Today’s guest blog comes from the Wool Industry’s Young Farming Champion Sammi Townsend
You cant imagine just how excited I was when Australian Wool Innovation offered to fly not just me in fact all 4 of the AWI Young Farming Champions to Melbourne for the Farmer of the Year Awards on 12th of September, 2012, This fantastic experience entailed travelling down to Melbourne from my humble town of residence in Orange to meet with AWI representatives and other AWI guests!
Along with the chance to ‘frock up’, the evening allowed me to recognise the passion and innovation of producers from all corners of Australia! Some who were even seated with me at the table!
Me (centre) with Young Farming Champions Steph Grills from Armidale and Lauren Crothers from Dirranbandi
This included Mr Don Mudford who is committed to producing easy-care sheep on his 4200ha farm in the Central West of NSW. Don produces animals for meat and wool, having selected sires for eye muscle and fat depth. Mrs Munford, who was also seated at my table, explained that it certainly took some time for her to convince Don that the breeding females were equally as important as the sire. She stated that now Don sees the girls in an entirely different light and the farm has successfully progressed onwards!
Richard Coole winner of the Wool Producer of the Year award 2012
Young Farming Champion Ambassador Kathleen Allan with Steph and Lauren
I was also seated at the table with Emily King, Project Officer for AWI. Emily also looks after young grower activities in the industry! To see a young woman equally as passionate about the wool industry as what I am was an inspiration- especially because she studied in Orange as well (so there were plenty of topics of choice to talk about)!
Having the opportunity to network with producers from all walks of life was an experience I’m certainly not going to forget! The enthusiasm producers showed towards their industries demonstrated to me that the future for Australian agriculture is in safe hands, and with the “Young Farmer of the Year” award and “Farming Woman of the Year”, I hope to see many people in the industry, particularly women, be rewarded for their devotion to farming sustainably and feeding the world!
Follow Sammi on Twitter @sammileettt