Young Farming Champions Muster June 2019 1st Edition

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) across the country (and globe!)

In the field

Wool YFC and Local Land Services Biosecurity Officer Lucy Collingridge has been coordinating a drone survey using thermal imaging to identify the density of wild horses and deer in an 18,000ha survey area. Following an increasing number of reports of wild horses and deer in the area, the North West LLS is using the emerging technology to assist landholders in a proactive approach to managing these feral species. It is Lucy’s role to coordinate the project by talking to landholders to receive reports of the species, getting consent for the contractor to fly over each property and to get the landholders together to learn more about what the project involves. Following the completion of the survey, Lucy will again get the landholders together to discuss the results of the survey and what it means for the group moving forward.

Lucy drone day1

 

YFC Tim Eyes and his partner Hannah from the The Food Farm: Central Coast hosted some special guest chefs from Malaysia last week and the food looked as amazing as the dinner venue! Check out this location:

 

“Today we were so fortunate to have @chefsamuelburke, @jabfood and media from South East Asia come and join us on the farm 🌱 it was an awesome opportunity to showcase what we have happening here; with #australianbeefandlamb, #regenerativeagriculture and #soilhealth being some of the hot topics. It’s so humbling as farmers to have such talented chefs to showcase the nourishing produce ❤️” – The Food Farm: Central Coast

Tims pig
Tim is also the proud new owner of 11 pigs, adding pork to the amazing menu of farm fresh foods available from The Food Farm, Central Coast.

Now how cool is this one – YFC and agronomist Casey Onus captured this video of a weed being sprayed in slow motion, at an Agrifac Machinery demonstration day at Beefwood, just north of Moree NSW. The company demonstrated their spot-spraying technology on the day – and whether you spray crops or not, everything looks great in slow motion!

 

From cool to freezing! Beef Young Farming Champion Kirsty McCormack is hosting our Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page this week – live from snowy Canada! We are blown away seeing some of incredible conditions she is working in. Jump over to Facebook to follow along for the next week.

Kirsty Mc PYiA.jpg

 

Friend of the YFC team Matt Champness is currently spending time in Laos as a volunteer weeds agronomist, supported by the Crawford Fund. This week Matt started working on farm research sites demonstrating direct seeded rice weed control techniques. The control techniques include:

  1. Sowing fertiliser with rice, rather than broadcasting fertiliser, to overcome weeds
  2. Inter-row cultivation – this will require some machine engineering by Matt!
  3. Cutting the rice crop with a whipper snipper – not just useful in the garden!
  4. Hand weeding every day to stop seed set and achieve perfect weed control.

 

Matt is also off to the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) youth workshop in Brazil next month – this workshop aims to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services. All the best for your work in Laos and trip to Brazil Matt – we look forward to sharing Matt’s insights with you all!

Out of the field

Australian Wool Innovation’s 2019 National Merino Challenge (NMC) was held in Sydney over 25-26th May – 161 participants from across the country descended upon Sydney Showgorunds for the competition. The first ever industry team entered this year, a team of young professionals from Australian Wool Network (AWN). This team included YFC Emma Turner, who hails from Ivanhoe NSW but is currently based in Launceston, Tasmania in her AWN role. The NMC brings young people with an interest in the wool industry together to develop their knowledge, skills and networks with demonstrations and presentations from industry professionals.

Emma Turner Wool.jpg

YFC and Local Landcare Coordinator Jasmine Whitten has been assisting with delivering vertebrate pest forums in the western district of NSW.

“This is a day where we take leading pest management experts Peter Fleming, Darren Marshall and Guy Ballard to talk directly to landholders about managing feral cats, pigs, and foxes. There will also be a large deal of time focusing on wild dogs, looking at pest collaring projects and should we have a similar project out west. We have had fantastic response with over 100 landholders across the region looking to attend. We also have attendees from government agencies including Local Land Services, National Parks and Wildlife and research and development organisation Meat & Livestock Australia,” says Jasmine. This sounds like an event not to be missed in western NSW!

Jasmine Whitten Landcare.jpg

Jasmine has also been busy coordinating the annual Light and Life Photo Competition, which is now in its 20th year. Last week she spoke to Western Magazine about this year’s comp and its theme “Beyond the Dust.” Read more here.

YFC and agronomist Alexandria Galea organised a fantastic WinCott (Women in Cotton) Ladies of the Land Luncheon on 23rd May in Emerald, Queensland. The luncheon was a sell out with 130 women from a 200 km radius coming together to network with ladies working in agriculture and listen to guest speakers! Alex also did a stellar job as master of ceremonies – congratulations on such a successful event.

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2019 University of New England (UNE) YFC Becca George spent the 24th – 26th May at Dubbo Show where she is a member of the show society and cattle committee. The cattle section of the show was very successful, welcoming over 160 bovine entrants for the weekend. Considering the dry seasonal conditions that Dubbo and surrounds have been experiencing it was great to see so many animals on display.

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Climate YFC and InStyle Magazine’s Farmer for Change Anika Molesworth spoke to Sarah Nolet on the Agtech – So What? podcast this week, sharing her passion for climate action and circular food systems. You can listen to it here.

Anika AgTech podcast

And if that’s up your alley, this is worth reading! Post last month’s Australian Federal Election, Anika penned this beautiful blog about climate optimism which has been liked and shared hundreds of times on Twitter. Anika writes: “We know how urgent the need for addressing climate change is. We know how critical the situation is. We know there are big steps to be taken, but we’ve got this.”

Keep reading here.

Anika Climate Blog

Wool YFC and Elders Employee of the Year Sam Wan is currently on a wool study tour in Italy. She has some exciting news and wooly tales to share next Muster, so watch this space! We can’t wait!

Sam Wan Italy.jpg

Lifetime Highlights

Congratulations to one of our newest University of New England YFC Ruby Canning. Ruby was awarded the Max Wesbster Memorial Prize for her composition photography piece at the recent Robb College Art Show. “Being the highest award at the art show I was thrilled! I also sold a few pieces of art with a percentage of proceeds going to Angel Flight.” Well done Ruby!

Ruby Canning Art Prize

And mega Congrats to Cotton YFC Laura Bennet on her recent marriage. Best wishes for a happy life together, from the YFC team!

Laura Bennet married.JPG

Archie Action

The 2019 Archibull Prize is underway and this video of Archie arriving at Merrylands High School has absolutely made our week:

Good luck to all our YFC who start Google Hangout meets and school visits this month! We’re excited!

 

 

Young Farming Champions Muster April 2019 Second Edition

It’s Sydney Royal Easter Show time! This year we have sixteen Young Farming Champions trekking to Sydney for the show. Whether it’s stewarding merinos, hosting groups of glampers around the campfire, prepping prize poultry or judging show cattle, we are THERE! It’s the highlight of the agricultural show calendar and if you’d like to share the #myeastershow love with us, head on over to the Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page to keep up with our YFCs at the show.

Read on for this week’s tops stories from our Young Farming Champions (YFC) across the county!

In the field

If you’ve ever wondered what the life of a contract musterer looks like, Wool YFC Chloe Dutschke shared insights into her career when she guest hosted our Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page this week. Head to our Facebook page to follow more of Chloe’s adventures.

Chloe Dutschke

It was a busy week for Chloe, coinciding with the announcement of the Peter Westblade Memorial Merino Scholarship, in which Chloe was named a 2019 Scholarship winner. Mega Congratulations Chloe! Read more about it in The Border Mail here.

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Wool YFCs Adele Smith, Chloe Dutschke and Dione Howard at the Peter Westblade Scholarship dinner.

Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) Vice-Chair Emma Ayliffe attended the Acres of Opportunity Irrigated Cotton field day in Conargo, NSW. It was an opportunity for growers to look at a new cotton development in the local area.

Emma Ayliffe grower day

Out of the field

Primary Preview Day 1

Well done to our team of Young Farming Champions and friends of the program who helped pull off the incredible Primary Preview Day at Sydney Royal Easter Show last Thursday. Hundreds of school children engaged with activities around wool, eggs, soil and bees, hosted by our YFCs Samantha Wan, Haylee Murrell, Tim Eyes, Jasmine Whitten, Laura Bignell and Casey Onus.

Primary Preview Day 2

The biggest thanks goes to the team of brilliant “doers” who support our Young Farming Champions in these activations. All news from Sydney Royal reports the Primary Preview Day was a smashing success and we owe so much of that to the dream team who are behind us every step of the way. Thank you to everyone involved.

This was also a great opportunity for friend of PYiA, the incredible Aimee Snowdon from Little Brick Pastoral catch up with Hamish McClure, one of the winners of our 2018 National Agriculture Day competition.

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The first Saturday on the Royal Easter Show provided the perfect opportunity for Paddock Pen Pals teacher Zoe Stephens from Carlingford West Public School and YFC Sam Wan and Dione Howard to meet face to face in the Sheep Pavilion.

Zoe Stephens Paddock Pen Pals with Dione and Sam .JPEG

Emily King from Australian Wool Innovation made the most of Zoe’s visit with an interview for the Yarn podcast series.  We look forward to sharing Zoe’s yarn with you shortly.

Beyond Sydney Royal, Climate Action YFC Anika Molesworth has had a busy week with keynote speaking gigs to more than 1000 people at NSW and ACT Geography Teachers Association Conference, Rotary Conference and Prime Super – Unleash Your Super Power Events.

Our PYiA Program Director was in the audience at the Prime Super – Unleash Your Super Power Event and said Anika had a very powerful affect on the audience with a number of people commenting that Climate Change was an important issue to them and Anika had empowered them to have meaningful conversations with friends, family and colleagues about Climate Action. Well done Anika!

Anika Call to Action Slide .png

lucy with deer

This week Wool YFC Lucy Collingridge travelled to Wee Waa and Walgett to present to two classes of students studying Certificate II & III of a Conservation Land Management course. As a Biosecurity Officer, she spoke to the students about the Biosecurity Act 2015, best practice for pest animal management and why management of invasive species is important, and what everyone can do to minimise the risk of spreading weed seeds. Lucy says, “The skills and confidence that I gained from the YFC program came in handy today! On arrival in Wee Waa, I discovered that the facility did not have a projector for my PowerPoint and I was able to modify my presentation to suit the setting. Without my YFC training I would have let this affect my delivery!”

Wool Young Farming Champion Sam Wan and Eggs Young Farming Champion Jasmine Whitten represented PYiA at Animal Welfare Collaborative Academic Think Tank Summit in Sydney on 9th April.

The goal of The Animal Welfare Collaborative is to act as a conduit for the multiple stakeholders in Australia’s livestock production system (industry bodies, community organisations, animal welfare organisations, research institutes, and the Federal, State and Territory governments) to do the following:

  1. Collaboration: Build respectful, collaborative relationships
  2. Translation: Turn the scientific evidence base of animal welfare into useful, field-ready decision tools
  3. Adoption: Increase the adoption of evidence-based ‘best practices’ in animal welfare
  4. Progress: Facilitate incremental, evidence-based improvements to animal welfare
  5. Participation: Enhance public participation in evidence-based decisions around animal welfare

Jas and Sam.jpeg

YVLT mentor coordinator and Wool YFC Dione Howard spoke at the District Veterinarians of NSW Conference in Newcastle this week about the complications of grazing canola in dry conditions. Around 90 delegates descended from across the state to discuss lessons learnt from drought, the key issues in NSW surveillance activities and to celebrate 101 years of public veterinary service.

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YVLT Chair Jo Newton joined several hundred animal scientists from around the world at the British Society of Animal Science Conference in Edinburgh. She presented some of her research in the genetics and genomics session. Jo also had the opportunity to catch up with researchers at University of Edinburgh and gave a guest seminar on the value of genetic & genomic tools. She managed to fit in some sightseeing too, including a whisky tasting in the largest private whisky collection in the world.

Prime Cuts

We are very excited to introduce the 5 University of New England students who have been selected to undertake the Young Farming Champions Program. They are:

Welcome to the team!

Forbes Corby was spotted at the Sydney Royal Easter Show Ag Bag Stand, where he is spending his Easter break making sure every cent raised by the sale of the Ag Bag goes directly to the RAS Foundation Community Futures Grant program. Great work Forbes!

Forbes Corby.jpg

Congrats are also due to YFC Sally Poole who will shortly commence a new role as a precision ag agronomist at Precision Cropping Technologies (PCT) in Goondiwindi.

Massive shout out to YFC Alana Black who has had a piece published in The Australian Farmer. In it Alana shares her family’s experience with succession planning and has some great advice for anyone thinking about succession in farm businesses. You can read the story here.

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It very much feels like all roads lead to the Royal this week with many YFC involved throughout the show. Congrats to YFC Bec Thistlethwaite, who has been selected as a 2019 Rural Achiever and is currently enjoying a behind the scenes Easter Show experience. Good luck to Bec this week as we await the announcement of the RAS Rural Achiever Scholarship.

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YFCs Lucy Collingridge, Rebecca Thistlethwaite and Jasmine Whitten catch up at Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Lifetime Highlights

Congrats to YVLT secretary & Wool YFC Peta Bradley on her recent efforts at the Coffs Harbour Ocean Swim. Peta competed in two events, taking home two medals! A gold in the 600m Jetty Swim and bronze in the 2km ocean swim. Now in it’s 22nd year over 600 people competed in the charity event. You can watch some of the action here:

Wool YFC and YVLT communications coordinator Bessie Thomas and her family swapped the bush for the beach earlier this month, holidaying in the beachside paradise of Port Stephens thanks to an incredible random act of kindness. Bessie and her family – who have been farming through drought for several years –  were gifted the week long holiday from Alloggio/Port Stephens Accommodation business owners Will Creedon and wife Karen, former member of the NSW Legislative Council Scot MacDonald, and the Port Stephens Council. Local businesses The Little Nel cafe, Imagine Cruises, 4WD R US sandboarding adventures and Crest Birubi Beach cafe all pitched in to spoil Bessie’s family with delicious meals and amazing adventures. Read more in The Rural Weekly here.

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Bessie Thomas and family pictured with Karen and Will of Allogio / Port Stephens Accommodation

Outback Magazine and PYiA journalist Mandy McKeesick currently writing a feature story on the fishing industry took the opportunity to make PYiA HQ her base this week. Have a great week together Mandy and Lynne!

Lynne and Mandy.jpg

Mandy is keen to take some Jamberoo green grass home with her 

 

#myeastershow #YouthinAg #YouthVoices19 #ThisisAusAg

Young Farming Champions Muster March 2019 Second Edition

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

In the field

lets hang out sheep

This week there is a woolly buzz in classrooms in Sydney and we are thrilled to launch the pilot of our new program Paddock to Plate Pen Pals. Supported by Australian Wool Innovation this new program will see students Google Hanging Out with our Young Farming Champions working in the wool and sheep supply chain.

Skype sessions have been used successfully in the past to take the schoolroom to the field, such as when YFC Emma Ayliffe used the technique with Parramatta Public School for The Archibull Prize. For teacher Esra Smerdon the experience brought a real-world connection to the classroom. “When we skyped with Emma, she was able to show us how they used moisture probes to identify whether or not they needed to water and how they used that data to inform them,” she said. See case study here

Carlingford West Public School Google Hangout with Danila Marini

Monday morning CSIRO Sheep Researcher and YFC Dr Danila Marini beamed into Carlingford West Public School to discuss all things animal wellbeing, virtual fencing and technology and teacher Zoe Stephens says students were fascinated:

On Tuesday morning it was Riverina Local Land Services District Veterinarian and Wool YFC Dione Howard turn

This is what teacher Zoe Stephens had to say ” What a great connection! The students were so engaged and interested. I think you may have inspired some students to become future vets! The medical equipment you showed the students were amazing, especially as they could identify that we use the same equipment for humans! Thanks for your time and enthusiasm!

Carlingford West Public School with Dione Howard 2

Elders Wool broker Sam Wan and sheep musterer Chloe Dutschke will beam into Carlingford West PS later this week. Paddock to Plate Pen Pals will also be supported by blog posts, social media and case-studies.

Alexandria Galea

In the Central Highlands of Queensland, YFC and Secretary of the Central Highlands Cotton Growers and Irrigators Association (CHCGIA) Alexandria Galea and YFC and Cotton Info Extension Officer Sharna Holman worked with a team to deliver a Teach the Teacher Tour to gain hands on experience of agriculture.

Sixty teachers visited an irrigation farm, took a quick agronomy lesson and had a siphon starting competition. The adventure continued to a horticulture farm, to an automotive packing plant for citris and grapes and Fairbairn Dam.  Events like this aim to inform teachers of farming practices and give them a positive and fun experience of agriculture so that they can share this knowledge in the classroom. Great work Alexandria and Sharna.

bh_10th-birthday-MAIN-HUB

The Archibull Prize is celebrating its 10th birthday this year and the team is looking back over what we have learnt throughout our decade long journey of harnessing the best and brightest young ag minds to take the farm into urban classrooms. Our first Lessons Learnt Blog explores careers in agriculture and offering real world skills to solve real world problems. Elders wool broker and AWI YFC Samantha Wan shines as an example of the calibre of young professionals working with school students to encourage careers in agriculture. Read more HERE

Sam Wan 1

Out of the field

YFC Dr Danila Marini talks sheep welfare and the fascinating new world of virtual fencing with University of New England:

“Since ancient livestock herders began erecting barriers of brush and stone to contain animals, fencing has been a time-consuming and expensive business for farmers. Imagine, then, the virtual fence: an invisible line on the landscape that animals will not cross, which can be created on a map on a tablet, and moved or erased at a touch. After decades of research trial and error — lots of error — the concept is now a reality, at least for cattle. The rapid minaturisation of technology means that the solution may soon be applied to sheep, and that’s where UNE post-doctoral student Dr Danila Marini steps in.” Read more HERE

Danila Marini

Climate YFC Anika Molesworth is off to Antarctica this year and has co-authored a story in the lead up to her adventure via The Crawford Fund titled “Farming on Thin Ice.”

“Later this year, two young agricultural researchers who are both former Crawford Fund scholars and now RAID Network members, will be setting off to Antarctica. They were selected to take part in an incredible 12-month program with a cohort of 95 women in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) from around the globe. The Homeward Bound programme is a global leadership initiative to equip women in STEMM with strategic and communication capabilities in order to influence policy and decision-making regarding the sustainability of our planet.” Read more HERE

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Bianca Das (left) and YFC Anika Molesworth (right) will be setting off to Antarctica later this year.

Friend of Art4Agriculture and consultancy guru Greg Mills caught up with Wool YFC Peta Bradley at Zone Junior Judging in Armidale. Peta was meat sheep judge and Greg was the steward. The winner and runner up  from Armidale will compete at the zone final at Sydney Royal Easter Show next month.

peta and greg

YFC and 2017/18 ADAMA Young Agronomist of the Year Runner-up Emma Ayliffe is fresh off the plane from ADAMA’s Young Agronomist study tour to Israel. Emma and the study tour team had a jam-packed trip and returned with many agricultural insights. Stay tuned for Emma’s recap on the Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page this week!

Emma A

YFC Meg Rice attended a NSW Farmers workshop last week that was aimed at developing practical leadership skills in women.

Meg Rice

YFC and Local Landcare Coordinators (LLC) Erika Heffer and Jasmine Whitten are both off to Sydney this week for the Statewide LLC Gathering. Jasmine checked with the  Picture You in Agriculture Facebook Page from the Dubbo airport this morning on her way to the big smoke. She’ll keep us updated on all the Landcare happenings this week, so keep an eye out!

jasmine whitten

Prime Cuts

Wool YFC Chloe Dutschke is one of six finalists for the this year’s Peter Westblade Scholarship. The Scholarship exists to promote the practical skills associated with the sheep and wool industry and aims to deliver hands on experience and mentoring to young people aspiring to a career in the wool industry. The recipient of the 2019 Peter Westblade Scholarship will be announced at the scholarship dinner on April 4th. Good luck Chloe!

We’re excitedly looking for the next crop of Young Farming Champions to join out team in 2019! Expressions of Interest are now open for University of New England Young Farming Champions. If this is you or someone you know, please share the word! Find our more HERE

 

UNE YFC Flyer

IN 2019 there will be a smorgasbord of opportunities for schools to partner with our Young Farming Champions.   In 2019 we will be rolling out our Primary School program Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future Challenge  in Western Sydney and the Hunter.

Kreative Koalas is an innovative STEM project-based learning program that focuses on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

It empowers teachers to engage young people with a diverse range of academic skills, provides them with teamwork, problem solving and communication skills and a creative vehicle to design real world projects that have real world impact.

Competing for cash prizes and the title of Grand Champion Kreative Koala schools are:

  • Provided with a blank fibreglass koala for students to create an artwork on or to use as the subject of an artwork which focuses on a sustainable development goal.
  • Paired with Community Champions, business and community groups who hold the knowledge, wisdom and experience to assist the students to learn about local projects which are already addressing Australia’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) commitment.

Contact Lynne Strong E: headkoala@kreativekoalas.com.au to access an expression of interest brochure

#YouthinAgVoices #YouthVoices #StrongerTogether

Young Farming Champions Muster March 2019 First Edition

This fortnight’s top stories from Young Farming Champions around the country.

Another fortnight of celebrating the amazing achievements of the young farming champs. It is an exciting time for the team, with the Archibull Prize expressions of interests for secondary schools is now open! We can’t wait to see what the schools come up with, and support them on the journey through agriculture.

In the Field

In our latest Lessons Learnt from the Drought Wool YFC’s Bessie Thomas, Peta Bradley  and agronomists James Kanaley and Martin Murray share their stories on how the drought is affecting them, their families and their businesses

You can read Bessie and Peta’s stories here.
Peta

You will find James and Martin’s stories here 

James Kanaley (2)

The last fortnight saw the celebration of Regenerative Ag Day with a number of YFC showcasing what hey are doing with their businesses.

YFC Marlee Langfield is celebrating the selection of one of her photos in the AgWomen Global Book…. stunning pic, Marlee!

Marlee AgWomen.jpeg

Egg Industry YFC Jasmine Whitten has been busy in her new role as the local landcare coordinator for Western NSW presenting to the Cobar and District Rotary club talking about her role for the LLS, her volunteering and how all this fits in with her personal values.

Jas Cobar 2

Friend of the YFC Nicole McDonald has also had a feature piece as part of the Archibull Career Snapshot, and not with the typical agriculture job description that you might expect. Nicole took some time out to describe her role as a social science researcher and how that fits into the broad world of agriculture, going to once again show the wide diversity of career option on ag. Read Nicole’s story here.

Erika Heffer ran a Foundations in Leadership course for a teamwork exercise mentoring 14 people in Masterchef style. She also made an appearance on ABC Swan Hill Radio talking about the Archiebull Prize as well as all the other wonderful projects she has been busy with.

Erika Transparent 2

Sheep YFC Chloe Dutschke has been in NSW at Wyvern Station learning the tools of the trade for sheep. This included learning about sheep selection, stockmanship, personal development, agtech and a heap of other skills. This was thanks to the Peter Westblade Scholarship where Chloe was joined by 30 other sheep producers.

Chloe Dutschke 1

Out of the Field

Congratulations to YFCs Keiley O’Brien and Jasmine Whitten who both competed in their Showgirl zone finals this month. These two stars shone bright and you should both very proud of your tremendous efforts. Thank you to Lucy Collingridge for your involvement and keeping everyone up to date with your wonderful hosting of the Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page during the week of Showgirl Finals.

Horticulture YFC Tayla Field was featured on the Career Harvest website with an article on careers  in horticulture and all of the opportunities that have been provided to her, read more here.

Shoutout to James Bidstrup for a mention at the evokeAG conference. The importance of sharing the amazing story that is Ag isn’t lost at all on the wider community it seems! Thanks so much.

James Bidstrup

And what do NASA and Australian Agriculture have in common? YFC Rebecca Thistlewaite has featured on the Graincorp podcasts to discuss how research coming from NASA is helping plant breeders and scientists to breed hardier crops. Take a listen here.

Bec T

Prime Cuts

Expat and YFC Laura Phelps has been promoted in her role in Brexit to the Head of EU-Exit at Food Standards Agency. Congratulations Laura on this amazing promotion, we are looking forward to seeing what you can achieve.

Finally, the Youth Voices Leadership Team held their inaugural AGM on Monday. Huge congratulations to these YFC on their re-election to the following committee positions:

Dr Jo Netwon, Chair

Emma Ayliffe, Vice Chair

Peta Bradley, Secretary

Dione Howard, Mentor Leader

Anika Molesworth, External Relations Manager

Bessie Thomas, Communication Co-ordinator

#YouthinAg #YouthVoices19

 

YVLT

Young Farming Champions Muster February 2019 1st Edition

This week our Young Farming Champions (YFC) would like to take a moment to extend our thoughts and well wishes to those farmers in Queensland currently affected by devastating widespread flooding. To our North Queensland cousins, we are thinking of you! #StrongerTogether

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions around the country (and globe!)

In the Field

Happy International Women in Science Day!

Our Young Farming Champion network is full of legendary women using science to make the world a safer, healthier, more abundant place for humans and animals to live. Today Picture You in Agriculture is celebrating them and their vital work with this video starring YFCs Lucy Collingridge, Danila Marini, Alexandrea Galea, Anika Molesworth, Jo Newton and Dione Howard. Wonderful work from wonderful women! #WomeninScience #InternationalWomeninScienceDay #WomeninSTEM

Wool YFC Bessie Thomas made headlines in the Rural Weekly this fortnight with a joyful story following her family’s journey through the last two years of drought. Bessie, her husband and their almost three-year-old daughter farm merinos in far-western NSW. She has received much kind feedback following the story and wanted to thank everyone for their ongoing support through the drought. Read the story here.

Bessie Sparks of Joy

Out of the Field

Congrats to YFC Bron Roberts who has just launched her new business venture B R Rural Business offering tailored management solutions for productive beef enterprises. Bron says, “I’m passionate about the beef industry and helping producers to be economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. If you or anyone you know need a hand keeping records and want to use them to make real decision to improve your livestock productivity then I’m your girl!’ You can support Bron in her venture on Facebook here

Bron new business

Youth Voices Leadership Team Mentor Leader and Local Lands Service vet Dione Howard spoke to NSW Country Hour late last month. Listen in here from 11min35sec to hear Dione outline the risks of livestock eating toxic weeds causing liver damage. Great job Dione!

Beef YFC Kirsty McCormack, who’s currently living and working in Canada, was spotted in this case study by Rural RDC.

Kirsty McCormack

YFC Tim Eyes and his partner Hannah, who run The Food Farm on the NSW Central Coast, recently joined Nationals candidate for Gilmore, Katrina Hodgkinson in judging the 2019 Kiama Showgirl. Well done Tim and Hannah!

KatrinaTim Eyes Showgirl judge

Tim will also be returning to the Sydney Royal Easter show this April. Tim was over the moon when he got the call from the RAS of NSW in 2017 inviting him to be the farmer the glamping participants get to share the campfire experience with over the 14 days of the show. He so looking forward to inspiring the lucky glampers to be as excited about the agriculture sector as he is again in 2019. Read all about it here.

Cotton YFC Martin Murray was profiled on NSW Young Farmers Facebook page this week for his role on the Young Farmer Council. Great read Martin!

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“I’m an agronomist working for a group called AMPS, we’re an independent agchem reseller with a very strong focus on on-farm research to improve grower outcomes. I work with our research team in the running of our trials and our growers to transfer our research findings into on farm results to further strengthen their businesses. “I joined NSW Farmers in 2015 as they are able to effectively represent the farmers of NSW, taking their thoughts and concerns to parliament. I also joined the Young Farmer Council so I could be proactive in representing the interests and concerns of young people in or entering agriculture. “There are two major ways we can give young farmers a hand up going into the 2019 state election. First, stamp duty relief will remove the significant disadvantage in relation to other first home buyers, because we can’t currently access the exemptions offered to young city residents purchasing homes zoned as residential. Second, we can help lift the productivity of our farm businesses through investing in our farmers’ digital, financial and risk management skills.”

Prime Cuts

Our Youth Voices Leadership Vice-Chair Emma Ayliffe is an invited speaker at the 2019 Australian Summer Grains Conference. Em’s been invited to talk on ‘Careers in Grain’  in the student forum. You can find our more detail about the program and register to attend here.

Emma is also jetting off to Israel shortly as part of her prize for winning Runner Up in the ADAMA Agronimist of the Year awards. Safe and happy travels Emma! We’re looking forward to hearing all about it.

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Sticking with the conference theme, Youth Voices Leadership Team Chair Jo Newton, will be heading to Edinburgh in April where she’s had a paper accepted at the British Society of Animal Science Conference. The paper highlights the value of using data from commercial Australian dairy farms to demonstrate the benefits of herd improvement practices.

Jo Newton

Jo’s not the only YFC venturing to the Northern hemisphere. One of our newest YFC Alana Black will be heading to Scotland. While there she will be working for the Rural Youth Project. The Rural Youth Project aims to “develop feasible strategies to develop leadership and enterprise skills amongst young people in agricultural and rural communities based on understanding their current situation, aspirations, opportunities and challenges.”

alana black

Given the massive contribution Alana’s to the YVLT Communication Sub-Committee we know she’s going to make a really valuable contribution in Scotland and we’re looking forward to the sharing of ideas and experiences between the Rural Youth Project and PYiA. Read more about Alana’s journey here.

Congratulations to YFC and Climate Action advocate Anika Molesworth who has been appointed to the Crawford Fund’s NSW Committee.  The Crawford Fund is a not-for-profit organisation that raises awareness of the benefits to Australia and developing countries of Australia’s engagement in international agricultural research and development.

The 2018 Narromine Showgirl and Grains YFC Keiley O’Brien will represent Narromine at the Zone 6 Final of The Land Sydney Royal Showgirl Competition on February 16 in Young. Keiley will be up against 39 other Showgirls, from which three finalists will be chosen. Read more in the Narromine News here. Good luck to Keiley, and also to YFC Jasmine Whitten who will head to Narrabri to compete in her Showgirl Zone Final on February 26th! #goodluck

Keiley O'Brien
Photo: GEORGIE NEWTON PHOTOGRAPHY

#YouthinAg #YouthVoices19 #ThisisAusAg #StrongerTogether

Young Farming Champions Muster December 2018 1st Edition

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions around the country (and globe!)

In the Field

Grains YFC and farmer Dan Fox has been busy, along with a lot of the dryland farmers, getting crops harvested. Yields are down but generally the quality of crops this year has been really good!

Dan Fox Grain storage

Beef YFC Felicity Taylor has been in a field of a different kind for the past two months, working with Rabobank Food, Agri Mergers and Acquisitions in the Netherlands.

“It was mainly European and North American coverage but had a couple of Aussie companies in the mix also,” Felicity says. “It was very interesting working in a cross-cultural team, especially with people with a lifetime of corporate finance experience learnt across the globe. Overall it was very cool to be working in long term strategic moves for well known consumer food brands and important agriculture supply chain links.”

“It was a great opportunity to confirm where my passions lie, though for now I am keen to get back home and out with farmers again,” Felicity says.

Felicity Taylor Rabobank Office
Felicity’s view on her way to work each day in the Netherlands.

Casey Onus and her fellow Cotton YFC are in the process of completing their audits on cotton producers farms. The aims of the audits are to ensure that growers are complying with the rules and regulations of growing cotton as well as adhering to the resistance management strategies that protect the amazing genetics that are bred into the plants.

Cotton Crop

A number of YFC have been celebrating National Ag Day with a snapshot from their lives. This beautiful message on the GrainCorp Facebook page from Grains YFC Jessica Kirkpatrick sparked a great response on social media:

Great shot from Kristy McCormack who’s currently working in Canada:

Kirsty McCormack.jpg

…and this from friend of the YFC program Melissa Neal at #RedMeat2018 forum:

Melissa Neal Red Meat.jpg

Out of the Field

YVLT Chair and Dairy YFC Jo Newton has traded Melbourne’s summer for life in the village of Fermoy, Ireland. She’s there for 6 months as part of the Endeavour Research Fellowship Program. As part of her training she’s heading to a Genetics Conference hosted by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation & Sheep Ireland next week. She’ll be sharing all the action on twitter this Wednesday & Thursday.

Jo Newton Ireland Tweet.jpg

YFC Tayla Field spent three days in Tasmania this week finishing the ‘Masterclass of Horticultural Business’ with University of Tasmania, along with a great bunch of growers and business owners from across the country. The trip included a celebration dinner with the Governor of Tasmania as well as two days of touring farms from all areas of the industry. Watch Tayla share her thoughts on the Masterclass here

Tayla Field.jpg

Tayla is also celebrating big time that three of the schools she visited in 2018 were announced in the winners circle at The Archibull Prize Awards 

Wool YFC and veterinarian Dione Howard put her interview skills – following last month’s YFC workshop with Greg Mills – to good use last week and got a run on ABC Riverina talking dust storms and animal health on the radio. Listen here.

Wool YFC Samantha Wan ventured to Goulburn to share the positive story that is her career the Australian #wool industry at the city’s Regional Development Australia Southern Inland’s Ag Day barbeque.

Sam Wan Goulburn Post.jpg

Sam’s story was featured in the Goulburn Post. Read it here.

YFC Steph Fowler is back on Aussie soil after crossing the Pacific for the Royal Agricultural Societies of the Commonwealth conference in Canada, thanks to a scholarship from RAS NSW. Steph posted this moving testimony about her trip:

“Starting the trip home and despite everyone else from the conference posting about it I still can’t find the words. Perhaps it is because the opportunity to be involved with the RASC has only just begun or maybe it is because I still struggle to put together how the girl from the suburbs who loved animals as a kid has gone this far.

“If you had told 14 year old me, nervous as hell at my first ag show in Newcastle, that all these years later I would head across the world to be part of this I would have said you were on something.

“Massive thank you to the Agricultural Societies Council for the scholarship but more importantly thank you to Cowra Show, particularly our secretary Christie. I would not have been here without your support. Now looking forward to seeing where this journey will take me. Fingers crossed for Norfolk in two years, at least!”

Steph Fowler RAS Conference

Picture Yourself In Agriculture YFC Alana Black spoke on ABC Country Hour last week. Take a listen to the last five minutes of the November 20th podcast and you’ll hear Alana speak about her project Fledgling Farmers,  succession on family farms and the need for education of young farmers on communications competence. Listen here.

YFC Anika Molesworth presented at the Brave New World conference on climate and by all reports gave a fabulous, from the heart speech about the future and risks to Australia agriculture. The feedback from those lucky enough to be there has been outstanding. Well done Anika!

Last week YFC Meg Rice and Jasmine Whitten travelled to the nation’s capital for the 2018 Country to Canberra Power Trip conference.

Jasmine C2c.jpg

Jasmine had the privilege of being a panel speaker at the Country to Canberra Power Trip with Alpha Cheng, Nip Wijewickrema and Lousie Burrows speaking on “Personal Perspectives: Navigating the Road to Equality.”

She shared her life experiences of being a woman working in agriculture and how people have told her she could not be something because she was young or female. A testament to her positivity, Jasmine sees these barriers as redirections because they push her to find different pathways or to create her own pathway to achieve her goals. Her experiences resonated with many women in the room and let them know they are not alone on their journey. Jasmine believes in the adage,  “We share our stories not for ourselves but to help other who are on the same journey.”

Meg attended Monday night’s panel session, saying, “ The evening was a wonderful opportunity to meet the brave young women from rural and remote communities who had put their hands up to be leaders as well as listen to the inspiring stories of those that are already leaders within our communities. I was very proud to listen to fellow YFC and friend, Jasmine Whitten, share her struggles and triumphs within the agricultural industry.”

The University of New England has featured a few of our wonderful YFC (and UNE alumni) on their blog this week. Congratulations to Casey Onus who recently graduated from UNE with her MBA, no mean feat while working full time: Read her story here.

Jo Newton, our YVLT chair has also been featured at UNE for all of her fabulous work both in and out of the field, championing young women’s careers and proving that there is no such thing as too smart for agriculture. Read her story here.

Cotton YFC Emma Ayliffe also began the first half of her adventure are in ADAMA’s Young Agronomist of the Year competition. Emma jetted to Sydney to join the winners and runners up of the competition, as well as the Cotton Industries Young Achievers winners and nominees for the last three years. It was an opportunity for networking, with a strong focus on Ag Tech and its fit into the future of farming. Emma, along with the winner Kirsty and rising star Michelle, will venture to Israel next year on a two week study tour.

Emma ADAMA.jpg

Prime Cuts

Congratulations to YFC Sam Coggins whose startup Rise Harvest has been selected for a Singapore based accelerator to develop and scale a smartphone app that will deliver site-specific fertiliser recommendations to smallholder rice growers in Myanmar using leaf photos and the farmer’s knowledge. Brilliant news Sam, well done!

Sam Coggins Pic 3

Sam Coggins Pic 1

Well done to Cotton YFC Alexandria Galea who was recently nominated for the Ministers Emerging Leaders Award at the AgFutures Investment and Innovation Forum in Brisbane.

Alexandria Galea

#YouthVoices18 #YouthinAg #YoungFarmingChampions

Young Farming Champions Muster November 2018 2nd Edition

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

Happy National Agriculture Day!

This week we’ve gone all out to celebrate National Agriculture Day in a BIG way, culminating in The Archibull Prize National Awards and Exhibition Day at Sydney Olympic Park on Tuesday.

School students, teachers, YFC and special guests travelled from across Australia to be part of the 2018 Archibull Prize. Mega congrats to everyone involved: all the winners, participants, movers-and-shakers behind the scenes and espeically to Hurlstone Agricultural High School whose Archie “Brahman” took out the Grand Champion Archibull award for 2018. For full coverage head to our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter and look for our hashtag #Archie18

But for YFC, our #AgDay celebrations started earlier in the week when 13 YFC travelled to Sydney for a brilliantly engaging professional development workshop…

Sydney Workshop

Current and alumnus Young Farming Champions gathered at the magnificent Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) Headquarters in Sydney for a workshop. Admiring the wonderful view of the harbour and the bridge from the boardroom of AWI, the YFC attended sessions on understanding and working with different personalities, understanding how policy is developed and refining the elevator pitches. This workshop the YFC were lucky enough to be joined by the experienced management team of Gaye Steel, Greg Mills and Jenni Metcalfe that challenged and brought the workshop to life as well as experts in the policy writing and social media fields.

Workshop

This workshop also saw a YFC workshop first with 4 Alumni YFC joining via video conference on Sunday for a very special session with the incredible Paige Burton on the effective use and ins-and-outs of social media. This allowed some of our YFC to join from as far away as Wilcannia!  Paige shared with the group many of the techniques of ensuring that the reach of the YFC are heard far and wide. We can certainly see how this young lady was named by Impact 25 as on of the 25 Most Influential People in the Social Sector. There will be many products of this workshop on social media this week for the #Archie18 Archibull prize awards.

The products of the weekend were even more accomplished YFC (which is hard to believe considering the rest of the achievements in this weeks Muster) in the arts of social media, pitches, interviewees and #youthvoices of agriculture!

In the Field

Grains YFC, farmer and talented photographer Marlee Langfield has started canola harvest on her property in the NSW Riverina. “I have harvested more seeds than I planted, so I’ve already won!” Marlee jokes! “Very busy times right now, but I’m loving it.” Check out this gorgeous shot Marlee took of her crop earlier in the season:

Marlee's Canola

Did you catch Landline on Sunday? Cotton YFC Alexander Stephens is driver extraordinaire behind the wheel of the cotton harvester in this awesome story on the revival of cotton growing in the Kimberley Ord River region.

Out of the Field

Rice YFC Erika Heffer visited Parliament House in Sydney this week for the Parliamentary Friends of Landcare event, highlighting Local Landcare Coordinators who have run unique projects this year.  Erika says, “The highlight was meeting ministers that have an interest in Landcare and hearing Niall Blair, the Minister for Primary Industries, acknowledge Rob Dulhunty, the Landcare NSW outgoing chair.”

Erika Landcare
Murray region Local Landcare Coordinator Erika Heffer and Local Landcare Coordinator from Bland Temora in the Riverina Britt Turner

Cotton YFC and founding member of Farmers for Climate Action Anika Molesworth spoke with ABC Radio National this week, tackling the question “How can farmers adapt and innovate to ensure the future of farming and our agricultural land?” Listen to Anika’s interview here.

Beef YFC and our current Aussie-in-Canada correspondent Kirsty McCormack presented for a 4H group in Brandon, Manitoba last week. She shared her insights on Young Farming Champion and Archibull Prize programs as well as the Australian beef industry and its challenges. Well done Kirsty!

Kirsty McC

Grains YFC Keiley O’Brien has been featured in this week’s Allied Grain Systems “Mates in Grain.”

Read Keiley’s full story on the Allied Grain Systems Blog here.

Keiley OBrien.jpg

 

Prime Cuts

Well done to Cotton YFC Alexandria Galea who was named a finalist in the Queensland Ministers Emerging Leader Award for innovation leading to profitability and sustainability. Finaists and winners were celebrated at Wednesday’s AgFutures Innovation and Investment Forum in Brisbane.

Congratulations to YFC Anika Molesworth on her win in the NSW and ACT Regional Achievement and Community Awards on Friday. Anika took out the Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award. Well done!

Huge congrats to Wool YFC and Wool Technical Coordinator Sam Wan who is up for the title of Elders Employee of the Year. Kudos Sam!

Exciting international news for Beef YFC and stud Limousin cattle breeder Jasmine Green and husband Hayden from Summit Livestock. Jas and Hayden’s cow Summit Meadowgrass was named “Limousin Miss World” in the world Cattlemarket.net championships. While Jas stayed home to keep the stud cows fed and watered, Hayden travelled to Farmfair in Edmonton, Canada last week to receive the award. Summit Meadowgrass was nominated to represent Australia after winning supreme exhibit at Sydney Royal Show earlier this year. Incredible achievement, well done Jasmine!

Jasmine Greens Miss World cow win

Cotton YFC, agronomist and farmer Emma Ayliffe had a special visit from ADAMA Agricultural Solutions head office representatives (who’d just popped in from Israel!) and local managers last week to receive her Runner Up Young Agronomist of the Year award. Top job, Emma!

Emma with ADAMA rep

#ArchieAction #YouthinAg #YouthVoices18