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.
On Primary School Preview Day Young Farming Champion Jasmine Whitten and intern Jessica Fearnley ran the Eggs-cellent workshop where students were given a 15 minutesnapshot of how farmers ensure that only the very best eggs make it into the carton in their fridge
First stop was a tour of the Cattle Pavilions were RAS Youth Group member Rachel Rodney provided insights into the planning required to bring in the animal exhibits in the short turn around time between the show closing at night and opening next morning Quite a feat when you think over 400 cattle may be moving in and out in a six hour period.
The YFC then moved to the Woolworths Dome and met with some of the teams behind the District Exhibit displays and discovered there is over 12 months of planing to bring those magnificent display to life.
It was then onto the Poultry Pavilion where RAS Rural Achiever Joe Murphy shared with the YFC his journey to become a Rural Achiever and the role of the Rural Achievers in assisting with running events at the show.
RAS Youth Group members Tobie Payne and Andrew Horne then introduced the YFC to the media centre team and the main arena announcers. The YFC discovered the Showground facilities entertain up to 1,000,000 people during the 12 days of the show and provide venues for sporting and community events for the other 353 days of the year.
Each year at the show there is a strong focus on providing visitors with genuine and fun agricultural experiences. As it happens Young Farming Champion Tim Eyes is the night manager of one we think is brilliant ( almost as impressive as The Food Farm)
Little Hands on the Land is a working farm in The Daily Telegraph Paddock teaching kids from 2 to 10 the crop-to-shop agriculture story. Its a free activity that takes the little farmers on a journey through 10 stations including a milking barn, chook shed, fruit orchard, tractor pull and more before they get to the farmer’s market to trade their produce for farm dollars. Their hard-earned farm dollars can be spent at the last station – the supermarket.
In this video Tim explains how Little Hands on the Land works in the video below and our Young Farming Champions very enthusiastically took up the offer to show you what a whirlwind Little Hands Experience is like .
As you can see a good time was had by all including our intern for 2018 Haylee Murrell who assisted YFC Tayla Field to run the Seed to Salad workshop
Meet Deanna and Lucy tomorrow they will be engaging up to 1000 primary school students in conversations about Wool at Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day, Here are some of the WOOL FACTS they will be sharing on Social Media. We are inviting our Aussie wool producers to suggest some more.
You can suggest via the comments section on the blog, on Twitter ( @art4ag) or on Facebook (Art4Agriculture). We look forward to your big ideas
Student participants will go home with a new appreciation of the insects around us using cotton farming as the model. The first thing they will learn is there are NO actual bad bugs, just bugs in the wrong place at the wrong time and there are some very pesky little bugs that just love to chew cotton plants. With Australia being the most water efficient cotton producing country in the world and (with Egypt) producing the best quality cotton in the world ( ours is the whitest and the strongest) our cotton farmers are being very diligent about encouraging the bugs in the wrong place at the wrong time to find somewhere else to live and dine.
Students will discover our cotton farmers have developed a very impressive pest management system known as Integrated Pest Management or IPM for short.
Its a big picture process that requires
1. Knowing your enemy and your friends.
2. Taking a year round approach.
3. Thinking of the farm and surrounding vegetation as a whole system.
4. Having good on-farm hygiene.
5. Considering options to escape, avoid or reduce pests.
6. Sampling crops effectively and regularly.
7. Aiming to grow a healthy crop.
8. Choosing insecticides wisely to conserve beneficials (good bugs) and bees.
Emma and Craig will introduce the students to the good bugs also known as beneficials and the bag bugs that the good bugs keep under control. Then the students will test their bug knowledge
Students will be taken on a journey to become eggsperts discovering how the humble egg is good for both their brain and body. They will be given the chance to become an eggspert starting with dressing for the part (watch this space). Then the real challenge will begin! They will be put to the test as an eggspert. The challenge is for them to determine if the egg should be stamped as consumer quality and put into the egg carton or not.
Recognising only the very best eggs reach your fridge students will perform a scientific test using a haugh machine and a yolk colour chart to determine if the inside of the egg is of the highest of quality.
Eggs provide a number of minerals and nutrients which are good for both the brain and body.
Let’s discover why they are so good for kids?
Eggs contain choline which helps in the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involve in nerve and brain functioning and memory. Without it our bodies and brain just wouldn’t function properly.
One serve of eggs provides around a third of the recommended dietary intake of folate for children. Folate is essential for the growth and maintenance of healthy cells. Ideal for those growing bodies!!
One serve of eggs provides around half the recommended dietary intake of vitamin A for children. Vitamin A is essential for growth and eye health. That means if we have a eyes or a body we should eat eggs!
Eggs contain Zinc which plays a role in cell division, cell growth, and wound healing! Exactly what active and growing bodies need especially if their prone to needing bandaids!
We are looking forward to the newly minted eggsperts going home and educating their friends and family about why eggs are good for the body and brain.
Meet our Dynamic Duo Young Farming Champions Lucy Collingridge (L) and Deanna Johnston (R) who will be coordinating our Amazing Wool Workshops at Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day
Lucy is a self confessed townie finding her way into agriculture after spending January school holidays visiting family on their farm in the Central West of NSW when she was 15. Lucy now works as a biosecurity officer with Local Land Services.
Deanna grew up on her family farm 6.5 hours west of Sydney. Her earliest memories are of the shearing shed and she had already completed her Certificate IV in Woolclassing and Certificate II in Shearing by the time she was 16. Deanna loves sharing her love of wool with everyone who will listen and found the perfect job doing shearing demonstrations at Nogo Station as part of the Outback Pioneers tourism experience
Lucy and Deanna will offer the students plenty of opportunities to learn about wool, play with wool and even learn how to class wool.
If your want to be a wool classer like Deanna this is what she will share with you
Wool has to be a certain length, between 60mm and 100mm. if the wool is shorter or longer than that farmers are charged a penalty when they sell their wool. The reason for this is wool processors have set their machines up to process wool between 60 and 100mm long. If the wool is longer or shorter then they have to recalibrate their machines to process the wool.
To measure the wool, wool classers use their finger as a ruler. Each wool classer will know how long his/her finger is. This is so you don’t have to carry a ruler around with you in your pocket and measuring the wool against your finger is quick and easy. Do you know how long your finger is? Well you might need to know when you become a wool classer!
Another test the wool classer will do to ensure the quality of wool is high is a strength test. You hold the top of the staple (a clump of wool fibres) and hold the bottom of the staple and pull it. If it doesn’t break the quality is high. If the wool breaks it means that the animal may have undergone some sort of stress and put more energy into recovering from the stress than growing wool.
The wool classer feels the wool by running the wool between their fingers. This is to feel how soft the wool is. Softness of the wool is an indicator of how fine the wool is. The finer the wool the more suitable the wool is for clothing. If the wool feels less soft, the wool will be better suited to jackets, and maybe even carpets and curtains. Have you ever worn an itchy woollen garment? Well that’s probably because that garment wasn’t made from fine Merino wool, it was made out of broader wool.
The last thing a wool classer does is look at the colour of the wool. The wool should be a bright white colour. The small discolouration is just dirt and can be washed out. We want to eliminate is wool that is black and brown. Wool can only be dyed darker than the colour it is and there is no colour darker than black so black wool cannot be used in commercial processing. The way the black fibres are formed they don’t soak up as much dye so that’s another reason why we want white wool. White wool can be dyed to whatever colour.
Deanna and Lucy are looking forward to the students telling everybody how much fun they had learning about Amazing Wool
Its clear that Deanna thinks the wool industry is a great place to be
Sharna will be presenting the Cotton or Not workshop at the Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day. Sharna’s hands on workshop will share with the students how Cotton plays a big part in our everyday lives. We sleep in it, dry ourselves with it, wrap our bodies in it and we even cook with its oil. And it’s produced by Aussie cotton growers right here under the Australian sun.
In fact right down Eastern Seaboard from Clermont in Queensland to just over the Victorian border. You can even find Cotton at the back of Bourke
Sharna is a city kid, introduced to agriculture at school. She fell in love with the cotton industry and is super keen for young people to follow her into the industry. In fact there are careers in Cotton from A to Z
We can all be very proud of our Cotton industry and Australian Cotton farmers
Some interesting facts for you
In an average year, Australia’s cotton growers produce enough cotton to clothe 500 million people.
Australia is the most water efficient cotton producing country in the world. Source
Australia and Egypt produce the best quality cotton in the world. Our cotton is the whitest and strongest. Source
The Australian Cotton industry attracts young people like Sharna. Even their farmers are young. The average age of Cotton farmers is 39 and 40% of cotton farmers are female
And its good for the planet. Net on-farm emissions of greenhouse gases on cotton farms are negative because cotton plants store more carbon than is released from production inputs used during growth.
Primary School students can meet Sharna at Stand No 13 on 22nd March 2018
Secondary Students can hear from and chat to Sharna at the Careers Workshop below
When I was fifteen my school careers adviser told me “You can’t become a farmer because that’s a boy’s job!”.
It was clear that she didn’t know me very well. My upbringing has shown me there are no ‘boy jobs’ or ‘girl jobs’, especially in agriculture! Rather than accepting this outdated notion, it kickstarted my journey to a career in agriculture.
Welcome to Jasmine Whitten’s story ………
The one thing everyone will tell you about me is that I ask ALOT of questions. I was fortunate to grow up on a diverse farm near Tamworth which produced beef cattle, wool and Lucerne hay. Spare a thought for my parents who were bombarded with questions from the day I learnt to talk. Anything from why are we feeding out hay or what does this broken part on the tractor do?
I can almost guarantee I asked that exact question just before this photo was taken and I was told to go grab the hammer from the ute.
I loved life on the farm. No day was ever the same and I never missed a chance to do things better or faster than my siblings.
My first paid job was helping to unload a truck load of hay at the age of 8. When you live an hour out of town it can be difficult to make it to sporting commitments. So, I always knew it was highly unlikely that I was going to end up being an athlete, unless, they made hay moving a sport?
In high school, I joined the school cattle team to learn more about agriculture and prepare and show cattle. My parents shared my passion and it wasn’t hard to convince them to do the two-hour return trip to pick me up from the after-school training sessions.
I was very surprised to learn that most of my peers on the cattle team were urban kids and I was one that grew up on a farm. But I had just as much to learn as they did.
The cattle team taught me so much more than learning to care for animals. It taught me public speaking, team work, the role of a mentor and how to pass my knowledge onto others (which was perhaps the greatest challenge but the most rewarding).
In hindsight the most important discovery is I now know how important is to have role models, mentors and just people that believe in you 100%. For me, it was people like Kate Lumber. I first met Kate at school where she passed on her cattle showing skills, coached me in meat judging at university and encouraged me to take every opportunity along the way. She now works as an agronomist in Moree.
Going to country shows are some of the best memories as I have. I have made lifelong friendships, met people from all over Australia and built rural networks I know I can tap into for support and advice on my career journey.
I always set the bar high for myself and I was determined to be the best I possibly could at cattle showing and judging. After every competition I would go up to the judge and saying “how can I improve?”
They were always so supportive, taking me through what I could tweak better next time. This commitment to continuous improvement paid off. After four years of showing and judging cattle I was awarded first prize at the Sydney Royal Stud Beef Cattle Judging Competition. At 17, I was the youngest in the class and I was so proud that I had put in the effort to achieve my goal. To this day I still give back to the show movement by volunteering at youth camps and local shows whenever I can.
I am now following my dreams and studying a Bachelor of Rural science at the University of New England. This degree gives me an opportunity to gain experience all over Australia and I take every opportunity I can. I have worked as a Jillaroo on properties near Rockhampton, Hughenden and Kununurra. I have even competed in meat judging competitions, participated in animal welfare research, worked for an agricultural consultancy companies, through to product sales and learning what it takes to be an auctioneer.
The UNE meat judging team on judging day!
My day in the office as a part of the auctioneering team at Tamworth sale yards.
The opportunities I have been given have allowed me to find my niche in the egg industry. The technology and innovation in the industry is phenomenal. Egg farms are continually investing in the application of new technologies which is having huge rewards for both the hens and those who work in the industry. Working on an egg farm requires extensive knowledge in the areas of environmental stewardship, animal nutrition and best practice animal wellbeing just to name a few. It’s a rapidly changing industry which has captivated my interests completely!
I can’t wait to go back to my school and share with my careers advisor that agriculture isn’t just about being a farmer and you certainly don’t have to be a boy.
You can be a vet, IT technician, agronomist, policy maker, researcher, journalist, accountant and many more with some jobs are not even created yet!
“I still remember in Year 10 being told by the counsellor at my old school that the farm was no place for a woman,” she said
“But we’re not going to be the cooks anymore. We’re going to be industry leaders. We’re going to be the ones telling the boys what to do.” Source
There will always be barriers to stop you achieving your goals. Don’t let stereotypes around what careers women or men should or should not follow blind you…… You can be anything you want to be! Seek out people who have followed the career path you aspire to, ask questions, and learn from those who have gone before you.
Find a way to climb over, push through or blow up your barriers and most importantly never forget to look back to help others climb over and push through their barriers.
As promised, this week we will be profiling our Young Farming Champions running workshops at the Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day. Students will participate in hands on workshops for the Cotton, Wool, Horticulture and Egg Industries.
Young Farming Champion Tayla Field who works for OneHarvest (recently featured in AGWomen Global ) will partner with our intern Haylee Murrell to deliver the Seed to Salad workshop. Students will learn how to plant salad vegetables, then they will dress up in aprons, hairnets and gloves and pack boxes of salad in a fun race to demonstrate the processing side of the supply chain, then they will need to identify the components of a pre made salad and match them with descriptive cards that have a fact about that vegetable.
Why is it important for young people to recognise veggies. Scarily 95% of young people aged between 2 and 18 DON’T eat enough vegetables
To be healthy, kids need to eat a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables every day. If you use a rainbow as a guide, you can ensure you get a wide range of vitamins and minerals. No single fruit or vegetable provides all the nutrients you need.Veggies are nutritious and delicious. The colour makes all the difference. Within each colour are disease fighting good guys (vitamins and minerals), that fight to keep you strong and healthy.
Tayla and Jessica will teach the students we all should be Eating A Rainbow everyday.
Eat A Rainbow Every Day!
Blue is Beautiful.
Red is Rockin’.
Green is Groovy.
Yellow is yummy.
Orange is Outrageous.
A balanced diet should always have a range of colours on the one plate.
Dark green vegetables – broccoli, cabbages, leafy greens like spinach, bok choy, lettuce, kale and silverbeet.
Orange and deep yellow vegetables – carrots, pumpkin, sweetpotatoes and squash.
Starchy vegetables – potatoes, sweet corn and sweetpotatoes
A passion to link consumers with producers … to promote public understanding of farming, and the interconnectedness of health and well-being and the agricultural sector … is the driving force behind the role of the Young Farming Champions (YFC)
Our YFC help agriculture to build its fan base and encourage young people from all walks of life to join them and follow their career pathway into the agriculture sector. Since 2010 they have being doing this very successfully through The Archibull Prize.See our 2017 Annual Report here. The Archibull Prize is a world first. A competition that uses art and multimedia to engage school students in genuine farm experiences, and gain knowledge and skills about the production of the food they eat, the fibres they use and the environment they live in. Young Farming Champions (YFC) participate in The Archibull Prize by visiting and mentoring schools, sharing their stories and insights into contemporary farming practices and inspiring students to consider careers in agriculture.
Over the past three years the YFC have been spreading the agriculture love far and wide as keynote speakers at conferences, delivering TED talks and running events and workshops across the country.
In 2018 our YFC will be participating in a smorgasbord of events to hone their skills and deliver their unique style of engaging and inspiring future generations of agriculture ambassadors and the best and brightest to join the sector
I cant think of a better way to kickstart 2018 than a partnership with the agriculture education team at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. In the lead up to the show we will be inviting Primary School students to sign up to meet the YFC team on Primary School Preview Day in The Food Farm. Students meeting the YFC will participate in hands on workshops for the Cotton, Wool, Horticulture and Egg Industries. They can also chat to YFC and farmer Tim Eyes who will be the star attraction at the Thank a Customer workshop.
Get a taste of Primary School Preview Day here
Secondary students will also get the opportunity to hear from and meet the YFC at the Careers in Ag workshop in Cattle and Horse Experience Arena
We look forward to profiling our Event Activation Team over the next 10 days. Get a sneak peak and meet them here