If you are a Young Farming Champion (YFC) you already see yourself as an emerging leader for agriculture. If you also envision your future includes managerial positions, board appointments and CEO roles then the Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) is the perfect training ground.
The YVLT is a group of committed YFC alumni who have stepped up to take responsibility for, and share ownership of, a vision to enable and empower young leaders in agriculture. The YVLT provides a youth perspective to Picture You in Agriculture program development and management decisions, representing a powerful personal and professional development path, giving participants the skills and daily habits needed to take on community and business leadership roles in the future.
The current team members are Emma Ayliffe (chair), Dione Howard (vice-chair), Marlee Langfield (social media coordinator), Meg Rice (Innovation Hub representative), Jo Newton (returning officer), Anika Molesworth (partnerships ambassador) and Jess Fearnley ( minute secretary and intern). In addition the Innovation Hub, a sub-committee tasked with exploring new ideas for real-world projects, is ably staffed by Katherine Bain, Samantha Wan, Tayla Field and Chloe Dutschke.
In a recent evaluation report by Dr Nicole McDonald several themes were identified as motivating factors for joining the YVLT:
- intrinsic rewards for doing meaningful work for the future of agriculture,
- continuing to develop skills and abilities that would help them be leaders,
- being a part of a network of capable people that provide personal and professional support,
- giving back to a program that had given them a launch pad towards other opportunities and industry wide recognition.
Nicole’s interviews with team members elicited responses including:
“[The YVLT provides] the opportunity to upskill around committees; getting your head around corporate governance, running subcommittees, supporting a chair, setting agendas, and running meetings. All of this puts me in better stead to manage my own business. There are also a lot of non-tangible skills; for example it’s forced me to set deadlines and expectations for myself, for the people trying to contact me and for my team. I’ve been upskilled in social media and communication skills particularly around formalising of emails and proposals and pitching for funding. Those skills are invaluable.”
“It’s more than a committee it’s a learning opportunity. In a short amount of time I’ve already taken on feedback and learnt more than I anticipated; I’ve learnt skills that I didn’t even think of when I signed up for the Youth Voices Leadership Team.”
“The professionalism is really of a high standard on the YVLT, as well as the consideration of personal and professional outcomes; not only looking at what the organisation is looking to achieve, but also what everybody personally is looking to achieve. Looking at what drives each individual person to get the best outcome has been really impressive and something I haven’t seen in other committees.”
The YVLT is a valuable opportunity for YFC alumni to learn and practice professional and corporate skills in a safe environment. These skills include:
- leading innovative and forward-thinking purpose-driven teams,
- sitting on effective boards and committees
- creating and developing and growing start-ups
- program design and delivery
- event management,
- messaging and communications
- building partnerships for collective action for collective impact,
- time management
- Problem solving and strategic thinking
- negotiation and conflict skills
- become a better listener, build empathy and rapport and use your influence to inspire behaviour change for the greater good
Or, as one of our YVLT so aptly sums up:
“It is a great environment to fail miserably safely, to get some really blunt and honest feedback, to improve on yourself and to improve on your general skills.”
The YVLT holds their annual general meeting in March with all positions open. This is your chance to turn your leadership knowledge and skills into daily habits and create the future you envision.
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