Young Farming Champions Muster August 2018 Week Four

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) across the country.

In the field

Inspiration has struck and an idea has been born! Introducing… “Paddock Pen Pals”

Spurred on by the great success of Cotton YFC Emma Ayliffe’s Paddock to Parramatta skype sessions, our YFC are now are pairing up with schools participating in the #FiverForAFarmer initiative as pen pals.

Wool YFC, veterinarian and farmer every spare minute she gets, Dione Howard is our first YFC to sign up, saying, “I am very excited to be building and strengthening our farming networks and the connections we have with schools to start the Paddock Pen Pals program.”

Equally excited to pair up with students is cropping farmer Dan Fox who inspired the students at Stockinbingal to write a book about him

The coming weeks will see more YFC connecting with schools via social media, skype, email and snail mail, building long-term conversations and relationships. We’ll keep you posted as we continue to build this exciting new initiative.

Out of the field

Wool YFC and WoolProducers Youth Ambassador (WYA)  Dione Howard is looking forward to joining the WoolProducers Board as an observer for a 12-month period. As part of her involvement, Dione will deliver two contemporary issue-based policy projects that will see her supported to understand policy development and engage with the WoolProducers Board and staff in key industry representative organisations. Well done, Dione! #welovewool

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Youth Voices Leadership TeamChair and Dairy YFC Dr Jo Newton joined Blackmore Wagyu founder David Blackmore and Dr Peter Marendy from CSIRO Data61 on the panel  hosted by ABC journalist Tim Lee at the Geography Teachers of Victoria conference in Melbourne on Sunday.

Jo Newton David Blackmore

Jo shared the ground-breaking work being done by the Agriculture Victoria dairy research team that could see the Australian dairy industry reduce its greenhouse gas emission by up to 30% per litre of milk produced in the next ten years. We can’t wait to hear more about this incredible research, Jo. #youthinag #STEM #WomeninScience

Jo Newton Lower emmissions per litre of milk

This week Cotton YFC Laura Bennett is visiting Miller Public School for The Archibull Prize. Check out the hashtag #ArchieAction on Twitter and Instagram to see photos and highlights of these exciting school visits. Good luck Laura!

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Laura Bennett always a popular visitor to schools participating in The Archibull Prize

YFC Anika Molesworth is on the panel at the Brave New World Ag to 2030 Ag Institute Australia National Conference 2018 in November. Sharing the stage with John Harvey Managing Director of AgriFutures Australia and Professor Salah Sukkarieh Director, Australian Centre for Field Robotics Anika will give a youth perspective to the challenges and opportunities for the Australian agriculture in the next ten years.

Anika Brave New World Conference

Wool YFCs Emma Turner and Bessie Thomas are busy preparing mental health events in far-western NSW for drought affected farmers in their areas. Read more about this on the fliers below.

Prime Cuts

Art4Agriculture is proud to name Sally Poole, Alexandria Galea, and Anika Molesworth as youth ambassadors of Australian agriculture in the form of the 2018 Cotton Young Farming Champions (YFC).

 

Sally and Alexandria are fresh faces on the YFC block, while Anika has worked with Art4Agriculture for several years as a sheep and rice YFC. Welcome, and welcome back! We’re looking forward to sharing your journey as Cotton YFC.

A huge well done to Wool YFCs Sam Wan and Cassie Baile who were both runner up n the 2018 Wool Broker of the Year Awards. We are incredibly proud of your great work. Read more about the award and winner Candice Cordy, here.

Watch Sam present here

Watch Cassie present here

 

Applications are now open for NSW RAS Rural Achievers Award 

Rice YFC Erika Heffer and YFC Meg Rice, who were both named 2018 Rural Achievers, both strongly encourage keen young agriculturalists to consider applying.

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As Erika and Meg will testify you never know who you will meet as an RAS Rural Achiever 

#YouthVoices18 #ArchieAction #YouthInAg

 

 

 

 

Announcing our latest Crop of Cotton Young Farming Champions

Art4Agriculture is proud to name Sally Poole, Alexandria Galea, and Anika Molesworth as youth ambassadors of Australian agriculture in the form of the 2018 Cotton Young Farming Champions (YFC).

Growing up in Sydney but introduced to agriculture through farming relatives Sally Poole explored many agricultural avenues before settling on cotton as a career and she now works as an agronomist for Landmark in Chinchilla, Queensland. She is excited about beginning her YFC journey and the opportunities it will open for the cotton sector to build relationships with the community. “Positive engagement with the community is critical to ensure the long term social licence of the all agricultural industries,” she says, “and I also believe it is important to ensure the best and brightest minds are working towards improving and securing the productivity and sustainability of agriculture for future generations to come.”

 

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As a sales agronomist with Cotton Growers Services in Emerald Queensland, Alexandria Galea combines a love of agriculture and teaching and looks forward to embracing this further as part of the YFC.  “I would like to create awareness of how cropping is relevant to everyone’s daily routine and how important it is to support our Australian primary industries,” she says. “Creating awareness would enable students to be thinking of their personal connection to the land even though it is not necessarily in their back yard.”

Alexandria Galea (9)

Anika Molesworth is no stranger to the YFC having first joined the program in 2014 representing lamb. Now studying a PhD including running cotton trials in the Riverina, Anika is passionate about expanding her world-view of agriculture and how it will be affected by a changing climate. “As a cotton YFC I would like people in the wider community to realise the great importance of a vibrant and resilient rural Australia to the overall health and strength of our nation,” she says. “I would like everyone to share the pride I feel for Australian farmers, who are such a hardworking, forward-thinking, resourceful group within our society.”

Art4Agriculture National Director Lynne Strong is pleased to have such an exceptional new crop of Young Farming Champions. “It cannot be overestimated how important it is to have young people like Anika, Sally and Alexandria willing to step up and be trained to deliver the message, in a cohesive and coordinated way, that agriculture is a modern and evolving industry with career pathways that can provide a sense of achievement and make a positive impact on the world. I congratulate them on their courage and vision.”

All Young Farming Champions attend a series of workshops to teach the skills and knowledge to share agriculture’s story, and go into schools with The Archibull Prize to engage with students and encourage the next generation of agriculturists.

#Youthinag #YouthVoices18 #Archieaction #StrongerTogether

 

Meet Alexandria Galea who doesn’t mind a cotton tale or two or three

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Alexandria Galea doesn’t mind a yarn. She grew up on a cotton property in central Queensland and while she admits she didn’t have an instinct for farm work, she did develop a love of sharing stories from her farming background.

This love of sharing and storytelling led her to a degree in secondary school education.

“I was half way through my teaching degree when I realised I also wanted to study agriculture, and it greatly excited me to think of all the pathways I could take. Upon graduation I turned to the field to gain more experience and exposure to agriculture and was fortunate to be offered a role as a sales agronomist with Cotton Growers Services.”

Today we introduce you to the second of our 2018 Cotton Young Farming Champions Alexandria Galea

This is Alexandria’s story

For generations my family have been working on the land. The family tree has gotten its hands dirty in many fields starting in horticulture on the Mediterranean island Malta and dry land cropping in South Australia. Today some are growing sugar cane or rearing cattle. In the mix I have grown up in the Central Highlands of Queensland on my parent’s irrigation property where we grow cotton, grains and pulses.

Despite coming from these blood lines I never quite inherited the nature of the typical country girl. I blissfully ignored practicality and sun safety to rock getups that only the Spice Girls could pull off around irrigation ditches or cattle yards (at least I was easy to spot). Although I was never hard to find as you could hear me a mile away yelling for help when bogged or caught in such a good yarn with the calves that I’d walk straight into the backside of a cow.

Enough said farm work was not quite my strong point but I loved it. As I grew up I realised I had a passion for collaborating, sharing and learning with others, in particular youth, or what others would call an interest in talking the ears off somebody. With this in mind I set out to become a teacher.

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A passion for teaching and sharing a story led to an invitation to join the Young Farming Champions program 

Following high school I spent my time split between studying a Bachelor of Secondary Education and working in agricultural businesses. Working in agriculture started as a necessity to pay for the hefty bills of text books and late night educational excursions at university to become a real joy which I looked forward to. I got to experience a range of jobs from working with agronomists bug checking, accounting and supplying growers with products. Most importantly I got to have a good yarn with a diverse range of people within the industry.

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 Never a dull day in my office especially when you get stuck in the mud

I found this work very interesting and rewarding, it opened my eyes to the magnitude of careers in agriculture which are not locked within the boundary fence of a farm. For the first time I could see how I (the not so intuitive farm girl) could be involved in an industry so close to my heart. I enjoyed liaising with farmers, the mix of working in the field and in the office, understanding the science behind growing plants and the ability to see a range of crops across a vast area. I was half way through my teaching degree when I realised that I also wanted to be studying agriculture. This greatly excited me to think of all the pathways I could take. Upon graduation of university I had the opportunity to work in the classroom however I turned to the field to gain more experience and exposure to agriculture. I was fortunate to be able to take on a role as a sales agronomist with Cotton Growers Services.

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Working in agriculture is full of challenges to overcome in particular managing climate constraints.

In this role I had the pleasure of facilitating educational workshops at the Emerald Agricultural College to give students exposure to and broaden their knowledge of different types of crops, roles within farming and a range of technologies. In this space I am the most excited, it is a feeling of its own to open the eyes of another especially about farming.

My path in agriculture has only just began and I am very excited to see where my sparkling boots take me and for the yarns to be had! All are welcome to join.

Alex joined 2018 Cotton Young Farming Champions Sally Poole and Anika Molesworth at our first YFC workshop for 2018 in Tocal this month and it is clear she well make a great storyteller for cotton. Welcome Alex

#YouthinAg #YouthVoices18 #ArchieAction #StrongerTogether

 

Meet Calum Watt who is helping to breed better barley and his research attracts millions of dollars in funding 

Our Young Farming Champions have chosen diverse careers in the agriculture sector.  They are working together to mobilise a movement to create a bright future for our farmers and our communities.  They are excited to share their stories of hope.

As part of our careers in agriculture snapshots series on The Archibull Prize website it gives us great please to introduce you to Calum Watt who is helping to breed better barley and his research attracts millions of dollars in funding.

Calum Watt

Calum Watt grew up on a small farm in Western Australia where he quickly learnt that he didn’t like sheep. He did however like plants and so he embarked on a botany degree at university in Perth. This in turn led to a Masters in Agricultural Science and now a PhD at Murdoch University where he is researching barley.

For Calum, studying the genetics of plants has gifted him a meaningful way to improve agriculture for Australia and the rest of the world. Calum starts his day in the laboratory trying to find differences in 1500 potential  barley varieties using DNA markers that are invisible to the naked eye. To do this he uses fancy bits of equipment that are smaller than a fridge but can cost as much as $600,000. His assistant today is Lee-anne, an undergraduate student. He teaches her the ropes of laboratory genetics and although their work may take many hours Calum finds great satisfaction in advancing the progress of scientific knowledge. His work will help future-proof barley from stresses that will be imposed by climate change.
Later in the morning Calum and Tefera, a plant physiologist, drive two hours to a research crop in the wheat belt. They note patchy germination in one trial and
herbicide damage in another and, as these sites are very important for data
collection, they must decide how to overcome these problems. There is a lot of
interest in improving barley productivity – so much so that Calum’s research
funding equates to millions of dollars.
Returning to Perth in the evening Calum settles down to read some scientific
articles to support his research. Although at times it feels like his work is never
done he is writing articles that the whole world will read – and that puts him on
the cutting edge of international agriculture.

Calum is also part of the team of superstars behind AgriEducate . Another tribe of #youthinag doing exciting things
This is Calum’s career in agriculture. What will yours be?

#youthvoices #leadership #strongertogether #archieaction

 

 

Sally Poole says these boots are made for working

We would like to welcome Sally Poole the first of our three Cotton Young Farming Champions for 2018

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This is Sally’s story…………

Growing up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney you are constantly surrounded by sun, surf, sand and blonde beauties. From a very young age I knew I did not fit into the surrounding culture as I loved rocking my work boots and a tiara, in my teenage years this developed into a really awkward goth stage.

 

But I digress, this love for my work boots came from a very early introduction to my Aunt and Uncle’s deer and cattle properties, from which point I have always worn my work boots and known that I all wanted to do was to become farmer. Whilst I am still saving my pennies to buy my first farm, my love for everything agriculture and my determination to be involved in the industry has taken me on some wild adventures around Australia and the globe. Only my boots can tell the true stories but here are some of the highlights that have shaped my career so far.

One of my favourite things growing up about the farm were the horses, and this turned into years of riding in Sydney, becoming a horse riding instructor, and eventually when I finished school, running away to the country to be a competition groom on a large equestrian property. Whilst I loved my work I was always incredibly curious as to what was happening next door with the cattle. Fast forward a few years of awkward times and lots of travel and I decide that was it. I wanted to know everything about farming. So I set off to Charles Sturt University and enrolled in a Bachelor of Agricultural Science. And boy oh boy, what a steep but incredible learning curve that was!

When I started university, I wanted to pursue a career in livestock, or international development, or big business, or…… Then I was introduced to the world of agronomy. Some encouragement from inspiring soils and agronomy lectures and the excitement of watching a crop grow and interact with the environment, management and technology, and I was hooked.

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Winning Crops competition team 2015

It wasn’t till my third year of university that I became really good friends with a bunch of my fellow ‘ag’ girls. These women are some of the most passionate, strong, dedicated and incredible woman I have ever come across. Together we organised and held many events for both woman in agriculture and other groups in agriculture, and went on many adventures to learn as much as we could about agriculture. Still to this day these incredible women continue to inspire me and push me to drive change and purse excellence in our respective sectors.

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 Some of the inspirational women at our Wagga Women in Ag Network brunch 2015 with Catherine Marriott centre 

While at university I took the opportunity to participate in many overseas trips including student exchange to the University of Kentucky and study tours to South Africa, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. These trips really broadened my understanding of agricultural principles whilst showing me how much the interaction between people, culture, agriculture, and the environment influence each other. I think this is a really important concept to understand and is a significant key to further improving agricultural productivity and ensuring future food security and is a principle I use in my work daily.

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At an abattoir in Indonesia on the University of Adelaide beef trip. 2015

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 Some of my favourite poddy calves on Coodardie Station in the NT 2016

 My cotton journey started when I was introduced to cotton working on a side project for the DPI NSW. The intensity and the influence of management and technology exemplified all the aspects of agronomy I loved. I was instantly hooked and determined to know everything I could. So when the opportunity to become a graduate agronomist for Landmark on the Darling Downs came up, my bags were instantly packed.

Today, I am an agronomist for Landmark working on the Darling Downs helping drive innovation, best management practice and continually share my passion for agriculture with everyone. However, it hasn’t been without its challenges, but there have been a lot of good times and a lot of hard work. The inspirational people I meet every day, the incredible women that have driven my passion further and the influential mentors that have backed me along the way are all the reason that this tiara, work boot wearing chick from the northern Beaches of Sydney has ended up where she is today.

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Enjoying the fruits of my (and the farmers) labour, mung bean crop in Chinchilla 2018

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Young Farming Champions Muster August 2018 Week 3

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions across the country.

In the Field

It’s been great week for our Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions (YFC), fresh off the excitement of last weekend’s YFC and Teachers workshop in the Hunter Valley.

Teachers have declared  interacting with the the Young Farming Champions the highlight of the workshop. Equally the Young Farming Champions  valued been able to partner with teachers to gain a clearer understanding of the curriculum , the perspective of teachers and the role The Archibull Prize plays in empowering teachers to meet the needs of their students. All in all the workshop was declared a huge success and a mutual lovefest

Peta Bradley

Young Farming Champion Peta Bradley volunteered to be the “talent’ for the Teacher Video interview technique session 

Well done to our incredible Rice YFC Erika Heffer who harnessed her enthusiasm from the workshop and put her new skills into practice right away with a great interview on ABC Radio on Tuesday.

If you tuned into Anne Delaney on ABC Riverina Breakfast you might have heard Erika speak on behalf of the Ricegrowers Association of Australia about their “Water for Wildlife and Rice” campaign. Erika was involved in running a Pozible campaign to source funds for the idea, which is a “collaborative farming program that combines regional farming know-how with water supporters and owners of agricultural land to produce food and fibre in conjunction with the provision of ecosystem services.”

Read more about Water for Wildlife and Rice here

The Pozible campaign was unfortunately unsuccessful in raising the necessary funds for it come to fruition, but Erika says the team will continue looking for ways to raise capital this great idea. Good luck and well done, Erika!

In Western NSW our “Woolly” YFCs Emma Turner and Bessie Thomas are working on seperate ideas to boost the spirits and provide social opportunities for locals living through the current drought.

Emma is hosting a Women’s Health Day in Ivanhoe, NSW, with the exact details and date yet to be announced. Looking forward to finding out more Emma!

Bessie is hosting a Barefoot Bowls and Bocce mental health day at her sheep property near Wilcannia, NSW. It’s a opportunity for locals to take an afternoon off from the large workload of feeding stock through dry times, kick off their work boots and relax with some friendly competition on the bowling green (which is currently very brown).

Bessie Bowling Green

Great work on supporting your local communities and farmers, Emma and Bessie! Good luck!

Out of the Field

In Melbourne this week Beef YFCs Steph Fowler and Jasmine Green attended the International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) conference alongside more than 500 attendees from across the globe. It’s the first time ICoMST has been on Aussie soil in 30 years.

ICMST

Steph, who has attended the conference several times overseas, said “it was great to see Down Under so well represented with lecturers and post doc students from all major agricultural universities represented, along with CSIRO, DPI (Vic, WA and NSW) and industry.”

“A highlight for me was definitely the conversations with researchers from different places. I learnt a lot about what’s going on in my area of research in Ireland, New Zealand and Germany and hopefully will get the chance to collaborate formally on some new projects with them,” Steph said.

Jasmine Green enjoyed learning about new and interesting research happening in the meat industry. “There are now new ways to measure eating quality across various meat types, concepts around smart packaging and traceability from farm to consumer, discussion around how to combat food “fraud” and robotics/automation,” Jasmine said. “It was excellent!”

It’s AgQuip time! Australia’s largest agricultural field day is on this week in Gunnedah, NSW, and two of our YFC are heading that way!

Grain farmer and YFC Marlee Langfield will be selling merchandise and hosting our Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page from the Case IH stand  and Wool YFC and Local Lands Service (LLS) animal biosecurity officer Lucy Collingridge will be representing North West LLS and Cotton YFC Casey Onus will be talking all things Precision Agriculture at the Landmark stand.

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“My role is based around helping landholders manage the pest animals on their property and our display at AgQuip will be on best practice to manage feral animal populations to reduce the impact of these burdens on the landholders,” Lucy said.

“We will have a feral pig trap, multiple animal displays [Bowman’s Taxidermy are bringing a mounted pig, fox and two deers], lots of information about best practice pest animal management, and information on the new North West pest animal plan.”

If you’re at AgQuip this week be sure to look out for Marlee and Lucy!

There are lots of good news stories coming out of schools this week as our Art4Agriculture Archibull Prize school visits continue.

Tuesday saw Cotton YFC Sharna Holman visit Dakabin State High School where she spoke to a mix of art and agriculture students participating in the Archibull Prize. “I loved my visit!” Sharna said. “It was fantastic to visit a school that reminded me so much of my own going through high school. They were a great group of students and I especially loved seeing the students get engaged with the biosecurity activity of thinking of biosecurity practices which could help make up their School’s farm biosecurity plan.”

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Meg Rice and students from McIntyre High School work shopped the careers from A to Z in the Australian grains industry 

On Thursday Northern Tablelands LLS YFC Meg Rice visited McIntyre High School in Inverell, speaking to agriculture students in Years 9. “It was a wonderful opportunity to share all the experiences that I have been offered within the agricultural industry.” Meg said. “The students were particularly interested in my recent to visit Cambodia and Lao, as part of a University of New England study tour, fand how culture has a large impact upon agricultural practices.”

Meg Rice

Wool Young Farming Champion and Wool Classer Deanna Johnston visited Beaudesert State High School to share her career journey  . Deanna was overjoyed to swamped by students after her talk asking how to get into wool classing.  Deanna tells us Beaudesert have taken robotics to the next level with their Archibull Prize entry this year. If the end result is half as exciting as the titbits she shared with us. Wow do they have an Archie people will be talking about across the world

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Well done Sharna, Meg and Deanna!

And well done to Alan Eagle Scholarship YFC Emma Longworth for the great work on your AGEX field day at the University of New England Smart Farm this week. A little birdie told us it was a wonderful event!

SMARTer Farming Field Day

Prime Cuts

RAS Foundation Rural Scholarship applications for 2019 are now open, closing on August 31st! Several of our incredible YFC  have won these scholarships in the past, which provide a financial support for study and allow many students extra time to engage in extracurricular activities.

If you have a passion for rural and regional New South Wales and are committed to giving back to these areas, scholarships of $6000 for full-time study and $3000 for part-time study are available. Submit your applications here

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Featured photo credit: Cotton Young Farming Champion and owner of Summit Ag out in the field checking for bugs with her business partner Heath McWhirter

 

Young Farming Champions Muster August 2018 Week 2

 

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions across the country.

In the Field

Another busy week in the bush! Art4Agriculture media and communications advisor Mandy McKeesick called into Wool YFC Bessie Thomas’s sheep station in outback NSW. Mandy and Bessie have worked with each other over the phone and email for many years but never had the opportunity to meet face to face. It was a wonderful chance to catch up as “old friends!”

Mandy and Bessie

Out of the Field

Thanks to generous sponsorship from Hunter Local Land Services, this week Art4Agriculture brought together its Young Farming Champions (YFC) and teachers involved in the Archibull Prize, for an informative and insightful series of workshops held at Tocal College.

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YFC assisted teachers in developing strategies to implement the new Science and Technology K-6 and Technology Mandatory Years 7-8 syllabuses in 2019.

This professional learning day helped develop syllabus knowledge in ‘Agriculture’ and ‘food and fibre production’, quality PBL pedagogies, using the successful ‘Solution Fluency’ framework and strategies and resources developed by the presenters.

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Workshop presentations from the YFC included Dairy YFC Jo Newton, Wool YFC Peta Bradley, Cotton and Rice YFC Anika Molesworth, Wool YFC Dione Howard, Cotton YFC Casey Onus, and Wool YFC Sam Wan.

Eleven teachers who are currently guiding their students through The Archibull Prize attended the workshops, which were tailored from teacher feedback from the Archibull Prize last year. The first session included the YFC speaking for 10 minutes on sustainable agriculture in their industry. The second session consisted of digital media training including photography, interviewing and video skills. On the second day the teachers put their new skills into practice on the Tocal farms to see and report on, agriculture in action.

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On Saturday evening Art4Agriculture hosted a dinner with the YFC, teachers, presenters and representatives from the Hunter Local Land Services and Tocal College. The dinner included a presentation from dinner speaker, YFC Anika Molesworth of her ‘seven lessons of life’

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Lindy Hyam, Chair of the Hunter LLS also spoke at the dinner on the importance of having goals and plans, as well as the importance of working in groups, the sharing of knowledge and to have a personal Five Year Plan.

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The workshops were supported by Australian Rural Business Consultant of the Year Greg Mills, photographer Linda Faiers, marketing professional Gaye Steel and science communicator and journalist  Jenni Metcalfe.

Special shoutout to Tocal College for the use of their great venue and to farm manager Mike Ison for sharing his wealth of knowledge with us on the farm tour on Sunday

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Tocal Farm Manager Mike Ison was a great sport providing knowledge and talent 

In other news, congratulations to YFC Emma Longworth and team who pulled together the Rural Science Undergraduate Society Ball on Saturday – straight after last week’s Farming Futures events at the University of New England (UNE).  Two guest speakers presented on the night, from Costa Tomatoes and NSW Farmers. The event was a great networking opportunity for UNE students as well as another chance to hear from industry professionals and UNE alumni.

Shoutout to  YFC’s  Sharna Holman who is visiting Dakabin State High School, Meg Rice who is visiting McIntyre High School and Deanna Johnston who is visiting Beaudesert State High School this week for the Archibull Prize. We hope you and the students have a fantastic time together!

Well done to all the YFC who attended the Australian Cotton Conference, LambEx and Sheepvention last week, across the Gold Coast, Perth and Hamilton.  Read more about it here.

Prime Cuts

Finalists for the 2018 Wool Broker of the Year Awards have been announced and two out of three are YFC! Huge congrats to Wool YFC Cassie Baile, from Australian Wool Network, and Wool YFC Samantha Wan, from Elders.

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Read Cassie’s story in the Stock and Land here 

The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia’s Annual Wool Broker Award recognises excellence in wool broking, 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. The winner will be announced the Wool Week Dinner in Melbourne on August 23rd.

Sam Wan Stock and Land.JPGRead Sam’s story in the Stock and Land here 

To make this achievement even more special, the Wool Broker of the Year award have never been won by a woman, and last year the first time a female made the finals. Good luck to Cassie and Sam. You are both superstars!

A mega special mention and congratulations goes to Wool YFC Danila Marini who won the LambEx Young Guns Competition! Danila took out the title in Perth on Monday after developing a poster on a key opportunity in the lamb industry and presenting a four-minute speech and question time in front of judges. She was up against eight other up and coming lamb industry advocates from across Australia. Incredible work, Danila!

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Read More about Danila’s win in the Stock and Land here 

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Young Farming Champions Muster August 2018 Week 1

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the country (and globe!)

In the Field

The picking has started! Cotton YFC Alexander Stephens is picking Western Australia’s first wet season commerical cotton crop in nearly 50 years and this week he’s reporting live from the paddock on our Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page. If you don’t follow us on Facebook, jump on over and like our page so you can follow along as Alexander shares all about picking cotton in Kununurra. It’s going to be an exciting week and we can’t wait to hear more about it, Zander!

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In Outback NSW, Wool and Dairy YFC Jo Newton and Wool YFC Bessie Thomas, had an exciting reunion. Jo and Bessie both joined the YFC and Archibull Prize programs thanks to Australian Wool Innovation in 2013, and as members of the Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) they see each other via web conference for YVLT committee meetings every fortnight but hadn’t caught up face to face in years. Jo dropped in to help feed sheep for a morning on her drive across the state this week as she made her way to Armidale for the UNE Farming Futures events (more on that later.)

Jo at Burragan Pic

Big things are happening for Women in Ag (WAG) this month and next in the NSW North West, with YFC Naomi Hobson kicking goals through her role with the Local Land Services. Noami is part of an all female ag advisory team running five WAG workshops across the North West region which focus on technical up-skilling and social networking in a relaxed, supportive, safe and child-friendly environment. Topics so far have included ruminant nutrition and feeding, a practical stock handling and working dog workshop, welding and NLIS database training. Upcoming workshops will cover farm safety, being fire prepared, quad bike safety and basic mechanics (cars, large and small machinery). What a fantastic initiative, Naomi!

Naomi WAGS PicMenawhile in the Riverina, using Skype, a laptop and an interactive whiteboard YFC  Emma Ayliffe, standing in a paddock of cotton stubble, was able to beam directly to Sydney school students sitting in a classroom.  Read the full story here 
Out of the Field

YFC Anika Molesworth has been representing Australia in Argentina and Uruguay this week as part of a parallel program of Agricultural Ministers gathering in Buenos Aires for the G20. Anika met with some incredible agricultural youth groups who she said had a great energy and enthusiasm for farming in South America. “They were so eager to learn about the YFC program – how it helps to upskill and empowering young people in ag and connect urban audiences to food and fibre production,” she said.

“They were in awe of the program and what it achieves. It was also a great opportunity to tour farms with Australia’s Agricultural Minister David Littleproud, who stated his great support for young people as the future of our industry.”

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Now back home, Anika is championing behind farmers currently affected by drought. Take a listen to her chat with Fran Kelly on RN Breakfast this week: Young Farmers are choosing a life on the land despite hardships

Congratulations to YFC Sam Coggins who has just returned from the Thought For Food (TFF) Summit  in Brazil. Sam, with two friends, is further developing RiseHarvest, a smartphone app designed to help rice farmers in Myanmar use fertiliser more effectively. This project was one of ten selected from 800 teams from 160 countries in the Thought for Food Challenge, which aims to find solutions to feeding the world’s estimated population of more than 9 billion people by 2050.

Sam said it was the, “Equal best conference [to Bayer Youth Ag Summit] I’ve ever been to from a networking perspective, mixing with a community of 200 like-minded young people from across the globe – entrepreneurs dedicated to ensuring food security for everyone.” Well done, Sam!

Check out the 10 Thought for Food finalists, including the RiseHarvest team, HERE

Sam Coggins Pic

Back on Aussie soil, it has been a big weekend of networking for University of New England students and members of the agricultural industry with the annual Farming Futures careers fair and industry dinner. YFC and Farming Futures chairperson Meg Rice helped co-ordinate this year’s event which hosted 38 agricultural companies and industry bodies, 100 secondary school students and and over 500 university students.

Meg Rice Farming Futures Dinner

Poultry YFC Georgia Clark attended through her role with the Royal Agricultural Society, Cotton YFC Martin Murray was there with AMPS Agricultural, and Grains YFC Rebecca Thistlethwaite attended with the Ag Institute Australia – recruiting 104 new members!

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YFCs Jasmine Whitten and Lucy Collingride presented at the UNE Agribusiness Mixer on Friday night, talking about their experience with the IFAMA world conference and agribusiness case study competition where Jasmine’s team placed third in the undergraduate section and Lucy’s team won the intermediate section.

It’s networking season for natural fibres too, with LambEx, Sheepvention and the Australian Cotton Conference all happening this week!

Wool YFCs Adele Smith, Chloe Dutschke, Peta Bradley and Danila Marini have all flown to Perth, WA, for LambEx 2018. And  it sounds like an action packed weekend!

Adele and Chloe will be attending the Sheep Producers Australia Leadersheep Forum featuring CEO of The Center for Food Integrity and friend of the YFC program, Charlie Arnot. Adele said she’s looking forward to engaging with a fantastic line-up of speakers, including Clayton South on the practical on farm reality, Nathan Scott talking about the traceability with EID and the Australian Wool Innovation GrandsLand Dinner,  to name a few.

“I’ll also be heading off on a tour which includes visiting the University of WA Farm focusing on the Merino Lifetime Productivity Project and a visit to Genstock for a tour of the feed mill, AI Centre, Feedlot. I will also be attending the AWI Research & Development Update in Wagin.” Have fun, Adele!

Make sure you say G’day if you see Adele, Chloe, Peta or Danila out and about at LambEx!

lamb ex

In Hamilton, Victoria, Samantha Wan is hitting up Sheepvention. Sam is presenting the Elders Southern Clip of the Year Awards and will then be enjoying the sights and sounds of being surrounded by wool still on the sheep’s back – rather than in the bale – for once!

Well done on last week’s talk at the Elders South Australia Clip of the Year Awards, on your trip to Hong Kong for the International Wool Textile Organisation congress, too Sam.

To the Gold Coast, where cotton growers are converging this week for the Australian Cotton Conference. If you’re headed that way, keep your eyes peeled for Cotton YFCs Emma Ayliffe, Casey Onus, Anika Molesworth,  Jess Lehmann, James Kanaley, Martin Murray, Sharna Holman, Alex Galea and Sally Poole.

On Tuesday afternoon YFC, agronomist and farmer Emma Ayliffe will be part of a panel giving a short presentation on area wide management for the control of Silver Leaf Whitefly. On the Wednesday you can catch her MC-ing the Next Gen breakfast, which includes a workshop on social media and social licence and featurs guest speaker National Farmers Federation President Fiona Simson.

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Good luck to Anika Molesworth who will be presenting on soil respiration in cotton fields with different fertilisers.

And look out for YFC Jess Lehmann who’ll be a panelist at the Next Gen Workshop on “Farming in the Age of Twitter.”

Break a leg, Em, Anika and Jess!

And it’s a big week at the Cotton Conference for YFC Sharna Holman who will be busy promoting her new cotton biosecurity campaign:

Be a good mate

This is hugely exciting news for Sharna, who developed this concept at a 2017 Young Farming Champions workshop “Enabling Change – Developing your project for change” facilitated by guru changeologist Les Robinson, followed by a “How to Pitch a Project” workshop with 2017 Rural Consultant of the Year Greg Mills and strategic marketing consultant Gaye Steele. Major kudos to you Sharna and goodluck with the rollout of your campaign!

Prime Cuts

Huge congratulations to Wool YFC Danila Marini who is in Perth today competeing as a finalist in the LambEx Young Guns Competition Today Danila was one of nine finalists to give an four minute presentation in front of judges at Lamb Ex, answering the statement:

“The Australian lamb and sheepmeat industry has a bright future, it is currently worth an estimated $4.38 billion to the national economy and has grown significantly in the past decade. Identify and discuss a key opportunity within the Australian lamb industry and how it will influence the future of the sheep and lamb sector.”

At the time of publishing Danila had completed her talk and was awaiting news from the juding panel. Fingers crossed for you Danila, we are watching this space.

Danila

BREAKING NEWS

YFC Dr Danila Marini has won the 2018 Lambex Young Guns Competition in the Career Professionals section. Well done Danila

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Congratulations to Grains YFC Keiley O’Brien who has just been named winner of the 2018 Narromine Showgirl Competition! Well done Keiley and goodluck with this year’s Narromine Show on the 31st of August and 1st of September.

Keiley Narromine Showgirl
Winner of the 2018 Narromine Showgirl Competition, Keiley O’Brien. Photograph from the Narromine Showgirl Facebook Pgae, taken by Georgie Newton Photography

Lifetime Highlights

Mega congrats to YFC Prue McCormack and her husband Shannon who have just welcomed beautiful baby, Jock, into the world. Sending you all well wishes to enjoy this special time together as family of three.

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