Archibull Prize Entries are in and wow wow

The Archibull Prize 2011 entries are in and Art4Agriculture is very excited. After months of a process that involves planning, teamwork, learning about sustainability, agriculture and the local environment 21 schools in Western Sydney have finished their artwork.

“The Challenge” was to create an artwork that incorporated each school’s
allocated food or fibre industry (wool, cotton, beef, sheep, dairy and grains)
and why it is important to Sydney families and the community. The students through
their artworks were asked to explore and communicate stories about the
importance of a sustainable approach to feeding Sydney.

Each school was provided with a life size fibreglass cow or calf on which the
students created an artwork about their allocated food or fibre industry, the
farmers who produce it and how this food or fibre is being produced

The types of issues the schools were asked to reflect on include:

  1. The role of your commodity in feeding and clothing Sydney sustainably
  2. Understanding the challenges our farmers face to feed people sustainably in a world with a declining natural resource base
  3. The disconnect between consumers and farmers – how do we find common ground.
  4. Understanding the disconnect between the food we buy and the impact that it has on the environment when we throw it away.

And just to wet your palette here are some of the entries

Model Farms "Bessie"
Alice Betteridge RIDBC
Rouse Hill Anglican College "Mootilda"
Quakers Hill "Bessie" Bet you can wait to see what she looks from the other 3 sides

This just a taster – watch this space

We will be sharing more of the inspirational artworks of Next Gen during the week

Eureka! Australia’s Oscars for science (and industry leadership)

The ‘Oscars of science’—this is how the prestigious Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are viewed by scientists and media.

This year a group of farmers proudly filled one of the tables (how good was the food) at this A list event attended by 900 people at Fox Studios

Congratulations to our 34 farmers!

The Climate Champion program was a runner up for the 2011 Eureka Prize for
Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge.

5 of the Climate Champions and the team from Econnect all frocked up at the Eureka Prize

This program is a perfect example of what happens when industry shows leadership and invests in farmers (levy payers) and works to together for the greater good of our food and fibre industries.

This three year program is collaboration between the following organisations and I salute them

In fact Art4Agriculture was so inspired by the success of the Climate Champions program we started the Young Farming Champions program using the Climate Champions “TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD” ethos and the training components as a model.

The Climate Champions program is a cross industry partnership of farmers across Australia and I love it. It has exposed me to the bright minds from other industries and there is nothing more rewarding for your personal development than surrounding yourself with innovative thinkers you can learn from.

The Climate Champions program is managed by the fabulous team from Econnect who not only deliver the workshops they support each of the 34 farmers 365 days 24/7

Using my involvement as an example Econnect have mentored me, written press releases and help prep me for Big Ideas ABC and numerous conference presentations and radio interviews. I have gained so much confidence
and self-belief since I joined the program in 2010.

The Climate Champions program mentors and supports 33 other farmers across Australia like me. In all 34 Australian farmers who can now confidently get out there in their communities and share their stories and not only inspire other farmers but spread the word that Australian farmers are part of an innovative, dynamic and vibrant industry that has a strong ethical and social conscience

As the debate around long term food availability and affordability intensifies, Art4Agriculture believes it is vital for all organisations involved in the food supply chain to adopt a leadership position and work together side by side with their farmers to help safeguard Australia’s future food security.

Climate Champion program – what is it?

34 Australian farmers have been recruited by the national Climate Champion program to help improve communication between scientists and farmers about managing climate risk.

What do they have in common?

  • They are all interested in managing risks associated with climate and weather to improve productivity on their farms.
  • They are keen to share their knowledge with other farmers.

2-way communication with farmers and researchers

The program aims to:

  • get climate-related research information out to wider farming community – research about new technologies and practices for dealing with climate variability and climate change
  • feed information from farmers back to researchers about what you need to better manage climate risk on your property

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.