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”
See Jo’s research under the heading, “Value of Genotyping Females in the Herd” in the article ‘Possibility of improving the accuracy of genetic evaluations’ here.
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!
Climate YFC Anika Molesworth is showcased on the Business Chicks website and newsletter this week: “The biggest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”
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!
Martin was also spotted in this recent story in Western Magazine, “Lifelong Interest in Agriculture Leaders Agronomist to being a voice for young farmers” after his recent election to the role of NSW Young Farmers deputy chair.
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:
#YouthVoices19 #YouthinAg #StrongerTogether #ArchieAction