Young Farming Champion Jessica Fearnley is using her communication skills to kickstart her leadership journey

At Picture You in Agriculture we design our learning and development programs to support Young Farming Champions on their emerging leadership journey. We partner with their workplaces to equip, empower, position and mentor them.

Young Farming Champion Jessica Fearnley who works in horticulture as a development officer with the NSW Department of Primary Industries 

In this edition of our Lessons Learnt series we look at how the power of this model has enabled Jessica Fearnley to hone communication skills learnt in the first year of the Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program by sharing her EvokeAg experience on the NSW DPI twitter account.

Jessica who works in horticulture as a development officer, joined the Young Farming Champions program in 2019, sponsored by her employer NSW Department of Primary Industries.

“Horticulture is one of highest value industries in the agricultural sector and people interact with it every day. There is a story to be told about the people and the places behind the horticultural industry and the people who consume Australia’s diverse array of fruit and vegetables in terms of how the food is grown, produced and how it ends up on supermarket shelves. I wanted to continue my career development by telling these stories and the Young Farming Champions Program seemed to offer the best way of doing this.” Jessica Fearnley

Through the Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program Jessica learnt skills in media and communication.

“My presentation skills improved dramatically after the workshop and I now apply this in my day to day work. I am required to present at field days and conferences and I now know I can get up and entertain people, whilst delivering my message and ensuring it resonates.” Jessica Fearnley

The workshops also taught her the importance of delivering messages simply and this skill become particularly relevant when Jessica was selected by the Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology (CEAT) as one of six emerging leaders to attend the 2020 EvokeAg event held in Melbourne in February, and her employer asked her to tweet about the event.

“I was given the very exciting opportunity to take over the NSW DPI twitter account to advocate my experience at the EvokeAg conference. This stretched me outside my comfort zone and although I was nervous I felt honoured my employers trusted and supported me to amplify the voices I found interesting on the day and advocate their message to 8726 followers.”

“It was a great chance to put into practice the concise communication skills I learnt at the YFC workshops and deliver my messages within 280 characters. As a recent graduate I was elated to have the power for my messages and thoughts to reach so many people. I am very supported by my team around me at DPI and I feel they are equipping me to develop my leadership skills as well as help others through the ability to practise and fine tune what I learnt in the YFC program.”

Picture You in Agriculture knows knowledge itself is not the key to success. Success comes when this knowledge is applied and when young people are given a road map for their leadership journey. When we trust people with autonomy and authority we give them an opportunity to prove themselves. When people are given autonomy over their work they feel connected to a purpose and part of a team that cares for them.  With support from NSW DPI and her new Young Farming Champions family, Jessica is taking the first steps on what we hope will be a long and rewarding journey.

Thanks Jess for sharing your lessons learnt and mega shoutout to our supporting partners empowering young people to solve tomorrows problems today

Author: Picture You in Agriculture

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.

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