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.
Partnering with Country to Canberra to promote their Power Trip Competition is a natural alignment of values for the Youth Voices Leadership Team. As an all female team, many of whom grew up in regional and rural areas we know how important it is for young females to have access to opportunities like those offered by Country to Canberra. The Power Trip Competition is an exciting opportunity for young females to gain confidence and skills and be inspired by female leaders in Canberra. If you know female students who are in Years 10-12 (or are one yourself!) please consider applying.
Jo Newton Youth Voices Leadership Chair
Country to Canberra has officially launched their inspiring, 5th annual Leadership Competition for young rural women.
At least 15 students will win an all-expenses paid ‘Power Trip’ to Canberra to meet incredible female CEOs and politicians, undertake leadership and public speaking training, tour parliament, connect with other young trailblazers and much more! To enter, girls just need to create a short video or written entry on the 2018 competition question.
“Life is a roadtrip with twists and turns. How can we support one another to navigate the road to gender equality?”
The competition opens on 24 July 2018 and closes at 11.00 pm AEST 1 September 2018.
Who can enter?
To win the Power Trip prize, entrants must be:
Female/female identifying students who are attending school in grades 10, 11 or 12 in 2018.
Be 15 years of age by 20 November 2018.
Attend a school that is located at least 50 kms away from a town with a population 80,000 persons or more.
For example, if you attend school in Alice Springs, NT (population 28,000) you’re eligible to enter. If you attend school 30 kilometres out of Newcastle, NSW (population 300,000) then you are ineligible to enter.
Please share far and wide through your networks and invite young women to apply using this link: https://bit.ly/2tdQj3v.
Cotton Young Farming Champion Emma Ayliffe visited Parramatta Public School in June 2018
Take Skype, a laptop and an interactive whiteboard and Cotton Australia’s Young Farming Champion Emma Ayliffe, standing in a paddock of cotton stubble, was able to beam directly to Sydney school students sitting in a classroom.
In July the classroom came to her via Skype
Emma is taking the story of cotton to Parramatta Public School as part of The Archibull Prize and with her live cross she showed students how technology such as moisture probes is used in the field and how data collected can be instantly uploaded. The paddock of stubble allowed her to ‘trash’ talk and explain the concept of crop rotation to 90 avid watchers.
For teacher Esra Smerdon the experience brought a real-world connection to the classroom. “When we skyped with Emma she was able to show us how they used moisture probes to identify whether or not they needed to water and how they used that data to inform them,” she said. “Water is a very valuable natural resource that we need to take care of and while we don’t have moisture probes the kids are able to touch and feel the soil (in their school cotton crop) to ensure enough water is being given to the plant. Emma also put us onto the Day Degrees formula, which helps us work out the growth cycle of cotton, which we are growing in our greenhouse.”
While Parramatta Public School has covered similar units in previous years Esra feels Emma’s presentation from the paddock helped to give the students a different perspective. “It was great to see the farmer’s point of view and what they do to ensure they have a successful crop. All these things we have been learning about has enhanced our kids understanding of what farmers go through and how climate change does affect us and why we need to be careful with biosecurity.”
And it seems Emma is having an influence on the career direction of students. “Emma is amazing,” Esra said, “and the kids absolutely love her enthusiasm. I think we have some students who now would like to be an agronomist because it looks really fun.”
This week’s news from our Young Farming Champions across the country
In the Field
It’s been all action for our Wool Young Farming Champions (YFC) this week with the annual Australian Sheep and Wool show on in Bendigo, Victoria. Three of our “Woolly” YFC, Jo Newton, Sam Wan and Melissa Henry, and our newest Rice YFC Erica Heffer converged on the industry’s biggest event of the year and we’ve had some top stories emerge:
The amazing Sam Wan spent the weekend stewarding and speaking at the Soils Make Sense careers forum at the Careers and Technology Hub.
It’s been a huge month for Sam who has been named as one of three finalists in The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australian Annual Wool Broker Awards. She has also been recognised with the One Elders Operational Performance Award for July. Read the full story here. Great work, Sam!
If you’re in the world of wool you may have heard Sam speak at a recent growers function for Elders South Australia, or heard her as one of the wool auctioneer’s interviewed on the Victorian Country Hour at the last wool sale of the selling season in Melbourne last week. Take a listen here
Wool YFC and coloured wool grower Melissa Henry judged the Black and Coloured sheep section and the coloured fleece section at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show. With 55 sheep entered from 8 exhibitors it was a tough task and Melissa said “The line ups for Grand Champion Ram, Ewe and Lamb were crackers!” One of her weekend highlights was the chance to see so many different breeds of sheep that you normally only see in books. We’re rapt you had such a great weekend, Mel!
Youth Voices Leadership Team Chair Jo Newton was busy hosting our Picture You In Agriculture social media channels in between stewarding merino sheep competitions.
At Friday night’s Young Stud Masters Muster Jo was one of six wool representatives hosting a panel aimed at inspiring young people into agriculture. The New Breed initiative launch, supported by Stock & Land, discussed topics including attracting young people into the wool industry, rebranding agriculture in schools, Ag-Tech, and the culture of agriculture. Way to go, Jo!
Jo also caught up with our newest Rice YFC Erica Heffer who spent the weekend stewarding as part of her Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) Rural Achievers Experience.
Check out this great video interview with Erica about her experiences at the Sheep and Wool Show here:
From country Victoria to the top of Western Australia, Cotton YFC Alexander Stephens is possibly the nation’s most famous cotton picker this week! Alexander is about to harvest Western Australia’s first commercial cotton crop in nearly fifty years and at the time of writing, his story had been shared across Facebook almost 300 times. All eyes in the Aussie cotton industry are on this exciting and innovative venture right now. Read more about it here:
Cotton YFC and agronomist Martin Murray is also making headlines this week, in the world of bees! Check out his story via the Young Farmers Business Project, where Martin talks about acquiring his first hive of these amazing winged creatures that keep the world of agriculture running. Read the story here
Out of the Field
YFC Anika Molesworth is in Argentina this week. As part of her work with the Argentine Agriculture Minister and the Australian Minister for Agriculture, Anika will be visiting farms, running workshops with young farmers, presenting on global agricultural challenges and opportunities and preparing a report for the Ministers on the vision of strong and resilient farming sectors. We can’t wait to hear more about your trip Anika!
In country NSW, Grain YFC Keiley Obrien attended the @YoungFarmerBP Business Ready Workshop in Dubbo.
as you can see from Keiley’s quote she was impressed
“ WOW what an event. We learnt a lot & found it extremely relevant given the current re-structure out contracting business is going through. Great networking op as well. Would highly recommend! #YFBP”
Archibull Prize school visits are well underway and several YFC are heading into classrooms this week. These visits are exciting days for students but for YFC they are an absolute highlight of the year. The chance to get out of the paddock, office or research lab and into schools to share their life’s passion is a thrilling and rewarding experience. This week:
Wool YFC and newly graduated vet Dione Howard is visiting Bombala High School.
Grain YFC Dan Fox is visiting Kellyville High School and Granville Boys High School.
Young people’s perceptions of agriculture and regional areas are a caricature created by TV, movies, cartoons, news and limited personal experience. Agriculture needs career communications that bring to life specific roles that challenge stereotypes.
When young people are asked to identify careers in agriculture they can’t. Their answers revolve around farming related activities. Research (including The Archibull Prize surveys) show there is a positive correlation between knowledge and interest.
In late 2018 PIEFA will relaunch the Career Harvest website which is designed as a one-stop shop for prospective careers in agriculture. The site gives information on career pathways, internships and scholarships, with advice and news from graduates and industry.
Similarly, PYiA runs a careers website under their Archibull Prize banner featuring Young Farming Champions (YFC) illustrating the diverse range of agricultural careers with videos and career snapshots. The content is aimed at primary and secondary students participating in The Archibull Prize and encourages students to consider a career in agriculture.
“Our Young Farming Champions are visiting schools, sharing their stories in the community and online, showing young people, teachers, careers advisers and parents a career in agriculture is an exciting chance to be part of the solution. A chance to undertake problem solving and see your work impact the lives of others
The new partnership between the two bodies will allow for cross-promotion of content between both sites. “Industry and schools need a platform to promote agricultural education and I believe this partnership with PIEFA is a wonderful start to positive collaborations,”
We are all in this together. Collaboration reduces duplication. Collaboration creates opportunity and solves common priorities” PYiA Director Lynne Strong said.
PIEFA CEO Ben Stockwin also believes this will be a mutually beneficial arrangement.
“PIEFA has recently taken on the management of Career Harvest and aims to curate careers information on behalf of industry to pull together information that informs and attracts new entrants to the industry,” he said. “PYiA and YFC have been at the forefront of presenting a modern, contemporary and accurate portrayal of the industry in a way that is accessible to young people across Australia. Career Harvest is very proud to have these programs as partners.”
More than just on-farm, agriculture today offers careers across a wide spectrum including jobs in environment and sustainability, biosecurity, humanities, extension, communications and engineering to name a few. Having platforms such as Careers Harvest and The Archibull Prize will guarantee a new generation is aware of these opportunities.
Wool Young Farming Champion Sam Wan credits her YFC training for taking her career to new levels and wow, isn’t she kicking some goals! Here are some of the things Sam has been up to in recent months:
In May Sam was accepted into the International Wool Textile Organisation’s (IWTO) Young Professionals Program and she attended her first overseas conference in Kowloon, Hong Kong – her Mum’s hometown! “The opportunity was invaluable in increasing my awareness and understanding of all aspects of the wool pipeline, international networking, current projects and innovations within the industry. Fascinating topics included synthetic contribution to micro-plastics in the ocean, wool’s position in fibre ratings, wellness benefits with bedding and clothing backed by solid science, and green buildings.” Sam also found Hong Kong’s weather – 35oC and 80% humidity – just made for wool with its properties of moisture wicking and quick drying.
Sam recently spoke at an Elders South Australian growers function where feedback on her presentation and her enthusiasm for wool was extremely positive.
She will be presenting the Elders/Southern Clip of the Year awards at Sheepvention in Hamilton later in the year.
Sam is speaking at the Soils Make Sense careers forums at the Careers & Technology Hub at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo this week; and is also attending forums and stewarding for the show.
All Sam’s hard work is paying off and this month she was recognised with the One Elders Operational Performance Award. She has also just been announced as one of three finalists in the National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia’s Annual Wool Broker Award.
“The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia’s Annual Wool Broker Award recognises and rewards excellence in wool broking in Australia. The Award recognises client servicing, auctioneering and/or innovation by a wool broker staff member who has been in the wool broking industry for 10 years or less and who is working for a NCWSBA member.” Source
Read about Sam’s journey in the Stock and Land here
Watch here share it here
Congratulations Sam. It is wonderful to see our Young Farming Champions take the skills they have learnt in the program and apply them so successfully to the wider world.
Kimberley Agricultural Investment (KAI), with financial injections from the Federal Government and the private sector, is about to harvest Western Australia’s first wet season commercial cotton crop in nearly fifty years and Cotton Australia’s Young Farming Champion Alexander Stephens will be the man doing the picking.
Since the initial cotton industry in the Kimberley’s Ord Irrigation Scheme collapsed in 1974 after a ten year run the science of cotton has come a long way with the development of new varieties, a huge reduction in the amount of pesticide used and an increase in water use efficiencies. KAI’s crop, which was planted in February, heralds a brand new era, and after a challenging growing season with higher than normal spring temperatures, is ready to harvest. Read the back story here
Cotton Australia Young Farming Champion Alexander Stephens is driving the harvest – literally –as he is aboard the picker contracted for the job. Alexander’s adventure as Western Australia’s only cotton picker comes at the end of a season that has seen him travel through Queensland and New South Wales following the cotton harvest. The western extension to his job came about after his boss and Nuffield Scholar Matthew McVeigh entered into discussions with fellow Nuffield Scholar Luke McKay, farm manager for KAI.
Leaving Hay on July 8th with the cotton picker aboard a truck from BJC Heavy Haulage of Goodiwindi and Alexander in an escort vehicle, the convoy travelled 3900km through Bourke, Mt Isa and Katherine to arrive in Kununurra five days later.
Alexander has been fascinated with large machinery since he was a boy playing in the sandpit and says:
“In reality the toys have just got a lot bigger and
I have migrated from the sandpit to a farm.”
And his computerised cotton picker is indeed a big toy weighing in at 32 tonnes with a laden bale, and standing 5.2m tall and 6.5m wide. With GPS to measure yield mapping the picker toddles along at 7km/hr and can harvest up to 45-50ha each day.
Alexander explains how a Cotton Picker works to students at Calvary Christian College
Alexander expects he will be on the picker for about 4 weeks beginning with a 16ha feasibility trial plot before the remainder of the 350ha is picked for KAI and trucked across Australia to the Louis Dreyfus Company gin at Dalby in QLD.
The world is watching this momentous occasion as commercial cotton moves into the Kimberley and Alexander is excited to be playing such a crucial role.
“Being able to work and travel around the different cotton growing regions that Australia has to offer is an amazing experience and after starting back with the McVeigh family two years ago, I never would have thought that I would have an opportunity to make my way northwest to Kununurra to pick cotton,” he says. “This experience is a combination of excitement and pressure because there is a lot riding on the outcome of this harvest not only from the researchers involved in the trial crops but also for Australian and international investors waiting to find out yield results from the commercial crop.”
This week’s Young Farming Champions stories from around the country
In the Field
Cotton Young Farming Champion Alexander Stephens takes out this year’s award for the most fields visited having covered over 6000km from Dalby, QLD, to Hay, NSW, and up to Kununurra, WA, to pick the world’s strongest and whitest cotton.
What a way to see Australia, driving very big toys! We can’t wait to hear more about cotton picking on the Ord River, Alexander.
Wool Young Farming Champion Emma Turner spent last week home on the station collecting data for her honours thesis looking at the differences between 6 monthly and 12 monthly shearing. It involved lots of colour:
YFC Anika Molesworth jetted off to Argentina this morning. By invitation from the Argentine Agriculture Minister, Anika will be visiting farms, running workshops with young farmers and presenting on global agricultural challenges and opportunities.
This program coincides with the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, and part of her brief is to collaborate with young South American farmers to prepare a report for the Ministers on the vision of strong and resilient farming sectors, enabling young farmers, and promoting future industry leaders. Anika will be working with Australian Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud and visiting farmer groups to discuss collaborative relationships between countries and tackling the industry’s big challenges.
YFC Sam Coggins has just returned from Myanmar where he reviewed three Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) projects looking at pulses, soil mapping and nitrogen fertiliser efficiency. The three projects aim to improve food security and farmer livelihoods. Read more about what ACIAR is doing in Myanmar here
We are very excited to announce the Rice industry has joined the Art4Agriculture team and our very first Rice Young Farming Champion is Erika Heffer. Welcome Erika and thank you the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia. We’re really looking forward to working together. Read the story here
Art4Agriculture has long been recognised for its delivery of community events such as The Archibull Prize and its training of young people with the Young Farming Champions program. Art4Agriculture works with a range of supporters and is proud to add RGA to that list and to spread the rice industry’s story across a greater audience.
“RGA is excited to support the Young Farming Champions program with RGA’s Erika Heffer from Deniliquin representing the rice industry,” RGA executive director Graeme Kruger said. “RGA understands the importance of developing the skills of our young people. The rice industry is pleased be able to share the story of rice with the wider community through our Young Farming Champion Erika.”
The Young Farming Champions program identifies youth ambassadors and future leaders and provides them with the training and skills to thrive in the modern world of agricultural advocacy. As part of the program Erika will attend workshops in Sydney under the mentorship of some of Australia’s finest communication, marketing and professional development experts. She will then have the opportunity to take her story into schools with The Archibull Prize.
“As part of the Young Farming Champions program I expect to meet like-minded young people who love agriculture and to learn alongside them about all things ambassadorship, communication and connection,” Erika said. “I am looking forward to attending workshops and undertaking professional development to prepare me to confidently share my rice story and be a young face of agriculture in my community.”
Erika sees the rice industry as an innovative and evolving one and is keen to share the good news story.
“Our Australian rice growers use 50% less water to grow one kilogram of rice than the world average. The industry is continually improving our rice varieties to ensure we grow more crop per drop. In Australia, rice production can be switched on or off depending on the water availability, which makes it perfectly suited to our variable climate,” she said.
Welcome Erika we are all looking forward to partnering with you to inspire pride in Australian agriculture and a new generation of agriculturalists .
This week’s Young Farming Champions stories from around the country
IN THE FIELD
This week Wool Young Farming Champion and social media superstar Emma Turner will be taking over our Art4Agriculture social media channels and showings us life on a sheep station in outback NSW. Emma’s continuing work on her Honours Research Project into six-monthly shearing of sheep and we’re super keen to find out exactly what’s involved. Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages this week to catch up with Emma and her beloved sheep.
Cotton YFC, farmer and agronomist Emma Ayliffe has finished shearing and lamb marking her first drop of lambs on her farm in Central West NSW.
This week Emma is working with her cotton farming clients to prepare their paddocks for planting next year’s cotton crop.
Cotton farmers are currently adding phosphorous fertiliser to the soil where it is needed, creating rows for planting and furrows for irrigation and preparing their nitrogen budgets.
Farmers predict soil temperature in the Riverina will have reached the required 14 degrees C for planting cotton in about six weeks.
YFC and grain farmer Dan Fox says farmers in his region of the NSW Riverina are very grateful for the 44 mm of rain they received in June, with Dan’s family planting wheat, barley, canola and lentils for the 2018 season.
Dan is looking forward to attending the Victorian No Till Farming Conference this Thursday and Friday. Dan says it’s a great opportunity to learn from and network with other farmers who share the Fox family ethos of No Till Regenerative Farming.
In far-west NSW, Wool YFC and sheep and cattle farmer Bessie Thomas is still hoping for more rain. In an average year her animals would usually eat grass growing in the paddocks but while drought conditions continue, Bessie’s family is feeding their sheep and cattle a mix of grains, seeds and hay every day. This requires driving the feed around to each watering point in every paddock and it’s a time-consuming job that doesn’t allow for much other farm work and maintenance to continue.
YFC Tim Eyes hosted students from The Lakes College at his farm. They dug for potatoes, collected fresh eggs, picked oranges from the tree and milked Joyce the dairy cow. For Tim, who has entertained children both in mainstream schools and at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, hosting the TLC students was an enjoyable and eye-opening experience. Read the full story here
OUT OF THE FIELD
Next Monday YFC Anika Molesworth is flying to Argentina! She has been invited by the Argentine Minister of Agriculture and Uruguay Minister of Agriculture to visit farms, run workshops with young farmers, and give presentations on global agricultural challenges and opportunities.
This program coincides with the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, and part of her brief is to collaborate with young South American farmers to prepare a report for the Ministers on the vision of strong and resilient farming sectors, enabling young farmers, and promoting future industry leaders. Anika will be working with Australian Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud and visiting farmer groups to discuss collaborative relationships between countries and tackling the industry’s big challenges. Happy travels and have fun, Anika!
YFC Nellie Evans, Wool YFC Adele Offley and YFC Dr Steph Fowler are going into schools in Young, NSW, for the Kreative Koalas program where they will be engaging with students about SDG Goal 12: Responsible Production and Consumption.
Youth Voices Leadership Team Chair Dr Jo Newton is sharing her leadership journey with the First National Real Estate FN squad. FN Squad is designed to bring together the First National’s under 35-year-olds for training and networking. Good luck Jo!
Anika Molesworth has been accepted into the 2019 Homeward Bound program – a 12 month leadership program from women in STEMM to work on environmental issues and increase their strategic plans, visibility and skills development. It brings together women from all over the world, giving them personal coaches and platforms to broadcast their topics of interest. The program culminates in a voyage to Antarctica in November next year, to visit research stations, meet with scientists, and learn about climate change in this incredibly fragile region of the planet. Congratulations Anika!
Grains YFC Calum Watt is a state semi-finalist in the agricultural section of the Western Australian Young Achiever awards for 2018. This week Calum was in Darwin for the Northern Food Futures Conference in his role as an AgriFutures scholarship holder, hosting a panel discussion about opportunities in the northern region. Well done Calum!
Beef YFC Prue McCormack and Wool YFC Dione Howard are both completing their final veterinary studies exams at university this week and we wish them all the best!
Cotton YFC Casey Onus has just finished her Master of Business Administration. What a fantastic effort, well done Casey!
Using primary industries to reach and teach disadvantaged students is one benefit of The Archibull Prize.
Each year The Archibull Prize engages with a wide range of amazing students and teachers and this year The Lakes College (TLC) from the NSW Central Coast has partnered with Picture You in Agriculture, the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and Young Farming Champion Tim Eyes to study the beef industry.
TLC is a small alternate high school for Years 9 and 10 and is part of Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets program. The school only opened in 2017, which makes this Archibull journey extra special and with 5 staff members and 24 students everyone is involved.
“We like to view The Lakes College as a strong team who all support each other day to day. We are based in Blue Haven Community Centre. We are first and foremost students, but we also cook our breakfast, recess and lunch at school in our kitchens, make sure the place is clean, tend to our veggie garden and work and play on the brilliant sporting facilities our school so fortunately has around it.” Source TLC blog
TLC are “Raising the Steaks” as they learn about the beef industry with their Archie and mentoring them is Young Farming Champion Tim Eyes. Tim is an agricultural contractor and co-founder (with his partner Hannah) of the successful Food Farm situated in Wyong Creek less than 10km from TLC. Tim and Hannah raise grass-fed beef, lamb, chicken, eggs and vegetables and regularly invite the public through the farm gate to see their sustainable brand of agriculture.
Tim and Hannah
On July 2 the students of TLC found themselves amongst the animals of the Food Farm. They dug for potatoes, collected fresh eggs, picked oranges from the tree and milked Joyce the dairy cow. For Tim, who has entertained children both in mainstream schools and at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, hosting the TLC students was an enjoyable and eye-opening experience.
“It was really refreshing having unfiltered, blunt questions – they were just very honest kids,” Tim says. “They had real questions about red meat and feeding people under the poverty line so we spoke about exploring the secondary cuts such as mince, which is accessible, diverse, and quick and easy to use.”
The potato patch proved particularly popular. “They spent probably half an hour there, digging potatoes and getting their hands dirty and thinking it was the most exhilarating thing, and that was so good to see,” Tim says. Indeed the wonder of the potato patch was commented on in the school’s blog with one student saying: “Potatoes grow in the ground – seeing that blew my socks off!”
Another aspect of the visit that impressed Tim was some of the kids said they could see a future or a progression into a job with farming. “For them to even consider, for a split second, that maybe a career in agriculture was a good idea was pretty exciting; and it definitely made me think how the agricultural industry could have an effect on the poverty line and how it could employ people who wouldn’t have an opportunity otherwise.”
The Archibull journey of The Lakes College will be one to follow in 2018. “A lot of the students are quite artistic and I think they will be incredibly surprising on what they bring to the Archies,” Tim concludes.
You can read all about The Lakes College’s visit to The Food Farm here on their Archibull blog.