Young Farming Champion Lucy Collingridge shares her 28th Commonwealth Agriculture Conference experience

Picture this. It is snowing, the temperature is -12*C and it is October. You are wearing business clothes and heading to a conference, using a yellow school bus to get from your hotel to the conference venue. Over 70 young people, all under the age of 40, have congregated to discuss the future of agriculture, agriculture events and the challenges facing agricultural communities across the world. Where are you? You are at the 2018 Royal Agricultural Societies of the Commonwealth (RASC) conference in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada!

On the 27th October 2018 I flew out of Sydney on a 15 hour flight destined for Canada. As a recipient of a scholarship from the Agricultural Societies Council of New South Wales, I was heading to the 28th Commonwealth Agriculture Conference as an Australian delegate. But, first things first, I spent a few days traveling around Banff and Lake Louise taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the Rocky Mountains. For only the second time in my life, I was experiencing snow falling and couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.

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Peyto Lake. –  Can you see the dogs head? I had a stunning snow day to view Peyto Lake, Lake Louise, Johnston Canyon and the Bow Valley Parkway!

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Before the tour and conference started, I added a few extra days of sightseeing through the Rocky Mountains. I enjoyed a snow day and here I am on my way down the hill from viewing Peyto Lake.

After a 4 hour drive from Banff to Edmonton, it was time to meet the team that would make up the pre-conference tour contingent. A group of around 50 people of varying ages and backgrounds, from various countries and having various connections to agriculture made up the group of keen agriculturalists. We were privileged to visit some fantastic enterprises throughout the  tour and meet some innovating and exciting people. On the first day visited a beef farm that calves down around 500 cows in the height of the Canadian winter and utilises a barn to assist with their winter nights that can reach -40*C.

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The pre-conference tour contingent at Lewis Farms

Following our property visit, we were able to tour the only plant in Canada that produces beef patties for McDonald’s burgers. Over 3 million patties are made on site every day and they all contain 100% Canadian beef. Following this stop, we had lunch at McDonald’s to sample the burgers made from the patty’s we had just seen. A quick trip to Jasper for some tourist activities, including a swim in the hot springs, a private tour of on the Jasper Sky Tram, an evening with the Jasper Planetarium and lunch at the Fairmont Hotel with lake and mountain views.

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Some of the pre-conference tour contingent enjoying the snow at the top of the Jasper Skytram. For a few of the Aussies, it was the first time seeing snow. Although we couldn’t see the spectacular views, we made up for it with snow angels, snow ball fights and trying to slide down the hill!! Our snow day in Jasper was an awesome bonding experience for the group and helped to create some special friendships which not only lasted the length of the conference but for many years to come.

The second tour day included a trip to visit a $50 million, farmer owned, fruit and vegetable wholesaler who source produce from across North and Central America. The farmers who own the business receive market price for their produce sold through the business during the year, then a percentage of profit at the end of the year. Following this, we attended the Rock Ridge Dairy, where 900 goats are milked every day in a specialised milking barn. Along with the home grown milk, the family buys in local milk to produce a range of goats and cow’s milk and soft cheeses.

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Dueces Greenhouses. Here we have a new section of cucumbers that have been in the system a few small weeks.

The afternoon was spent at Deuces Greenhouses where 11ac of Greenhouses allow the family owned business to produce summer vegetables in the height of the Canadian winter, and therefore attract high premiums during periods of low supply and high demand. Our last day of the pre-tour featured the Canadian grains industry, with a trip to Galloway Seeds, a family owned seed cleaning business. Cleaning around 18t of grain per hour, and removing over 99% of impurities, the company has mastered the 4 step cleaning process.

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John Deere, the international symbol for anything green! This big rig was parked up at Galloway Seeds.  

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One bank of the silos used at Galloway Seeds for storing grain before cleaning.

After lunch we visited the Rig Hand Distillery, a small company who are specialising in local grown alcohol. They source most of their inputs from within 20 miles of the distillery, and utilise local season produce such as potatoes, garlic, raspberries, wheat and beeswax. Each night after the tour, we would find ourselves at different functions and mingling with the delegates from across the globe. These connections will last us a lifetime and have not only provided holiday destinations around the world, but also provided links between people who wish to make global agriculture better!

The conference started with some sessions dedicated to the Next Generation contingent. We had presentations from a range of experts and agriculturalists around the world that opened up our way of thinking and strengthened our passion from sustainable agricultural production. We were challenged and motivated, encouraged and grew as professionals. One of the most interesting presentations for me was from Professor David Hughes, or as he is better known Dr. Food. A thought-provoking presentation from Dr. Food has had me thinking about the future of agriculture for the last 4 weeks, and I have added some thoughts below.

  • An increase in population of over 2 billion people by 2050, where 1.6 billion will be of Muslim or Hindu faith. What will these consumers prefer? What will be their protein of choice? What does this mean for our current, and future, farmers?
  • Africa will double population by 2050 (1 billion to 2 billion), and India, Bangladesh and Pakistan will increase by 0.5b each. Most Eastern European countries will decrease, so what impacts will this have on dynamics in-country? Who will care for their ageing?
  • Population growth is expected to be concentrated to cities. The 10th most populated city in China has the same GDP as the whole of Norway, or double that of NZ!
  • By 2050, China will be importing 6 million tonnes of animal products and 30% of global soy production. What does this mean for the rest of the world’s consumers? What impact will this have on protein demand worldwide?
  • Asian families typically sit down to a 12 course meal whereas westernised families sit down to meat and 3 veg. What does this mean for exporter’s worldwide? Do we need to put more emphasis on how our end consumer cooks and eats? What do they value? Just because chicken breast is the preferred cut in Australia doesn’t mean it is in any Asia country.
  • Protein sources. As producers and scientists, we see fish and red meat as two separate items. However consumers see them as competing protein sources. Should we be considering fish as a competing source when we market it as producers?
  • The future of food and protein. Are we moving to an era that sees red meat and fish take a step back to insects, meatless meat or maggots? Or will we see an increase in these products being used as a protein source for the animals that we use as a protein source?

The main conference joined the Next Generation delegates with the more senior delegates from across the globe. We heard from Princess Anne, and participated in sessions including:

  • Bees, Berries, Bars and Beer – young entrepreneurs who are forging their way in the agricultural industry in Canada
  • Management Show Topic – Managing the complexity of agricultural events on a large scale.
  • Bud Mercer – the future of special events. A perspective gained through the planning for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
  • Jeffery Fitzpatrick-Stilwell – Sustainability in beef and what it means for McDonald’s from a sourcing and processing perspective.
  • Social License Agriculture – Advocacy for agriculture. Should we protect people from the unpleasant or show the whole agricultural industry as it stands?
  • Agritainment panel – From the Calgary Stampede in Canada to the Kranji Countryside Association in Singapore, we learned how different dynamics lead to different methods of keeping crowds engaged and entertained
  • Peterson Farm Brothers – How using parodies of well-known songs can create opportunities to educate the world on agriculture and farming

The opportunity to attend the RASC Agricultural Conference in Edmonton, Canada, has reinvigorated my passion for agriculture and agricultural events. It has provided me with networks across the globe, containing people from all backgrounds and all ages. The conference introduced me to a range of experts and entrepreneurs who are forging their own path in global agriculture, and they have encouraged me that I have the ability to achieve my aims in agriculture. I have established connections in Australia, and look forward to working with more young people across our country, for example strengthening the connection of the youth committees of the RAS of NSW and RASV.

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A group of Next Generation Delegates – including agriculturalists from Australia, England, Wales and New Zealand! “

If anyone would like to know any more on the RASC Agricultural Conference or my experiences in Canada, I am more than happy to have a chat.

Tallong Public School win Grand Champion Kreative Koala 2018

Tallong Public School was declared Grand Champion Koala for their creative efforts investigating UN Sustainable Development Goal Life on the Land to bring attention to the endangered Tallong Midge Orchid, as part of the 2018 Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future Challenge, in an awards ceremony held at St Saviour’s Hall in Goulburn on Tuesday November 27.

Alongside their giant koala Tallong Public School ran a community concert. “Students either danced in a class dance and/or acted in a play called “Snugglepot and Cuddlepie in Tallong” where the gumnut babies find the rare and endangered Tallong Midge Orchid and together with their bush animal friends and students from TPS, find and protect the little orchid,” the school said. “The concert was well attended and received very positive feedback. The play directly connected to the message given by the Koala artwork; that of a need to protect the local endangered species of plants and animals.”

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Tallong Public School Principal Ellie Moore with students and Mary Bonet (LachLandcare) Giselle Newbury ( Southern Tablelands Arts) and Patricia Garcia AO National Program Manager  UN Sustainable Development Goals

The students from 4D at Young Public School were awarded runners-up with their evocative artwork named Chewy the Choking Koala. The students studied the SDG of Life Below the Water. “Through our research, we have been shocked and saddened by the amount of rubbish going into our waterways and eventually into the ocean,” the school said. “4D have identified plastic as the most damaging element of our rubbish.”

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 Students from Young Public School with sponsors Declan Close from Holcim Australia, Tanya Roberts from Australian Wind Alliance and Craig Simon from Acciona Energy with Kranky Koala

 Kreative Koalas is a unique example of 21st Century learning linking sustainability and art, pairing school students with Community Champions to create a call to action to help Australia meet its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In 2018 seven primary schools across the southern highlands participated.

Kreative Koalas asks students to communicate their learnings in art form on a giant fibreglass koala and to design an environmental community Call to Action project. More information on the program can be found on the website at www.kreativekoalas.com.au

Winners of the Best Digital Learning Journal section was Braidwood Central School.

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The team from Braidwood Central School

The Award for Kreative Koalas Youth Ambassador was presented to Goulburn West Public School student Mae O’Flynn by Mayor Bob Kirk

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Mayor Bob Kirk with Mae O’Flynn

Special guests at the Kreative Koalas awards ceremony were Australia’s National Program Manager for the UN Sustainable Development Goals Patricia Garcia AO and Mayor of the Goulburn Mulwaree Council Bob Kirk.

Kreative Koalas is proudly supported by Holcrim Australia,  Acciona Energy, Australian Wind Alliance, Lachlandcare, Southern Tablelands Art and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Special shoutout to MC Warren Brown for officiating on the day

All the photos from the Awards Day can be found here

HOW CAN YOUR REGION PARTICIPATE IN KREATIVE KOALAS 2019?

Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future Challenge puts students at the centre of the learning experience and empowers teachers to support their students to create the bright future we all deserve.

The Kreative Koalas funding model celebrates the research that shows that kids who go to schools that have strong relationships with business and the community have a much greater opportunity to thrive. Businesses and communities who engage with schools can enrich and enhance the delivery of education. Students can see their learnings have real-world significance. When schools, parents, business and communities partner together great things can happen in the lives of children and young adults.

If you would like to partner with your community to bring Kreative Koalas to your region, please contact Lynne Strong HeadKoala@kreativekoalas.com.au

Young Farming Champions Muster December Edition 2

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions across the country.  

In the Field

What would a December wrap up be in YFC world without some harvest photos? It’s been a tough year for many grain producers but fortunately some were able to get the headers out after some late rain to finish the season. Grains YFCs Keiley O’Brien and Marlee Langfield sent in some epic paddock shots, thanks ladies! Wishing those who are still yet to finish their harvest all the best.

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Grains YFC Keiley O’Brien – “Not everything we planted made it through this year due to the drought. We had to spray some oats out earlier as it was too moisture stressed, so we are extremely grateful that we are even using the header this year.”

 

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Grains YFC Marlee Langfield – “Team work makes the dream work. Harvest 2018, we did it!”

Young Farming Champion Tim Eyes and partner Hannah Greenshields are reaping the benefits of introducing bee hives at their  Food Farm on the Central Coast .

If there is one thing that is integral to a healthy ecosystem on a farm, it’s bees! These little guys are from our hive from Bee Yourself – they are native stingless bees who are the hardest workers on our farm doing a wonderful job of pollinating our chemical free produce.

Click on the video to watch the bees in action

Out of the Field

YFC and Youth Voices Leadership Team Chair Jo Newton had an opinion piece published in the Stock and Land. She called for a focus on creating pathways into leadership instead of the rollout of further intensive leadership development programs. Read the full article here.   She was very excited to get lots of great positive feedback and people/organisations reaching out

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Coinciding with National Soils Day, Grains YFC Sam Coggins featured on an episode of The AgVocate Podcast. ‘Soil is not dirty word’. You can catch Sam talking all things soil and why he’s so passionate about Ag here

Our YFCs not only get to share their stories with students as part of the Archibull Prize, they are also involved with Picture You in Agriculture’s recently launched Kreative Koalas program. This program encourages students and teachers to have courageous conversations around the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Wool YFC Adele Smith visited Young Public School in November to share wool’s sustainability story. Check out what the students from Young Public School learnt in the program in the video below!

You might have heard Wool YFC and Riverina Local Land Services District Veterinarian Dione Howard on the ABC NSW Country Hour a couple of weeks ago. Dione spoke about the risks of livestock grazing canola which has been an issue this year due to farmers using failed crops for grazing. You can hear her interview from 21:08 here.

Congratulations to one of our inaugural YFC Hollie Baillieu on her new position as Manager of Public Policy at Woolworths.

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Formerly Senior Policy Office to Hon Niall Blair MP Minister for Agriculture in NSW Government, Hollie was the inaugural chair of the NSW Farmers Young Farmer Council. Passionate about upskilling young people in agriculture on policy and how to develop it we are looking forward to Hollie taking on a mentor role.

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It has been a very exciting week for wool YFC Sam Wan, who celebrated a birthday and was also named as Elders 2018 Employee of the Year at the One Elders Awards! Sam joined the Elders team in 2012 and is currently in a Wool Technical Coordinator role at Elders National Wool Selling Centre in Melbourne. Sam’s award recognised her innovative ideas, as Sam connected wool growers with the live auction room by live streaming wool auctions online. Well done Sam!

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Wool YFC Sam Wan was this week named as Elders 2018 Employer of the Year. Image courtesy of Elders.

Congratulations to grains YFC Rebecca Thistlethwaite who was recently announced as one of the 2019 Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Rural Achievers. Rebecca will be involved in RAS and ASC activities during the Sydney Royal Easter Show in 2019 and we look forward to following her journey!

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Grains YFC Rebecca Thistlewaite has recently been named as one of the 2019 RAS Rural Achievers

It’s been a big few weeks for Grains YFC Jess Kirkpatrick, she’s bought a little farm and in January is heading up to Tamworth to commence her dream job as a Grain Marketer with Graincorp.

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Grains YFC Jess Kirkpatrick has had a big month securing her dream job and buying a farm!

It is the week for graduations! University of New England celebrated YFCs Lucy Collingridge who has completed her Graduate Certificate in Agriculture and Keiley O’Brien who graduated with a Bachelor of Agriculture and a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing. YFC Dione Howard graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Biology and Bachelor of Veterinary Science. Congratulations ladies!

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YFC Lucy Collingridge (right) graduated from University of New England. She is pictured with YFC Jasmine Whitten (left) who is set to graduate from UNE in 2019.

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YFC Keiley O’Brien graduated from University of New England and is pictured with her gorgeous daughter Ruby.

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YFC Dione Howard graduated from Charles Sturt University.

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HURLSTONE AGRICULTURAL HIGH SCHOOL WINS 2018 ARCHIBULL PRIZE

The 2018 Archibull Prize has been run and won with Hurlstone Agricultural High School taking out the prestigious title of Grand Champion Archibull with an ornately decorated, sacred-cow themed Archie representing horticulture.

32 primary and secondary schools across New South Wales and Queensland took part in the ninth instalment of The Archibull Prize. Participants included public,independent and catholic schools, selective schools, alternate schools and performing and creative arts schools from rural and urban communities.

The students were joined by Young Farming Champions as they researched their nominated agricultural industry and presented their findings in blogs, infographics and multi-media, and by adorning their Archie – a life-sized fibreglass cow.

Thanks to support from the Aussie Farmers Foundation schools were able to study horticulture, for the first time and Hurlstone Agricultural High School created Brahman: The Sacred Cow as their Archie. “Brahman: The Sacred Cow is a visual investigation of the issues of sustainability and food security in the horticulture industry,” the school said. “Our artwork aligns the nourishment of the body with the nourishment of the soul…. and utilises the visual conventions of religion to celebrate horticulture, specifically, its capacity to sustain our world’s population.”

Reserve Grand Champion

Reserve Grand Champion Archibull was awarded to Calvary Christian College – Carbrook Senior College, from Queensland who researched the egg and poultry industry to create Le-EGG-O, an Archie with elaborate LEGO figurines. “We went with this idea because LEGO, much like chickens and eggs, speaks a universal language,” the school said. “LEGO is internationally recognised and children from multiple nationalities will demonstrate recognition, be able to read booklets, construct, play, plan and dream. Likewise, poultry & eggs are an internationally recognised food source, with many countries having their own unique take on dishes cooked with chicken or eggs.”

The awards were presented at a ceremony held at Sydney Olympic Park on Tuesday 20th November, attended by dignitaries including CEO of Foodbank Brianna Casey and Youth Off The Streets founder Father Chris Riley.

Watch the winners animation here

You can find a list of all award winners in our Hall of Fame here 

Check out the event in photos here 

Expressions of interest for the 2019 Archibull Prize are now open.

#ArchieAction #Archie18

 

FINALISTS ANNOUNCED IN 2018 NATIONAL #AGDAY CAREERS COMPETITION


Over 30 entries were received in our National AgDAy Careers Competition from primary and secondary schools in both rural and urban environments. We even had entries from the Charters Towers School of Distance Education and the Port Augusta School of the Air.

Students were asked to identify their interests and favourite subjects, imagine an agricultural career, research the educational pathway to that career and play with LEGO!

This year we teamed with Career Harvest and Aimee Snowden from LittleBrick Pastoral who designed 12 LEGO figurines illustrating agriculturalcareers. Students then had the choice of crafting their entries around one ofAimee’s characters or designing their own.

We were blown away with the LEGO figures returned to us! There were animal welfare officers, farm architects, florists, robotics engineers and heavy vehicle mechanics just to name a few. In all 22 unique careers were identified.

Considering the quality of the entries it was difficult to determine the seven finalists but here, in alphabetical order only, they are:

  • Frederick Herrmann from Yanco Agricultural High School who chose to be an architect to design and construct rural infrastructure
  • Hamish Maclure from Yanco Agricultural High School who described in great and exacting detail the life of a stock and station agent (which suggests he has spent more than one day at the sales!)
  • Joshua Carpenter from The Henry Lawson High School who envisaged a career as an agricultural teacher – and one who returned to his home town of Grenfell to teach
  • Molly McCreadie from Gwynneville Public School who also chose to be a farm architect
  • Paige Brown from Yanco Agricultural High School who wants to be a wool classer
  • Sienna Banks, also from Gwynneville Public School who chose an animal welfare officer.(This was a popular profession with at least three students choosing it!)
  • Tom Ramsay from Charters Towers School of Distance Education who chose to be a contract musterer.

The judges also made special mention of the entry from Eliza Friend from Frensham School Mittagong

Congratulations to all students who entered the competition and designed LEGO characters to show us the broad world of agricultural careers.

Our winners will be announced at The Archibull Prize Awards at Sydney Olympic Park on November 20th 2018 

Special shoutout to Career Harvest who have donated the iPad minis as prizes 

The Archibull Prize 2018 Artwork Finalists Announced

Its gives us great pleasure to announce the following schools in NSW and Queensland have been selected to display their Archie Artworks at The Archibull Prize 2018 Awards and Exhibition Day and at the 2019 Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Gwynneville Public School

Little Bay Community of Schools

Malabar Public School

Beaudesert State High School

Calvary Christian College Snr Carbrook

Granville South Creative and Performing Arts High School

Hurlstone Agricultural High School

Irrawang High School

Kellyville High School

Kinross Wolaroi School

Moss Vale High School

Picnic Point High School

The Henry Lawson High School

Bombala High School

The artwork judge has made her decision the People Choice closes on 12th November. Make your choice here

Congratulations to all the schools involved in The Archibull Prize 2018 you have done your school and agriculture very proud

Young Farming Champions Muster October 2018 2nd Edition  

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions across the country.  

In the Field

Getting bogged isn’t usually cause for celebration…. Unless many of your clients are in drought. Young Farming Champion (YFC) Casey Onus got herself into a sticky situation in Bullarah, 90km West of Moree. The farmer whose property Casey was visiting got Casey safely back on the road. Casey says, “The wheel tracks going down the road were a bit misleading! Cost me a carton and a few laughs to get out.”

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 A carton of beer and a few laughs at Casey’s expense got Casey back on the road.

Grains YFC Marlee Langfield featured on the front cover of this week’s The Land newspaper talking about the very welcome rain that’s recently fallen. Read the story in The Land here

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Earlier in the season 9 News Central West also visited Marlee’s farm, you can check out that story here

Further north, 64mm has fallen in the last 2 weeks at  Hayley Piggott’s family property at Rolleston, QLD. This takes the total up to 338mm for the year, although this is much lower than the long-term yearly average of 711mm it’s very welcome.

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This month Hayley’s has also clocked 52km out of her target 100km as part of the great Cycle challenge. She’s raising money to fight kids’ cancer. You can check out her journey here

Out of the Field

It was a royal affair for Cotton YFC Anika Molesworth and partner Corey Stenhouse. They attended a reception at Admiralty House to meet Prince Harry. Anika said Harry had so much passion and energy she felt empowered to change the world after their conversation

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Wool Young Farming Champion and Local Land Services Biosecurity Officer Lucy Collingridge had an exciting week at work attending the 2018 NSW Vertebrate Pest Management Symposium at Coffs Harbour. The symposium brought together those working at the forefront of pest management in NSW, looking at new developments in science, policy and practice including new pest control and monitoring techniques.

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Lucy Collingridge attended the 2018 NSW Vertebrate Pest Management Symposium this week which included a presentation from Tanya Howard.

Next stop for Lucy was the annual Cootamundra Show! Lucy was Cootamundra Showgirl in 2015 and went on to be a state finalist. Lucy’s continuing involvement in the Cootamundra Show includes organising the Group 9 Young Judges Competition Final. 

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All creatures great and small turned up for the annual Cootamundra Show on Saturday 20th October! Image: Lucy Collingridge.

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Wool YFC Lucy Collingridge organises the Young Judges Competition Group 9 Final at the Cootamundra Show. Images: Lucy Collingridge.

The Archibull Prize 2018 judging tour is well underway and as always the competition judges are having a difficult time deciding who will take home the Grand Champion Archie! Will this year’s winner be from the grains, beef, horticulture, pork, eggs, wool or cotton industries? Make sure you have your say in the People’s Choice Award – voting closes soon!

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One hundred inspiring women and their supporters came together on Wednesday 17th October at Sydney Town Hall for the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence Awards 2018. Among those women was Young Farming Champion and Agriculture Victoria Research Scientist Dr Jo Newton, named as a finalist in the Local and Regional category. The gala dinner was a true celebration of the achievements of all finalists, recognised as a new generation of leaders standing out in their chosen fields. The overall 100 Women of Influence winner and winner of the public policy category was Megan Davis of the University of New South Wales. Congratulations to Jo on being named in this awe-inspiring group of women and we look forward to seeing where this achievement leads you over the next 12 months and beyond!

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Dr Jo Newton (centre) was nominated as a finalist in the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence 2018.

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Jo and her supporters at the 100 Women of Influence 2018 Gala Dinner.

Fox Family

Farming in partnership with his wife Rachel (left) and parents David and Cathie (right ) and grandparents, farming is all about family for Dan Fox.

Grains Young Farming Champion Daniel Fox was announced as one of the winners in the 2018 Kondinin/ABC Rural Australian Farmer of the Year Awards. Daniel won the Award for Excellence in Innovation, sponsored by Telstra, at a dinner at Parliament House in Canberra on October 16. Over the last decade Daniel has been helping move the family farm at Marrar, NSW from a traditional mixed sheep and cropping property to a continuous cropping enterprise using regenerative agriculture. Congratulations Daniel on this wonderful achievement!

Lifetime Highlights

Wonderful news from the Parkes area with Sheep and Cattle YFC Hannah Barber marrying Sam Hawker. Congratulations to you both

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#YouthVoices18 #ArchieAction #YouthInAg