Sam Arnfield discovers agriculture is a place where careers with purpose can grow limitlessly

I’m not yet thirty but I’ve already worked in grains, viticulture, horticulture and now the wool industry. It’s been an unconventional path but that’s OK. I think its important people know that with a bit of enthusiasm, anyone will take you on and give you a chance. Looking forward I’m excited to continue to learn new skills, with a view to becoming a leader and a manager of people, in whatever corner of the industry I find myself. One thing is for sure, I’ll be doing work that makes me happy. says Sam Arnfield Project Officer with Australian Wool Innovation

At Picture You in Agriculture we get a buzz out of sharing stories about young people who grew up in the city and discover agriculture is an exciting industry where innovation, disruption and creativity are fostered and where careers with purpose can grow limitlessly

This blog post introduces you to  Sam Arnfield our man on the spot with Australian Wool Innovation (AWI).  Sam’s career journey was first profiled as a 1st year university student. Ten years after leaving school Sam is a project officer working closely with Picture You in Agriculture to ensure our wonderful wool Young Farming Champions are well supported.

This is Sam’s journey to our door and it’s a journey with lessons for us all.

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Sam Arnfield sharing the properties of wool with students at RAS of NSW Farm Day education experiences 

I grew up on a concrete farm five minutes north of the Adelaide CBD. While I have zero family background in agriculture my love of food, biology and geography made studying it a natural choice and I was very lucky to have a fantastic high school ag teacher, Chris Muirhead, who was buoyant about the prospects of careers in agriculture.

At that time, university enrolments were on the slide and the sentiment in the industry was poor. South Eastern Australia was in the midst of the Millennium Drought and the wool price was around a third or what it is today. However, with booming middle classes in Asia and the advent of e-commerce and smart technology, Mr. Muirhead saw changes on the horizon for our world and our industry. He recognised the importance of enticing people from non-traditional backgrounds into agriculture at a time when young people were leaving the family farm in droves, never to return. I ignored him and followed my school mates to law school.

I took some time off after school teaching English school kids how to play cricket. This was the perfect opportunity to take stock and work out what I really wanted to do with my life. Returning home, I ditched law school before even starting and embarked on a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Adelaide Uni. It was there I met my best friends. We drank together, played footy together and ended up working together for some time.

Without a farm to go back to, or any practical agricultural skills, I foolishly chose the graduate job I thought could earn me the most money. I took a job in grain marketing – not the smartest move for a kid who’d failed maths every year in high school. I sucked, badly, and lasted six weeks and one day.

It was a lesson in doing things for the right reasons and a reminder that you should always do things that make you happy. Maybe that’s a selfish outlook, but we spend more time at work than we do with friends, family and loved ones so we may as well be happy while we do it.

With a degree and no job, I sheepishly went back to a research organisation I’d done some work experience with and begged for a job. I began as a casual, doing all the things nobody else wanted to do – counting potatoes, counting weeds, washing cars and weighing grain. It was mundane but it was fun. At that time, the organisation was packed full of young people, most of whom I’d studied with. We had fun and we worked hard. I stuck around like a bad smell, eventually landing a full-time job where I could spread my time between horticulture, viticulture and the grains sector, conducting field trials for new agro-chemistry.

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Jobs in agriculture offer diverse opportunities 

The job allowed me to travel around South Australia, learn some practical skills and gain a knowledge in a raft of sectors but I eventually realised I was working because I loved the people and not the work itself. After five years it was time for a change, and time for some more skills.

As serendipity would have it, I met a girl while I was searching for my new job. She just happened to be moving to Sydney. I quickly changed my filter settings to ‘Ag jobs in Sydney’ and before too long we were off. I landed a job at Australian Wool Innovation, which was odd to my friends considering I’ve never worked in wool in my life.

I barely knew the front end from the back of a Merino. I must have bluffed my interviews well, but I think it goes to show that if you’re keen and passionate about ag it doesn’t really matter what you’ve done, or what you know, people will give you a chance.

I got learned up pretty quickly on the sheep front and I’m currently coordinating projects in the Leadership and Capacity Building portfolios. This group of projects aims to capture and retain the best and brightest people within the wool industry. I work with initiatives such as Young Farming Championsto foster the development of young wool industry participants and to encourage YFCs to become inspirations for young people. Other projects involve fostering careers through scholarships, educational resources and leadership programs. I get to work with passionate, smart and driven people from all around Australia every day.

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A typical day at the office can include sharing the properties of wool with school students

A typical day in our office at Circular Quay has me collaborating with colleagues, contacts and industry leaders about how to best present the wool industry to students, updating educational resources, planning events and of course all the boring backroom administration. Recently, I’ve been working with colleagues to coordinate a response and to collate information to assist woolgrowers impacted by the recent bushfires.

Although I’ve only been here a year, I’ve learned an incredible number of skills and have grown more confident in my abilities as a communicator. From people management and organisation as well as managing funds and writing legal contracts it’s been a steep learning curve. Stepping out of the paddock into an office was tough but it’s a step I needed to make. My colleagues have been so generous with their time, and I’m absolutely loving my role.

The history and camaraderie that exists within the wool industry is, I think, unique to wool. Everyone I speak to is hell-bent on improving and driving Australian wool forward. Everyone’s got lots of great ideas and with that comes some robust conversations.

At the core of it, wool is a choice for growers and consumers. The challenge to encourage people to continue to grow and buy this fantastic fibre is one that the industry is tackling head on.  That discerning consumers around the world are attracted to the sustainable credentials of wool is encouraging and I think the current market value reflects this.

I  look forward to playing my role in encouraging young Australians to enter and remain within this vibrant industry.

I’m not yet thirty but I’ve already worked in grains, viticulture, horticulture and now the wool industry. It’s been an unconventional path but that’s OK. I think its important people know that with a bit of enthusiasm, anyone will take you on and give you a chance. Looking forward I’m excited to continue to learn new skills, with a view to becoming a leader and a manager of people, in whatever corner of the industry I find myself. One thing is for sure, I’ll be doing work that makes me happy.

The Future of Animal Agriculture – livestock do so much more than feed us

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Friend of PYiA and awarded business consultant Greg Mills of GoAhead Business Solutions is a man with deep experience and strong understanding of issues facing agriculture. His intelligence and ability to articulate his thoughts has been recognised once again as a shortlist in the John Ralph Essay Competition where Greg expounded his thoughts on the future of animal agriculture.

The John Ralph Essay Competition is held annually by the Australian Farm Institute in recognition of their founding chairmen and aims to foster conversations around agricultural policy issues. “Given the announcement of the John Ralph Essay winner is the key event in Ag Week in Canberra it is a great platform to put forward your perspective,” Greg says. “The policy focus, the need to present well thought-out and supported ideas, the calibre of entrants and the wide reach of the reading audiences makes the John Ralph Essay competition a focal point for discussions in Australian agriculture.”

In his essay, titled The Future of Animal Agriculture, Greg acknowledges the rise of vegan and vegetarian diets and concedes replacing animals on the plate with other sources of nutrition is possible; but he asks how society would cope replacing the other complex roles animals fulfil.

“Animals do not exist in our society simply because they taste good. Primarily animals have become an integral key to the success of human society as animals convert food we cannot eat, into food we can….. The abilities of these animals to eat the widest range of feedstuffs and turn it into eggs and meat have made these animals indispensable. Likewise, ruminants that can convert inedible grass, brush and other high fibre feedstuffs to meat and milk have become a dominant species utilised in both intensive and extensive production systems.”

Greg argues that the production of animal-free meat products involves by-products, which are typically fed to animals.

“Without animal agriculture to convert these by-products and unwanted end-products it becomes a difficult question for society as to how these current feedstuffs would be used in a hypothetical animal free future for agriculture.”

In the complex world in which we find ourselves Greg believes animal agriculture will continue to have a fundamental role in society but needs to find a way for real engagement with its consumers and customers. “Engaging with the community and sharing what we do in animal agriculture and why we do it is a passion for me,” he says. “The topic of the essay this year was a great opportunity to communication my thoughts on the future of what we do.”

Greg is highly respected by Young Farming Champions; most of whom have passed through his workshops, tackled his difficult questions and come to appreciate his support and honesty. It may interest them, then, to hear Greg’s personal motivation for entering the John Ralph Essay Competition:

“When I started university my essay writing was so bad that I got sent off to a remedial writing support service after submitting my first essay. One of the big drivers for entering was to just prove to myself I could do it.”

The 2019 John Ralph essays were be published in AFI’s December (summer) journal.

Beaudesert State High School are using their win in 2019 Archibull Prize as a microphone for agriculture’s new voices   

Preparing twenty-first century learners depends on everyone in the community seeing this as their business.

Beaudesert Statw High School with Costa

Each year the world looks forward to the creative talents of the entire Beaudesert State High School as they bring quirky and imaginative angles to The Archibull Prize competition. Their 2019 entry was no exception. Representing Australia’s dairy industry their Archie, Hope, incorporated real bovine bones, braille, a cut-out Herringbone dairy and a robotic milking arm. It earned Beaudesert the title of Grand Champion Archibull and has opened the door to allow agriculture’s new voices to amplify their impact.

Watch the moment when the Beaudesert State High School students and teachers find out they have won The Archibull Prize 2019

Beaudesert’s 2019 Archibull journey was a collaboration between students, teachers, industry and community, and epitomises the ethos it take takes a village to raise a child.

Highly effective schools have high levels of parent and community engagement. ‘Community’here includes parents, business and philanthropic organisations, and various services and not-for-profit organisations. Rather than being set apart from the rest of the community, the school is now often seen to be its hub. The community, in turn, is seen as an important source of resources and expertise for the school.  Source

At the helm was agriculture teacher Laura Perkins.

“We’ve always had support from the community but each year it gets bigger and bigger and this year it was like a snowball that turned into an avalanche. We had Subtropical Dairy and Dairyfields Milk Suppliers (DFMSC) supporting us. We had Dovers – a local machinery group, we had Hillview Primary School  and the council have been amazing.

We got a letter from the Hon. Scott Buchholz MP offering his congratulations to the school and he made a comment how the Archibull was the talk of the town.

We had our own Facebook page and the support on that was superb. The Beaudesert Times were fabulous online and in print and some of the comments from the community on their Facebook page were amazing.

Local people want to know how we can get the cows out in the community even more.”

250 students worked directly on Hope – designing, painting, soldering and applying the myriad of LED lights. “And that’s not including all these other kids who have been supportive and encouraging, especially in the People’s Choice Award, and took what we were doing home and spread the word,” Laura says.

For Laura the biggest highlight in participating in The Archibull Prize has been the development of her students and in particular a vision-impaired girl named Shay.

“When I first met Shay she barely raised her head when I said hello to her but now when I ask who would like to do some guest speaking in front of a group she jumps in straight away,” Laura says. “She chose a message to put on our cow in braille and now we have been contacted by Sally Baldwin from Braille House who is going to support this student, and the rest of our school, to learn braille. Shay now wants to get a stick and a guide dog and work herself and not rely on others. But it’s not just her. It is all the other kids as well.

“The confidence the students participating in The Archibull Prize have developed is amazing. They speak fluently. They think before they say things and they are very exact in what they say.”

This confidence is manifesting itself as a promotion of agriculture, which has been consolidated by winning the Grand Champion Archibull trophy. At the conclusion of the Archibull presentation day in Sydney special guest Costa Georgiadis spent time with the Beaudesert students explaining to them the importance of their win. He produced, from a battered canvas bag, a chipped silver Logie and told how this item has helped him share messages important to him.

“I said to my kids that we really need to listen to Costa because he is a clever man,” Laura says. “Our Archibull award is beautiful – it’s a hand painted cow and I’ve always wanted one – but the last thing I want is for this to go to the library and sit behind glass and over time get pushed back a little further because there are newer trophies added.”

BSHS Logie and Archie

“I told our kids

‘our Archibull trophy is not just a trophy. You need to use it as a microphone to let people be aware of what your journey has been and where it is going to take you. If it gets a chip so be it, if it gets a bit not-so-fancy then so be it, but you need to use this now to project your voice.’

This is the start of these kids getting their own voice and talking about their experience and their journey.”

BSHS and Costa

The next step for Laura and her students will come when they share their story at the SE QLD Young Dairy Network annual dinner where they have been invited to be guest speakers. “I’m really excited about the future,” Laura says. “When I spoke to Brian Cox (SE QLD Young Dairy Network) he said this is only the beginning and there will be more opportunities. Anything we can connect these kids with is going to be beneficial and this is all because of The Archibull Prize. These opportunities wouldn’t have arisen if we hadn’t done this.”

And the team behind The Archibull Prize say mega kudos to the entire Beaudesert Community

Consistent findings from the research in Australia and overseas is that strong school-community engagement can bring a range of benefits. These are not only to students but to teachers, schools as a whole, partners and the wider community. For these benefits to occur, school-community partners need to have a shared vision, work in genuinely collaborative ways, and monitor the progress and effectiveness of their partnership activities. Sharing the results of this good practice means others can recognise the important role that community groups can play in supporting education and schools. Preparing twenty-first century learners depends on everyone in the community seeing this as their business. Source

 

2019 Kreative Koalas Design a Bright Future Challenge Winners announced

Medowie Christian School and Raymond Terrace Public School have been named Grand Champion Koalas in the 2019 Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future Challenge. Kreative Koalas is a ground-breaking project-based learning initiative from Picture You in Agriculture, which this year delivered the sustainability message and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into fifteen primary schools from the Hunter Valley and Penrith Regions.

Young people may only be 20% of the population but they are 100% of the future. Through Kreative Koalas we are giving them a voice in designing and creating that future. This year students have investigated local issues and worked with the community to give a voice to our Koalas and threatened species, our waterways and our farmers. The students have said ‘Together we can’

Medowie Christian School was awarded the Grand Champion Community Project for Change after collaboration with Hunter Local Land Services to raise the importance of healthy waterways for clean water and sanitation. The students developed six easy-to-follow methods for protecting waterways and made these into a pamphlet, which was distributed to the school community. The students also visited their local Gramhamstown Dam to examine the health of the water through temperature, turbidity, salinity and pH testing and presented their findings at a school assembly. Learn more about the winning project here 

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Students from Medowie Christian School with Chair of Hunter Local Land Services Lindy Hyam ( right) and teacher Martha Atkins ( left)

Raymond Terrace Public School was awarded Grand Champion Koala for their vibrantly decorated, life-sized fibreglass koala named Mitjigan Guula, which means girl koala in Worimi language. In collaboration with their Aboriginal Girl’s Group they incorporated indigenous designs on their artwork to look at the effects of climate change on koala populations. And, in what has unfortunately proved to be timely, the koala portrays how inaction on climate change can lead to devastating bushfires.

Students from Raymond Terrace Public School with Costa Georgiadis

In other awards Penrith schools Ropes Crossing Public School and Colyton Public School  were recognised for their artwork and community project for change respectively.

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Four students were acknowledged as eco-warriors. These students were Zoe Bonifacio from Colyton Public School, Keeley Haywood from James Erskine Public School,Tayla Weeks from Medowie Christian School and Josie Hodges from Gresford Public School.

All schools received their awards at a ceremony held at Tocal Agricultural College on Thursday November 28, attended by sponsors and supporters and emceed by celebrity gardener Costa Georgiadis.

Photos from the awards day can be found here and a big shout out to our supporting partners empowering young people to solve tomorrows problems today

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Young Farming Champions Muster November 2019 2nd Edition

This fortnight’s top stories from our Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the globe!

Last weekend YFC gathered in Sydney to celebrate the achievements of 2019, learn new skills, develop expertise and plan for the year ahead. Let’s jump straight over to YFC Dione Howard for a workshop recap:

Friday through to Monday saw new YFC learn from coach Jenni Metcalfe of Econnect Communications. Jenni worked with YFC to develop interview skills for speaking on camera and working with the media. Coach Josh Farr worked with YFC alumni to develop strategies for managing conflict, time management and the ever-important social media.

YFC workshop

YFC Jasmine Whitten and YVLT acting chair Emma Ayliffe wowed the group on Saturday night with presentations that are sure to inspire their audience into the new year.

 

Monday saw YFC come together with students from Wee Waa and Lake Cargelligo High Schools who had travelled to Sydney for The Archibull Prize on Tuesday. Simone Tunbridge from ABC’s Heywire program stepped the group through developing and sharing a powerful story.

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And the action didn’t stop on Monday as the workshop wrapped up – next it was time for the 10th Annual Archibull Prize Awards. Like a fine wine they keep getting better with age! 
Over to YFC Katherine Bain for an Archibull Awards run down:

The 2019 Archibull Prize is definitely one to remember! I was really impressed with where the kids drew their inspiration from for their Archies.  They used these inspirations to tell their story of Ag, with all its complexities, really well. When I got to interview them, their passion for the Archies really shined which was so heartening to see. Some of my favorite Archies were Beaudesert’s Milking cow, Hurlstone’s completely felted cow and Lake Cargelligo’s Hydroponic cow. Some of the highlights of the day were Costa Geogiadis’s moving talk and the energy that he brought to the room and Beaudesert’s emotional win as the Grand Champion for 2019!

It was a massive day for everyone involved, but so fulfilling seeing everyone smiling at the end of the day, knowing that months of hard work had paid off.

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The Young Farming Champions team would love to thank all of our supporters and sponsors of The Archibull Prize for 2019 – we love working with schools in this program and are proud of what each student learns and achieves when participating in The Archibull Prize!

Sponsors

In the Field

Wheat and barley harvest is in full swing at Grains YFC Marlee Langfield’s farm, Wallaringa, Cowra. Marlee, a talented photographer who also runs Marlee Langfield Photography, sent through this photo essay: “We are very thankful for our harvest and hope everyone stays safe this harvest season.”

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Out of the Field

Climate YFC and western NSW farmer Anika Molesworth is on the journey of a lifetime with Homeward Bound, heading to Antarctica as part of a collaborative effort towards leadership for #climateaction. Anika is one of 111 women – the largest ever female group to head to Antarctica – from 33 countries, and she has also been chosen to support Al Gore’s Climate Reality leadership organisation, presenting on how she perceives the climate crisis through the lens of her work. We are so incredibly proud of you Anika. Keep the updates coming!

Follow @AnikaMolesworth on Twitter and @anikamolesworth on Instagram to keep up to date.

To celebrate National Agriculture Day, Wool YFC and Senior Biosecurity Officer Lucy Collingridge had a chat with Kristy Reading on ABC New England North West. Take a listen here. In a celebration of our agricultural industry, Lucy spoke about the great progression our agricultural industry has achieved in recent decades, the opportunities available in our agricultural industries – including a large range of jobs, overseas study tours and conferences – and how supportive our industry is. For a young women who comes from a non-agricultural background, Lucy should be incredibly proud of her achievements over recent years, including study tours to Argentina, Uruguay and Canada, the completion of a Graduate Certificate in Agriculture and involvement in many country shows across NSW, and she believes the Young Farming Champion program is a fantastic platform to be able to share her experiences with other young people and show them the opportunities available in the Australian agricultural industry. 

Lucy Collingridge Wool

Speaking of National Agriculture Day, we’ve announced the winners of our National Ag Day comp, hosted alongside Little Brick Pastoral, Career Harvest and Celistino. Well done to all the entrants and winners! Jump over here to read all about it. 

We’re in Outback Mag! Thanks to the marvelous Picture You in Agriculture journalist Mandy McKeesick our YFC program and wonderful wool YFC Samantha Wan are featured in the December/January issue of R.M. Williams Outback Magazine.

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Wool YFC Samantha Wan never misses an opportunity to wear and advocate for wool!

“Since inception 10 years ago, the Young Farming Champions program has trained more than 100 people to promote agriculture to young people. 

“At Burwood Girls High School in Sydney students are excitedly awaiting a farmer. Many will be imagining an older white male, so when 31-year-old Sam Wan breezes through the door, preconceptions and stereotypes fly straight out the window. Sam is young. She is female. And she is one of them. As a first-generation Chinese-Australian born in the western suburbs of Sydney, Sam’s own stereotypical career path may have been a doctor or lawyer, but she has found her calling as a wool broker in Melbourne, and her enthusiasm for the industry is infectious.”

Read more here. And buy December/January issue of Outback Magazine to read the full story!

University of New England YFC Becca George was in The Land last week, speaking about her involvement with Angus Youth Roundup and dreams for the future. Read the article below:

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Well done to YFC Bronwyn Roberts from B R Rural Business who spoke at the Young Beef Producers Forum in Roma, Qld.

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Cotton YFC Alexandria Galea was spotted in the new National Ag Day video “The Quiet Farmer” from Rabbit Hop Films:

The Quiet Farmer from Rabbit Hop Films on Vimeo.

Prime Cuts

Congratulations to YVLT acting chair Emma Ayliffe who has been announced as a semi finalist in the First National Real Estate Leadership category of the 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards. We wish you so much luck in the judging Emma and appreciate all the hard work you have put into the Picture You in Agriculture programs throughout 2019 (and before!)

Read this wonderful story in the Lake Cargelligo News which details Emma’s dedication beautifully.

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“Truly blessed. Thanks to Lake (Cargelligo) and Tulli for accepting me into the community! Thanks to the beautiful souls who nominated me (you know who you  are xx). You are a product of your community and I have a bloody great one!” – Emma Ayliffe

Congratulations also to YVLT Communication Creative Team Leader Bessie Thomas who won the Spirit Category of the Weekly Times and Harvey Norman Shine Awards. Bessie and her husband Shannan flew to Melbourne for the intimate awards luncheon with the other category winners at Cruden Farm. They were hosted by Harvey Norman CEO Katie Page and chairman of The Herald and Weekly Times Penny Fowler. Read more here.

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Grace award winner Maree Duncombe, Dedication award winner Jean Beamish, Herald and Weekly Times Chairman Penny Fowler, Belief award winner Bridget Murphy, Courage and overall Shine winner Margy Perkuhn, Harvey Norman CEO Katie Page, Spirit award winner Bessie Thomas and Passion award winner Ginny Stevens.

Bessie says the experience was an absolute delight and honour.

“Meeting the other finalists and sharing in their stories was very special. These awards really bring to light the incredible things rural women are doing all over Australia, that there is often no other recognition for. I’m so thrilled and proud to be among such a dedicated, courageous and passionate bunch of humans.”

Lifetime Highlights

Congratulations to Wool YFC Matt Cumming and his fiance Heidi who got engaged on the weekend. Best wishes to you both!

#YouthinAg #YouthVoices19 #YoungFarmingChampions #ArchieAction #PiYA

 

 

Young Farming Champion Bessie Thomas wins Shine Award

Another big day for the Young Farming Champions team with Wool Young Farming Champion Bessie Thomas winning the Spirit category of the Weekly Times/Harvey Norman Shine Awards

Bessie Spirit Winner

Extract from story in today’s Weekly Times

BESSIE’S BRIGHT SIDE

BESSIE THOMAS has been through nearly two years of dust storms and feed runs, yet every day she finds something good to say about the agriculture industry.

That is a measure of her positive spirit.

Bessie and her husband, Shannan, manage his family’s sheep property, Burragan, near Wilcannia in NSW’s far west.

The young couple and their daughter, Airlie, 3, are living through the thick of drought.

Bessie finds ways to be optimistic, not just for herself and her family.

But also to boost other farmers across the nation who are struggling through the same thing and to educate the wider public about the ongoing dry.

“I could get out of bed every day and share the hardships but, you know, the next day I probably wouldn’t want to get out of bed,” says Bessie, who shares the highs and lows of her life in the wool industry through a blog and Facebook page called Bessie at Burragan.

“By always focusing on the positive, it can bring a spark of joy to someone else on social media and maybe give them hope.”

Bessie is relatively new to the wool industry.

After growing up at Swan Hill and then the Sunshine Coast, she completed a degree in journalism and communication in Queensland.

After marrying Shannan, they jumped at the opportunity to manage Burragan.

“When we moved down it was a fantastic season,” Bessie says.

“The grass in the paddock was so high you could hardly see the road to find the house.”

The 28,000-hectare station is in a vastly different state today, running half the sheep it did back then.

Rain in April and again this month offered some reprieve, and they haven’t had to handfeed since May.

“We only wish we could share it around with everyone who missed out,” Bessie says.

Through the long dry, she has used her communication skills to raise awareness of the realities of drought.

Bessie is an Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion and the group’s volunteer communication creative team leader. The organisation works to close the gap between young people and food producers, and inspire pride in Australian agriculture.

“So, I have gone into schools and spoken to urban audiences about agriculture and growing food and fibre,” Bessie says. “The highlight of volunteering is connecting and collaborating with talented young people, who are considered inspirational leaders of the agricultural industry.”

Bessie Thomas puts her storytelling talent and optimism to use for the good of the agriculture industry.

For that — as well as raising awareness of the drought with a smile — she is a deserving winner of the Shine Award for Spirit.

READ MORE:

The Archibull Prize 2019 Winners announced

Beaudesert Statw High School with Costa

Representing the Australian dairy industry Queensland’s Beaudesert State High School has been named Grand Champion Archibull in the 2019 Archibull Prize, edging out previous winner Hurlstone Agricultural High School from New South Wales.

Eighteen secondary schools across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria took part in the annual competition held by Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) designed to connect students with agriculture and give farmers a face and voice. The schools are joined by Young Farming Champions as they research their nominated agricultural industry and present their findings in blogs, infographics and multi-media, however the highlight is the creation of an interpretative artwork on a life-sized fibreglass cow, known as the Archie.

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Students from Beaudesert State High School celebrate tbeir win with Costa Georgiadis

“We have come to expect quirky and imaginative Archies from Beaudesert and this year was no exception incorporating real bovine bones, braille, a cut-out Herringbone dairy and a robotic milking arm.  But more than that Beaudesert has embraced their local dairy community and taken them on their Archibull journey.”

Thanks to a partnership with Subtropical Dairy, Dairy Fields Cooperative and Dover and Son students at Beaudesert delved deep into the challenges and opportunities facing dairy in Australia to create their Archie named Hope. They explored drought, mental health of farmers and a tightening retail market and posed the question: How much do we value our Australian dairy industry? ““If our cow can make an impact and make people understand perhaps farmers can get more help and assistance through these tough times. Milk needs to be treated like the ‘white gold’ that it is and not something that is considered just a ‘staple’ and in everyone’s fridge,” the school said in their artwork statement.

Reserve Grand Champion Archibull was awarded to Hurlstone Agricultural High School who looked at the wool industry in Western NSW.  From discussions with their Young Farming Champion Anika Molesworth students learnt about African breeds of drought tolerant sheep used in Australia. “From this, we decided to delve further into the rich culture of Africa. Witch doctors, in essence, are members of societies who aid others using magic and medicine. This concept of healing felt extremely appropriate as a message of hope in a tough, overwhelming time,” the students said.

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The Archibull awards were presented at a ceremony held at Sydney Olympic Park on Tuesday 19th November, attended by sponsors and special guests including celebrity gardener Costa Georgiadis.

The Archibull Prize Awards event photos can be found here

Watch the Archibull Prize Awards Events highlights here

Mega shout out to our 2019 Archibull Prize supporting partners empowering young people to solve tomorrow’s problems today

Sponsors