The team @art4ag HQ are waiting expectantly for Next Gen to blow us away

This year 21 schools in Western Sydney are competing for the 2011 Archibull Prize.

Next year the program will go National with a minimum of 80 schools across Australia competing for the ultimate prize. The winning overall entry
from each state will then travel to the AYOF expo in Melbourne at the end of
the year for the announcement of the National Archibull Prize winner.

This year each school was given a life size fibreglass cow, and an allocated
food or fibre industry to showcase on their cow. Each school was also paired
with a young farming champion whose area of expertise was the school’s food or
fibre industry.

Find more about Young farming Champions program here

On the other hand Young Farming Champions Melissa Henry and Erin Lake are absolute stars in this vid

and lets not forget the amazing videos the Young Farming  Champions created for their in school presentations here

Each school has to complete 4 tasks to be in the running for the  Archibull Prize 2011.

The Tasks…

  1. The Archibull

Use the blank fibreglass cow to inspire or
create the artwork ……..

2. The blog

Produce a weekly web blog which documents the
journey of your artwork.

3. The video

a short video to raise the profile of your allocated commodity, to be published
on the LandLearn NSW Youtube channel.

4. The PowerPoint

Produce a PowerPoint for web publishing on the LandLearn NSW website reflecting your sustainability learnings

The Archibull Prize 2011 is being judged by experts in their field including Wendy Taylor designer of Australian Year of the Farmer launch display

Agvocates extraordinaire the fabulous Alison Fairleigh of Bringing Sexy Back and Farming is the New Black (to name but a few) and Marion McDonald of Milk Maid Marion fame

We look forward to sharing pictures of the Archibull Prize 2011 entrants with you next week

See pix of last year’s winners and highly commended here

The Archibull Prize program is a new way and innovative way of connecting urban
consumers with the people who produce their food and fibre and is proudly
supported by Woolworths, AWI, MLA, RIRDC, Cotton Australia and Landlearn NSW
and other supporting partners

Next Gen images and perceptions about farming and farmers

As part of 2011 the Archibull Prize entry surveys were promoted to teachers of each school participating. Teachers were asked to select at least 30 students to complete the entry survey (with a vision that the same students would also complete the exit survey).

We will be releasing the full results of the survey in January 2012. In the meantime in light of the discussion about careers in agriculture I would like to share a few interesting survey insights with you.

Knowledge about farming in Australia

In general, students from both primary and secondary schools demonstrated reasonably good knowledge about farmers and farming; however, there is some scope for improvement.

Some feedback

  •  Interestingly most primary (90%) and secondary (82%) school students incorrectly said that farmers were between the ages of 30 and 50 years old.
  • A higher percentage of secondary school students (50%), compared to primary school students (35%), correctly identified 60 million as the number of people that Australian farmers feed.
  • Only 7% correctly identified “93%” as the percentage of how much food eaten in Australia comes from Australia (44% of respondents said “45%”, which was the most popular answer)
  • Most primary (94%) and secondary (74%) school students said they wanted to know more about farming.

Attitudes and perceptions of farmers and farming in Australia

Primary and secondary school students demonstrated a generally positive
view of farmers and farming.

  • Most primary (89%) and most secondary (75%) students said that farmers are important to them.
  • Most (75%) of both primary and secondary school students said that the food made in Australia is “better than food from other countries
  • More than 80% of both primary and secondary school students said that the statements “It is important to know where your food comes from” and “It is best to buy Australian made products” are true  and the statement “People in cities don’t need farmers” is FALSE.

More than 80% of primary school students said the following statements are also TRUE:

  • “Farmers look after the environment”
  • “Farming is a good job for a young person”

More than 80% of secondary school students said that the following statements are also TRUE:

  • “Farmers contribute to Australia’s economy”
  • “Farmers use science and technology to help them produce food”

More than 80% of secondary school students said that the following statements are also FALSE:

  • “People in cities don’t need farmers”
  • “To work in agriculture you need to live in the country”
  • “A drought does not affect people living in cities”

Perceptions about farming as a career

In response to the statement “Farming is a good career choice for a young person”, more secondary than primary school students responded “unsure” (33% for secondary school, 14% for primary  school)

On the other hand more primary than secondary school students responded “true” (45%  for secondary school, 81% for primary school).

These are very important insights and provide a great platform for primary industries, agribusiness and the government and education sectors to take a collaborative approach and partner to build on the postives and address the negatives and debunk the myth conceptions. We have 7 billion people to feed, house and clothe and we need farmers to do this.

Are you passionate about the future of farming?

Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion Hollie Baillieu has recently been engaged by the Australian Year of the Farmer team to coordinate
the Roadshow component and she is looking for potential recruits to travel
around Australia to showcase the industry.

“The ‘Australian Year of the Farmer’ is really starting to
come together and is an exciting event to be a part of”. Says Hollie

If you or someone you know would like to become part of the Roashow team here is some background information. Hollie’s contact details can be found at the bottom of the post

Are you passionate about the future of farming?

Do you have a story to tell about your own career in agriculture?

What are your ambitions for agribusiness?

We know that you belong to a group of people already proactively networking in
rural Australia.

We want to talk to you…

Australian Year of the Farmer is looking for talented committed communicators to help raise awareness of the contribution agriculture makes to the lives of all Australians.

The National Roadshow

The National Roadshow is one of the critical components of the ‘Australian
Year of the Farmer’. A team of eight (8) Toyota vehicles  and one main
‘Royale unit’ will be leading the way for our fun, interactive, educational
trailers laden with various forms of tactile, visual and audio style elements.
The year long Roadshow will travel throughout the country to showcase our
Agricultural Industry to rural, regional and urban Australia.

We are looking for resourceful, entrepreneurial, organised teams who have a passion for agriculture. We want to engage and enthuse members of the public about the Australian Year of the Farmer at a wide range of agricultural, sporting
and cultural events, and we want you to help us bring ‘the Greatest Story Never
Told’ to Australia

How it will work:

– We are looking for either individuals and/or people in pairs.

– Those from a certain state are encouraged to travel within that state
unless otherwise highly knowledgeable about another state(s).

– Employed on a roster based system; Roadshow co-ordinators will have a
four to six week rotation “on the road” or otherwise based at head office in
the nearest main city or possibly from your home office.

– All “on-road” travelling expenses included with a generous remuneration

– Employment opportunities on a full-time or on a casual basis

The Roadshow will involve:

– Managing a Roadshow vehicle and exhibition on an event circuit over
a set period of rotation

– Merchandise and showbag sales

– Managing the “Mini-Archibull” children’s competition

– Liaising with AYOF ambassadors and local champions for “meet and

– Engaging with the public about the educational display elements


Training end of December, first or second weekend in January (either/or)

Roadshow start: 19th January 2012

Roadshow end: 12th December 2012 (48 weeks)


– Strong Agricultural background is highly regarded

– Excellent communication skills, including writing, proof reading, and

– Excellent interpersonal skills both in person and by phone, with high

– Fantastic customer service ethic and high expectations for quality

– Some experience in assisting with children’s activities is desirable

– Proficient in general computer skills

– Ability to travel is required

– Must hold current full drivers licence

Please email us through a copy of your current resume

For more information please contact:

Alex Hunter;

Hollie Baillieu;

Contact us on (02) 9818 4044

Hollie is also the star of one of the AYOF 2012 promotional videos see it here

The noblest profession?

It was predicted that by October 31st 2011 there would be 7 billion people
living on the planet and they were right.

In fact you can watch them being born here

That’s 7 billion plus people who need feeding and clothing and housing.

Can there be anything nobler than waking up every day committed to growing and supplying these basic needs in the most affordable, nutritious and ethically produced way

Yet agriculture struggles to attract and retain talented young people into the agrifood sector See

Why do we struggle?

Well there has been a lot of talking about the problem, a lot of writing about the problem and a lot of suggestions put forward.

Recently the RASV undertook a study and came up with four recommendations which included

  • Involve young leaders in the planning and delivery of initiatives
  • Consider the need for imagery and promotion of opportunities to help young people make connection between themselves (skills, personality, interests) and career opportunities in the agriculture sector (given the disconnect between urban and rural).

Art4Agriculture is very proud to say we have been walking the talk with our Young Farming Champions program

Quick overview of the program here

Young Farming Champions on YouTube

Young Farming Champions on SlideShare

The RASV report also drew attention once again to the fragmented industry culture that is undermining agriculture’s efforts to get on the front foot with respect to attraction and retainment  strategies

“To date, the attempts in the agricultural sector to increase the participation of young people in the agricultural workforce have been without substantial success and have been too  fragmented, local and small scale. This is not to undermine the fantastic work that has been achieved, but highlights the need for large scale and well
researched interventions.”

 “A collaborative industry approach, comprising contribution from all commodity groups with the support of government and education, is essential to engaging young people on a large enough scale to remedy existing shortfalls.”

I sound like as broken record but it has to be said and said and said again. When will industry recognise silo thinking is destroying agriculture’s future? We cannot
do this alone.

This year Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions worked side by side with Australian Wool Innovation, Meat and Livestock Australia and Cotton Australia to deliver their food and fibre industry education resources to schools and didn’t we kick goals

The RASV also highlighted the need for a “one stop “portal” to understanding the opportunities that exist for a diverse range of people and skills. Information is too
scattered, job-search focused and not specifically targeted at young people and
early career workers.

It is difficult for urban people who are disconnected from rural and regional (Australia) .. to access information and understand the incentives of taking up careers in agriculture. For young people who are already connected to agriculture, there is a similar lack of assistance to help them discover the appeal and support
for them entering tertiary study or tailored career pathways”.

Well this has changed and excitingly the Australian Council of Agricultural Deans has addressed this with their newly launched awesome website.

Career Harvest – job choices in agriculture, fisheries & forestry found here

We are also thrilled to announce a number of the Art4Agriculture Young Farming
Champions will be speaking and conducting workshops at the Careers Advisors Australia Annual Conference this month. The conference theme is The
Great Divide – City and Country. 
Working the Land – Careers in Agriculture.

Highly concerning however is the fact the conference coordinator tells me city school conference registration numbers are down.  When she asked Careers Advisors why they said “careers in agriculture aren’t relevant to my students”.

Frightening for the world in general especially the 1 billion people who go to bed hungry every night when city based careers advisers don’t think careers in agriculture are relevant.

This is a big problem and the need is now to address it.  The onus is on primary industry, agribusiness and the government and education sectors to initiate a culture of change in this area by taking a collaborative approach and partnering to address this issue and achieve the necessary outcomes. The health wealth and happiness of
the nation depends on it

Paint is drying on the 2011 Archibull Prize bovine masterpieces

Exciting times.

Paint is drying on the bovine masterpieces who will shortly be submitted for consideration for the 2011 Archibull Prize.

This year students in 21 schools in Western Sydney are reflecting on the theme “The Rural – Urban Divide – What does it take to feed Sydney for a day sustainably?”

See the statistics on this web page created by Glenfield High School’s superstar Alexander Rafferty who won our “What can you creATE competition”

Each school has been allocated a food or fibre industry and has been provided with a blank fibreglass cow that students will decorate to highlight what they’ve learned about the challenges of feeding, clothing and housing the world with a declining natural resource base.

Each school was also paired with a Young Farming Champion who visited and supported the schools during the project. The young farmers provided the fresh young face of modern farming which we hope will inspire the students to consider career pathways that will see them be part of what we believe is the noblest profession – farming

Our farming champions created a series of social media tools to share their farming stories with teachers, students and the World Wide Web

See their video stories here

Hollie Baillieu – Cotton Farmer

Naomi Marks – Dairy Farmer

Melissa Henry – Sheep Farmer

Erin Lake – Natural Resource Management

Emma Visser – Dairy Farmer

Siannon Parice – Art4Agriculture Photographer

Stephanie Tarlinton

Art4Agriculture would like to thank Deborah Leake from Meat and Livestock Australia, Brooke Summers from Cotton Australia and Claudia Wythes from Australian Wool Innovation for their support of the Young Farming Champions in school visits. Great team work and great outcomes.

Celebrating the regional produce and the hands that grow it

South Coast wins the 100 Mile Challenge at first attempt.

Before we start we want to be upfront and say unashamedly this post is in the main a compilation of highlights written by Amy Willesee for the South Coast 100 mile challenge blog found here

Amy is the author of the fabulous Locavore: A Foodies’ Journey through the Shoalhaven (sadly now out of print) so it goes without saying that when you work with the best don’t even think about reinventing the wheel

Art4Agriculuture Young Farming Champion Siannon Parice and photographer extraordinaire was there to capture all the highlights and spirit of the event through the lens of her camera.  

Rosie Cupitt ( Cupitts Winery) and Amy Willesee ( right) share a light hearted moment before the guests arrive

The South Coast’s win is testament to the words of Eve Sawyer when she said  “never underestimate the power of passion.”

South Coast 100mile Challenge team Winners are grinners

Our team organiser Cathy Law is possibly the most passionate amongst our region’s locavores, so it was no surprise that she was the first to jump into the ring when Crave threw down the regional challenge. Our hat goes off to Cathy. In the beginning there were many obstacles to climb and naysayers to block out but there is none more committed and passionate about promoting the region’s produce and the farmers who grow it than Cathy. Cathy was determined to use the Crave 100 mile challenge to shout it from the rooftops and indeed she did. In the words of South Coast A team member Perri Croshaw What a Food Destination we have!!! We all knew how great it was – now the whole state knows!”

How does the 100 mile challenge work you may ask?

Well each of the five regions selected the highest quality produce and best of the best chefs from their region and created a delicious and sumptuous three course feast and served it to 100 guests.

South Coast table decorated by Wendy O'Mally and guests ready, willing and able to tuck into our regional delights

The winning region was determined by a panel of esteemed judges including Joanna Savill, Crave Sydney International Food Festival Director.

Each region was also allocated a high profile celebrity “mentor” chef and the South Coast was lucky enough to have Lucio Galletto OAM from Lucios Italian Restaurant join us with wife Sally.

Great lifelong friends Elise Pascoe and Lucio Galletto catch up

We also had the simply fabulous Adam Spencer of 702 ABC Sydney Breakfast show and Sleek Geeks fame on our table. By the time Adam was finished organising our table cheer leading squad our table made the Balmy Army look like wimps.

Adam Spencer 702 ABC with South Coast A team

After picking vegies, catching fish and milking cows – the South Coast team headed north yesterday for the BIG LUNCH lunch.

The produce - dispaly by Wendy O'Malley

Twenty of us hit Sydney including team leader Cathy Law, the fabulous Lynne Strong – award-winning dairy farmer and agriculture champion (and Art4Agriculture Chair) – to our very own food and wine matriarch Elise Pascoe and the indefatigable Slow Food leader and boutique tea grower Kirsten McHugh and our effervescent team leader, sommelier to the stars Toby Evans. As for our chefs, we were blessed to have some of the top chefs of the region – nay, the country! – on our team including Alex Dawkins senior sous chef at Rick Stein’s restaurant Bannisters and John Evans from the acclaimed Berry Sourdough. Read all about the A team here

And what did our 100 lucky guests eat?

On table

Bread from the Sourdough Bakery, Berry
with Glen Lee Extra virgin olive oil (from Menangle Park)

Green Kalamata Olives from Kangaroo
Valley Olives and Black Kalamata Olives from Contadinos Farm at Falls Creek,
marinated in Contadino extra virgin olive oil, garlic and local herbs


Oysters au Naturale


Sydney Rock from Bed Rock Oysters,
Shoalhaven River and Ulladulla Oysters, Clyde River

Lime-cured Kingfish with Broad Beans, Fresh Herbs, Breakfast Radish and Lemon Dressing


Kingfish freshly caught off the Shoalhaven Coast

Herbs from Greengold Veggies, Terara

Broad beans from Berry Mountain Farm

Radish from Merry Maiden’s Veggies, Milton

Limes and lemons from Yarrawa Estate, Kangaroo Valley

Chives from Dapto Community Farm, Dapto


Warm Salad of Eastern Rock Lobster, with Potatoes, Jamon and a Lobster Vinaigrette

THE LOBSTER - dont you just wish you were there


Eastern Rock Lobster from off Greenwell Point, Jervis Bay

Potatoes from Berry Mountain Farm

Herbs from Favgro in Batemans Bay

Celery from the Alex Dawkin’s garden, Mollymook

Jamon which is cured and dried under the supervision of Oscar at his
Spanish Deli in Warrawong

Lemons from Kangaroo Valley

Olive oil from Menangle Park


Basil and Honey infused Panna Cotta with Strawberry Jelly, Baked Rhubarb and Fresh Strawberries

The dessert a masterpiece by John Evans from the acclaimed Berry Sourdough.


Cream and milk from South Coast Dairy, Berry

Basil from John Evans’ garden, Vincentia

Strawberries from Sam and Josephine,Sussex Inlet

Rhubarb from Greengold Veggies, Terara

Honey from Pointer Mountain Honey, Yatta Yattah

100 Mile Challenge – Judging Criteria

This was not your usual culinary competition.

Each team was judged on how authentically they created a sense of people/place and product during and in the lead up to the lunch.

Showcasing the produce and the people who make it and grow was a really important part of  the challenge. The aim was to give the 100 guests the feeling they had visited our regional home.

The Region 15%

• How is the region represented in the development of the menu?

• How well have producers been represented?

• How has the team worked to promote the region and the challenge?

The Lunch 85%

The Food 60% – 20% for each course

• Presentation

• Use of your 100 mile regional produce

• Quality of ingredients used

• Kitchen skills and technique

• Taste, flavour and variety

• Use of seasonal produce

The Wine (& other Beverages) 15% – 5% for each

Ben Wallace from Coolangatta Estate and Toby Evans from Bannisters pour the wine

• Appropriateness

• Match to food

• Wine knowledge by serving team

The Table 10%

The table decorated by Kiama based artist Wendy O'Malley

• Presentation (style, creativity, mood)

• How well does it represent the region

• Physical presentation of menu

• Service

• Atmosphere

The award categories are:

Best Apprentice/Student

Best Entrée

Best Main

Best Dessert

Extra Mile Award

100MC Winner

Prizes are courtesy of Trenton International

The South Coast won Best Main, Best Dessert and was
the 100MC Winner

Our aim was to showcase the best of the South Coast’s beautiful fresh produce and bring a taste of our rolling green hills and famous beaches to Sydney and we certainly did that.


For a list of our local produce and providores visit

 See great story in South Coast Register here

Not to mention this quirky vid found here



Castle Hill High School helping make agriculture visible

Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions Siannon Parice and Erin Lake visited Castle Hill High School this week to share their stories with the students involved in the
Archibull Prize.

Siannon (Art4Agriculture photographer) and Erin (Natural resource management and bush regeneration expert) tagged teamed with Art4Agriculture chair and dairy farmer Lynne Strong to show the students how three very different people from very different
backgrounds who have travelled very different career pathways work side by side
to bring food to your plate sustainably.

For the students Lynne’s connection was obvious as she told them whilst she wears
many hats she is first and foremost a farmer.

Lynne explained to the students that whilst the majority of Australian farms are still family owned and operated successful farm businesses have the same business structure as large corporates and needed to access an extensive range of proven professionals for their businesses to remain healthy.

She explained that in order for Clover Hill Dairies to continue to provide milk for
50,000 Australians everyday they needed a team of people doing a lot of very
different jobs to achieve the same outcome and that was best practice sustainable

It takes a proven team of professional to run a successful family farm

At Clover Hill Dairies Lynne is the marketing manager as well as the
sustainability manager. Lynne explained that part of her role as marketing manager was to raise the profile of the Clover Hill Dairies brand and one of the ways that she has done this is to set up a website which tells people who they are, what they do and how they think.

In order for her marketing materials to have the WOW factor her business needs a
great photographer and this is how her partnership with Siannon began.

Lynne explained that it was through her role as sustainability manager for Clover
Hill Dairies that she met Erin. Lynne explained that both her dairy farms are
in highly sensitive environmental areas. In fact the home farm was 50%
rainforest and managing the rainforest was well outside the farm business team
expertise and it was imperative that the farm engage experts to care for the

Erin and Siannon presented to visual art students from year 7 to year 11. Both Young
Farming Champions created a video and a PowerPoint specifically for their
school presentations. It was obvious from both the students and teachers
reactions that they were overwhelmed with how much creativity had gone into
making Erin and Siannon’s school resources.

Never one to miss an opportunity to use her skills Siannon created a short vox pop featuring visual arts student Yvonne. Hear what Yvonne had to say here

Erin explained that she too needed Siannon’s expertise to help share her story through pictures. Through her PowerPoint and using Lynne’s farm as a working example Erin showed the students that farmers usually have two very different landscapes to manage The first one being the one that is their area of expertise the land they produce food  and on and secondly the vast areas of Australia’s natural landscape that are also  their farms.

Erin Lake sharing her career partnership with farmers with the students

In fact farmers manage over 60% of Australia’s landscape and Erin explained it is impossible for farmers to have the time to gain the expertise to deal with the often highly complex balancing act of productive farm land coexisting in harmony with
native vegetation and susccessfully achiving this requires working with weed warriors of Erin’s ilk.

You can find Erin’s video here

You can find Siannon’s video here