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!
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.)
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!
Menawhile 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.”
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
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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:
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!
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.
YFC Dr Danila Marini has won the 2018 Lambex Young Guns Competition in the Career Professionals section. Well done Danila
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.
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.