Each year Picture You in Agriculture conducts extensive research into our two schools-based programs The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas. Our research has shown the environmental issues of most concern to young people are ensuring Australians have access to clean air (95%) and clean water (93%) and that we all work together to reduce the amount of waste we generate (90%). Also highly ranked by young people is using clean energy (87%) and knowing what food is bad for you (85%).
84% of young people surveyed believe it is everyone’s responsibility to look after the planet and identified farmers as the main partners they want to work with to achieve this. Our programs, The Archibull Prize in secondary schools and Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future in primary schools, open students’ eyes to the world of agriculture, particularly the variety of STEM-based careers. The programs also offer students one-on-one access to their very own farmers with the Young Farming Champions.
This year our Young Farming Champions will Google Hang Out with students in the 15 primary schools participating in Kreative Koalas, sharing their career in agriculture with a strong focus on the impact of the fibres they choose to wear and use to reduce the impact of their fashion choices on the planet.
Twelve Young Farming Champions from the wool, grains, dairy, horticulture and eggs and poultry industries will be delivering The Archibull Prize in 20 schools. Our YFC have got off to an early start with Google Hangout Meet and Greets which will be followed up with face-to-face workshops in schools. In addition, a number of Archibull Prize schools have indicated they will be getting out of the classroom and taking the students to their local universities and farms where possible.
The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas both employ 21st-century learning, which empowers young people to be critical, creative and confident communicators working together to solve real-world problems that have real-world impact. In turn, this creates job-ready employees of the future.
Our research also shows us how we can tailor the programs to meet the needs of participating students and teachers. Using this feedback we supplement the face-to-face visits of the Young Farming Champions with digital technology, for example skyping from a paddock direct to a classroom, or participation in the Paddock Pen Pals program.
Teachers have the opportunity to participate in a professional development workshop held at Tocal College, which is supported by partners Aussie Farmers Foundation, Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and Hunter Local Land Services. The workshop is led by the Young Farming Champions, including new inductees from the University of New England and their alumni mentors, and a team of coaches.
The coaching team includes Jenni Metcalf, Greg Mills and Gaye Steel and will be strengthened in 2019 with the addition of Josh Farr from Campus Consultancy.
“It’s a privilege to work with this cohort of change-makers and leaders. As the YFC take their stories of personal and career growth into schools, they inspire the next generation to aim high, tackle some of the world’s biggest problems and most importantly, to act locally first, in their own backyards.” Josh Says
Today is World Environment Day, and, with a fresh perspective that comes from something new, it is Josh who clearly sees the connection between this important day and our objectives:
“Working with the Young Farming Champions provides me with the opportunity to empower young leaders who take a proactive stance on environmental sustainability and climate change.”