The world needs creative, innovative and courageous young people who can connect, collaborate and act. We know that youth may only be 20% of the population but they are 100% of the future. The time is now to let them share their dreams and design the future they want to see.
The Archibull Prize uses art and multimedia and young farming champions to promote Australian farmers as professional, committed and caring and agriculture as an exciting and dynamic and innovative career.
The Young Farming Champions (YFC) program brings young farmers into schools as part of the Archibull Prize program to introduce the next generation of consumers to sustainable food production and the diverse array of careers in the agriculture sector.
The program encourages teamwork, creativity and exploration through projects focused on the food and fibre industries.
Guided by YFC, students use a blank fibreglass cow to create an artwork showcasing their research, including the farmers who produce it, and also create a weekly blog documenting their progress and an online video.
As of today the schools are going live with their blogs and they will be sharing their journey with you.
First cab of the rank meet Trangie Central School who is being supported by Cotton Australia and the Macquarie 2100 program
Today’s guest blog post comes from Young Eco Champion Erin Lake. This is her story….
G’day- my name is Erin and I lead a pretty lucky life.
I have had a lot of great opportunities so far- some being not so obvious as others, but I reckon it’s the little things that make a person big on the inside.
My attitude to life is always do things with a smile- it makes you enjoy every moment and helps people around you enjoy those moments too. Plus, its amazing what kinds of opportunities having an open mind can bring!
So my story begins out in Western NSW- where I was born. In a little town called Jerilderie, famous for Ned Kelly’s ‘Jerilderie Letter’.
Jerilderie is full of wonderful people with a great ‘country spirit’. It’s a town, like many others in Australia, where people who go up the street to buy the paper, end up spending hours there in front of the newsagency talking to people about things going on around them.
I didn’t spend much time living in Jerilderie, but my Nan has lived there since 1974, so we would always be back there in the holidays, and Nan would take us up the street to talk to Bruce the butcher, and the newsagent, and the chemist… So I guess this cemented my philosophy of being happy to chat to anyone from any walk of life- everyone has a story to tell.
My Nan has been a pivotal part in my appreciation of nature and the bush. She would always stop and pick up any litter she came across, and held quite romanticised views of the bush and how important it is to protect our native plants and animals.
Each member of the family has a tree planted at Nan’s house, and mine is a Gum tree- planted on the day I was born. It’s now taller than the house and Nan says g’day to it whenever she feels like sending her love to me.
We moved around a bit when we were young, to Merimbula and then Cooma in the Snowy Mountains where I grew an appreciation of the beautiful snow country.
We finally ended up in Gerringong, on the sunny South Coast of NSW. Here my brother and I spent a lot of time at the beach surfing and bodyboarding, we went fishing, snorkelling and were pretty much always outdoors.
My brother and I standing in a field of canola on our way to visit Nan
My family were so proud when I became the first person in my family to get a degree. And when I got two degrees with an honours in environmental science they thought I was just showing off…
But really I just love learning, and I particularly love learning about the natural world. There are so many amazing things out there in nature, and you don’t have to look very far from your backyard to find tiny little miracles.
And this is Mick- he has been my partner and best mate for 10 years now, he has been the rock behind my journey. He loves nature just as much as me and so we do lots of things like bushwalking and canoeing together and really love it.
Uni was a great time for me, but during my course I felt that I wanted to get more practical ‘hands on’ experience, so had a look through the TAFE NSW website and saw the Conservation and Land Management course, and I thought I’d give it a go. It was here I found my passion for bush regeneration and learnt about managing the land sustainably.
It had a lot to do with the amazing teachers of the course – Gerard and Kelly, who I ended up working for professionally for a few years while I finished Uni. Working in the bush is some of the best work you can do in my opinion- you are always learning, outside all day in some of the most amazing places that no one ever goes, and you usually work with some pretty awesome people along the way… people who share your passion and can chat all day about the world while you give it a helping hand J
In the last year of Uni I did an honours thesis which looked at the way landholders in my region were managing the rainforest on their properties and what it meant to them to live in these areas of high conservation value.
One of the landholders was a dairy farmer, and following my thesis she invited me to come back and do some work for her on the farm. This work lead to a great working relationship with the community, and for the next few years we undertook a lot of natural resource management projects including restoration work, community engagement and working with young people- introducing them to the NRM industry.
I also worked for a while in Local Government as a Bush Regeneration team leader managing some of our areas reserves and natural areas.
I learnt a lot during these years on ground, but I soon felt like I wanted to know more about how environmental issues are managed higher up the chain. I wanted to know how decisions are made that effects change on the ground. so I applied for the graduate program in the federal department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC), and once i got the job we moved to Canberra to see what the public service is all about.
My graduate year was a lot of fun and I learnt a lot- i spent some time working in water policy when the Murray Darling Basin Plan was being developed, and then I worked in the Biodiversity Fund team managing NRM grants. A definite highlight for me was travelling out to Broken Hill on a field trip, where we visited Lake Mungo National Park and got to hear stories from the traditional owners out there.
In my final work placement i was lucky enough to work in the Australian National Botanic Gardens as a member of the Bush Blitz team- you can read about that here.
I am now a part of the team that is managing the National Wildlife Corridors Plan, a national strategy to support the development of continent scale wildlife corridors across Australia. It’s really exciting work and I am doing what I came here to do- learn about the processes that shape biodiversity management in Australia.
My work has taken me to lots of amazing places and I have met so many interesting people- I love working in the natural resource management industry and am excited to see where it might take me next!
See more of Erin’s story by watching her Young Eco Champion’s video here
You can see some of the wonderful work she is doing in the community here
This year Art4agriculture has been lucky enough to get significant support from the Australian government to expand the Archibull Prize and offer a primary and secondary school complementary program stream in Natural Resource Management (NRM). This gives us a wonderful opportunity to partner selected primary schools with both our young farming champions and our young eco champions.
The funding provides for a pilot program, with a successful outcome underpinning the chance to roll out the NRM stream nationally.
To integrate the pilot into the program, we have divided the 2013 Archibull Prize into 2 streams ( Program A and Program B)
Program A ( added NRM focus )
Students are asked to consider what it takes to sustainably feed and clothe their community for a day. They will explore a food or fibre industry with the support of both a Young Farming Champion and Young Eco Champion with a stronger focus on NRM. This will require the students to also consider how farmers work with natural resource management professionals to protect Australia’s scare natural resources and share this as part of their learning.
You can click here to see this wonderful Prezi that tells you what the Archibull Prize is and how it works
Cash Prizes on offer
Best blog $500
Best Video or PowerPoint $500
Best Cow $500
Overall winning school (Program A) The Archibull Prize $1000
Program B ( traditional program) The secondary schools undertaking Program B will be participating in the traditional Archibull Prize experience, where students are asked to consider what it takes to sustainably feed and clothe their community for a day. They will explore a food or fibre industry with the support of a Young Farming Champion.
Cash Prizes on offer
Best blog $500
Best Video or PowerPoint $500
Best Cow $500
Overall winning school (Program B) The Archibull Prize $1000
The winners of program A and program B will then be eligible for an additional $1,000 prize money as judges determine which is the Overall Winning School for the 2013 Archibull Prize.
Our 2013 schools are
· Arndell Anglican College
· Avoca Public School
· Barrack Heights Public School
· Bega Valley Primary School
· Boorowa Central School
· Boorowa Central School
· Bowral Public School
· Caroline Chisholm College
· Chifley Primary School
· Clermont State High School
· Corpus Christi Catholic High School
· Cranebrook High School
· De La Salle College Caringbah
· Eden Marine High School
· Eden Marine Primary School
· Elizabeth Macarthur High School
· Gunnedah High School
· Gwynneville Public School
· James Ruse Agricultural High School
· Jamison High School
· Jamison High School
· Junee High School
· Junee Public School
· Kiama Public School
· Matraville Sports High School
· Menai High School
· Model Farms High School
· Northlakes High School
· Nowra East Public School
· Nowra High School
· Rockhampton Grammar School
· Rockhampton State High School
· Shoalhaven Anglican School
· Shoalhaven High School
· St Bridgets Public School
· Theodore Primary School
· Theodore State School
· Trangie Central School
· Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College Berkeley Vale Campus
My name is Cassie Baile and I am a fifth generation sheep farmer from Bendemeer which is a village of 485 people on the Macdonald River in the New England region of New South Wales.
The road to Bendemeer
I am 22 years old and lucky enough to have grown up on a farm with the wide open spaces of paddocks and the familiar surroundings of horses, dogs and sheep
I have many fond memories of running around in the shearing shed, helping to draft, drench and watching the shearing. We always had few pet/poddy lambs at the house after lambing. It was a great joy to care for them and watch them grow into sheep.
One of my most memorable recollections was heading with Dad to check on and/or muster the sheep. I would have been happy to do this every day, 365 days of the year. It is all the wonderful memories and farm life experience that have fuelled my passion for agriculture and in particular the Wool Industry.
Following my successful selection for an Elders Traineeship in May last year, I have been provided with on-going support and training from my mentors and the Elders team and this has allowed me to progress to my career pathway in the Wool industry.
I now live and work in Sydney, for Elders as a Wool Technical Support Officer at the Yennora Wool Selling Centre. I really love my work and look forward to each day, as there is always something happening.
That’s me in the middle at the Yennora Wool Centre
My Elders Traineeship has given me incredible exposure to the many and varied facets of the Wool Industry including
Ram Sales and Bull Sales, on property and regional sales
Attending sales both on property and regionally, has enabled me to gain extensive knowledge and skills, interact with clients, improve upon my networking skills and also learn how to process sales and complete buyer registrations.
Throughout the past 11 months, I have travelled the state to towns including Newcastle, Dubbo, Cooma and Walcha. Each of these have been a great opportunity to learn more about Ram and Ewe selection, wool characteristics and selling options and also to meet and interact with existing and potential clients.
This year, I was also fortunate enough to attend the Sydney Royal Easter Show to network with sheep breeders and take in all that the Sheep and Wool pavilions had to offer. The Sydney Royal was a great experience, which enable me to see some of the highest quality sheep and wool from all over the country on display.
Farmer Interaction and Networking opportunities
Meeting dedicated and committed wool growing families is an inspiration to me as I know it is to the wool industry and wider community.
My job with Elders allows me to travel meet and network with farmers in either a hands on way through face to face meetings such as attending on-farm shearings and assisting with ram selection at Studs and over the phone conversations. I particularly enjoy meeting and speaking with wool growers at events like the Newcastle Wool Sales and Industry Functions. The positive atmosphere at each of these functions is amazing, with like-minded farmers and employees able to interact in a friendly and supportive environment and build upon as well as share their own knowledge of the wool industry.
It has certainly helped build my confidence and enabled me to become a more outgoing person.
Elders team at Newcastle Client Night 2013
Most recently, I have begun auctioneering at the weekly Sydney Wool Sales. This has been a fantastic opportunity for me to learn the new skill of being a Wool Auctioneer and also to improve my communication skills.
Me Auctioneering with Craig Brennan, Yennora Wool Technical Manager
Presentation is very important when you are trusted to sell a client’s wool clip. They are trusting you, as their broker and auctioneer, with their annual income and therefore it is very important to know the client and their product well. Its is very important to present the clip and yourself well, to achieve the best possible price for your client and their product. I also help to prepare for the weekly sale through firstly the lotting of the client’s wool specification, the valuing of the samples located on the show floor and by interacting with buyers in order to gain an idea of how the market may perform that week and over coming weeks, depending on supply and demand at that time. The opportunity to become an auctioneer has been another, very exciting step facilitated by the help and training provided by my trusted mentors within Elders and the industry. Each week I challenge myself to improve my previous weeks’ performance and believe with the amount of support of my mentors, lots of practice and commitment, I have the potential to become a highly valued Wool Auctioneer in years to come.
The Wooltrade selling system is an internet-based system trading 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Wooltrade provides woolgrowers with an alternative marketing system for their wool that is complementary to the traditional auction system. The very nature of the Wooltrade system has opened up the Australian wool market across all states, allowing buyers to purchase wool nationally rather than just regionally.
Wooltrade is based on computer technology, but it is also a managed system providing personal support to assist users. The technology used by Wooltrade enables ease of access for buyers who are able to cost-effectively and efficiently buy wool and secure future supply. Source http://www.wooltrade.com.au/
I have been involved with all of these processes, including selecting suitable lots of wool and listing them for sale on the computer system. These systems assist in both the marketing and selling of wool clips, and help woolgrowers have the flexibility to optimise prices for their wool clip and potentially avoid market volatility and the vagaries of prices on traditional sale days. See footnote
The wool industry has a proud history and plays a pivotal role in providing high quality fibre and clothing to countries all around the world.
My career in the Wool industry is allowing me to surround myself with inspirational people who are generously giving their time to mentor me. It is opening so many doors and I am committed to giving back by sharing my story with next generation and hopefully inspire other young people to join me and ensure a bright future for the Australian wool industry
About 85% of wool sold in Australia is sold by open cry auction. ‘Sale by sample’ is a method in which a mechanical claw takes a sample from each bale in a line or lot of wool. These grab samples are bulked, objectively measured, and a sample of not less than 2 kg is displayed in a box for the buyer to examine. The Australian Wool Exchange conducts sales primarily in Sydney, Melbourne, and Fremantle. There are about 80 brokers and agents throughout Australia
About 7% of Australian wool is sold by private treaty on farms or to local wool-handling facilities. This option gives wool growers benefit from reduced transport, warehousing, and selling costs. This method is preferred for small lots or mixed butts in order to make savings on reclassing and testing.
About 5% of Australian wool is sold over the internet on an electronic offer board. This option gives wool growers the ability to set firm price targets, reoffer passed-in wool and offer lots to the market quickly and efficiently. This method works well for tested lots, as buyers use these results to make a purchase. About 97% of wool is sold without sample inspection; however, as of December 2009, 59% of wool listed had been passed in from auction.] Growers through certain brokers can allocate their wool to a sale and at what price their wool will be reserved.
Sale by tender can achieve considerable cost savings on wool clips large enough to make it worthwhile for potential buyers to submit tenders. Some marketing firms sell wool on a consignment basis, obtaining a fixed percentage as commission.
Forward selling: Some buyers offer a secure price for forward delivery of wool based on estimated measurements or the results of previous clips. Prices are quoted at current market rates and are locked in for the season. Premiums and discounts are added to cover variations in micron, yield, tensile strength, etc., which are confirmed by actual test results when available.
Another method of selling wool includes sales direct to wool mills.
Today’s guest blog comes from Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion Liz Lobsey who was very excited to not only have the opportunity to share the story of Cotton recently at Moo Baa Munch , she also got to speak with both the Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and the Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Sid Sidebottom about her favourite topic agriculture.
Liz Lobsey shares the experience ……………………….
I was given the fantastic opportunity last Thursday to head to Corinda State School in Brisbane to speak about Agronomy for Cotton Australia at the Moo Baa Munch.
Firstly I will be upfront and say, defining agronomy, and making it sound like the best job in the world is a little harder then I first thought.
The Cotton Classroom (right at the front gate)
The Moo Baa Munch is organised by Agforce QLD and each industry is invited to host a site and speak about what their industry involves to high school and primary school students and why it is an exciting career prospect. I must say, even I learnt things that I didn’t know, so I can only imagine what the school students brains where like by the time they had visited the very numerous and highly diverse exhibitions.
The field to fabric process which was a joint presentation between Cotton Australia and AWI was fantastic. My favourite question was ‘So where does cotton wool come from?‘ Definitely a question the 4 of us did not expect and definitely stunned all of us.
Being involved in this collaboration between the wool industry and the cotton industry at Moo Baa Much reminded me of a question recently posed by Lynne Strong, farmer and Art4Agriculuture program director in a recent blog. Why can’t industries work together?
The thing I learnt from this joint field to fabric presentation, was just how successful agriculture can be when we do work together and what a great return on investment for all stakeholders.
After all once cotton is picked and the wool is shorn and the processing of the end products is almost identical, just different terms are used.
I was absolutely shocked that a lot of primary school students actually do believe that cotton actually comes from a sheep. It’s a bit like people thinking that milk comes from a bottle and meat comes from the shelf at the supermarket.
It’s a little scary to think that the people who buy our products are so disconnected, and they are passing this disconnection onto their children, who will pass it onto their children, and the cycle will only continue unless agriculture engages and debunks myths like these now. That’s why programs like the Moo Baa Munch and the Art4Agriculture programs are so extremely important.
What was very powerful for me as a young person with a career in agriculture and working with school children through Art4Agriculture in 2013 and 2014 was the the cotton industry and the wool industry had done their research and recognised the smart way to handle the challenge was tell the story together.
Sophie Davidson speaking about cotton processing as part of the joint Field to Fabric presentation with Wool.
Sophie Davidson (education coordinator for Cotton Australia) put these figures to the students we spoke to.
In 1813, the world population was 1 billion.
100 years later in 1913, the population was 1.7 billion.
In 2013 the world population is 7 billion.
For the last 100 years the world population had increased by almost 5.4 billion people and it is only going to continue to increase.
In light of this, the fact that we have 800 graduates at present completing agriculture related studies each year and we have 4000 graduate positions available, is of great concern.
We cant produce food and fibre without farmers and our farmers cant access the latest research and technology if we have no scientists. We cant give our animals the best care if we have no vets. We can optimise the care of our scarce natural resources unless we have soil and plant scientists like me. And that is just the start of a long list of people needed to help farmers produce the high quality and affordable food and fibre Australia is so famous for. Take the wool and the cotton industry just as example. Everywhere in the world it is recognised that no-one produces better quality wool and cotton sustainably than Australia.
Me and Sophie Davidson ( Cotton Australia)
I pose this question to you. What do you think Agforce is trying to achieve though Moo Baa Munch?.
Is it the need the need for agriculture to sexy up its image?
If so do we really need to make agriculture sexy to attract the next generation?
Or, do we simply need to reacquaint them with a very important industry that has been here for hundred’s of years and gets more exciting and more necessary every year ?
These were certainly the questions on the lips of Premier Campbell Newman, who I had the pleasure of meeting.
Me and the QLD Premier Campbell Newman
And its not just Campbell Newman asking how can we make agriculture sexy, this is something that industry has been talking about for quite some time.
Personally I think we should be looking at the first rule of marketing and taking a step back and engaging our consumers and the next generation of agriculture’s potential workforce first and finding out what they really think about agriculture. Once we have this knowledge then we can address their concerns and fix the problems and then we will have a real chance of selling agriculture as ‘dripping with integrity and sexy.’
I was also lucky enough to have a brief conversation with the Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Sid Sidebottom about improving agricultures image, and he firmly believes that something needs to be done, sooner rather then later.
Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Sid Sidebottom
So, it is our responsibility, as professionals, producers and supporters of the agriculture industry to be proactive and engage the public and change their misconceptions. After all can we think of better people to tell our story than the people who grow and produce the products?
I believe that we are at a make or break period for the agriculture sector. Realistically if we don’t do something now to ensure young people see agriculture as an attractive and exciting and innovative industry to work in what sort of future does agriculture have in this country?
What sort of future does Australia have without a thriving agriculture sector?
The Moo Baa Munch was a fantastic experience for me and I am confident all the visitors felt the same. A huge hats off to Agforce for being proactive and innovative for designing and managing the event. Also a big thank you to Sophie Davidson and Cotton Australia for letting me have the opportunity to travel down and speak to students about the cotton industry, learn more about the wool industry, agriculture and the value of successful cross industry partnerships.
It was a great personal and professional development opportunity for me not only to brush up on my public speaking skills but also a fantastic opportunity to engage with the community and share stories about my favourite topic Australian agriculture and our inspirational farmers.
Target 100 – an initiative by Australian cattle and sheep farmers to deliver more sustainable cattle and sheep farming by 2020 – is delighted to announce its Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions for 2013
This year we have again been impressed by the high quality of the Young Farming Champion candidates. They have a great breadth of experience and a passionate commitment to a sustainable future for the Australian beef and lamb industry and will undoubtedly prove to be strong and effective advocates
Elise Vale Community Engagement Manager.
The Target 100 Young Farming Champions for 2013 are:
Jasmine Nixon, 24, from Wagga Wagga in NSW.
My passion is agriculture and I am proud to say I love my beef cows! Every day I know that I am contributing to help feed the world – and I also love what I do. Agriculture is an exciting place to be, yes there are challenges but there are also endless different opportunities within agriculture and that is something I hope to share and encourage a new generation to take on the challenge to help feed the world!
Education is the key to ensuring the Australian agricultural industry is understood and supported by our urban cousins and I look forward to a career where I can achieve this, and then come home to the farm every evening.
I see today’s agricultural industry as exciting and challenging and I feel privileged to be a part of an industry which is so vital to Australia’s future. I look forward to contributing to the industry through my veterinary profession and AGvocacy roles
“People will only conserve what they love, love what they understand, understand what they know and know what they are taught,” says Naomi.
It doesn’t matter what your background may be all you need is enthusiasm, a willingness to learn and the ability to say yes to the opportunities that are presented to you and I guarantee a great adventure will be waiting!
After all, as Dorothea wrote…
Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold.
Our four Champions will share their stories with urban Australians and help improve city consumers’ understanding of the challenges of producing beef and lamb sustainably.
Our aim is for these young women to become part of a strong network of equally passionate young rural people who are encouraging consumers to value, be proud of and support the Australian farmers who feed and clothe them.
An important aspect of their role as Young Farming Champions will be to speak with school children about how sheep and cattle are raised.
Hannah, Danille, Naomi and Jasmine will go into schools which are participating in the Art4Agriculture Archibull Prize program and spread the word on the sustainability of the beef and lamb industry.
By actively engaging in two way conversations the Young Farming Champions will help bridge the gap between city and rural communities by increasing knowledge, generating trust and understanding of modern farming practices.
We will be hosting our Beef Young Champions at our head office and introducing them to our team members and supporting their journey every step of the way. We wish them well over the course of this year and look forward to their feedback so we can optimise the beef and sheep farmer story experiences we provide in schools and the wider community!
On behalf of Art4Agriculture and the Beef Young Farming Champions we salute the Target 100 team and thank them for investing in next gen food and fibre
Jasmine, Danille, Naomi and Hannah will join the Art4Agriculture team of 2012 Young Farming Champions and we are looking forward to working with them all. They light our fire and keep it burning. So much energy and commitment for a dynamic, innovative exciting and profitable agrifood sector
Farmers in this country are less than 1% of the population and number 10 on Reader’s Digest most trusted professions list.
Above us are ambulance officers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and fireman. Why is this you ask?. The answer is easy. If you are an ambulance officer, a doctor, a nurse, a pharmacist or a fireman there would be a time in most people’s lives when you would be reminded just how important your profession is.
With food in abundance in this country there is little opportunity to remind the community just how important our farmers are.
On behalf of all Australian farmers I would like to thank ABC24news who have created this wonderful video to tell our story
A key to helping maintain the momentum is farmers finding their own vehicles to tell their story. Vehicles that help us have two way conversations with the most important people and the white elephant in the room otherwise known as consumers and voters. This is not something farmers in general have the skill sets or expertise for. In the past we have let others tell our story and that has been a disaster of momentous proportions and it is one of the key reasons why agriculture is currently on its knees in this country.
So how do fix this. We can do it. I know because at Art4Agriculture we have found the successful model
Like any idea it’s not the concept but the people who make it work and for agriculture it will be our young people. They are out there. We have a whole cohort of them in Art4Agriculture’s Young Farming Champions program. Our Young Farming Champions are now working side by side with our Young Eco Champions to tell agriculture’s story to our most important audience
What does it take to have young people who can talk like this, who can inspire other young people to follow in their footsteps. What does it take for our young people to be the change that agriculture so needs to have?.
Art4Agriculture has the formula and the results speak for themselves?. Listen to the video.
Follow their journey
THE 2012 YOUNG FARMING CHAMPIONS
Sponsored by Meat and Livestock Australia Target 100 program
Stephanie Fowler Wagga Wagga, NSW
Steph grew up on the Central Coast of New South Wales in a small coastal suburb, Green Point. A decision to study agriculture in high school created a passion for showing cattle and in 2012 she started a PhD in Meat and Livestock Science, with a project that is looking at the potential of Raman Spectroscopy in predicting meat quality.
“When I was growing up I never dreamed that I would end up joining an incredibly rewarding, innovative and exciting industry that would take me across the country and around the world.”
Bronwyn is a Grazing Land Management Officer with the Fitzroy Basin Association. Her family has a long association with the cattle industry in Queensland and her parents currently run a 5500 acre cattle property near Capella.
“I believe consumers have lost touch of how and where their food and fibre is produced. In these current times where agriculture is competing with other industry for land use, labour, funding and services, it is important that we have a strong network of consumers who support the industry and accept our social license as the trusted and sustainable option.”
Kylie Stretton and her husband have a livestock business in Northern Queensland, where they also run Brahman cattle. Kylie is the co-creator of “Ask An Aussie Farmer” a social media hub for people to engage with farmers and learn about food and fibre production.
“The industry has advanced from the images of “Farmer Joe” in the dusty paddock to images of young men and women from diverse backgrounds working in a variety of professions. Images now range from a hands-on job in the dusty red centre to an office job in inner city Sydney. So many opportunities, so many choices.”
Tamsin grew up in Moree but is not from a farm. An enthusiastic teacher at high school who encouraged the students to better understand the natural world sparked Tamsin’s interest in agriculture. She is now studying agricultural science at the University of New England.
“Growing up in Moree has shown me is how important it is to have young people in the industry with a fiery passion and a desire to educate those who aren’t fully aware of the valuable role our farmers play in feeding and clothing not only Australians but many other people around the world.”
Richie is a fifth-generation farmer at Trangie in central-western NSW. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Sydney and in the long term, intends to return to the family farm, a 6000-hectare mixed-cropping, cotton and livestock operation.
“It’s fantastic to help people understand how their food and fibre is produced and to represent the agricultural industry. Most of the students I talked to are from the city so they haven’t been exposed to agriculture on the kind of scale we work on.”
Jess was introduced to the dairy industry by a childhood friend whose parents owned a dairy farm. She is currently undertaking a Traineeship in Financial services through Horizon Credit Union while completing full time study for a double degree in Agricultural Science and Agribusiness Finance through Charles Sturt University.
“I am hoping to follow a career path in finance related to and working one-on-one with our farmers to develop their industries and operations to work to full capacity as well as continuing to work with the next generation. The fact that I don’t come from a farming background helps show that exciting agriculture related careers and opportunities are available to everyone.”
Tom is a fourth generation dairy farmer from Bega and is actively involved in a range of industry activities including Holstein Australia Youth Committee and the National All Dairy Breeds Youth Camp.
“The fact is there is a fair majority of the population that doesn’t realise how their food gets from paddock to plate. If we want agricultural production to double over the next 30 years to feed the predicted 9 Billion people we have a big task ahead of us. This will require farmers and communities working cooperatively for mutual benefit.”
Lauren is passionate about the wool industry and spent her gap year on a remote sheep station in Western NSW increasing her hands-on knowledge. Lauren is now studying a Bachelor of Agribusiness at the University of Queensland.
“Every family needs a farmer. No matter who you are, your gender, your background or where you live you can become involved in this amazing industry.”
Steph Grills’ family has been farming in the New England Tablelands since 1881 and the original family farm remains in the family to this day. Steph is combining a career on the farm with her four sisters with a Bachelor of Livestock Science at the University of New England.
“I believe the future for Australian agriculture will be very bright. I am excited to be part of an innovative industry that is leading the world in technology and adapting it on a practical level. I’m very proud to say that Agriculture has been passed down over nine known generations and spans over three centuries just in my family. My hope is that this continues, and that the future generations can be just as proud as I am that they grow world-class food and fibre. I also hope by sharing my story I can inspire other young people to follow me into an agricultural career.”
Sammi is passionate about encouraging young people to explore careers in agriculture and has a website and blogwww.youthinagtionaustralia.com where she showcases the diversity of opportunities. In 2012 Sammi commenced studying Agricultural Business Management at Charles Sturt University in Orange.
“I have found that being an Art4Ag YFC has helped my University this year. This was my first year at University and my first time out there and finding my feet. Taking on this role helped give me a lot of confidence and it has also broadened my own knowledge about my own industry. It is amazing how many things you take for granted until you have to tell someone about them! I was elected President of the Ag Club at Uni in the middle of the year and it is a role I thought I never would have had the confidence to take on. With the opportunities I have been given this year through Art4Ag, I have a new-found confidence to have a go at tackling anything.”
It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to the second on our Young Dairy Farming Champions for 2013. We previously profiled Cassie McDonald here
This is the Andrew D’Arcy story …….
My name is Andrew D’Arcy and I am a 5th generation dairy farmer from the Bega Valley.
I am passionate about the future of agriculture and believe that there are endless opportunities in this industry.I was born in Bega, a beautiful coastal region located on the far south coast of New South Wales.
Bega is a great place to live as it is in close proximity to untouched, pristine beaches, situated a few mere hours away from the capital city and the snow fields, and is surrounded by a vast valley of hills to occupy my leisure time with motorbike riding, surfing, snowboarding, fishing, and wake boarding.
Cow painted by Bega Primary School students in 2007
I was educated at the local primary and secondary schools before I was fortunate enough to be able to pursue further education in agriculture at the University of Melbourne (Dookie campus). Over a period of four years I obtained a Bachelor of Rural Business. During this time I worked in different fields of agriculture such as beef cattle, sheep, horticulture, and dry and irrigated cropping. I believe that this experience allowed me to gain an understanding of how other agricultural enterprises work as well as obtain valuable knowledge that I have bought back to my own property. In 2007, I came back to Bega to work alongside my father, who also was born, raised and worked on the property for over 35 years.
My dad Tom D’Arcy
Currently, together we are both able to work and manage the family owned dairy farm, ‘Daisy Bank’ which consists of a milking herd of 420 cows. We are proud supplier to the iconic Australian brand Bega Cheese.
Recently in mid-2012, after many years of research our family decided to install a Lely robotic milking system. See the robotic dairy working at the Dornuaf farm in Tasmanian here
Currently we are operating a six unit system which operates on a pasture based voluntary milking system. This means the herd are able to move around the farm in a relaxed manner and come into the milking shed based off the desire to be milked, stimulation (cow brush) and feed incentives. The benefits of this innovative system include improved cow well-being, udder health, quicker mastitis and sick cow/illness detection, increased milk production and the opportunity to feed the cattle according to production thus an increased feed efficiency. Additionally, they provide the opportunity for a more flexible daily routine to allow more time to be spent on pasture development, environmental care, and calf and heifer rearing and training. Most importantly, the robotic milking system has allowed for an improved lifestyle, reducing the usual 7 day a week, 365 days of the year, early morning starts required for milking in a conventional herringbone or rotary dairy.
Over the years the dairy industry has created many great opportunities for me. I have been fortunate enough to travel throughout Australia & New Zealand on several different educational tours and conferences which has allowed me to gain a broader perspective on all different aspects involved in the dairy industry. These experiences have allowed me to view how far the Australian dairy industry has come over the past 100 years as well as highlighted the potential for the future of dairy and Australian agriculture.
With an ever increasing world population, the importance and need for agriculture is going to strengthen. This necessary demand will generate more career opportunities with boundless positions within the industry, not limited to farming alone but incorporating other fields such as agronomy, nutrition, marketing, engineering, research, science, accounting, veterinary, mechanical – the list is endless. Currently only 3% of Australians are working within agriculture which has decreased by 20% in the past decade. Additionally, at present Australian agriculture requires at least 6000 tertiary qualified graduates per year however there are only 800 students graduating annually in agriculturally associated degrees. These statistics alone highlight the importance of encouraging new people to get involved in agriculture.
We, the next generation need to be the driving force behind this positive change for the future of Australian agriculture.
As the 2013 Archibull Prize starts to roll out in 40 school across Queensland, NSW and the ACT we are putting the final touches on the 2013 curriculum with it currently being scrutinised by our primary and secondary teacher panel.
One of the questions we ask the students is about waste and why is there so much. We ask them to write a blog about how food wastage occurs, discuss poor food purchasing choices and suggest sustainable strategies to reduce wastage. If Eisenstein is right then this is a very important topic for discussion
This fascinating book the ‘Hungry Planet: What the World Eats’ by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluision is an inspired idea, to better understand the human diet and explore what culturally diverse families eat for a week.
The photographs in the book feature pictures of families from different countries at their dining tables with a week’s worth of food purchases. You can find all the images here. We soon learn that diet is determined by different things in first and third world countries.
Fascinatedly for me from the picture it would appear first world problems in Australia would include things like just how many bottles of 2 litre soft drinks can you fit into a plastic shopping bag before it breaks. No idea how they carry all that water. This must be a family that eats together and shops together. For my dairy farm its a bit of a worry their bottled water consumption seems to leave their milk consumption for dead. However I imagine the egg and livestock industry would be pleased to see this table. Not sure if this Aussie family is getting their five serves of fruit and veg per day though. What I do know is my grocery list looks nothing like this yet my health is nothing to skite about either.
Interestingly soft drinks and how to get them home in one piece without spraining your back would appear to be an even bigger problem in Mexico but it would appear they are getting their five serves of fruit and veg per day
In Britain which appears to be supporting the wealth of the confectionary giants a common topic of concern would be “does chocolate really cause acne”?
Enough of the flippancy. This picture of a family in Chad is very sobering
This image below outs the US and Iceland as the countries with the biggest wasters in the world. I wasn’t game to do the sums on OZ and covert the metrics to whatever prehistoric system the measure ‘pounds’ come from. Com’on pounds, shillings and pence or was that pounds and ounces went out of fashion when I was six. According to this article the average Australian wastes 200kg of food a year (see footnote)
I look forward to hearing what next gen has to say on the topic of waste and wise food choices because my generation doesn’t seem to have any answers to this very wicked wicked problem
This article makes some very strong points. Some that particularly resonated with me
75% of Australians believe their country is immune to poverty and as such do not think of hunger as a problem.
The pantry of Australia’s national food relief effort is a low profile outfit called Foodbank, a national operation using a big business model to channel surplus food from the food and grocery industry onto welfare networks. Despite the important expression of community altruism and other frontline welfare agencies, the problem of hunger is far from being solved. In 2011, Foodbank distributed 21 million kilograms of donated food and groceries, making the equivalent of 28 million meals to help 75,000 people a day through a network of 2,500 welfare agencies.
Foodbank relies upon a workforce of 3,500 volunteers to operate its warehouses across the country. Occasionally, state governments and councils provide grants for specific projects but largely, the organisation survives on donations. Only recently the Australian government has started to contribute $1 million a year to assist Foodbank in providing vulnerable Australians with what most of us consider as a human right, the right to safe and nutritious food.
This should prompt some hard questions. It is common for liberal market economies to off-load welfare responsibilities from federal and state governments to the voluntary sector and Australia is no exception.
Allowing hunger to be de-politicised in this way fosters the notion that it should fall to non-government organisations to answer pressing social problems, while governments are best at fostering self-reliance and self-provision.
The silence of the Australian government around domestic food security not only confirms its denial of the issue, but indicates a failing welfare system.
Also at issue is the environmental consequences of rampant food wastage. It is now reported that about 4.5 million tonnes (200kg per person) of food are wasted every year in Australia. The annual retail value of Australian food waste is estimated at more than $5 billion.
Among the reasons at the supply end are blemishes or imperfections, over-ordering or short shelf life, while consumers demand perfectly shaped products and plan their pantries poorly.
Food waste in Australian landfills is the second largest source of methane emission – a gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. If one tonne of food waste generates 3.8 tonnes of CO₂ equivalent emission, then Australian food waste is responsible for 15 million tonnes of CO₂equivalent emissions every year.
Despite this happening in its own backyard, Australian policy makers still have ambitions to contribute to global food security initiatives. For instance, the 2010 budget committed $464 million over four years to assist countries in Asia, Africa, and in the Pacific region to build community resilience and improve agricultural productivity.
But if Australia refuses to consider hunger as an issue of public policy and continues to consistently undermine adequate financial assistance to its own people, a nagging question remains about the nature of its ambitions for addressing food security beyond its shores.
How should we understand the Federal Government’s proclamation of rights to adequate food, clothing and shelter in international law, while hungry Australians are receiving support from privately run charity organisations?
If the problem of hunger in wealthy and technologically advanced Australia is to be eliminated, it must be recognised as a political question and a fundamental issue of human rights and distributive justice.
As you can see a great deal of this article resonated with me. I say lets tidy up our own backyard before we jump over the fence