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.
In a hard-fought contest of live presentations, resumes and quizzing on industry issues, Sam was judged the award winner against Australian Wool Network wool and sheep specialist Russell Macgugan from Victoria and Western Australian Landmark broker Matthew Chambers.
Sam said she appreciated being part of the award alumni, especially among the several Elders brokers who have won the award and who she now looks up to.
“This is very much, as with anything I’ve ever done, a testament to all the people who have helped me get to where I am.
“Those who have given me a chance and supported some of the strange things I’ve decided to do and been prepared to give it a go and see how it flies.”
Although not born into the sheep and wool industry, after starting with Elders about seven years as a trainee, Sam said she has built her life around wool through her support role, advocacy, community work and involvement in industry programs.
“It’s all been because of wool, all the opportunities have been because of wool.
“So it’s not just a wool family, but it’s building a life around it,” she said.
“But it is very much a family and (tonight) I’ve been able to see some faces I don’t see very often and to have that support network — I know they are all there.”
The award’s prize includes an economy airfare, accommodation and Congress fees to attend the IWTO Congress in Tongxiang, China in May 2020 and a tour of the Chinese wool textile industry. The Award recipient will be exposed to the wider wool industry beyond greasy wool auctions and the international trading rules system for wool.
Sam’s passion persisted from the first interview
Elders National Wool Selling Centre manager Simon Hogan said it was so satisfying to see Sam win the award, whose passion first stood out in a telephone interview for a wool technical support officer role.
“It was her passion and enthusiasm for agriculture and wool, and her desire to get into the industry.
“She had researched the role, she had researched Elders and it is still showing through now,” he said.
“Sam is so passionate, and her dedicated and her willingness to dot the i’s and cross the t’s to make sure everything is done has followed through from day one.
“Wool is Sam’s life, she wears wool, she knows all about the product…Sam is wool 24 hours. She is up against it not coming from a farming background with so many challenges to overcome.
But what she brings to our team is a point of difference, she brings a different skillset.
This included her IT, social media and marketing skills. Sam’s role at Brooklyn includes completing all weekly sale operations, providing technical advice to clients, district wool managers and the branch network. She auctioneers weekly in Melbourne and as required in Sydney and she is an excellent auctioneer,” Mr Hogan said.
Sam also created an internal weekly wool market report podcast and is always looking for ways to expand the Elders Wool digital and social media footprint. Her IT skills helped develop, implement and support of Elders’ new wool-valuing system across all three wool selling centres. She is also studying a certificate on Blockchain technologies.
Mr Hogan said examples of innovations introduced at Elders by Sam included livestreaming of the wool catalogue.
“Without Sam we wouldn’t have thought of that and now the whole industry is doing it.
Sam brings a different dimension to our team — she breaks the mould.
Sam brings that diversity and that’s what makes a good team – she’s a brilliant asset and we all love her.”
Mr Hogan said every district wool manager has their grower clients.
“But Sam’s clients are everybody’s clients, she supports the whole lot and makes the district wool managers look good.
“Her attention to details and perfectionist manner makes it all comes together.”
Keep looking outside and to the future
Despite her achievements, Sam said there is still work to be done. The broker award and the Elders ‘Thomas Elder’ Employee of the Year award she won last year for improving end-to-end service to wool growers, helped set the bar for her.
“You just need to keep looking to the future.
“It’s a traditional industry which is what I love about it, but there are still things being used in different industries that we can bring in to make more money for the growers.”
Next week as part of her ongoing work in advocacy and educational work with youth as an Archibull PrizeAustralian Wool Innovation Young Farming Champion she will talk about her wool career at three high schools in Sydney.
“There a whole bunch of us Young Farming Champions in different fields of agriculture out there sharing our stories.”
Calibre of broker award finalists was excellent
On behalf of fellow judges WoolProducers president Ed Storey and Sheep Central correspondent Murray Arnel, AWTA raw wool general manager Ian Ashman said the calibre of all three presentations was excellent.
He said the complexity of modern day wool broking and the detailed skill set needed to do the job effectively was clear from the finalists’ presentations.
“In a close run race, the panel believes that Samantha best met the assessment criteria.
“In particular, Sam impressed with her strong focus on communication, education and engagement, both within the wool industry and to the wider community in general.”
“Her innovative approach and ability to introduce new tools and techniques to assist both broker staff and clients to get the best possible financial returns is extremely impressive.”
Mr Ashman said it was extremely difficult to separate the finalists and all would be very worthy winners.
All finalists impressed the judges with their passion and dedication to the wool industry, commitment to providing outstanding service to grower clients, their work in educating the next generation of brokers and the extremely high quality of their written submissions and face-to-face presentations.
The judging panel this year gave equal weighting and consideration to applicants who were office or field-based, within criteria that including innovation, service delivery, business outcomes, performance standards, ethics, presentation, dedication, business relations and industry awareness.
This weeks top stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the world.
In the Field
This month YFC Katherine Bain has swapped the snow for sunny Queensland. “Two weeks ago I drove out of Orange, NSW, with my general manager en route to one of Paraway Pastroal Co’s south west Queensland properties in the channel country, to visit our NSW cattle of agistment,” Katherine says.
“Because of the ongoing drought in NSW, the cattle properties I work with in Central West NSW had no grass and an ever rising feed bill. We were in a lucky position that our channel country properties had a bumper flood and some general rain over other parts of the property that grew a lot of grass! So we made the decision to truck most of pregnant Angus cows to Queensland to calve.”
“As a bit of a break for the managers, we decided to hold our regional meeting on the property. As a Victorian who has barely been north Warren, NSW, this was a pretty cool experience! It was a 12 hr drive up and back through some beautiful and every changing countryside. The highlight of the trip for me was getting to go up in a helicopter to get the birds eye view of the channels. The view was just amazing!”
Cowra NSW cropping farmer Marlee Langfield has been popping up in our Facebook newsfeeds this week, profiled on the MSM Milling page in their “Meet the Growers” series. All four posts about Marlee are a great insight into her life on the farm and we especially loved the the birds eye view videography of this year’s canola crop. It’s definitely worth heading over to MSM Milling on Facebook to watch.
Last week YVLT vice-chair and agronomist Emma Ayliffe enjoyed the opportunity to present some of her work on biological whitefly control in cotton crops at the Southern Cotton Research Update. “As part of this project we released a parasitic wasp into cotton fields in the aim to reduce the need for the use of chemicals to control the pest,” Emma says. “The work we did this year was able to show that where we release the wasps we got higher levels of parasitism than where we didn’t – as we expected.”
“But what was really cool was seeing fields near where we did the releases also have higher levels of releases, proving that the wasps were willing to move outside of the fields released in. It was also shown that the whitefly (pest) population ‘crashed’ in fields where the wasps were released, while whitefly continued to increase in fields which were untreated by wasps.”
Out of the field
This week YVLT chair and dairy geneticist Jo Newton’s research has hit Ireland’s largest farming news portal. Jo’s passion for science helped her secure a 2018 Endeavour Postdoctoral Fellowship to Ireland. She spent 6 months working as a visiting scientist at Teagasc Moorepark, where she explored the value of new DNA tools – known as genetic & genomic tools – for dairy, beef & sheep farmers.
Now some of that research is being shared with the farming community through Agriland – Ireland’s largest farming news portal. “It’s so exciting being part of research which can deliver tangible benefits to farmers. It’s great that this work isn’t confined to a scientific journal it’s being shared in accessible forums for industry”
YFC Emma Ayliffe stepped out in style as the MC and presenter at the Southern Valley Cotton Growers Association Dinner last Friday night. All reports say she did a marvelous job. Well done Emma!
Emma’s tips to be a top MC are:
make sure you do your research
practice but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it “exact” on the night, you’re the only one who knows what you forgot
the first minute is the hardest
if you make a mistake laugh, with the audience
you might hear your voice shake, the audience won’t
enjoy the moment!
Emma is also pumped to be a guest speaker at the upcoming Chicks in the Sticks event in the Grampians region of Victoria this October. This annual event is run for rural and farming women and this year’s theme is “Cultivating pathways for women in agriculture and the environment.” As a young business owner and agriculturalist, we think Emma’s story will captivate and inspire all. More details of this event to come!
YFC and The Food Farm farmer Tim Eyes travelled from his farm on the Central Coast to present at Icebergs Bondi last week as part of the Sydney Taste Festival. Tim spoke to a special audience of diners about red meat production in Australia, which he is hugely passionate about.
Tim was also busy at AgVision at the Sydney Showgrounds recently, where more than 1,200 students were learning all about agricultural and agribusiness careers.
YFC Prue McCormack, YFC Lucy Collingridge and YFC Dee George all joined in the fun at AgVision too!
Agronomist Dee George had a ball presenting to five groups over the day of AgVision. “I had my pasture plate metre, some games about guessing which grains are which and what they are made into, and then I did some soil pH testing,” Dee says. “It was a great day being able to speak to young enthusiastic kids who want to study and work in agriculture.”
Dee also made it to Sheepvention last week, as did three of our Woolly YFC Sam Wan, Emma Turner and Peta Bradley.
Dee was busy talking to clients in the Elders tent, while Peta was working with MLA, talking sheep breeding programs. “Sheepvention is a great place to catch up as there are sheep there from NSW, Vic, SA and Tas as well as some breeders from WA venturing over to check out the sheep,” Peta says.
Sam Wan’s main role was presenting the Elders Southern Clip of the Year awards. “Presenting the awards after a full selling season was a highlight for me, and seeing the next gen sires for the wool industry and catching up with clients,” Sam says.
Our newest YFC Sally Downie is advocating for youth in drought as part of the UNICEF NSW Youth Drought Summit. Through her involvement with ABC Heywire, Sally was invited to be the over 18s chair for the steering committee, a group of young people of a range of ages and experiences from across NSW. “Together we bring our own experiences, our passion and desire to help and our local connections to make this summit possible. I’m honoured to have this role as having worked so closely with people impacted by drought, often finding myself to be the youngest in the room and being impacted myself, I know how important this summit is,” Sally says.
October 9-11 October UNICEF are holding the first NSW Youth Drought Summit.
“This is a vital event for regional/rural youth as it provides a platform for their voice to be heard and for them to connect with other young people affected by drought.
Youth are often forgotten when it comes to drought, we don’t always recognise the impacts drought as of youth. The impacts range from everything from stress and worry about their parents impacting their wellbeing to issues with education, extracurricular activities and social activities.
Youth should not be forgotten as it is their future we are working towards.
Youth also don’t get their voice heard, even youth working in agriculture are often not engaged in the conversation as they are intimidated by the older more experienced people in the room. Youth have a sense of hopelessness because they feel they can’t do anything to help.
This role was something I could not say no to because it’s so close to my heart and I know how important this summit is. I’ve been involved with drought support but very rarely have I heard youth discussed or seen anything done to support youth. I’ve also been the youngest in the room and I want that to change because youth have a voice and they need to be heard.
We have meet once in Sydney for a meeting and development day which was also a chance for us to get to know each other. Since then we have regular online meetings. We give feedback to UNICEF on every step of the process including designing the application process to make sure we think youth will be encouraged to apply, to promotion and designing what will occur at the summit.
Personally I want this summit to be an event that empowers youth to speak about drought and know that their voices matter. It’ll also be a place for youth to get their voices heard by parliament which is very important. I hope it will create change for youth during this tough time now and in future droughts… maybe we could even foster some young agricultural advocates and politicians!
Most importantly this is a chance for youth impacted by drought to have a break. A free trip away, possibly to somewhere they have never been, at a time most families can’t even think about going on a holiday. It will give these young people an experience of a lifetime, allow them to make friends and enjoy themselves for a few days. This is vital for their wellbeing and the outlook they have on life. – Sally Downie
What an important initiative! Well done Sally. Read this story in the Forbes Advocate to hear more from Sally.
YFC and meat scientist Steph Fowler is back in Oz after a successful presentation at the International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) conference. “It was interesting to note the European perspectives on meat grown from muscle biopsies in bioreactors,” Steph says. “There is a huge movement from research here to provide meat alternatives and hybrid meat products which we don’t see much of in Australia. While the arguments for their production are based on reducing the environmental impact of meat production, little is known about whether there is any impact of such products on human health or whether such products are going to be accepted by consumers and regulators. There’s lots to ponder.” Sounds fascinating Steph!
Australia’s largest primary industry field days – AgQuip – is coming up this week and we’ve got YFC from across the country heading Gunnedah’s way!
YVLT Social Media Communication Team Leader and Local Land Services (LLS) biosecurity officer Lucy Collingridge will be in the LLS shed with the invasive species display. “We will have a makeshift rabbit warren and smoker to demonstrate rabbit control. Frank (the fallow) and Richie (the wild dog) will be attending with us (it’s their first outing)! We will have a number of pig trap doors on display so landholders can see other ways of setting up their traps. And of course lots of best practice pest animal management information and advice available,” Lucy says.
Our University of New England (UNE) YFC Becca George, Ruby Canning, Becca George, Emily May, Forbes Corby and Haylee Murrell will be found in the UNE tent. “We have a virtual reality poultry dissection, SMART farm demos and the ‘soil your undies’ cotton prac, plus a few more things happening!” Becca says.
Keep your eye out for YFC Felicity Taylor on the Rabobank site, and YFC Marlee Langfield and friend of the program Greg Mills who are just heading along to check out all the action of AgQuip. Enjoy guys!
Huge congratulations to YFC Martin Murray and YFC Teagan Nock who have both been announced as participants in this year’s National Farmers Federation (NFF) 2030 Leaders Program. The program is part of NFF’s vision to be a $100 billion industry by 2030. We wish you both all the best!
We’re on the hunt for our next National Agriculture Day competition winner!
Picture You in Agriculture & Little Brick Pastoral are excited to announce our partnership with Sydney Science Park to bring you our third “Imagine Your Dream Career in Agriculture” competition, coinciding with National Agriculture Day on November 21.
The competition encourages students in Years 5-12 to envisage their own career in STEM based agriculture. Get your dream career thinking caps on, let your school aged friends know and find out everything you need to enter here.
Congratulations to YFC Marlee Langfield and her partner Andrew on their recent engagement. Wishing you both lots of happiness – and bumper crops too! A talented photographer on top of her busy farm schedule, we love Marlee’s gorgeous pics celebrating their engagement in this year’s canola:
And here’s a good news story to brighten even the dreariest drought stricken day… Do you remember last month when YFC Becca George tweeted a gorgeous pic of her Angus cattle into the Ten News #DailyBaileyNSW weather segment? Becca’s photo won her a holiday to the Cook Islands! We’re so excited for Becca to be swapping dry and dusty Nevertire, NSW, for palm tress in the South Pacific. Fingers crossed she comes home to rain and green grass. Watch Becca’s thank you video below:
In conjunction with Sydney Science Park we are launching our third “Imagine Your Dream Career in Agriculture” competition to coincide with National Agriculture Day on November 21. The competition encourages students in Years 5-12 to envisage their own career in STEM based agriculture.
Aimee Snowden from Little Brick Pastoral has created ten STEM agricultural photographs showcasing LEGO® minifigures to represent science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. The careers are an agribusiness banker, an agriculture teacher, an agronomist, a biosecurity officer, an engineer, a geneticist, a GIS specialist, a mechanic, a scientist and a stock and station agent.
Students may choose one of Aimee’s characters on which to base their entry or alternatively may build and photograph their own LEGO® character. They are then asked to identify their interests and the subjects they excel at, research pathways they might take to achieve their agricultural career dream and to write a day-in-the-life story on their chosen career.
Entries will take the form of an infographic and a $2000 prize pool is on offer.
Simon Tedder from the Office of Environment and Heritage was so impressed with the students dedication he offered to help them set up a native garden in their school grounds. This has led to the students deciding their native garden would provide a habitat for glossy black cockatoos.
Tallong Public students planted about 80 Allocasuarina littoralis trees at their school in April 2019.
Each student at Tallong Public school added more glossy black-cockatoo foraging habitat to the landscape by planting Allocasuarina feed trees in their school grounds. With great enthusiasm from Tallong school staff and the new principal, Scott Osborne, the Glossies in the Mist team were welcomed onto the school to share fun facts about glossy ecology and plant trees during short workshops with the students.
The students and Glossies in the Mist team installed the feed trees in an eroding embankment which will stabilise the area and create a nice wind break to the students playing fields. At one point, the team heard the distinctive flight calls of a glossy black-cockatoo and looked up with the students to observe a pair, flying directly over us – the students were captivated!
The Glossy Black-cockatoo is a charismatic, beautiful bird. It is also vulnerable to extinction.
So proud of these wonderful Australians – sending a big congratulations to the students and staff at Tallong Public School and their Glossies in the Mist support team for contributing to this new foraging habitat and taking on the role as glossy black-cockatoo custodians in their local area. Source
The Power of the Koala to create the Ripple Effect
This story not only shows what can happen when you bring schoools, students and teachers together with community experts, it show the power of passionate people
As you will see from the students responses in this video Simon Tedder had a phenomonal effect on the students when he visited (they even named their Koala after him) as their Kreative Koalas Community Champion in 2018. As did his colleague Lorraine Oliver on the students at Braidwood Central School. Simon and Lorraine are part of an incredible team of passionate people at the NSW Department of Environment who wake up every day 100% committed to engaging farmers and the community to work together to protect our endangered species.
Special shoutout to them this week as we celebrate people we perceive to be heroes by their courageous actions that go above and beyond
“HAVING A GO” LEADS TO POSITION OF GENERAL MANAGER
In recent weeks in our Lessons Learnt series we have heard from Kate McBride and Ben Barlow who both sit on the board of the Western Division of Local Land Services. Staying in that space we now chat to their general manager Erlina Compton, who, at 38, decided to “have a go” and take on the position in an acting role. That, in turn, led to a permanent position and her trajectory, according to Ben, as one of the best leaders he has met.
Meet Erlina Compton
If a job advertisement for General Manager of the Western Division of Local Land Services was written it would probably ask for someone with a passion for the people and places of western NSW; and for someone with a strong background in landholder liaison, strategic planning and environmental commitment. It would probably ask specifically for Erlina Compton.
Erlina grew up around Narrabri in northern NSW, worked with Landcare in Victoria, completed a PhD looking at landholders and decision making, and worked with the NSW Catchment Management Authority. “One of my long-term goals was to work in western NSW and when Local Land Services formed I moved across from the CMA and took up a position as Strategic Planning Manager in Dubbo,” she says.
However, her career was soon to take a different turn. “The General Manager resigned after twelve months,” Erlina says, “and, out of the blue, I was asked to act in the role while they recruited a new one. It was supposed to be for eight weeks and I thought ‘I don’t think I can do this but I’ll have a go and do it for this short amount of time’.”
Complicating Erlina’s new appointment was the fact a major organisational re-structure had just been announced but this gave her a unique opportunity to not only help implement it but suggest changes.
“Ben and other board members have been brilliant to work with,” she says. “They are all landholders – practical people quite free from government processes – who provide real-life guidance and support, and so I started working with the staff and the board to figure out where we would go.”
Erlina found she enjoyed the work and when the permanent position was finally advertised, two years later, she had no hesitation in putting up her hand.
In her role as General Manager Erlina has faced the challenges of working with a diverse group of people, with a limited budget over an enormous area. But with the challenges comes the satisfaction of seeing Local Land Services evolve into a successful model bearing fruit for her landholders.
Western Local Land Services Gilgunnia Cluster Fence open day.
Part of Erlina’s success comes from her relationship with the people she works with.
“Being a good leader is about supporting and growing the people around you,” she says. “It’s about bringing the people, whether it’s your staff or the board or the organisation generally, on the journey.”
Erlina is also inspired by young staff working with her and believes “having a go” is an important trait.
“There are so many young leaders who come forward with fantastic ideas and think about doing things so differently than I would,” she says. “It’s about being brave enough to speak up and share the ideas no matter how different they are.”
From Kate McBride, who joined the LLS board at 18, to Erlina Compton who was General Manager at 38, to Ben Barlow who uses his wealth of experience to nurture and guide, leadership takes many forms, but perhaps the most telling characteristic is the confidence to say yes to challenges and opportunities as they are presented.
This week’s top stories from our Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the country and globe.
In the field
First stop on our round the globe tour this week is with YFC Sam Coggins who has touched down in SE Asia for the next stage of his work with Rise Harvest. Sam is the co-founder of the Rise Harvest smartphone app that provides site-specific fertilizer recommendations for smallholder rice growers in Myanmar.
“I just had a day in the field during an intensive rice course at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, where I tried unsuccessfully to plough rice field with Gertrude the carribou (native water buffalo),” Sam says. ” I will be here for the next three weeks and then I’m going to straight to Myanmar to put learnings into practice developing digital fertilizer knowledge tool with smallholder rice growers.”
On Aussie soil, Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) vice-chair and agronomist Emma Ayliffe sent us this update from her farm near Lake Cargelligo, central NSW:
“The 2019 winter cropping season has seen a much better start compared to last with rains earlier to get crops out of the ground. Small rain events every couple of weeks are helping to sustain our crop but we need a substantial rain event in the next couple of months to get closer to average yields. Compared to last year we are in a much more exciting position as can be seen this this picture,” Emma says.
Friend of the YFC program, National Farmers Federation 2030 Leader Matt Chapness is in Laos and sent us an update while “passing the time on a two hour drive to the village.”
“Yesterday I demonstrated a modified whipper snipper we made to control weeds in direct seeded rice in Laos. This picture (below) shows the results. Field overrun by weeds (left), weed cut (right). I’m off to demo to three other villages today and give them our design.”
Out of the field
Climate YFC and InStyle Magazine Farmer for Change/Klorane Changemaker Anika Molesworth is a triple threat this week with appearances on both television and radio, as well as articles published online!
Anika joined the panel on ABC’s The Drum to talk about climate change, examining the impacts of higher temperatures and lower rainfall, dissecting Australia’s current climate and energy policy, and looking forward to where the country could go from here.
She spoke about how the agricultural industry is being challenged by rapidly changing conditions, why current policy is out of line with the science, and gave examples of the great potential in rural Australia as we move to a low-carbon economy.
Anika also spoke with Triple J’s Hack about drought and the Future Drought Fund which provides relief for some farmers experiencing the word drought in recorded history and the need for emissions to be reduced in order to prevent worse future droughts. Take a listen here.
“In failing to act on human-induced climate change, our political leaders are neglecting the rights of the next generation.
“You just need to turn on your television to know this drought is tough. Every evening, Australian families are being bombarded with footage of struggling farmers, dust-bowl paddocks and hungry animals…”Read more here.
A two time Charles Sturt University graduate, Anika this week starred on the CSU “Insight: explore news, careers and study with CSU” website in the stroy, ‘Women in agriculture- let’s push things forward.’ Read more here. And what a woman she is! Keep up the great work Anika!
If you don’t follow Anika on Twitter, you can find her at @AnikaMolesworth She has been named one of the most influential people in Australian agriculture on Twitter and this week alone her tweeted video on a national drought strategy has been viewed 17,800 times and counting…
What are we learning from the #drought and how should we respond?
Also hitting the radio waves this week was Eggs YFC and YVLT communication creative team member Jasmine Whitten who spoke to ABC New England for the NSW Country Hour. “I spoke about my passion for agriculture and the education activities I have done as a Young Farming Champion and a Landcare coordinator,” Jas says. It’s absolutely worth a listen:
Jas also headed back to her old stomping ground of the University of New England (UNE) last week for the uni’s huge Ag Week event. We spotted Jas in this video from Agmentation (a two-day sprint and pitch grassroots problem-solving event):
Ag Week was the perfect opportunity for our new UNE YFC to introduce themselves over on PYIA. Well done to our Ruby Canning, Emily May, Haylee Murrell, Forbes Corby & Rebecca George for a brilliant week of guest hosting our social media channels. Pop over to PYIA now to take a look back over the week, which included Becca George and Forbes Corby speaking on the Rural Focus Symposium Q & A panel, alongside speakers Andrew Roberts, David Brownhill & Jock Whittle.
“The theme of the day was ‘corporate vs family farming: learning from each other.’ On the panel we discussed challenges for young people entering farming & what we think the future of farming looks like for our generation,” Becca says.
As chair of the Farming Futures committee, YFC Forbes Corby was spotted in this story about the symposium in the Armidale Express
YFC Becca George was showcased on the UNE Agriculture Facebook page as part of the Farming Futures UNE Careers Fair, which is an opportunity for both high school and university students to meet industry representatives and consider careers in agriculture. What excites Bec about the future of careers in agriculture?
Heading west to Narromine, YFC and 2018 Narromine Showgirl Keiley O’Brien recently MC’d the 2019 Showgirl competition, which consisted of interviews, a luncheon and a ball.
“We had five entrants in the competition, each who were a deserving winner, with Annabelle Powell, an embedding nurse, being named the 2019 Narromine Showgirl.
“I was honoured to MC the night as our outgoing Showgirl and had an absolute blast in doing so. It was great to see so many people within our district come together to celebrate our town, our show, and our people. We had a record number of 176 people in attendance, with two fellow YFC Bec George and Lucy Collingridge amongst the crowd.
“Big thanks to our judges: Spike Orr, Vice President of the Parkes Show Society, Effie Ferguson, The 2019 Land Sydney Royal Easter Show Girl Runner Up, and Lydia Herbert, ASC Next Gen Vice President.”
Last week also saw Keiley attend the Grain Growers Innovation Generation conference in Ballarat, Victoria with her employer RuralBiz Training. “Innovation Generation brings together award-winning speakers, innovators and industry professionals from across the sector, to inspire and challenge young people within the grains industry. I had a fabulous time networking and endorsing the flexible training programs offered through my work,” Keiley says.
Not far away in Bendigo it was all action at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show, where UNE YFC Ruby Canning was busy photographing for the Stock and Land Newspaper.
“The Sheep and Wool Show is the largest of its type in the Southern Hemisphere,” Ruby says. “It was a great experience meeting and networking with other individuals within agriculture. Competitors traveled from all over the country, including as far as Western Australian, to showcase their top stock.”
“While I was there I worked closely with Joely Mitchell, the Acting Editor of the Stock and Land. Along with photographing most of the champions, I had the privilege of photographing the industry dinner Lambition, which included meeting and photographing MLA corporate chef Sam Burke, as well as Jason Strong the newly appointed Managing Director of MLA.
“To top the event off one of my photos made the front page of the Stock and Land Newspaper for the second time, and I was shortlisted for the BBM Global Industry Scholarship.”
Congratulations Ruby! Fingers crossed for you with the scholarship winners announced in early October. If she wins, Ruby plans to travel to Canada and America to study the feedlot industry and meat grading and quality systems in comparison to Australia.
Over to Wagga Wagga, NSW, where YVLT mentor leader and Local Land Services (LLS) district veterinarian Dione Howard has been as busy as… well… an LLS district veterinarian!
Last Friday Dione attended the Graham Centre Livestock Forum with Riverina LLS, where livestock researchers, producers and market experts shared their latest insights.
Later in the week Dione spoke to the Charles Sturt University (CSU) Vet Science Class of 2020 about all things district vetting before the students head out on their final year of placements. The following day CSU had its Ag Careers Fair where students come together to hear from organisations in the agriculture sector who they might consider working for when they finish their agriculture, animal, vet or business degrees – lots of opportunities!
This Friday the Riverina LLS hosted a Lamb Post Mortem Workshop, in conjunction with Elders Wagga Wagga, where Dione shared with producers common causes of lamb mortalities and how they can identify what has happened to lambs so that they can make improvements for next year. Wow – what a week!
This week also saw Dione present at NFF House, Canberra, to a Lunch ‘n’ Learn group about her experience as WoolProducers Youth Ambassador for 2018-19. This was the last of her commitments for this program, now it’s over to Woolly YFC Samantha Wan for the 2019-20 Youth Ambassador role!
Speaking of Sam… If you’re heading to Sheepvention in Hamilton, Victoria, this week keep your eyes peeled for Samantha Wan. Sam is presenting the Elders Southern Clip of the Year awards. Looking forward to hearing more about this Sam!
We’re also staying tuned for news from YFC Steph Fowler who flew to Germany this week for the International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) which starts this Sunday. Steph is presenting three papers on the meat science research she has been doing at Department of Primary Industries, and Steph’s PhD student will be presenting another two papers. Break a leg, Steph!
Coming up this week in Sydney is the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) of NSW’s leading Agricultural and Agribusiness careers expo, AgVision2019. YFC Lucy Collingridge and Dee George, and friend of the program and NFF 2030 Leader Aimee Snowdown are all heading AgVision’s way – say hi if you see them!
UNE YFC Becca George is gracing the RAS of NSW Facebook Page and website this week as one of the 2019 RAS Foundation Rural Scholarship winners. 22-year-old Becca is a fourth year Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Agriculture UNE student in Arimdale, originally from the small central NSW town of Nevertire. The RAS Foundation Rural Scholarships support students from rural areas who have to relocate to study. Applications are now open for 2020 RAS Foundation Rural Scholarships: Apply here
And did you catch Becca George’s photo on the Ten News Daily Bailey segment? Congrats Becca and we hope it’s pouring with rain out there soon.
YFC and YVLT communication creative team volunteer extraordinaire Marlee Langfield was the face of the recent Rural Women’s Network Hidden Treasures Honour Roll campaign, which recognizes fabulous volunteering efforts of rural women. As a 2017 Hidden Treasures nominee, Marlee was asked to talk about why she loves being involved with her local community and how she hopes the Morongla Show will continue for another 100 years. “They came to the Country Women’s Association/Red Cross meeting to film, which meant they could see me in volunteer action,” Marlee says. Nominations for the 2019 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll have now closed.
Congratulations to Wool YFC Samantha Wan who has been selected as one of three finalists in the 2019 National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia Wool Broker Award! Read all about it on Sheep Central here. Well done and good luck Sam! The prize sounds right up your alley…
“The winner of the 2019 award will win an all-expenses paid trip to attend the 2020 Congress of the International Wool Textile Organisation in Tongxiang, China in May 2020. Arrangements will also be made for the 2020 award winner to visit the wool textile industry in China.
NCWSBA executive director Chris Wilcox said the winner will be announced at the AWIS Wool Week dinner in the evening of Thursday, 22 August.”
Double YFC whammy for the NSW Young Farmers – with two YFC elected at the recent Annual General Meeting. Mega congrats to Meg Rice who was re-elected as a NSW Young Farmer Councillor, and Martin Murray who was elected as NSW Young Farmer deputy chair and onto the grains committee. Well done Meg and Martin!
And a huge warm welcome to the latest amazing talent to join the YFC team, Sally Downie. Sally has been awarded the 2019 Picture You in Agriculture Scholarship. Read Sally’s blog here to discover what makes her so incredible and a deserving winner of this scholarship. Sally’s heading to Beaudesert State School as part of the 2019 Archibull Prize and they’re already as excited as we are!
2019 Archibull Prize school visits are well under way and this week YFC Lucy Collingridge visited Greystanes High School and St Johns Park High School, where she spoke with 50 secondary students. At Greystanes High School, Lucy met with a range of students from years 7-12 who elected to participate in The Archibull Prize this year with their art teacher. Here, Lucy skyped with YFC Emma Ayliffe to give the students an insight in to the cotton industry. At St Johns Park High School Lucy spoke with the year 9 elective arts class who are participating in The Archibull Prize with their art teacher. Lucy also had the pleasure of speaking with the year 10 elective agriculture class who joined the session.
“I loved my time at the schools and I am looking forward to some follow up Google Hangouts with the students and tracking the progress of their Archibulls for 2019!” Lucy says. “Big thanks to teachers Donna Draper, Max Labal and Leah Bonus!”
How special is this…! YFC and Cowra grain grower Marlee Langfield was recently doing some family research when she came across a 1979 newspaper clipping with her grandad Clem Capps on the front cover of The Land newspaper. We love the headline, “Everything Old is new again” because 39 years later, Marlee and her partner Andrew made the cover! Read and enjoy the stories below…
Continuing our series of shaing stories about the schools we work with going above and beyond today we shine the spotlight on Lake Cargelligo Central School.
The cost of freight is a serious limiting factor to how far and wide we can take The Archibull Prize. This year two school communities in rural NSW came together to fund their local schools participation in the program. One of these is Lake Cargelligo Central School which has a strong focus on agricultural education
With the cost of freight being a limiting factor the Lake Cargelligo community came together to fund the transport of Archie to their local school
Pigs and grains are the focus of two projects students from Years 9 and 10 at Lake Cargelligo Central School are undertaking this year to increase their emphasis on agricultural education. Pigs will be the feature of a paddock to plate project while the students will study the grain industry in The Archibull Prize.
One of the first thing the secondary students did was introduce Archie to the kinders
“Our school is located in regional/remote NSW and the majority of our students have some connection to agriculture through their family,” agriculture teacher Tara-Jane Ireland says. “We run an agriculture show team that focuses on all enterprises we can access (chooks, sheep and cattle) and we source animals from local breeders to build connections with the community.”
In the paddock to plate project students will raise, show and process two pigs (Peppa and George) and then combine with food technology students to create menus for the table. Read more about Peppa, George and the rest of the team here.
Like The Archibull Prize, the pig paddock to plate event is an example of project-based learning. “Project-based learning has become an integral part of our teaching practices at LCCS to enhance the engagement of our students,” Tara-Jane says. “In 7/8 all our classes complete learning through PBL and teachers are now expanding this to 9/10. This allows our students to develop essential life skills like leadership, communication and problem solving.”
Twenty students will participate in The Archibull Prize. They are looking forward to not only connecting with students from other Archibull schools, but with a local artist and their Young Farming Champion Emma Ayliffe, who they are hoping can assist them develop career goals and aspirations.
“Our aim is to focus on holistic approaches to agriculture while having fun,” Tara-Jane says, “and to help students lead healthy lifestyles by producing their food sustainably now and in the future.”
Young Farming Champion Chloe Dutschke who was recently named the joint winner of the 2019 Peter Westblade Scholarship along with Brett Stockings of Dubbo is certainly becoming a dynamo in the wool industry.
Picture taken by Forbes Corby
After completing a Bachelor of Animal Science at the University of Adelaide in 2014 Chloe began her career in wool as a jillaroo in the Flinders Ranges. Today she is a contract musterer working anywhere from southern NSW to northern SA but, along the way, Chloe has taken every opportunity to immerse herself in the world of wool. For example, in 2016 Flinders Merino, a South Australian woolgrowers group, sent Chloe to Hong Kong to learn all about the wool supply chain. So it should come as no surprise that Chloe was amongst the six finalists for this year’s Peter Westblade Scholarship.
“The scholarship has a strong focus on young people and offers a large range of networking opportunities which I was drawn to,” Chloe says. “I self-nominated but was also nominated by David Rankin, manager of Tupra Station in NSW. I feel he nominated me because he can see the need to encourage and guide young people in agriculture and has seen first-hand the passion and dedication I have to the sheep and wool industry.”
For Chloe the win is not only recognition for her own dedication but recognition and thanks to people who have assisted her career and become her mentors. People such as David Rankin, Plant a Seed for Safety founder Alex Thomas, Peter Westblade committee members Georgie McGuiness and Craig Wilson, and our very own Picture You in Agriculture director Lynne Strong.
“I believe those who inspire you, giving you their time and leadership, are mentors. I try to surround myself with those types of people and hope to one day be a mentor for someone else.”
The Peter Westblade Scholarship comes with a $10,000 bursary, which Chloe is using to attend conferences such as MerinoLink, LambEx and EvokeAg, and to extend her corporate networks in order to promote her visions for the wool industry.
“I have developed The Pastoral Network for the pastoral areas of northern South Australia,” Chloe says. “I see it as a ‘one-stop-shop’ to share industry and community events and information, jobs, topical articles and general information.”
So committed is Chloe to her project that she has entered the ABC Trailblazer competition.
“I am hoping that being selected as an ABC Trailblazer means I can further develop this shared information idea into a website for other agricultural areas to use across South Australia and nationally as well.”
Congratulations on all you have achieved and all you aspire to Chloe. You are a credit to the wool industry and Australian agriculture.