Chair of our Youth Voices Leadership Team Jo Newton recently penned a piece for Stock and Land on why agriculture doesn’t need another leadership program. And why not? Because we already have a tried, tested and proven one in the Young Farming Champions program that offers participants leadership pathways beyond the traditional intensive workshop model.
Jo has received plenty of positive feedback from the article and it has prompted us to reflect on the mentorships and partnerships that support our Young Farming Champions as they transition to leadership roles. Jo personally values being mentored by David Mailler
‘David is someone I look up to. He challenges my thinking, encouraging me to look at a problem from new angles’. says Jo
Dione Howard, who works as a district veterinarian, has recently formed a professional alliance with chair of Hunter Local Land Services Lindy Hyam.
“As some-one starting my career journey its very valuable to have a mentor who has had successful careers in multiple sectors beyond agriculture. Lindy can help guide me through both my career and leadership journey challenges, help me make difficult decisions and offer advice when I am not sure which direction to take.” says Dione. Watch Lindy talk about her career journey here
It was also our own Lynne Strong who introduced Anika Molesworth to Farmers for Climate Action, where she now sits on the board of directors.
“The best way to harness the energy of our emerging leaders is to connect them to one-another and greatly improve our collective capacity to shape a bright agricultural future. Farmers for Climate Action, like the Young Farming Champions program, is a network of individuals from all walks of life, from all different regions and farming industries – who all share a common vision. We are taking the journey together – and the shared values, support and respect we have for one another is the reason we are successful.” says Anika
In 2019 PYiA, in conjunction with Young Farming Champions, will launch an extension to their leadership development with the introduction of a unique inter-generational mentorship model to empower rural and regional young women. The program, Cultivate- Empowering Influencers will support experienced leaders, coaches and champions to support young rural leaders to support emerging leaders and aspiring leaders to transform agriculturists into advocates and changemakers by:
- Creating confident, independent thinkers and skilled communicators,
- Building capacity to be adaptable and resilient in complex and challenging times,
- Developing enthusiastic, knowledgeable and capable young people taking an active role in the decision-making processes.
The model recognises successful people surround themselves with a framework of empowerment including the five principles of connect, coach, inspire, champion and mentor.
Young people need to identify others who can assist them with these principles. The initiative will see experienced leaders, mentor intermediate leaders such as Jo, who will in turn work with new Young Farming Champions and potentially with students who show potential though The Archibull Prize.
Training of both mentors and mentees is critical to success and the program will begin with an intensive two-day program bringing together mentors and mentees.
“This is a Pay-it-forward model of mentoring. Experience is leveraged in a hand up model, across three generations of leaders. Seasoned leaders mentor leadership program graduates into the hands-on aspects of business leadership, while YFC program graduates work with new participants, smoothing the way to more visible roles. This way experience is shared and expanded upon.” says Zoe Routh from Inner Compass Leadership Development.
For more information on how your organisation can partner with us please contact Lynne Strong Partnerships Manager E: firstname.lastname@example.org