Young Farming Champions December Muster – A Reflection on 2020 the good the better and the best

 

2020 – what a year it has been.

2020 opened with drought, morphed into bushfires, was blessed with rain for what became a bumper harvest and then transcended into a global pandemic, which has taken normal and turned it on its head. Many of our YFCs were forced into hard lockdowns and COVID has impacted us all, challenging us to find new ways to do business and to connect or, as has been often quoted this year,

“life is not what happens to us, it is about how we handle what happens.”

However, Yong Farming Champions (YFCs)  are not called champions for nothing and they rose to all challenges that impacted their personal and professional lives.

In 2020 our YFCs have: taken on new jobs (and even overseas postings),  joined leadership programs and speaker forums, been guest speakers, produced podcasts (a lot of podcasts) and webcasts, committed to conferences (in person and then online as the year progressed), been awarded Nuffield Scholarships, donated hundreds of volunteer hours, written research papers, connected with schools doing The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas, attended zoom meetings (lots and lots of zoom meetings), taken on committee and board positions, featured on well-being seminars, launched an app (Yacker – are you on board yet?), raised money for charity, won national fleece competitions, bought houses, supported each other in lockdown, joined the mental health and occupational safety conversations, launched websites, created videos, participated in international agricultural networks and completed degrees to become doctors and masters. Whew.

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We’ve had a RAS Rural Achiever (Dione), a finalist in the NSW 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards (Emma – who can forget that red dress) and even an OAM (Jo).

The Innovation Hub of the Youth Voices Leadership Team launched the highly successful Leadership is Language series with a range of Australian and international guests interviewed by Young Farming Champions.

We’ve adapted to our ever-changing COVID world with drive-through bait station, online wool auctions, social distancing in shearing sheds, online ag shows, lanolin cream production and online bull sales, just to name a few.

And life has gone on. Hannah Hawker, James Kanaley, Tom Tourle and Jasmine Green welcomed new babies.

 

Keiley O’Brien, Dwayne Schubert and Naomi Mulligan were married and Anika Molesworth and Melissa Henry postponed much-anticipated weddings.

As we near the end of this exceptionally challenging year we asked the Youth Voices Leadership committee what have been their highlights and what are they looking forward to in 2021.

Emma Ayliffe (Chair):

“I am looking forward to setting up the YVLT committee for a long and successful future through finalising what our future looks like and identifying the leaders of tomorrow. This year has been a fun challenge and to see how the committee responded and what we achieved has been amazing.”

Dione Howard (Vice-Chair):

“I’m looking forward to a fresh start in 2021 – our team has learnt so much during this challenging year and I hope we can take those learnings out into the big wide world! I can’t wait to celebrate life events with those nearest and dearest, get on the dancefloor and give people a big hug!”

“last day of our family harvesting – it’s been a wonderful season and bring on the time for rest.” says Dione

Jo Newton (Returning Officer):

“After spending nearly half the year locked down in Melbourne, I look forward to partaking in life’s simple pleasures in 2021 like meals shared with friends, smiles not obscured by masks & the freedom to visit friends & explore Australia”.

 Photo by: Massimiliano Nardini @ Mt Oberon, Wilson’s Prom

Samantha Wan (Innovation Hub Representative):

“I’m looking forward to seeing how we all emerge from what has been a year like no other, how it has shaped our perspectives and appreciations and use the skills we’ve developed and honed to take on a new chapter in 2021.”

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“Sam is also looking forward to some reading time with her dogs”

Anika Molesworth (Partnerships Ambassador):

“The absolute highlight for me was the Language is Leadership series, which has not only brought to my attention some incredible thought-leaders and change-makers – people who are not just talking the talk but walking the walk –but has allowed me the opportunity to connect with them. I could speak with them one-on-one, ask them questions, learn from them and then have a platform to share these learnings far and wide.”

Jess Fearnley (Intern):

“I am looking forward to hopefully seeing each other’s faces in person and working towards some really good programs in the New  Year. This year has been a fantastic learning experience and I am super excited about our next workshop with Cathy McGowan in 2021

The last words on our summation of the year that has been 2020 go to Picture You in Agriculture director Lynne Strong:

“As a person who thrives on watching others grow and thrive I have found it very rewarding to watch how flexible and agile the team has been in this wild year. COVID has impacted both our personal and professional lives yet we have remained hopeful, collaborated, reimagined, innovated, stuck to our truth and delivered joy; all the things that get people through turmoil and change. I salute the Young Farming Champions”

#YouthinAg #CollectiveAction #CollectiveImpact #ConnectCollaborateCommunicate #EngageEmpower

 

If changing the world was easy we would all be doing it

Picture you in Agriculture sees itself as a vehicle to provide opportunities for others to engage and empower people who want to be changemakers.

We work with young people in the agriculture sector . We train, develop and teach them how to multiply their impact by working with the community. We call them Young Farming Champions. They represent the diversity of people who work in the agriculture sector.

Their hands on journey begins by facilitating our school programs The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas 

Our schools and our Young Farming Champions have taken on the big hairy goals – the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or the SDGs for short

We are working with our schools to tackle the SDG targets Australia most needs to meet

We have all heard people say if changing the world was easy we would all be doing it. What we have found it is easy if WE believe it is and WE surround ourselves with enough people who share the vision and are committed to taking action and DO.

There is a formula.

  • Identify the outcome you want to achieve
  • Identify what success looks like
  • Start with a big idea – keep it as simple as possible
  • Identify the actors
  • Identify the actions the actors need to take
  • Identify the expertise you need to outsource
  • Identify the GO TO Person to access the experts
  • Design and Deliver your ACTION PLAN
  • Monitor, Evaluate, Report and Inform

There is important knowledge you need to have

We suggest you start with a basic understanding of psychology

What makes people tick and the theory of change 

You will also need resources and opportunities.

You need to be prepared to experiment, collect data, report on that data and share it with others

Most importantly you need people who genuinely care and understand that it takes a village.

We are identifying people who really care and have the expertise to support our schools and Young Farming Champions.

We are big fans of the Collective Action for Collective Impact model

In 2020 we paired with OzHarvest FEAST to tackle Zero Hunger, Responsible Production and Consumption and Climate Change.

We partnered with Corteva Agriscience to build a library of resources for teachers and students

We partnered with Australian Wool Innovation. NSW Department of Primary Industries, Local Land Services and Corteva Agriscience to identify, train and develop young agriculturalists

We partnered with  Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education, Changeologist Les Robinson, Science Communicator Jenni Metcalfe, 21st Century Learning Expert Josh Farr and John Holloway and the Murray Darling Basin Authority Education team to  deliver professional development workshops for teachers and students. These workshops were funded by NSW Local Land Services and NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environment

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We partnered with the Geography Teachers Association of NSW and ACT to deliver professional development workshops to teachers

Over the next week we are very excited to share with you a series of blogs that showcase the changemakers we have worked with in our Kreative Koalas schools. All of the students and teachers we work with are committed to leaving a legacy  we can all be proud of.

We can all be changemakers, we just need to care enough and surround ourselves with people who care as much as we do.

 

Sneak Peek you can check out the #KreativeKoalaKids artworks here

#ConnectCollaborateCommunicate #EngageEmpower #CollectiveAction #CollectiveImpact

 

Meet Dylan Male the winner of the inaugural Riverina Local Land Services Emerging Leaders Scholarship

Dylan Male is the winner of 2020 Riverina Local Land Services scholarship that will see him participate in a two year program an d graduate as a Young Farming Champion 

In this blog post Dylan shares what drives him

Hi everyone, my name is Dylan and I’m passionate about agricultural systems that produce enough healthy food for all and reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. This passion has led me to commence my PhD studies investigating the agronomy and ecology of a native Australian grass species that was cultivated for its grain by Indigenous Australians. The project is in partnership with Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation and Latrobe University.

One question I often find myself being asked is ‘What has sparked your passion and driven you to do what you do today?’.

From an early age, growing up in the Riverina I witnessed firsthand some of the challenges facing our agricultural sector. I have the most vivid memories of the millennium drought from growing up on a farm on Wiradjuri Country in NSW. From seeing towering red walls of topsoil approaching over the horizon and enveloping the sky into darkness, to watching green crops wither away from a lack of rain and parched sheep gathering around dams dwindled to no more than a mere puddle. There were many times I wanted to do something to help. As a kid, I felt powerless to do anything. However, as I grew up, I soon realised that I could help contribute towards overcoming the challenges facing our farmers – even ones as big as tackling climate change and land degradation.

We are living through a time of rapid change and challenge, where our agricultural systems are increasingly vulnerable to fracturing. It is a time where the world population continues to rise, placing added pressure onto food security and our planet’s finite resources. It is a time where the health of our soils is poor and in need of repair. On top of this, we are seeing the high-risk nature of farming exacerbated by a changing climate. It is a time which demands adaptive thinking and innovation if we are to ensure future prosperity of our modern agricultural systems.

One crucial way to achieve this is through the incorporation of traditional agricultural knowledge into our modern systems. Australia is the driest inhabited continent on Earth and is renowned for its particularly harsh conditions. Yet, despite this, the continent has been successfully inhabited by humans for tens of thousands of years. Perhaps one of the most held misconceptions is that Indigenous Australians relied exclusively on a ‘hunter and gatherer’ approach to obtaining food. However, Indigenous Australians were incredibly innovative and sustainable when it came to food production. One must only read through Bruce Pascoe’s ‘Dark Emu’ to realise that food production systems in pre-European Australia were very well established and sustainably managed. One of these traditional food production systems consisted of domesticating, growing and harvesting grains from native grasses. The cultivation of grains for human consumption has played an important role in human survival and societal development around the world (think rice in Asia, wheat in the Middle East and maize in America). For Indigenous Australians, this was no different. In fact, evidence suggests that Indigenous Australians were the first people on Earth to use grain for food, with starch particles found on grinding stones in parts of Australia dating back many tens of thousands of years.

Since European colonisation, there has been great loss to these native grain production systems. Not only has environmental destruction led to native grasslands becoming one of the most threatened and degraded ecosystems in Australia, but highly relied upon traditional knowledge that had been developed and passed down over many generations was suddenly lost as a result of dispossession and genocide.

There is increasing recognition that the growing of Aboriginal food plants will contribute towards a more prosperous and sustainable modern Australian agricultural sector. It will also provide empowerment to Aboriginal communities and play an important role in healing Country. Additionally, the upscaling of native food crops could be an important tool to combat the effects of a changing climate on food production and to protect against losses to biodiversity.

These are just some of the reasons behind what drives me to pursue a career in agriculture and where I find myself today. I look forward to my continued learning journey and hope to do my part in ensuring Australia’s agricultural sector prospers into the future.

We are looking forward to working with Dylan and learning more about his research and providing him with opportunities to share it with next gen consumers and agriculturalists in our school programs 

Dylan Male is the winner of the Riverina Local Land Services Emerging Young Leaders Scholarship.

Riverina Local Land Services, in conjunction with Picture You in Agriculture, is pleased to announce that Riverina local Dylan Male is the winner of its inaugural Emerging Young Leaders Scholarship.

The scholarship will allow Dylan to participate in the prestigious Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program run by Picture You in Agriculture. This two-year training package will give Dylan exposure to some of the country’s top media and communication specialists and give him the skills to accelerate his journey in agricultural leadership.

“As someone passionate about agriculture and the role of youth in the sector, I am thrilled to be selected as a recipient of the Riverina Local Land Services/PYiA Growing Young Leaders Scholarship. Participation in this incredible scholarship program means I will be able to gain a range of skills that will develop my confidence and provide me with a greater sense of empowerment as an emerging leader in the agricultural sector.” Dylan said.

Growing up on a Riverina farm during the Millennium Drought meant Dylan saw the challenging face of Australian agriculture from an early age, but rather than be discouraged, he realised he could be part of the solution for a better future. He studied a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) at Charles Sturt University and, with an increasing interest in the role of indigenous farmers in the modern landscape, is now undertaking a PhD with LaTrobe University. Dylan’s PhD project is a partnership  with the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Coorperation investigating Australian native grain-producing grass species building on successful outcomes  growing  commercially viable indigenous grains in the Narrabri region.  

“One of the key skills that the program will help me to sharpen is influential communication. Improving this skill will allow me to more effectively story tell and share my experiences in agriculture with both young people and the wider community. Through storytelling, I hope to achieve not only increased awareness of the many diverse and rewarding opportunities that a career in the agricultural sector offers, but also help develop community understanding of how important the sector is to our functioning world.” Dylan said

The Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program will also give Dylan access to mentorship through Riverina Local Land Services.

“For Riverina LLS, this scholarship forms part of our region’s succession plan.  We are delighted to be supporting an emerging agricultural leader with a connection to our region to grow and develop their skills.

We look forward to working with Dylan over the next two years through the raft of opportunities available in this scholarship. Riverina LLS will provide Dylan with mentors from each area of our organisation to build upon his agricultural interest areas of sustainability and land management, indigenous agricultural systems and pest management. Dylan is a great example of the talented young people we have in the Riverina – our region has a bright future.” ” general manager Ray Willis said.

As part of the scholarship Dylan will hone his skills by engaging with school students as part of The Archibull Prize and the Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future Challenge.

You can read what drives Dylan here

#YouthinAg #IndigineousGrains #IndigenousFarmingPractices

Archie celebrities making themselves at home at the Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education

As the new Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education evolves, it has found itself with two new residents: the award-winning Calvary Archies.

Meet Le_EGG_o.  Students at Calvary Christian College not only created prize winning artworks they have created lifelong legacy learning tools that can be enjoyed by generations of young people  

Calvary Christian School in Brisbane are enthusiastic participants in The Archibull Prize, often featuring in the annual awards ceremony. In 2017 they won the title of Grand Champion Archibull with Cotney, representing the wool industry. In 2018 their Archie Le-Eggo, representing the egg industry, was awarded Reserve Grand Champion Archibull.

These famous Archie celebrities are now taking up residence in Sydney and will be a showcase of the new learning facility. Kris Beazley is the principal of the Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education – Richmond Agricultural College.

“We are currently delivering Ag, STEM, Sustainability, Aboriginal Knowledges and Careers programs for schools K-12, along with teacher professional learning. Our first AgSTEM specialist stream will commence next year with full time students. We believe both Archies will be well utilised on a weekly basis in our learning programs for both students and teachers and highlight the outcomes possible when young minds are allowed to explore.” Kris says

Le-Eggo and Cotney are currently in Western Sydney University’s shearing shed educational facility, a university events space, but will take pride of place once buildings for the Centre of Excellence are completed.

Cotney- the Moorino with Lisa Bullas and students from Calvary Christian School

“We look forward to profiling Calvary Christian College and the teams responsible for these amazing artworks as well as PYiA, and to connect with Calvary teams in the future, either virtually or when they visit Sydney for Archibull events,” Kris says.

Lisa Bullas from Calvary Christian College says the school is proud to see their Archies in their new home:

“We are privileged to share our Archibull’s with CoE at Ag Ed in Richmond (though if any time they become surplus to requirements we’d be happy to have them back!). I look forward to hearing more of their tales inspiring the new education program. Long may Cotney and Le-Eggo keep telling their agricultural stories.” Lisa says

It seems the Calvary Archies will indeed keep telling their stories, and to an increased audience.

As our programs are delivered across the state we know that thousands of young people over the years will engage with both Cotney and Le-Eggo,” Kris says.

#CollectiveAction #CollectiveImpact #ArchieAction #YouthinAg

 

How cooking home-grown food and painting a koala is helping save an endangered turtle

 

It seems a bit confusing, doesn’t it? How on earth would cooking home-grown food and painting on a fibreglass koala help to provide a better future for an endangered turtle? Well this is the feel-good story from the 2020 Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future Challenge. It is also a story about the power of partnerships.

Through Kreative Koalas students and teachers at St Brigid’s Primary School at Raymond Terrace researched 12 endangered species and voted on one to become their school mascot.

“The Hunter River Turtle won by a landslide. Our Year 6 students, who are painting their koala as part of the Kreative Koalas program run by Picture You in Agriculture, have completely dedicated their submission to highlighting the plight of the turtle,” Aboriginal Education Teacher Kristen Jones says.

Investigating Global Goal 15  (Life on the Land)  and to learn more about the local turtle St Brigid’s enlisted the help of Jane Lloyd-Jones from Hunter Local Land Services, which has been a long and generous partner of Picture You in Agriculture.

“Through Jane’s EnviroStories program, one of our Year 4 students is writing a narrative about the plight of the Hunter River Turtle and some of our Year 5 students are putting together an infographic about the turtle, which our local newspaper has agreed to run as a half page advertisement to educate the local community,” Kristen says.

Jane worked with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment biodiversity and threatened species team in the Hunter, to coordinate a visit that included researcher Andrew Steed and a day of organised activities based around the Hunter River Turtle for 120 of the students.

“I have loved working with the students from St Brigid’s. I was so excited when the students voted for the Hunter River turtle as their school mascot and after providing a presentation to students about the turtles’ habitat and human impacts on river water quality, I was overwhelmed with questions by the students wanting to learn MORE!” Jane says.

It was then time for the second partnership to swing into gear. As part of OzHarvest’s FEAST program students at St Brigid’s investigated Global Goals 2, 12 and 13  and planted a vegetable garden during Term 3. Using the cooking kit provided by OzHarvest they were then able to hold three cooking days utilising their home-grown produce. Items made were sold at the school canteen.

“All funds raised were dedicated to the Hunter River Turtle and we are thrilled to say we have made a $300 donation to the Australian Reptile Park and the work it does to protect the species,” Kristen says.

On December 3 Kristen and St Brigid’s students travelled to the Australian Reptile Park to make their donation in person to Tim Faulkner. They were given a tour of the new turtle facilities nearing completion, and looked at a successful clutch of Manning River turtles in anticipation of how the breeding program will work.

“Tim tells us our $300 will go directly to the care and breeding program of the Hunter River Turtle. The whole Year 6 cohort is extremely proud of their achievements and our school has gone turtle mad,” Kristen says.

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Want to following their learning journey – it must be so much fun being part of this “sharing is caring” school

Mega-congratulations to the students at St Brigid’s and to the power of partnerships with Hunter Local Land Services, OzHarvest and NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. What a tremendous way to help save our endangered native wildlife.

#KreativeKoalasKids #Changemakers #ProjectBasedLearning #GlobalGoals

Kwame Christian empowering emerging female leaders in Australian Agriculture to harness compassionate curiosity.  

 

As part of Picture You in Agriculture’s support of our Young Farming Champions and emerging leaders, a series of workshops was rolled out in October. Alongside our fabulous national facilitators Kris Beazley, Jenni Metcalfe, Les Robinson and Josh Farr, we were delighted to add internationally acclaimed Kwame Christian to our repertoire.

Kwame is the director of the American Negotiation Institute, a practising business lawyer, host of the world’s most popular negotiation podcast Negotiate Anything (downloaded over 1.5 million times), author of the Amazon best-seller Finding Confidence in Conflict, a negotiation and conflict resolution professor at The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law, a regular contributor to Forbes magazine, a LinkedIn trainer and a popular public speaker with his 2017 TEDx talk being named the most popular talk on the topic of conflict.

To secure a workshop facilitator of Kwame’s calibre PYiA partnered with Soroptimist International Griffith, who supported the workshop as part of their global position on supporting rural women, gender equity and women’s leadership.  We are most thankful for Soroptimist International’s support.

Working with PYiA, Kwame presented a 90 minute webinar to 14 participants on negotiation and conflict resolution, or as he likes to say: “solving conflict with compassionate curiosity.” But rather than stand in a room and preach, Kwame made the workshop participant driven, asking the all-female attendees what they wanted to achieve, in a pre-workshop questionnaire. Most responses were of the fear/avoidance of conflict, inexperience (as young people) and lack of confidence in negotiation.

Kwame then taught participants that our instinctive conflict responses are fight, flight or freeze but that there was another way. He spoke of acknowledging and validating emotions of both parties and of seeking to understand not judge. He also spoke on:

  • How to see every interaction as a strategic, persuasive opportunity
  • How to persuade without being combative
  • How to develop the proper mindset for effective negotiation
  • How and when to use these skills for maximum impact

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Following Kwame’s workshop participants had the opportunity to put his skills into practice during a further 90 minute simulation exercise facilitated by Dr Nicole McDonald. Recognising all the young women participating in the workshop are negotiating on a daily basis and 60% of women say they’ve never negotiated their salary they identified contract negotiation as a priority.

This two-part conflict and negotiation workshop was a prime example of how PYiA is partnering with like minded organisations who are listening to our young people and delivering professional development based on their wants and needs.

#compassionateCuriosity #WinWin #EmergingLeaders

 

 

Building agricultural literacy and supporting our young people to be ready for the jobs of the future

This experience has been profound for our students. It has facilitated critical thinking, in-depth discussions and provided a platform for our students to develop and refine their thoughts and thinking on issues affecting society today. The Hackathon generated ideas and language our students rarely use to express themselves. The clarity and conviction in their arguments was impressive. The entire process has stirred their creative juices and fostered dedication to finish both the Koala and the Archibull to a very high standard. They have spent all their spare time collaborating and working hard to ensure the projects are ready for submission. The sense of pride in their work is wonderful to see. I highly recommend the opportunity to participate in The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas.

Claudia Munday Teacher Penrith Valley LC

At Picture You in Agriculture we are committed to adding value to everyone we serve.

We support agriculture by future proofing the sector through

  • Building agricultural literacy
  • Inspiring pride in the contribution of farmers and rural and regional communities to Australia’s economic wellbeing, our social fabric and the the sector’s commitment to achieving climate positive agriculture
  • Succession planning. Identifying and developing emerging leaders in the sector and leveraging their capacity as role models to attract young people into agriculture

Agricultural literacy revolves around the ability to think critically and make value judgments about the impact of agriculture as an economic and environmental activity and the concurrent societal and political pressures that result from those judgments. An agriculturally literate person should be able to analyse and evaluate “trade-offs” to individuals and to society resulting from agricultural enterprises. The nature of the decisions and value judgments drive the agricultural content. Understanding of agriculture is demonstrated by the ability to enter into conversations about and make decisions in response to choices facing society. Source 


Learn more about the sustainability circle here 

We support the teachers we work with to empower their students to be critical and creative thinkers who are life long learners working together to be engaged and active participants in the communities they live, work and play in

As part of Picture You in Agriculture’s support of schools undertaking The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas in 2020, a series of workshops was rolled out in October for teachers and students.

First cab off the rank was the wonderful Kris Beazley, principal at the Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education -Richmond Agricultural College, who held one day hack-a-thons in design thinking and imagineering.

“The aim of the hack-a-thon was to draw together the students’ prior learnings and understandings about the project parameters, their area of research, understanding of effective communication and project planning. Students developed ideas and concepts through a process of imagineering, clustering, consideration and feedback, and then these tested ideas formed a milestone map and resourcing and task allocation plan for their projects,” Kris says.

Four teams participated in the hack-a-thon, three involved with The Archibull Prize and one with Kreative Koalas. Setting the project tone for their Archies were Stage 4 students from Nepean Creative and Performing Arts who are studying sustainable fashion, Stage 4 students from Granville Boys who are studying water management in the Sydney catchment and Stage 4 and 5 students from the Penrith Valley Learning Centre who are studying land use challenges of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River. Kreative Koala participants were the Stage 3 students from the Penrith Valley Learning Centre who are supporting koalas in the rural fringes of north-west Sydney.

“Our students embarked on an intense day of imagineering and prototyping that was tailored to our Archibull theme, zero textiles waste. Design thinking principles united with structured negotiations, constructive feedback and testing group ideas, and project parameters were rigorously explored, discussed and revisited. The result was a synthesised group production target and achievable project goals. We thank the Archibull Hackathon team for their passion, innovation and interest in the development of our project and our minds.”

Mrs Rowston, Nepean Creative and Performing Arts

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Students enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to their projects and to problem solve as part of a group. When asked what were three things they learned during the day, their responses included:

  • “collaboration – merging ideas – be willing to change and compromise”

  • “how to communicate effectively – listen/respect and use others ideas – easily collaborate”

  • “communication – teamwork – realistic ideas”

Kris believes the hack-a-thons developed a sense of collective commitment to the Archibull and Kreative Koalas projects.

“It is an intense day but also gives every student in the group a voice and the agency to act.”

A great outcome for agriculture supporting our young people to be ready for the jobs of the future

Young Farming Champions November 2020 Muster

Headline Act

The Young Farming Champions program gives our young people the skills and confidence to tell their stories, many of which you will read about in this Muster. However one YFC kicking presentations well out of the ballpark is Anika Molesworth. On October 28 Anika spoke at her second TEDx event. Commenting on a previous TED talk by indigenous legal scholar Kelsey Leonard, Anika presented the argument that as climate change and environmental degradation worsen we need to radically re-think the ways humans interact with nature.

Anika gave examples of where rights have been given to the environment such as Lake Erie in the US, the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in India and all the rivers in Bangladesh. “By granting legal rights to our environment, and rethinking the way we interact and respect our world, are we able to save what we cannot afford to lose?” Anika asked.

Congratulations Anika – you continue to be an inspiration for the YFC family.

In The Field

Into the field now and all of us who work with Mother Nature know she can be a hard and fickle business partner. Just as some of the best crops in central NSW where readying for harvest in October, Mother Nature sent hail in not one but two havoc-wreaking storms. Speaking in the Parkes Champion Post YFC agronomist Emma Ayliffe described the devastation: “What wasn’t affected at first was wiped out in the second event last weekend in most unusual circumstances.” said Emma. “For these people they have gone through a roller coaster of emotion since the event – from saying things like ‘Well, we’ve got more room in the silos for the rest of the crop’, to ‘F@#! it was going to be such a good harvest!’.” Emma’s own property was affected by the hail.

Meanwhile harvest continues under grey skies for our Cowra cropper Marlee Langfield – check out her amazing photo

Even though they both dance with Mother Nature Marlee and Emma are resilient future ready farmers, and this month we celebrated them, and others, in the launch of a new PYiA initiative – Future Ready Farmers. YFC Dan Fox also featured alongside friends of the YFC Karin Stark and Angus Whyte. This series will highlight to students undertaking Kreative Koalas and The Archibull Prize real-life examples of farmers in modern Australian agriculture.

Out of the Field

Out of the field our YFC are continuing their leadership journeys by embarking on a range of diverse programs. Tim Eyes has joined the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation Trail program and Chloe Dutschke is working with YFC friend Rebel Black in her Emerging Women Leaders program. We look forward to them all sharing snippets of their new-found wisdom with us soon.

Cultivate Growing Young Leaders program participants Jess Fearnley and Emily May participated in a session of Paddock Pen Pals as part of the 2020 Kreative Koalas program. As you can see from Emily’s Facebook post it was a highlight for her

Other YFCs are honing their presentation skills as they share their own stories – both career and life related. Emma Ayliffe sat down with PYiA journalist Mandy McKeesick to discuss Emma’s new communication app Yacker, Anika chatted with Natalie Isaacs, founder of 1 Million Women, in an Instagram live event, Peta Bradley was the guest of a UNE podcast, while Kirsty McCormack (live from Canada where she works as technical sales manager for Quantum Genetix) spoke at the Advancing Women in Agriculture conference.

Young Farming Champion Sharna Holman is sharing her careers in agriculture pathways wise advice in this series of forums with PIEFA

Jo Newton discussed her cancer diagnosis with Women’s Agenda and Dione Howard once again interviewed Austral Fisheries CEO David Carter – this time on the importance of occupational safety.

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Our YFCs find themselves in diverse arenas and may be the interviewee or the interviewer. How do they prepare, how do they control their nerves and what lessons have they learnt that we in turn can all learn from? Well, we asked them. Read their responses here.

Words Have Power Concept text on background

Prime Cuts

Congratulations again to Anika who has been appointed Deputy Chair of Farmers for Climate Action.

“To work alongside 5,000 farmers – some of the most hard-working and inspiring people I’ve ever met – is a true privilege,” Anika says. “These farmers do not accept environmental degradation as inevitable. They do not accept worsening climate conditions and increasing fragility in their rural communities. They know we can do better. So they are stepping up, standing face to face with the big challenges, and saying ‘I’ll be part of the solution’.”

The  YVLT Innovation Hub Committee is super excited to announced their first iHub project Leadership is Language has its own web page here

Lifetime Achievements

It’s “happy non-wedding” day to YFC Melissa Henry and fiancée Simon Maher. They printed their wedding invites in early March but as COVID19 struck and borders were closed the invitations were never sent. Here’s looking forward to a real wedding next November with an even bigger celebration (and bigger cake!).

YFC Dwayne Schubert did manage to pull off a minor miracle with the support of the legal amount of family and friends and trusty zoom for extended family across the ditch married his long term partner Libby Cooper on the farm in Tassie

How is this for a fabulous wedding memory

ALISON PENFOLD and CATHERINE MARRIOTT explore Anticipatory leadership

In this episode of Leadership is Language ALISON PENFOLD and CATHERINE MARRIOTT explore Anticipatory leadership – what is it and how can we use it to take responsibility and protect agriculture and what do Dad and Dave have to do with it all?

Catherine Marriott sits down with Alison Penfold to find out.

Key Messages

  • Leadership takes curiosity, bravery and courage
  • Be proactive rather than reactive
  • Call out your own risks and change the narrative
  • Influence isn’t just going to be what you say, but it’s how you behave. That’s part of telling the story.

 Pull Quote

“…. over time, what I’ve come to see and [what] I think is really critical, particularly in agriculture, is anticipatory leadership. It’s really about being able to use strategic foresight to identify issues and opportunities, risks and opportunities and get ahead of the curve…….we need to get on the front foot and collectively work together to get ahead, so that we’re in control of managing the risk.”

 

About Alison

Alison Penfold is a director of Future Eye. She has a forensic understanding of, and first-hand experience in, community engagement, risk and issues management, policy development, advocacy and political and bureaucratic processes. Her 20 years’ experience includes: Chief of Staff to a Federal Cabinet Minister, policy and political adviser to a range of State and Federal Ministers, CEO of a national agriculture sector industry body, Government Relations Manager for a major retailer and a range of senior policy, campaign and strategic advisory roles. Alison is a change agent promoting the need for business and industry to call out, act on and get ahead of social license risks.

Connect with Alison:    LinkedIn and Twitter 

About Catherine

Over the last 15 years, Catherine has worked in management, strategic and leadership roles in the agricultural, research and regional development sectors in Australia and internationally. During this time, she has become a proven business leader, communicator and entrepreneur, focused mostly on leadership development, advocacy and delivering innovative solutions for the industries in which she works. Catherine has always worked in rural and regional Australia and is inspired by the potential of our regions. She is passionate about the people side of agriculture, learning from and sharing with others. Mentoring is a role she plays with enthusiasm as she learns just as much from her mentees as she shares. She uses her Rural Science degree to understand the technical aspects of agriculture, while her experience in business helps her connect with people and maximise opportunities for others. Catherine has worked as a consultant, an entrepreneur, developed a start-up member-based organisation for the northern beef industry and plays a role on a number of private and public boards both in Australia and internationally. She is UNE’s 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award winner, a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and was the 2012 WA Rural Women of the Year.

Connect with Catherine   LinkedIn and   Twitter 

Want to know more?

Watch Alison on Landline talking about the red meat sector and social licence here

Watch all the social licence segments from Landline on 14th November here