented with her OAM at Government House, Melbourne on February 10.

“After a long wait it was a memorable and magical day to attend Government house with my family and manager at Agriculture Victoria, Prof Jennie Pryce, for my OAM investiture and then enjoy a delicious celebratory lunch afterwards. Despite the mandatory mask wearing everyone’s smiles throughout the day were contagious and it was very special to be able to (finally) celebrate with my family and Jennie.

Physical distancing requirements meant the Governor could not pin medals to recipients and I was asked to nominate one of my guests to do this. I asked Jennie to attend the ceremony and pin my medal to me. As well as being my manager, she has been a mentor and role model to me since I started with Agriculture Victoria in 2015. Asking Jennie to pin my medal was also symbolic of the numerous mentors, role models and colleagues in the agricultural sector who have supported my agricultural journey so far.”

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Dr Jo Newton OAM with Dr Jennie Pryce (Agriculture Victoria),  Her Excellency, the Honourable Linda Dessau, Governor of Victoria, Jenny Weller-Newton, Alex Newton and Mike Newton.

Among Jo’s many roles as a YFC has been as Chair of the Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT). The team allows YFC to hone their leadership skills in a safe environment, and to contribute to the running of the YFC program. The YVLT AGM will be held on March 15 and new committee members are encouraged to join. Please contact Jo or current Chair Emma Ayliffe for more details on what this can mean for your career.

In The Field

2020 may have been a year of challenges but one industry emerging shiny and bright from the COVID cloud is agriculture, and we celebrate all our YFC who are working on the front lines; YFC like Dione Howard and Emma Turner, both fierce advocates of the wool industry, who are participating in the 2021 NSW Livestock Leaders Agvocate Program to further enhance their storytelling and communication skills. Or, Emma Ayliffe of Summit Ag who is increasing her marketing of the app Yacker with a 6-month business boot camp run by Farmers 2 Founders.

2020 delayed some agricultural programs but they are taking off in 2021 with renewed vigour, such as the RAS Rural Achievers, which sees Dione lining up with other young agriculturists across the state. Read all about Dione and her fellow Rural Achievers here.

Dione joined other YFC wool enthusiasts Chloe Dutschke and Adele Smith at the Wyvern Training Weekend in February. Hosted by TA Fields Estate the weekend aims to mentor and educate young people in the wool and sheep industry and also conducts the Peter Westblade Scholarship, of which Chloe is a former winner. Adele and Chloe are both on the Scholarship Committee while Dione captivated her audience sharing her animal health knowledge in the Production to Processing workshop.

Moving away from livestock and onto plants and two YFC have been in the news promoting their respective careers in agriculture. Emily May talked about horticulture in Sydney’s peri-urban environment in the Nov/Dec 2020 issue of NSW Farmers Federation magazine The Farmer, while grain and oilseed grower Marlee Langfield was the poster girl for the NFF 2020 National Agriculture Day Luncheon. She was also profiled on the Ag Day Bake-off, with some very delicious looking scones!

Congratulations to Emily who has recently started a new job as a graduate agronomist with Thomas Elder based in Forbes, central west NSW, for six months.

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Youth Voices Leadership Committee intern Jessica Fearnley also works in the plant world, as a development officer with temperate fruits (apples and cherries) for the NSW DPI. Not afraid of a challenge, Jess has embarked on a part-time Masters of Global Development at James Cook University.

“ Inspired by a conversation with Corteva Scholarship finalist Francesca Earp I choose Global Development because my dream is to work in research in the international agriculture space. I want to get more of an understanding of the different challenges these countries face, not just from an ag perspective. For example, I am going to do women health subjects (almost like medicine subjects) so I can understand other challenges these women might face in developing countries, as they are usually the farmers while the husbands go off to find work elsewhere. My major will be in climate mitigation and adaptation.”

 

Out of the Field

In an in-the-field/out-of-the-field crossover YFC Alexandria Galea, who works as a sales agronomist at Cotton Grower Services, led the Teach the Teacher Tour this year.

“It is by far one of my favourite events. It was an absolute joy to lead the tour, which saw 60 education professionals venture on farm to gain a hands-on experience of agriculture in the Central Highlands (QLD) and build relationships with the community.”

The Australian Association of Animal Science biennial conference was held during February with a host of YFC in action. The 33rd conference was hosted in Fremantle, WA, and online with regional hubs in Armidale, Wagga and Brisbane. Steph Fowler gave an update on her work on predicting eating quality of lamb using lasers.  Peta Bradley tuned in from the Armidale Hub and co-authored this paper looking at genetic gain across different regions in the sheep industry. Jo Newton shared lessons learnt while valuing herd improvement during the ImProving Herds Project (with an invited paper on the same topic just published in Animal Production Science) and Danila Marini’s work on virtual fencing was mentioned on Wednesday’s plenary session “Barnett Memorial Lecture” by Dr Caroline Lee. Well done team.

Doing their bit to promote rural and regional Australia are YFC Marlee Langfield and PYiA journalist Mandy McKeesick who have both joined Rural Room as media stringers. Rural Room, a network of rural creatives, aims “to create a progressive, dynamic, creative picture of life in regional Australia which extends beyond the stereotypes and perceptions that have traditionally perpetrated mainstream media.”

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Meanwhile, the YVLT’s Leadership is Language series kicked off 2021 with a well-attended seminar hosted by former-politician and community mover-and-shaker Cathy McGowan AO. Stand by for more inspiring episodes of the series as the year progresses.

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Prime Cuts

Sitting at the very top of the YFC Hierarchy of Outcomes is Global Impact – “Young Farming Champions share with the world what they have learnt and multiply their impact.” A shining example of this is Anika Molesworth who has been the “go-to” person for multiple media outlets as they report on the Australian Government’s internal squabble and inaction on net zero emissions by 2050. During February Anika, often with a trembling voice (such is her passion), has appeared on The Project and The 7.30 Report, on RN Radio and ABC PM, and in print with The Australian and The Saturday Paper.

“It’s been difficult to listen to the cowardly comments from some of Australia’s politicians this week. Unfortunately, problems do not go away when you close your eyes or block your ears. You have to actually do something about them. The role of Government is to look after its citizens, and at the moment they are failing to protect farmers from the threat of climate change. And we don’t accept this.”

Anika is a role model for many in agriculture as she invites us all to be part of the team that finds the solution. What to know more? Check out this trailer for an upcoming documentary: Harsh Climate Harsh Truth.

 

Lifetime Achievements

It is with enormous pleasure we announce the birth of Lachlan Hugh Thomas to YFC Bessie Thomas and husband Shannon from Burragan Station in far-western NSW. Lachlan was born on February at 1.10pm, weighing 3.3kg (7lb 5oz) and stretching 51cm long (exactly the same as his sister!).

Another YFC with exciting baby news is Naomi Brannan (Mulligan) who is expecting a baby girl with husband Sean.

YFC Peta Bradley has been swimming to raise money for sick kids as part of the Sunlight Super Swim. Her team, the HighCOWS, has raised over $14,000 to support kids in hospital and Peta has personally swum 120km in 30 days! Not even a change of pool or lightning could stop this aquatic powerhouse. Well done Peta.

That’s a wrap for our 1st Muster of 2021. We are all looking forward to see what March brings

#YouthinAg #YouthVoices #BeTheChange

Technology helping farmers get better outcomes for the planet

This is the second in a two part series journalist Matt Da Silva has created with Young Farming Champion Emma Ayliffe to share how Australian farmers are using information and technology gains to move toward #NetZeroFarming.

“We are proud to be adopting new practices that are better for our environment and helping to demonstrate that there are other ways of doing things; and, in my role as an agronomist, sharing this knowledge and learning.”

Farm Overview

Business and/or property name: C & E Pastoral, Gleeson’s

Business partners: Emma Ayliffe and partner Craig and his family

Farm size: 1700 acres (688 hectares)

Farm locality/region: Burgooney, Lake Cargelligo (roughly northwest of Wagga Wagga, in the central west of New South Wales, about 550km from Sydney)

Topography: rolling hills, red loam

Rainfall: 360mm per year

Primary outputs: Wool, first cross lambs, grains (mainly wheat but also some oats, barley and canola)

Secondary outputs: If above average rainfall, may plant canola, chickpeas, mungbeans.

Drone technology allows Emma to map the weeds on the farm. A drone is sent up to find green areas indicating that weeds have started to grow.

Tristan Stevenson from StevTech launching the surveillance drone.

Weeds use moisture that might otherwise be used by crops, and they also harbour insects and disease, so it is important to minimise their occurrence. Sending a drone out with a camera attached that transmits a video of the fields lets us pinpoint the areas that need spraying and reduces the use of chemical sprays. The resulting data maps the weed population and allows us to turn it into a green area map.

This allows us to maintain the best ground cover, control our weeds, and reduce resistance risk.

The StevTech ute with the drone on the ground in front of it.

Weed mapping allows us to minimise our chemical costs by targeting the only areas in the paddock that have weeds. We can often look at using higher value chemistries that may be cost prohibitive if we had to spray it all. Only spraying when we have too also helps avoid chemical resistance.

The following two images shows weed cover of paddocks. In the first image, drone mapping produces a 95 percent saving of chemicals.

Thank you to SteveTech for image

In the second image, drone mapping produces an 83 percent saving of chemicals.

Thank you to SteveTech for the image

Data from the drone mapping is  sent to a computer in the spray rig allowing the rig operator to target chemicals to conform precisely to hotspots where weeds are specifically concentrated. The following image shows what is displayed in the spray rig during application of chemicals, the olive green circles on the screen are the weeds being sprayed. Learn more about broadacre cropping weed detection here

The great thing about this technology is that we can utilise the machinery and systems that we already have, so don’t have to spend a lot of money on new equipment.

Thank you Matt and Emma for these insights on how modern farmers are minimising their use of herbicides to get better outcomes for farmers, consumer and the planet. Read how Matt blogged Emma’s story here

Improving farming’s productive efficiency will enable farmers to produce the same quantity of food, or more, with less
inputs, in smarter ways. This, in turn, will enable the sector to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

We can all be part of the solution. The cost of food waste to the Australian economy is estimated to be around $20 billion each year. Australian consumers throw away around 3.1 million tonnes of food—that’s close to 17,000 grounded 747 jumbo jets.

The impact of food waste also includes the energy, fuel and water used to grow food that may not be used. When food waste is sent to landfill, it contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

To help address this important issue, the Australian Government committed in 2016 to develop a National Food Waste Strategy to establish a framework to support actions that work towards halving Australia’s food waste by 2030. This ambitious goal aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12 for sustainable consumption and production patterns

Join the movement and Fight Food Waste 

#NetZeroFarming #TogetherWeCan #YouthinAg

 

Australian Farmers on a Mission to Achieve #NetZeroFarming

With advances in access to information and technology, knowledge isn’t just increasing. It’s increasing at an increasing rate. In 2011, you consumed about five times as much information per day as you would have just a quarter century earlier.

As of 1950, it took about fifty years for knowledge in medicine to double. By 1980, medical knowledge was doubling every seven years, 5 and by 2010, it was doubling in half that time. The accelerating pace of change means that we need to question our beliefs more readily than ever before. Source Adam Grant ‘Think Again”

Australian farmers are excited about the possibility of using the information and technology gains in the agriculture sector in the last 50 years to see if we can progress towards #NetZeroFarming. Agriculture is uniquely placed to be part of the climate solution, as both
an emissions source and a sink. As farmers we have a special responsibility to protect carbon reserves already in our soils
and vegetation. But we must and we can do more.

There is no single answer to this problem. To achieve our aim we will need a range of measures that fall under three broad
headings:
• Improving farming’s productive efficiency;
• Improving land management and changing land use to capture more carbon;
• Boosting renewable energy and the wider bio economy

Journalist Matt Da Silva is deeply interested in the journey our farmers are on and has reached out to our team to help them share their journey and help us explain it in a way that we can all understand

In this first part of a two part series Matt is working on with Young Farming Champion Emma Ayliffe we get an understanding of the knowledge and tools Emma and her partner Craig are using to progress to #NetZero on their farm

“Our vision involves capitalising on the resources we have in a marginal environment and finding the systems that best suit our landscape to ensure the farm is able to be productive and profitable well into the future.”

Farm Overview:

Business and/or property name: C & E Pastoral, Gleeson’s

Business partners: Emma Ayliffe and partner Craig and his family

Farm size: 1700 acres (688 hectares)

Farm locality/region: Burgooney, Lake Cargelligo (roughly northwest of Wagga Wagga, in the central west of New South Wales, about 550km from Sydney)

Topography: rolling hills, red loam

Rainfall: 360mm per year

Primary outputs: Wool, first cross lambs, grains (mainly wheat but also some oats, barley and canola)

Secondary outputs: If above average rainfall, may plant canola, chickpeas, mungbeans.

The farm is in a low rainfall production area with a tendency to have a “sharp” (i.e. hot and dry) finish to the year. Our growing season rainfall is only around 180mm, and to put that in perspective the average annual rainfall for NSW is 555mm/year and the high production areas of NSW such as Temora in North Eastern Riverina sit closer to 600mm/year.

Opportunity cropping (secondary outputs) depends on amount of moisture in the field, the market (some crops might have a higher price at any given time) as well as the time of year.

We’ve being making decisions around what we can do to improve the health of our soils. In our low rainfall environment ensuring that we have the soil structure to store moisture and support plant growth in the driest of times is critically important.

 Emma Ayliffe and Craig her partner, with dogs Millie and Dexter.

Everything we do is about trying new techniques and tools, based on research, in our environment so that we can always be improving, being better stewards for our environment and ensuring we can feed and clothe the world well into the future.

As a seed, a plant requires water, air, nutrients and heat for germination. Then to be able to maximise growth the plant needs a biologically active soil biota. This includes soil fungi and bacteria, which enables good soil structure and nutrient cycling, leading to optimum plant health. It is the interaction between all of these factors that determines how well plants and crops grow.

We are moving to a minimum till/strategic tillage system that means using knife-point press wheels. Minimum tillage means avoiding anything that causes major soil disturbance, hence the knife-point press wheel system. Strategic tillage is similar but allows for one significant soil disturbance pass no more than one year in eight. This strategy reduces erosion, conserves moisture, and maintains soil structure.

A knife point (see photo below) is narrower than a coulter but does the same job, only without disturbing the soil as much. The press wheel comes in behind the knife point and closes the furrow.

Research tells working the soil one year in eight is fine. It ensures that we are managing issues like compaction while maximising productivity and soil health. Compaction happens not only due to farming equipment but also due to cattle, which are brought into fields to feed on the stubble as well as on lost grain that has fallen on the earth during harvest. And soils are naturally hard setting.

In our environment ground cover is critical as we can never be sure if and when the next rain event is going to occur. Ground cover helps to reduce evaporation and erosion.

The photo below shows a moment during the 2020 harvest.

Thanks Matt for sharing Emma and Craig’s journey to #NetZeroFarming. Read how Matt blogged Emma’s story here

Like farmers we can all be part of the solution. The cost of food waste to the Australian economy is estimated to be around $20 billion each year. Australian consumers throw away around 3.1 million tonnes of food—that’s close to 17,000 grounded 747 jumbo jets.

The impact of food waste also includes the energy, fuel and water used to grow food that may not be used. When food waste is sent to landfill, it contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

To help address this important issue, the Australian Government committed in 2016 to develop a National Food Waste Strategy to establish a framework to support actions that work towards halving Australia’s food waste by 2030. This ambitious goal aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12 for sustainable consumption and production patterns

Join the movement and Fight Food Waste 

#TogetherWeCan #NetZeroFarming

Announcing the finalists in Kreative Koalas 2020 Best Community Action Project

We are very excited to announce the judge of the 2020 Kreative Koalas Best Community Action Project Reports has announced his Top Five

See the Top Five here 

The Judge

Les Robinson is the author of Changeology. He’s an internationally acknowledge leading expert on the design of community change projects towards sustainability. His website is full of interesting resources: www.enablingchange.com.au

Overall Les says:

“I’m gobsmacked by the amazing creativity, energy and amount of work put into all the projects. These kids are brilliant creative koalas!”

Les shared with us why the Top 5 schools excelled

1) They thought strategically

They started with a big global problem, for example ‘hunger’. Then they logically drilled down to identify realistic actions students could really do to make a real difference in their school or community. And they backed the case with research, including data collection via surveys and audits.

2) They implemented substantial actions for change

Once they identified strategic actions, they followed through with real life efforts that touched many people.

For example:

Annangrove Public School: set up chickens, worm farm and composter; created a vegie garden, grew vegies and supplied them to Windsor Community Kitchen. They also established waste-free Wednesdays, and ran a school feast.

Medowie Christian School: created a kindergarten garden, ran a Foodway tin drive, and cooked up a whole school feast.

St Brigid’s Catholic Primary School: took a whole of school approach. They  started with a survey of what their students were passionate about – that’s a great way to start because everyone has a chance for input. Then they  chose not one, but three (!) projects. The steps for each project were logically set out so every team can see the strategy. And each project was implemented. The projects were hands-on, especially growing and cooking your own food – that’s the best kind of change-making, because you didn’t just ‘tell people why’, you ‘showed them how’.

St Marys North Public School: Created a bush food garden, and ran a nude food day that involved the whole school.

3) They were creative

They were fun, innovative and brought out students’ creativity.

For example:

Gardeners Road PS: ‘unplugged’ hour without power’ event, supported by a TV and poster campaign

4) They wrote clear reports that were easy and enjoyable to read

The winning schools wrote short, simple, eloquent reports that were a pleasure to read. They also followed the format (which means they remembered all the important pieces).

Annangrove PS stood out in this respect because they set out simple ‘theories of change’ that logically described the necessary ingredients to achieve each goal. This was impressive project planning.

For example:

Watch this space for the announcement of finalists in the 2020 Kreative Koalas artworks

Mega shout out to our partners who are empowering the #changemakers

Become a Kreative Koalas Changemaker School in 2021. Expressions of Interest forms can be accessed from our website here

The Archibull Prize is the perfect program to meet the wants and needs of schools, teachers and students

Achieving best outcomes for farmers, consumers and the planet requires building deep and lasting relationships with everyone from paddock to plate. Young people may only be 20% of the population but they are 100% of the future and they are the perfect place to start

The Archibull Prize is an innovative and highly-successful project-based learning program designed to connect secondary school students with Australian agriculture and to empower these students to make changes for a better world. For over a decade the program has engaged students with Young Farming Champions to create a trusted partnership, which in 2021 will encapsulate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on environmental awareness through the lens of agriculture.

In recent evaluation surveys it has been shown 80% of participating schools align their Archibull project to the curriculum and use it for assessment tasks. A further 20% of participating schools align their Archibull project with pillars of their strategic plan for student growth, to build capacity of school leaders, to extend gifted and talented students and to engage with their community and businesses.

Kris Beazley is the principal of the Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education -Richmond Agricultural College and looks forward to embarking on the 2021 Archibull journey with the school’s inaugural Year 7 AgSTEM specialty class.

“Our school plan links directly to partnered learning and transdisciplinary learning with an alignment to AgSTEM, sustainability, Aboriginal Knowledges and AgSTEM careers education. This program is a perfect fit,” Kris says.

The Archibull Prize will be embedded into the school’s curriculum and used as part of the assessment process.

“The program will be aligned to our transdisciplinary course: Applied Learning. The Year 7 focus in this course in Semester One will be Water and the World with a focus on peri urban water use. In Semester Two the focus will be Biotechnology. The Archie program will be integrated into our design thinking pedagogy. We will not only capture elements in our formative assessment, we will also utilise the program to facilitate student’s completion of our Capability framework for Year 7.”

Our world today is full of increasingly complex global issues like rising inequality, climate change, sustainability of resources and a rapidly changing economy, just to name a few. If we are to reverse the damage that has been done, and ensure a sustainable future for future generations, we need to act now.

We all have a role to play in helping Australia reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal targets. By participating in The Archibull Prize students will look at the Global Goals through the lens of agriculture and work with farmers to see how their local community can meet Australia’s commitment to the Global Goals.

These commitments can be best achieved when The Archibull Prize is aligned to school strategic plans, can be embedded into the curriculum and can be used as an assessment task.

Expressions of Interest to participate are now open here

#GlobalGoals #SDGs #ArchieAction2021  #YouthVoices2021

Mega shout out to our supporting partners empowering the changemakers

 

 

 

 

The Archibull Prize supporting young people to solve tomorrow’s problems today by aligning agriculture and the Global Goals

For over a decade The Archibull Prize and our Young Farming Champions have  been engaging teachers and students with Australian farmers and agriculture; providing the next generation with trusted voices and building long-lasting effective partnerships.

In 2021 this model is being extended to raise environmental awareness through the lens of agriculture by incorporating the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDG). It is a win-win model that will secure the best outcomes for farmers, consumers and the planet.

In 2021 The Archibull Prize will mirror the highly successful Kreative Koalas program with a strong focus on supporting and motivating young people to be aware of the impact of their choices, empowered to make informed decisions and inspired to act to create the future they want to see. By participating in The Archibull Prize students will look at SDGs through the lens of agriculture and work with farmers to see how their local community can meet Australia’s commitment to the Global Goals.

Schools will be able to use the Sustainability Circle concept to understand the challenges for farmers and draw inspiration from the Australian agricultural industries who have developed Sustainability Frameworks 

As an added bonus secondary schools students will be highly inspired by the Community Action Projects designed and delivered by our Kreative Koalas Kids 

The 17 SDGs were developed by the United Nations to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.” Recognising that sustainability is an interconnected circle, the goals address issues such as hunger, energy and water use, consumption and production, equality and the power of partnerships.

Work by international and Australian voices has identified eight goals as priorities for agriculture. These are:

  • SDG 2: Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3: Good health and wellbeing
  • SDG 5: Gender Equality
  • SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13: Climate Action
  • SDG 14: Life Below Water
  • SDG 15: Life on Land

Another three goals have been identified as aligned to the benefit of Australia’s rural sector. These are:

  • SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Utilising the theme “Connect, Collaborate, Communicate” schools participating in the 2021 Archibull Prize will be tasked with tackling one of these SDGs by working with farmers to break down global problems into realistic and achievable actions on a local level in their schools and communities.

The Archibull Prize is a perfect partnership to bring together the wants and needs of students with the wants and needs of the Global Goals and get the best outcomes for farmers, consumers and the planet.

Find out how The Archibull Prize is designed and delivered to meet the wants and needs of schools, teachers and students here

Expressions of Interest to participate are now open here

#GlobalGoals #SDGs #ArchieAction2021  #YouthVoices2021

Leadership is Language with Cathy McGowan AO and the Youth Voices Leadership Team

In this episode of Leadership is Language Lynne Strong, in conjunction with a Youth Voices Leadership Team panel of Dione Howard, Jo Newton and Tayla Field, hosts an insightful leadership expose with former federal politician Cathy McGowan.

Watch Cathy share her tips for being an effective leader here

Key Messages

  • Agriculture has enough leadership programs; we need people “doing” the leadership
  • Start with the end in mind
  • Harness your networks and your team

 “In north-east Victoria we used to export our young people [to the cities]. Now there is a buzz in the community. Young people are wanted and respected. There is lots of energy and a sense that this is a place where young people want to live.”

 About Cathy

In 2013, Cathy McGowan broke the Liberal/National Coalition’s hold on the seat of Indi, becoming the first independent member for the north-east Victorian electorate and the first female independent to sit on the parliamentary crossbench.

She entered federal parliament on the urgings of young people from her electorate and in doing so brokered a new way of community politics. Her memoirs were recently published in Cathy Goes to Canberra, an inspiring tale of the power of grass-roots activism.

Cathy believes young people have the ability, articulation and creativity to make their vision for Australia a reality.

Connect with Cathy:

 LinkedIn: 

Twitter: 

Email: 

About Lynne and the YVLT

Lynne Strong is the founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Picture You in Agriculture. Part of her vision is to see the young people who participate in our programs have the opportunity to be surrounded by role models and turn the leadership skills and knowledge they learn into daily habits. This vision is crystallised in the Youth Voices Leadership Team, where young people design and direct their future. Dione Howard is the team’s vice-chair, Jo Newton is the returning officer and Tayla Field sits on the Innovation Hub.

Want to know more?

Read our previous blog here 

Read more about Cathy and order a copy of her book here

 

 

 

Turning up, Speaking up and Stepping up to Leadership with Cathy McGowan AO

Cathy McGowan AO entered federal parliament on the urgings of young people from her Victorian electorate of Indi, and in doing so brokered a new way of community politics. Her memoirs were recently published in Cathy Goes to Canberra, an inspiring tale of the power of grass-roots activism.

In 2008 Cathy attended Kevin Rudd’s 2020 Summit, where four keynote speakers, under 25 years of age, talked about their vision for Australia.

“I was stunned by their ability, by their level of articulation, by their creativity, by their vision for Australia and the thought that they’d given to their presentations. My biggest take away from that summit was that older people, such as myself and most of the attendees, in fact needed to pay attention to young people in our community. They knew things that we baby boomers did not. They certainly were better educated and had new approaches that could find the answers to the problems we were facing….. I made a firm commitment to pay attention and get to know the young people, not only in my life, but in my work,” Cathy says in her book.

In keeping with her commitment to young people as Australia’s future Cathy jumped at the chance to share her wisdom with our Young Farming Champions. She spoke openly to the cohort via a zoom conference, hosted by Lynne Strong in conjunction with a Youth Voices Leadership Team panel of Dione Howard, Dr Jo Newton OAM and Tayla Field.

Cathy covered many aspects of the leadership pathway such as creating time budgets, life-long learning, the importance of networking, the power of finding, and supporting, your tribe and of having confidence in the skill set you have already developed. If these things sound familiar it is because Cathy’s wisdom mirrors closely the visions and ideals of Picture You in Agriculture.

Cathy has a passion to liberate people to be leaders and empower them to grow in confidence. She believes we have enough leadership training programs in agriculture and what we now need is more people “doing” leadership. And she believes the YFC have the skills and salutes them for Turning Up, Speaking Up and Stepping Up to develop their courage muscle by practicing the knowledge and skills they learn in training by being the face of our in-school programs The Archibull Prize ( secondary schools) and Kreative Koalas ( primary schools )” she says.

The workshop was well received by the audience:

“I appreciate Cathy’s easy going, positive nature and her efforts to continually develop her skills. I enjoyed learning it’s okay not to know the exact right path to take, to step up to challenges, build resilience and have a go.” Steph Tabone

“Time budgeting is such an effective tool, particularly making time for exercise and other important tasks that may not be labelled as “work” but are essential in creating a successful, balanced life.” Elizabeth Argue

“I appreciate that Cathy has put herself out there to achieve all that she has so far, and from the workshop I realise we need to do the work and find a team to do the work with.” Dione Howard

“I appreciate the openness with which Cathy has shared her story so that we can all learn from her experience.  I found Cathy sharing her story of leadership versus stepping up as a visible leader particularly helpful.” Jo Newton

The Zoom recording of Cathy’s three tips for being an effective leaders can be found here

The zoom recording of the panel session will be loaded here shortly. Watch this space

Today’s Youth Voices Leadership Team – becoming tomorrow’s CEOs by turning leadership knowledge and skills into daily habits

If you are a Young Farming Champion (YFC) you already see yourself as an emerging leader for agriculture. If you also envision your future includes managerial positions, board appointments and CEO roles then the Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) is the perfect training ground.

The YVLT is a group of committed YFC alumni who have stepped up to take responsibility for, and share ownership of, a vision to enable and empower young leaders in agriculture. The YVLT provides a youth perspective to  Picture You in Agriculture program development and management decisions,  representing a powerful personal and professional development path, giving participants the skills and daily habits needed to take on community and business leadership roles in the future.

The current team members are Emma Ayliffe (chair), Dione Howard (vice-chair), Marlee Langfield (social media coordinator), Meg Rice (Innovation Hub representative), Jo Newton (returning officer), Anika Molesworth (partnerships ambassador) and Jess Fearnley ( minute secretary and intern). In addition the Innovation Hub, a sub-committee tasked with exploring new ideas for real-world projects, is ably staffed by Katherine Bain, Samantha Wan, Tayla Field and Chloe Dutschke.

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In a recent evaluation report by Dr Nicole McDonald several themes were identified as motivating factors for joining the YVLT:

  • intrinsic rewards for doing meaningful work for the future of agriculture,
  • continuing to develop skills and abilities that would help them be leaders,
  • being a part of a network of capable people that provide personal and professional support,
  • giving back to a program that had given them a launch pad towards other opportunities and industry wide recognition.

Nicole’s interviews with team members elicited responses including:

“[The YVLT provides] the opportunity to upskill around committees; getting your head around corporate governance, running subcommittees, supporting a chair, setting agendas, and running meetings. All of this puts me in better stead to manage my own business. There are also a lot of non-tangible skills; for example it’s forced me to set deadlines and expectations for myself, for the people trying to contact me and for my team. I’ve been upskilled in social media and communication skills particularly around formalising of emails and proposals and pitching for funding. Those skills are invaluable.”

 

“It’s more than a committee it’s a learning opportunity. In a short amount of time I’ve already taken on feedback and learnt more than I anticipated; I’ve learnt skills that I didn’t even think of when I signed up for the Youth Voices Leadership Team.”

 

“The professionalism is really of a high standard on the YVLT, as well as the consideration of personal and professional outcomes; not only looking at what the organisation is looking to achieve, but also what everybody personally is looking to achieve. Looking at what drives each individual person to get the best outcome has been really impressive and something I haven’t seen in other committees.”

 The YVLT is a valuable opportunity for YFC alumni to learn and practice professional and corporate skills in a safe environment. These skills include:

  • leading innovative and forward-thinking purpose-driven teams,
  • sitting on effective boards and committees
  • creating and developing and growing start-ups
  • program design and delivery
  • event management,
  • messaging and communications
  • building partnerships for collective action for collective impact,
  • time management
  • Problem solving and strategic thinking
  • negotiation and conflict skills
  • become a better listener, build empathy and rapport and use your influence to inspire behaviour change for the greater good

Or, as one of our YVLT so aptly sums up:

“It is a great environment to fail miserably safely, to get some really blunt and honest feedback, to improve on yourself and to improve on your general skills.”

The YVLT holds their annual general meeting in March with all positions open. This is your chance to turn your leadership  knowledge and skills into daily habits and create the future you envision.

#YouthinAg #LeadershipDevelopment #DailyHabits #YouthVoices

Anika Molesworth and Ronni Kahn walking the talk – courageous conversations lead to bold actions

Today’s guest blog post is by Young Farming Champion. agroecologist, farmer, author, keynote speaker, climate warrior and Climate Wise Agriculture founder Anika Molesworth 

Being involved in the agricultural sector has given me a front row seat to food production. I have stood in fields surrounded by millions of tiny corn plants, filled with awe at the fragility and possibility of this new life. I have seen hour-old lambs wobble to their feet for the first time, cheering on those first steps as it finds its mothers teat. I have felt the sense of pride of being a farmer and growing food with the knowledge that this is going to be enjoyed by someone and nourish them.

So, nothing saddens me more when I read the global stats on food waste.

One third of all food produced is lost or wasted –around 1.3 billion tonnes of food –costing the global economy close to $940 billion each year.

8% of greenhouse gases heating the planet are caused by food waste.

If one quarter of the food currently lost or wasted could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people.

It was with these stats in mind and determination to help address this issue that I caught up with Ronni Kahn with the Young Farming Champions Leadership is Language series.

The Leadership is Language series is part of the Young Farming Champions program, and it exposes some of Australia’s foremost thought-leaders on how we show leadership by the language and communication styles we use.

Ronni is CEO and Founder of OzHarvest. She is the yellow truck driving, dumpster-diving, food waste fighter who has recently released her memoir, “A Repurposed Life.”

Ronni and the incredible team at OzHarvest Education are doing fantastic work on stopping society’s dysfunctional food waste behaviour. Their goal is to adhttps://ozharvest.org/vocate, inspire and influence the community in order to halve food waste by 2030. It is so fantastic to see this work being done because no farmer wants to see their food end up in landfill. This is because it’s not only the food that gets wasted – it’s also all the time, labour, water, nutrients that went into producing it. Precious human and natural resources that need to be cherished, not dumped.

One of the most exciting questions to ask regarding food waste, I think, is

“How do we design waste out of the system?”

This is one of the principles of a circular economy – not just how do we recycle better – but how do we actually create systems where waste doesn’t exist?

Where can we put processes and technologies in place, that an output from one user/sector is immediately utilised as a valuable resource by another.

With one in five shopping bags in Australia ending up in the bin, there is huge room for improvement.

Ronni has a radiating smile as she talks about all the opportunities we have to fix the system and feed people properly. She definitely had me motivated to do more by the end of our conversation! Learning about their objective to collaborate with people right along the food system was particularly uplifting. The OzHarvest team is working with supermarkets, distributors, students and farmers to solve this problem.

We all need to play our part in reducing food waste – from the paddock to the plate – and by doing so, we will

#Zerohunger #Zerowaste #GlobalGoals