Posts by 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.

Archies Getting a big welcome in NSW schools

All 20 NSW schools involved in this year’s Archibull Prize have welcomed their Archies with a fanfare

Archie Registers

Archie registers for classes at Shoalhaven High School

Wyong High School  (2)

Archie gets a tour of the school at Wyong High School

Abbottsleigh  (1)

Archie meets the chooks at Abbotsleigh College

As part of the program this year students will be investigate a number of factors contributing to hunger worldwide. They will have the opportunity  to manipulate and make sense of data about feeding 9 billion people worldwide.
In this way:
• Students will understand how hunger is quantified and how hunger, poverty, and the ability to afford food are intertwined.
• Students will learn about one country’s approach to reducing hunger and evaluate the usefulness of that model for other countries.
• Students will use data to develop hypotheses and evaluate alternatives.

Cant wait to see what next gen bright minds come up with to help solve the world’s wicked problems can you?

The herd has arrived

Exciting news at Art4agriculuture HQ 20 NSW schools have signed on to participate in the Archibull Prize 2012. 

The Archibull Prize is an Art4Agriculture initiative which is supported by Cotton Australia, Australian Wool Innovation, Target 100, Pauls and the Upper Naomi Cotton Growers Association. The aim of the Archibull Prize is to bring the next generation of consumers and rural producers together to tell Agriculture’s story and generate two way conversations through art and multimedia

Each school has been provided with a life size fibreglass cow on which the students create an artwork about their allocated food or fibre industry, the farmers who produce it and how this food or fibre is being produced sustainably. The school is also provided with paint materials and a resource kit.

Each school is also allocated a Young Farming Champion whose area of expertise is the food or fibre industry the school is studying.

One of the big features of the program is its a fun way to learn and we ask the students to capture those moments with their cameras along the way.

Here is one way it was done in 2008 by Kiama Public School who created the masterpiece that is Little Miss Sunshine

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Little Miss Sunshine

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Little Miss Sunshine at the Lighthouse

Little Miss Sunshine visits the Kiama Lighthouse

 

I am confident the 2012 participating schools will have just as much fun and I cant wait to see the photos

A big congratulations to the following schools:

Abbotsleigh College

Camden Haven High School

Caroline Chisholm College

Cranebrook High School

De La Salle College Caringbah

Elizabeth Macarthur High School

Gunnedah High School

Hills Adventist College

Homebush Boys High School

James Ruse Agriculture High School

Jamison High School

Macarthur Anglican School

Menai High School

Model Farms High School

Muirfield High School

Shoalhaven High School

St Michael’s Catholic School

Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College Berkeley Vale Campus

Winmalee High School

Wyong High School

You learn something new everyday

This weekend Art4agriculture hosted the 2012 Young Farming Champions for Workshop 2 in Brisbane.

We chose Brisbane as the venue to coincide with the Ekka. All the moons were aligned  including our superstar videographer Tay Plain being in the country and able to join us for the full three days.

I will do a blog post on the workshop component shortly but first I would like to share our Ekka big day out with you Tay and Ann IMG_4584

Tay and Ann set up at the Ekka

It started with breakfast at Southbank…….

Breakfast at Denim atI South Bank MG_4238 

We did the smart thing and picked the restaurant with most patrons ( well done Kirsty) and we weren’t disappointed with what Denim dished up for us. Those large lattes in the soup bowls were to die for.

As we had Tay our videographer whizz and and our producer, script writer extraordinaire Ann Burbrook both with us at the same time  we were determined to share as much of the Ekka agriculture story as we could.

a Jess and Tom IMG_4593

Tom and Jess at the Dairy Youth Challenge

Using our 2012 Young Farming Champions as both “talent, producers and interviewers” we spent the day  learning from each other, other exhibitors and the punters.

Sammi IMG_4423

Sammi gets up close and personal with the Woolley Jumpers

Lauren Hayden IMG_4450

Lauren, Hayden, Ann and Tay set up the sheep shearing story

 

Madie IMG_4519

Madie spruiked the Archibull Prize

Kathleen and Lauren IMG_4439

Kathleen and Lauren talked all things fleece

Water a Gold Medal Resource with a Price tag to Match IMG_4299

Kylie discovered that bottled water was liquid gold at the Ekka

 

We tasted the prime beef which we washed down with Ekka cocktails

 

Jess IMG_4310

Jess made new friends

and we all discovered much to our delight that the general public where not the least bit concerned about dining in the paddock to plate experience

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We visited Heidi at the Ekka Target 100 display which featured QLD primary schools painting Archies at the show 

 

Ann and Jersey Calf IMG_4363

Ann found the perfect house cow

Steph F IMG_4279

Steph inspired Next Gen F at the Junior District Exhibits

Bess and Edison IMG_4470

We even met the famous @auscottongirl Bess Gairns with her new pride and joy

Megan IMG_4526

Megan talked a lot of bull

Bulls

and the bulls did a little dance

Little MiraclesNew borns

This was a very interesting concept. No lambs were born whilst we were there so we didn’t get to gauge audience reaction!!! 

It was a great day but sadly every now and then, thankfully in the very small minority there was an industry naysayer determined to ruin the day. There was the whinging beef stud breeder who just couldn’t understand why his animals had to share the showground with non stud breeders. Yes that’s right the general public. Yes you heard right. The most important people in the food supply chain. Yes he was lucky enough to have that once a year opportunity to talk to and share his story with the people who buy what he produces and he them found quite irritating. 

Then there was the guy in the dairy shed I just wanted to hit over the head when I found out later he told the YFC’s they were wasting their time talking to non farmer audiences.  

But nothing dampened the spirit of the YFC’s. Today they are back on farm or at uni organising school visits and media interviews doing whatever it takes to continue the  journey and spread the great story of agriculture across all the bridges.

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It warms the cockles of my heart

As part of the 2012 Archibull Prize the students are asked to write a weekly blog post with 5 compulsory elements. One compulsory post asks them to reflect on world hunger and innovate initiatives by first world countries to make a real difference in third world countries

I love this one  

 

How it works……  

Youth Education Farms (YEF) is a Canadian federally registered charity that develops and manages commercial farms located in rural Swaziland. Profits from each farm are used to fund elementary and high school tuition fees for orphans. In exchange for their tuition fees, YEF students attend the YEF educational course to learn basic life skills such as AIDS prevention, business skills and career planning. Upon graduation, YEF will provide graduates with loans to allow them to continue their education at the post-secondary level or create their own businesses with the guidance of the YEF management team.
Youth Education Farms was founded based on a belief that each and every one of us has the power and, in turn, the responsibility to help those in need realize their dreams and fulfill their highest potential. With the establishment of farming operations, YEF will not only create employment opportunities, foodstuffs and infrastructure, but it will give Swazi youth hope for a better future- one where they are entitled to an education, can believe that their dreams will come true, and one where HIV/AIDS isn’t the inevitable demise. YEF will ensure that children are not only educated academically, but that they also have the tools to succeed in life outside of the educational setting. These extracurricular tools will be afforded via career, academic and personal planning classes, as well as financial grants so that they have the means to achieve their aspirations.It is our responsibility to help ensure that the people of Swaziland are not eradicated by the HIV/AIDS epidemic plaguing their country. We believe that the solution to this problem begins in the classroom. Every donation made will go towards establishing a sustainable stream of revenue to directly fund the education of the orphans of Swaziland. These children, who are the most at risk, will have the opportunity to end the systemic eradication of a generation. These children will be the future of a healthy and vibrant Swaziland. Youth Education Farms is not a cure, but simply a pre-emptive tool of prevention; no child should be left to forge for themselves, nor should they be left to a seemingly inevitable fate that befell their parents- the lost generation.
For more information see www.youttheducationfarms.com

Love to hear from any readers who know of similar community good efforts

Can you sci-ku?

Here is a great little competition in honour of Australian Year of the Farmer


Starts on Saturday 30 June 2012 & ends Sunday 19 August 2012.
Location: The Science Exchange. Program: Great Big Science Read, Book Club.


Can you sci-ku?

RiAus is delighted to present its third annual sci-ku poetry competition.

This year we’re looking for sci-kus with a farming or agricultural theme in recognition of 2012 being  the Australian Year of the Farmer. Unleash your inner poet by submitting your best science haiku. Read a sciku by Glenn McGrath.

There are great prizes up for grabs and winning entries will be displayed on the LED ribbon artwork on the outside of the Science Exchange.

This competition is part of Great Big Science Read 2012 and National Science Week 2012.

What is Sci-ku?

Inspired by the Japanese haiku, sci-ku is a short three-line poem about sciences. Sci-ku is a small, modest and humble poem that depicts the everyday world around us, aiming to give a flash of insight into that world — like a scientific ‘Eureka!’ moment expressed briefly in words.

Sci-ku Criteria

Each poem must have a thematic link to farming or agriculture and not exceed the three-line maximum. Syllable counts are not relevant. Each entrant is invited to submit a maximum of three sci-kus.

Categories

You can submit in one of three categories:

Primary (12 years and under), secondary (13-18 inclusive) or open (no age limit). Please make it clear in which category you are entering when you submit your sci-ku.

The Rules

All poems must be original, unpublished works (in print or online) by the poet entering the competition.

All entries must be received by Sunday 19 August 2012 or be date stamped Thursday 16 August 2012 at the latest.

No poems will be returned.

The judges’ decision is final; no correspondence will be entered into.

The Prizes

1st prize winners in each category will receive a Kindle e-Reader.

2nd & 3rd prizes will be awarded in each category, with prizes of $50 and $20 worth of book vouchers, respectively.

1st, 2nd & 3rd prize winners in each category will see their sci-ku and name in lights on the RiAus ribbon artwork on the exterior of the Science Exchange in Adelaide.

1st, 2nd & 3rd prizes (and other selected entries) will be published on the RiAus website.

Need some inspiration?

Browse the winning sci-kus from 2011!

Science poetry has been around for a while. In 1984 New South Wales physicist J. W. V. Storey published his academic paper as a poem in The Proceedings of the Astronomical Society of Australia. Read his poem on Brain Pickings.

Sci-ku Entry Form

Enter the third annual sci-ku poetry competition to be in the running for some great prizes!

    Visit http://riaus.org.au/events/sciku/ to enter

    Following in their footsteps

    Excitingly the recent State of the Environment report has show  Australian farmers have made some major inroads in their farm environmental stewardship outcomes through a strong commitment to Landcare principals   

    Most of Australia’s land environment is managed by one of three groups: state and territory agencies responsible for public land of various tenures, family and corporate agricultural and pastoral businesses, and Indigenous Australians.

    The effectiveness of management has improved for most land uses, particularly those that are most intensive. While land–management practices have improved during the past few decades, in agricultural systems the loss of soil carbon, and soil acidification and erosion, are problematic and may have major impacts on production.

    However, there is a serious gap in both the professional and the technical capacity necessary for effective land management. This gap will increase and its consequences become more acute as we face the challenges that climate change will bring to land environmental values and production systems.

    Obviously if our farmers are going to achieve the best environmental outcomes they must have access to the best advice and have the opportunity to work side by side with natural resource management professionals  With this in my mind Art4Agriculture have accessed Caring for our Country funding to role out the Young Eco Champion program for 2012/13 This program will train a team of 5 young natural resource management professionals from Southern Rivers region of NSW. They will be trained to develop leadership and communication skills and become local faces of sustainable primary production and natural resource management. See Erin Lake our 2011 Young Eco Champion in action here

    Eco Champions will work with Young Farmer Champions to present Archibull Prize activities in 15 schools throughout the region using a range of authentic and contemporary learning tools that allow young people to explore the economic, environmental and social challenges of sustainable agriculture and biodiversity conservation activities through the ‘Archibull Prize‘ competition.

    Today our guest blogger is Heather Gow-Carey one of our exciting Young Eco Champions

     

    Here is Heather’s story ………………….

    My name is Heather Gow-Carey. I am 22 years old and am currently undertaking honours in my fourth and final year of an International Bachelor of Science (Geoscience) at the University of Wollongong.

    Photo 1

    Me

    I grew up in the rural community at Dignams Creek on the Far South Coast of NSW. Environmental and natural resource management has always played a huge part of my life. The influence of my parents’ professions in the direction of my educational career has subconsciously shaped my decisions and their support has been unwavering at every stage of my development.

    Photo 2

    Helping out tree planting on the Hawkesbury River when I was just learning to walk.

    I was born in Western Sydney but moved to the South Coast with my parents when I was two years old. They were looking to get away from the city and pursue their goals in setting up South Coast Flora, a native bushfood nursery. It is this specialised plant propagation that first introduced me to the theories behind environmental management. As long as I can remember I have been helping out in the nursery, going to markets and assisting mum out in her botanical pursuits collecting seeds and cuttings to be used in the nursery.

    Photo 3

     Out collecting seeds with Mum.

    My father was involved in the National Parks and Wildlife Service for a number of years and now works as the Landcare Community Support Officer throughout the Eurobodalla Shire. Hence my weekends as a youngster were filled with farm visits, tree plantings, weed control and numerous conferences and meetings. Luckily I had my younger brother to have tree planting competitions and someone to hang out with when dad had to attend to business matters. From both of my parents I have developed a love and a respect for the environment that I value immensely. It has shaped my love for the outdoors and even though I have had to move away to attend uni, I love going back home whenever I can.

    Photo 4

     Playing in Dignams Creek when I was little.

    About 15 minutes away is the closest town, Cobargo. It is a small town that has earnt the name of the ‘working village’. There are around 500 residents if you include the many farms around the area and there is a very strong sense of community, with all of the locals willing to pitch in to help each other out. I was part of the swimming club, soccer club, rugby club and scout group, as well as always exhibited and volunteered for the annual Cobargo Show. The show was and still is, one of the highlights of the Cobargo calendar. Even though it is such a small town, the show always draws large crowds in competitors, exhibitors and visitors and is well known as a quality agricultural show. There were several years where I made it my goal to enter every youth section in the pavilion, and even many of the open sections. When I was about 12, a prize was introduced for the junior exhibitor with the highest overall point-score, so I busied myself making arts, crafts, jams, baking, growing fruit and veggies, even entered some prime compost to take out the top prize!

    Photo 5

    The Cobargo main street.

    One of my other interests is art. When I was little I wanted to grow up to be an artist, but soon learnt that most artists don’t get rich and famous until they are dead! So I had to rethink my career ideas. I was lucky enough to be involved in the Jindabyne Sculpture by the Lake exhibition – a competition for local artists held each Easter Long Weekend and with  from my art teacher I first entered at the age of 14.

    I had always felt very strongly about using water responsibly and hence, I made a giant plug that floated out in the middle of the lake to inform people of my water-saving message. This was a great opportunity to raise awareness about the scarcity of water and the fact that we all rely on it so much, and yet we have so little that is actually able to be consumed.

    My community involvement continued throughout high school, being involved in several sporting groups, community groups, the Rural Volunteer Bushfire Service and more Landcare activities. There was hardly a weekend or week night spare in my schedule! I was recognised for my efforts on Australia Day 2009, being awarded the Narooma Young Citizen of the Year.

    Photo 6

    After being awarded Young Citizen of the Year.

    My HSC helped to shape what I chose to study and the last three and a half years of university really have taught me so much about the different areas of physical geography, human geography and the ways in which people interact with their environments. I have all of the theory behind me; I just need to put my ideas into practice.

    Even though I am not from a farm in the traditional sense, I feel as though my upbringing really has shaped the person that I am, and what I would like to achieve out of life. Through this program I hope that I can encourage and support young Australians, and especially those in rural areas, to become involved in natural resource management and sustainable agriculture.

    Wow we looking forward to working with young lady as you can imagine

    The Young Farming Champions program is funded through the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country program. Art4agriculture thanks you for believing in us  

    c4oc-pos

    Vote 1 Megan Rowlatt for People’s Choice Award

     

    megan rowlatt

     

    We love to skite about all the exciting young people we know and we are shouting Young Eco Champion Megan Rowlatt’s exceptional talents from the rooftops. Megan is one of 88 finalists in the National Landcare Awards to be announced in Sydney on 4th September, 2012. She has been nominated for a National Landcare Award for her outstanding achievements in recruiting young people to the Landcare movement by founding the Illawarra Youth Landcare group.

     

    Join us in voting for her in the People’s Choice Award here

     

    You don’t have to take our word for it you can see for yourself what a superstar she is here

    http://chdairiesdiary.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/local-knowledge-for-local-problems/

    and here

    http://chdairiesdiary.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/when-art-becomes-the-voice/

    This is the blurb from here profile for the National Landcare Awards ……….

    In 2009 Megan saw there was a need to engage more youth into Landcare activities in the area. With many Landcare and Bushcare groups having a much older membership and few recruitment efforts, she worked towards establishing a Landcare group exclusively for young people.

    Much of Megan’s success comes from her constant efforts to attract attention to the group and keep volunteers engaged and learning about local Landcare issues. Many of the volunteers come into the group with no prior knowledge about natural area restoration, and Megan works alongside these volunteers to teach them the techniques and skills they need. If certain skills are beyond her knowledge or expertise, she engages other local experts in the community to teach the young volunteers about the issues of interest and sources projects which would provide a valuable opportunity for young inexperienced volunteers to increase their skills in Landcare activities.

    Megan has also achieved great success in communicating and promoting the group through media and at events. Not only has she organised the group’s website and social media pages, but she has engaged a range of local and high-profile media to write stories about the group, and has worked with the young volunteers to create training DVDs which allow others who are interested in bush regeneration to develop some basic knowledge in weed removal techniques.

    In order to retain existing volunteers and attract new ones, Megan has a number of exciting projects planned. Connections with adventure conservation groups such as Willow Warriors allow for weekend camping expeditions outside the region and a number of paddling projects have been planned for the warmer months. She is currently in the planning stages of a City Meets Country Landcare Expedition, which will see a team of city volunteers stay on an active farm and learn about how the farm works and the environmental issues the landholder has to deal with. She is also planning on creating a documentary with some volunteers from the group, which will delve into why young people are involved in Landcare in the Illawarra region and what some of the environmental issues facing the region are.

    Megan is one of 88 finalists in the National Landcare Awards to be announced in Sydney on 4th September, 2012. Commencing in 1991, the Awards celebrate the achievements of individuals and groups that make a valuable contribution to the land and coast where they live and work.

    When I grow up I want to help feed the world

    Know what you want to be when you grow up?
    Don’t know what you want to be when you grow up?

    This short video will show you the endless career possibilities that the Australian Agricultural Industry can offer you… And there are plenty more out there!

    Why not consider a career within the Agricultural Industry? There is a whole supply chain out there waiting for you!

    I can guarantee you will not regret it.

    Young Farming Champion Madie Hamilton has just whizzed up this brilliant video on Careers in Agriculture in her spare time.

    Check it out

     

    You can read Madie’s story here and follow her on Twitter @MPHHamilton

    For more information on jobs that are available you can try the following links:

    http://WWW.AUSAGCAREERS.COM – Fantastic site providing profiles of real people and jobs in agriculture (even I have a profile: http://ausagcareers.com/2012/02/29/madeleine-hamilton-marketing-membership-se…)
    AND OTHERS
    http://www.graduatecareers.com.au/CareerPlanningandResources/careerprofiles/A...
    http://www.agcareers.com/
    http://www.myfuture.edu.au/Assist%20Others/Career%20Practitioners/Resources%2...
    http://www.yearofthefarmer.com.au/careers/careers-in-agriculture.html
    http://www.rimfireresources.com.au
    http://www.aglinks.com.au/Services/Recruitment/
    http://www.agbizcareers.com.au/
    http://www.csu.edu.au/special/acda/careers/

    Expressions of Interest open for Archibull Prize 2012

    The Archibull Prize for 2012 is up and away. If your school would like to participate Expression of Interest forms can be found here

    This year the students will investigate the theme “What does it take to sustainably feed and clothe my community for a day”  and the industries they will study are Cattle and Sheep, Wool, Dairy and Cotton

    We have been lucky enough to enlist the expertise of Sophie Davidson from Cotton Australia Education Coordinator to help us tweak  the 2012 curriculum and what a little treasure she is.

    Here is a bit of background on the gorgeous Sophie ……..    

    Combining a love of teaching with her love of the land, Sophie says ramping up the education activities of the cotton industry – an industry which is overwhelmingly innovative, technologically advanced and driven from within to be sustainable is an opportunity to combine her skills and interests to achieve something genuinely worthwhile and important.

    IMG_3055

    Sophie with Cotton Young Farming Champions Tamsin Quirk and Katie Broughton

    Sophie says after working in the Media and Communications a field which is all about taking charge of how an organisation or industry is represented, she moved into primary school teaching from there following her dream to do something more altruistic.

    She says coming from a family farming background, has given her an awareness of  sustainable farming practices.

    “I guess I have always been in agriculture without classifying it as such. My family have farmed for over four generations and it is a bit of a pilgrimage going back to the ancestral property in Scotland.”

    “Growing up we had a small sheep property on the Lachlan River which we farmed with my extended family. We would also occasionally head up to my Grandfather’s property in Narrabri. When he bought it, it was partly grazing country but he gradually set it up for cropping, moving more into irrigated cotton as time went by.”

    “My parents now own a grazing property near Woodstock and are keen on natural sequence farming.”

    Sophie says since joining Cotton Australia her favourite experience has been the willingness of people to share their knowledge, experience and ideas and work collaboratively to get results.

    “Broadly my role is to engage teachers, students and learning institutions in cotton and agriculture and promote a positive the positive story about agriculture to the next generation.”

    “I’m looking forward to helping create more school-industry partnerships that improve teacher and student perceptions of the industry and encourage more students into agribusiness.  I also excited about developing curriculum resources that are credible, objective and well used by teachers that raise students awareness of sustainable cotton production.”

    Yes and ditto to that and we are very much enjoying working with Sophie

    This blog post is an excerpt from a COTTON AUSTRALIA STAFF PROFILE on SOPHIE DAVIDSON Wednesday, 25th July 2012

    A Very Wicked Problem

    Today’s guest blog 1 is by Gerry Andersen who is the Chief Executive Officer of Foodbank NSW.

    image

    Gerry has also been involved with the RAS of NSW for the past 25 years and is currently a RAS Councillor and Chair of the Sydney Royal Dairy Produce Committee. I had the pleasure of working with Gerry and the superb team from the Sydney Royal Dairy Produce Show in February this year when I had the honour of stewarding in the ice cream judging section. See the post I wrote about my day here

    Gerry’s work with Foodbank has perfect synergies with the ethos of the Archibull Prizewhere we ask participating students to reflect on sustainable food production and also their role in sustainable food consumption. I am confident like me you will be astounded by the amount of food that is wasted in this country and as a farmer producing some of this food that ends up in landfill it breaks my heart. It will also break your heart to read about the other end of the spectrum that Gerry shares with us in this post. It just beggars belief that this can happen.

    Each year two million Australians will rely on food relief and around half of them will be children who often go to school without breakfast or to bed without dinner.

    Are the lucky ones so self absorbed and we live in our own little worlds and forget what really matters?. I just don’t know. What do you think?

    I do know that as a farmer I am very proud of my fellow farmers participating in the Waste Not Want Not program.

    This is what Gerry has to say………………..

    Waste not; want not

    Food waste is a complex social, economic and environmental problem that is having an increasingly negative impact on our world.

    wastegraph

    There’s no doubt that when it comes to food production, Australia truly is the lucky country. We live in a plentiful country, with some of the world’s most abundant fresh produce and skilful, efficient farmers. Each year, Australia produces enough fresh food to feed 60 million people – that’s nearly enough to feed the nation 3 times over.1
    However, recent figures suggest that 4 million tonnes of food is wasted every year in Australia.

    food_waste

    Of this, 1.38 million tonnes is business food waste and 2.6 million tonnes is household food waste. 2

    waste

    This surplus food could feed millions of Australians every day. Food gets wasted because we buy more than we need; we cook more than we need; and due to demanding quality standards a lot of produce is discarded because of appearance, despite the nutritional quality still being very good. These food waste facts are startling alone, but when coupled with the fact that 1.2 million Australians do not have access to a safe and nutritious food supply, the situation is staggering.

    Many of us eat well and enjoy a varied diet, so it seems strange to be discussing food shortages for Australians; however, for many, access to food is a critical problem. Each year two million Australians will rely on food relief and around half of them will be children who often go to school without breakfast or to bed without dinner. This is where Foodbank, the largest hunger relief organisation in Australia, comes into the equation. Foodbank is a not-for-profit, nondenominational organisation that seeks and distributes food and grocery industry donations to welfare agencies to feed the hungry around the country. The food goes to hostels, shelters, drop-in centres, school breakfast programs, home hampers and emergency relief packages for people in need. Last year alone it redistributed enough food for 28 million meals.

    I became involved with Foodbank in 2009 taking up the role of CEO, following retirement from the food manufacturing industry three years earlier. I enjoyed entering the workforce again, and in particular working in the charity sector. Foodbank was initially formed to redistribute wasted food products from Australian food manufacturing and retailing sectors. However, recently the focus has moved to the farming industry.

    Foodbank’s Waste Not Want Not program is a unique project that delivers otherwise wasted produce from the Riverina farming community to the tables of hungry families throughout NSW and the ACT. Since the program began in 2011, over 400 tonnes of produce from the Riverina district has been donated. There are plans to roll out the program in many more areas in NSW by 2013. Farmers, including small producers, can donate their fresh fruit and vegetables products that are in excess to demand or not quite up to quality standards, as they are still nutritious and very desirable to feed needy people. Our most common donations from farmers include oranges, pumpkins, onions, potatoes and grain.

    There is still a long way to go to achieve an Australia without hunger, but we, as an agricultural community, can play a part to reduce the waste and hunger that exists.

    food-waste-hierarchyHeria

    Waste Food Hierarchy

    This is a very wicked problem that each and everyone of us has an opportunity to make a difference

    For more information on Foodbank and how you can become involved, visit www.foodbank.org.au/

    1 This article first appeared in RAS Times July 2012.

    2 Australia and Food Security in a Changing World. Report of the Prime
    Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC)
    Expert Working Group, 2010.