The world needs creative, innovative and courageous young people who can connect, collaborate and act. We know that youth may only be 20% of the population but they are 100% of the future. The time is now to let them share their dreams and design the future they want to see.
This fortnight’s top stories from our Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the globe!
Last weekend YFC gathered in Sydney to celebrate the achievements of 2019, learn new skills, develop expertise and plan for the year ahead. Let’s jump straight over to YFC Dione Howard for a workshop recap:
Friday through to Monday saw new YFC learn from coach Jenni Metcalfe of Econnect Communications. Jenni worked with YFC to develop interview skills for speaking on camera and working with the media. Coach Josh Farr worked with YFC alumni to develop strategies for managing conflict, time management and the ever-important social media.
YFC Jasmine Whitten and YVLT acting chair Emma Ayliffe wowed the group on Saturday night with presentations that are sure to inspire their audience into the new year.
Monday saw YFC come together with students from Wee Waa and Lake Cargelligo High Schools who had travelled to Sydney for The Archibull Prize on Tuesday. Simone Tunbridge from ABC’s Heywire program stepped the group through developing and sharing a powerful story.
And the action didn’t stop on Monday as the workshop wrapped up – next it was time for the 10th Annual Archibull Prize Awards. Like a fine wine they keep getting better with age!
Over to YFC Katherine Bain for an Archibull Awards run down:
The 2019 Archibull Prize is definitely one to remember! I was really impressed with where the kids drew their inspiration from for their Archies. They used these inspirations to tell their story of Ag, with all its complexities, really well. When I got to interview them, their passion for the Archies really shined which was so heartening to see. Some of my favorite Archies were Beaudesert’s Milking cow, Hurlstone’s completely felted cow and Lake Cargelligo’s Hydroponic cow. Some of the highlights of the day were Costa Geogiadis’s moving talk and the energy that he brought to the room and Beaudesert’s emotional win as the Grand Champion for 2019!
It was a massive day for everyone involved, but so fulfilling seeing everyone smiling at the end of the day, knowing that months of hard work had paid off.
The Young Farming Champions team would love to thank all of our supporters and sponsors of The Archibull Prize for 2019 – we love working with schools in this program and are proud of what each student learns and achieves when participating in The Archibull Prize!
In the Field
Wheat and barley harvest is in full swing at Grains YFC Marlee Langfield’s farm, Wallaringa, Cowra. Marlee, a talented photographer who also runs Marlee Langfield Photography, sent through this photo essay: “We are very thankful for our harvest and hope everyone stays safe this harvest season.”
Out of the Field
Climate YFC and western NSW farmer Anika Molesworth is on the journey of a lifetime with Homeward Bound, heading to Antarctica as part of a collaborative effort towards leadership for #climateaction. Anika is one of 111 women – the largest ever female group to head to Antarctica – from 33 countries, and she has also been chosen to support Al Gore’s Climate Reality leadership organisation, presenting on how she perceives the climate crisis through the lens of her work. We are so incredibly proud of you Anika. Keep the updates coming!
Follow @AnikaMolesworth on Twitter and @anikamolesworth on Instagram to keep up to date.
To celebrate National Agriculture Day, Wool YFC and Senior Biosecurity Officer Lucy Collingridge had a chat with Kristy Reading on ABC New England North West. Take a listen here. In a celebration of our agricultural industry, Lucy spoke about the great progression our agricultural industry has achieved in recent decades, the opportunities available in our agricultural industries – including a large range of jobs, overseas study tours and conferences – and how supportive our industry is. For a young women who comes from a non-agricultural background, Lucy should be incredibly proud of her achievements over recent years, including study tours to Argentina, Uruguay and Canada, the completion of a Graduate Certificate in Agriculture and involvement in many country shows across NSW, and she believes the Young Farming Champion program is a fantastic platform to be able to share her experiences with other young people and show them the opportunities available in the Australian agricultural industry.
Speaking of National Agriculture Day, we’ve announced the winners of our National Ag Day comp, hosted alongside Little Brick Pastoral, Career Harvest and Celistino. Well done to all the entrants and winners! Jump over here to read all about it.
We’re in Outback Mag! Thanks to the marvelous Picture You in Agriculture journalist Mandy McKeesick our YFC program and wonderful wool YFC Samantha Wan are featured in the December/January issue of R.M. Williams Outback Magazine.
“Since inception 10 years ago, the Young Farming Champions program has trained more than 100 people to promote agriculture to young people.
“At Burwood Girls High School in Sydney students are excitedly awaiting a farmer. Many will be imagining an older white male, so when 31-year-old Sam Wan breezes through the door, preconceptions and stereotypes fly straight out the window. Sam is young. She is female. And she is one of them. As a first-generation Chinese-Australian born in the western suburbs of Sydney, Sam’s own stereotypical career path may have been a doctor or lawyer, but she has found her calling as a wool broker in Melbourne, and her enthusiasm for the industry is infectious.”
Read more here. And buy December/January issue of Outback Magazine to read the full story!
University of New England YFC Becca George was in The Land last week, speaking about her involvement with Angus Youth Roundup and dreams for the future. Read the article below:
Well done to YFC Bronwyn Roberts from B R Rural Business who spoke at the Young Beef Producers Forum in Roma, Qld.
Cotton YFC Alexandria Galea was spotted in the new National Ag Day video “The Quiet Farmer” from Rabbit Hop Films:
The Quiet Farmer from Rabbit Hop Films on Vimeo.
Congratulations to YVLT acting chair Emma Ayliffe who has been announced as a semi finalist in the First National Real Estate Leadership category of the 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards. We wish you so much luck in the judging Emma and appreciate all the hard work you have put into the Picture You in Agriculture programs throughout 2019 (and before!)
Read this wonderful story in the Lake Cargelligo News which details Emma’s dedication beautifully.
Congratulations also to YVLT Communication Creative Team Leader Bessie Thomas who won the Spirit Category of the Weekly Times and Harvey Norman Shine Awards. Bessie and her husband Shannan flew to Melbourne for the intimate awards luncheon with the other category winners at Cruden Farm. They were hosted by Harvey Norman CEO Katie Page and chairman of The Herald and Weekly Times Penny Fowler. Read more here.
Bessie says the experience was an absolute delight and honour.
“Meeting the other finalists and sharing in their stories was very special. These awards really bring to light the incredible things rural women are doing all over Australia, that there is often no other recognition for. I’m so thrilled and proud to be among such a dedicated, courageous and passionate bunch of humans.”
Congratulations to Wool YFC Matt Cumming and his fiance Heidi who got engaged on the weekend. Best wishes to you both!
This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the country…
In the Field
YFC Tim Eyes from The Food Farm: Central Coast has been busy making hay (while the sun shines)! “When I started farming on the coast I was told you cannot make hay here and I am still told that every week. Yet this is my first season doing small squares and third season in round bales,” Tim says.
“It’s very hard to access information from fellow hay farmers. I think making hay is in people’s blood and they seem to just know how to do it but it’s hard to articulate what they are looking for. In saying that, making hay is one of the best things I get to do on the farm. It’s a lovely process.”
Acting Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) chair and YFC Emma Ayliffe is harvesting wheat at her home near Lake Cargelligo, NSW. Though it’s not a bumper crop, due to drought, she was happy to have the job done before this week’s forecast rain.
As agronomist and business owner of Summit Agriculture, one part of Emma’s current day job has her completing cotton trials. This photo shows the effects of using biodegradable film to increase soil temperature and increase plant growth. You can see the difference for yourself in these 3 week old (4 node) cotton plants:
Elders agronomist and YFC Dee George has been lucky to be working with some lush, green crops in the Western Districts of Victoria. “Where I live is has been a very lucky part of Australia for rainfall,” Dee says.
“Here is a client’s pasture – a mix of cereals, annual ryegrass, balansa clover and shaftal clover – he cut for silage. The windrows were so large I couldn’t get my arms around it!”
Our resident Biosecurity Officer and Wool YFC Lucy Collingridge has been busy with emergency management training recently. This training is aimed at building the skills and knowledge of staff who respond to an emergency response, such as a fire, flood or disease outbreak. This is an essential part of making sure our agricultural industry is ready for anything thrown at it!
Much of eastern Australia has seen its most widespread rain event in six months, but it’s been hit and miss for our YFC across drought affected areas.
Wool YFC and YVLT Communication Creative Team Leader Bessie Thomas is celebrating following an incredible 57mm of rain in 3 hours yesterday. If you’re in the far-west you might have caught Bessie chatting to ABC Broken Hill radio on Monday morning about the lucky break.
Out of the Field
YVLT acting chair Emma Ayliffe had the opportunity to tell her story at Chicks in the Sticks in Moonambel Victoria on Saturday 26th October. Emma says it was a great day, where participants had the opportunity to do workshops with soils a well as a tour of the Moonambel Gap Olive Grove. After a gorgeous grazing platter lunch Emma shared her story with 90 rural and regional women. “The highlight of the afternoon was meeting so many wonderful women from diverse backgrounds that were all meeting for the love of their rural lifestyles and to support the producers in their own backyard,” Emma says.
Wool YFC Peta Bradley attended the AAABG (Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics) conference in Armidale last week. Bringing together the latest research in animal genetics, with extension staff and farmers. “I was also lucky enough to present in a session on the breeders day,” Peta says. And by all accounts she did a fantastic job!
The NSW Landcare & Local Land Services conference in Broken Hill was a hit according to YFC Jasmine Whitten. Earlier in the year Jasmine was selected as one of 16 presenters at the conference.
She had the pleasure of sharing an education program called ‘Healthy Soils, Healthy Farms” which she helped design and deliver with the Buckwaroon Landcare group – a group of farmers from Cobar. The education program aimed to help primary school students in grade 4 understand how farmers care for the soil through the use of QR codes, science experiments and a stream table to understand how water moves through our landscape.
Jasmine’s presentation was a huge hit at the conference, with attendees declaring it was one of the best and many people deciding to use similar ideas in their activities. Jasmine was also one of the five young people who received an Intrepid Landcare Sponsorship to attend the conference which was supported by the Bio Conservation Trust (BCT). This scholarship has seen Jasmine explore the concept of ‘How we can work together to conserve biodiversity on private land?’ which she is busily trying to finalise to share with the world, so stay tuned!
Climate YFC Anika Molesworth, Wool YFC Melissa Henry and Rice YFC Erika Effer also attended the conference and the four superstars took the chance to catch up, which is fabulous to see. Well done team!
University of New England YFC Becca George was invited to guest speak at the Zonta Club of Armidale’s October meeting. “I spoke on my personal experiences with drought as well as at the UNICEF Youth Drought Summit earlier in October,” Becca says. “With Armidale on Level 5 water restrictions & the smaller surrounding towns nearing ‘Day 0’ there were questions from the members about what was discussed at the summit regarding water. Thank you Zonta Club of Armidale!”
Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association (ARCBA) scholarship winners and UNE YFC Becca George and Ruby Canning attended the Young Breed Leaders Workshop.
YFC Becca George and her sister and YFC alumni Dee George are showcased in this month’s NSW Farmers magazine ‘The Farmer.’ Their family has been farming Central West NSW since 1912 and you can read the full story here: Nevertire Women Lead The Way on Family Farm
In an extra busy week for Becca, she also attended the Australian Women in Agriculture (AWiA) national conference in Ballina, NSW. “I recently received one of the student scholarships to attend the 2019 AWiA Conference, awarded by the committee,” Becca says. “The theme of this years conference was ‘Review, Renew, Regenerate’. The sessions included topics on culture in agribusiness, current and emerging risks in the industry, regenerative agriculture, as well as the importance of self care and maintaining physical and mental health. Thank you to the Australian Women in Agriculture Committee for giving me the opportunity to attend this event & network with likeminded women.”
YFC and grain farmer Marlee Langfield and her fiancé Andrew are the new face of “Tang Laysy Import Export Co., Ltd.” Ad for canola oil which has hit the streets of Cambodia!
Marlee’s face also made the cover of the National Farmers Federation (NFF) 2030 Roadmap, which included the national drought policy. You’re changing the face of Aus Ag in the best possible way Marlee!
NFF 2030 Leader and Friend of the YFC Matt Champness was spotted over on the Crawford Fund website. Read this update on his time as part of the Crawford Fund’s Laos-Australia agricultural mentoring program.
As a past Youth Ag Summit delegate, Aimee shared her story on how the Youth Ag Summit helped her journey to becoming Little Brick Pastoral. This year’s delegates will be challenged to create their own project, so Aimee spoke about her love of photography, farming, and improving youth education, and why and how she ventured into photographing LEGO.
It was at the Youth Ag Summit Aimee realised the consumers of 2050 are the youth of today, and therefore sharing knowledge of how food and fibre is produced should start with them – and what better way than LEGO. Well done Aimee!
Friend of the YFC Guy Coleman is an Australian delegate to the 2019 Youth Ag Summit. Good luck Guy!
This week alone our YFC have been acknowledged by the community in some tremendous ways and we couldn’t be more proud!
Climate YFC and InStyle Farmer for Change, Klorane Changemaker and 2019 Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence (AFR WOI) Aumna Anika Molesworth, attended the AFR WOI dinner celebrating the 2019 nominees with Picture You in Agriculture founder Lynne Strong.
Rice YFC Erika Heffer won the 2019 Austcover Young Landcare Leadership Award.
Well done Jasmine Whitten on your outstanding presentation at 2019 NSW Landcare and LLS Conference!
Mega Congratulations to YFC Emma Ayliffe, Lucy Collingridge, Dione Howard and Bessie Thomas who have all been named on the NSW Department of Primary Industries Hidden Treasures Honour Roll 2019. The Hidden Treasures Honour Roll celebrates women volunteers who give so much to their rural communities. We couldn’t agree more that these women are absolute treasures!
And just between us and the fence post, there are a few more exciting awards in the pipeline for our YFC over the next few weeks. We can’t wait to share the news with you. Watch this space!
We are on count down to our 2019 Archibull Prize Awards and it’s time to head over to the Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page to keep up with the action! We’ve asked this year’s YFC to share their favourite blogs from the schools participating in this year’s competition. There’s lots to read and get excited about ahead of awards day onNovember 19th. Check it out!
AND…. Time is running out to vote for the 2019 Archibull Prize People’s Choice Award! It only takes a few minutes to look through he amazing artwork entries this year and pick your favourite. We’ve already counted more than 32,000 votes. Yes, that’s THIRTY TWO THOUSAND votes. Can we beat our all time record of 60,000? Vote now and don’t forget to share the link with your friends!
Join the fabulous Costa Georgiadis our guest of honour at the awards ( immortlaised in Lego by Lego Farmer Aimee Snowden) in celebrating our incredible 2019 Archibull Pirze finalist schools
Top stop stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the globe!
In the Field
“Connect and Collaborate” are the two words we use most often at YFC HQ, and this week it’s our pleasure to start our Muster with two stories highlighting these values.
Wool YFC and Tasmanian based shearer Tom Squires and YFC and Wool Broker of the Year Samantha Wan teamed up to secure sale success for Squires Pastoral.
Just 18 months since the start of the Squires Pastoral wool growing operation, Tom Squires has topped the weaner wool price for the Elders Wool Sale on October 10th. Elders Wool Auctioneer Samantha Wan sold Tom’s first three bales of wool at $14.32 per Kg, topping the weaner wool category in the sale.
Tom says, “While the market has taken a beating with prices falling 33 percent in 12 months, I’m positive there is a future for wool. The wool market is one of the most volatile markets in the world, but you take the lows with the highs and at the end of the day just hope that the highs outweigh the lows.”
Given the current market, Tom was happy with the result and says “it’s a nice feeling knowing that the wool you work to produce is in demand.” Tom’s remaining three bales will be held onto in the hope the market rises in the coming months. Well done to you both!
From the wool warehouses of Melbourne to the dry paddocks of New South Wales, where two Grain YFC have connected to help each other’s farm businesses prosper through the drought.
Narromine based YFC Keiley O’Brien and Cowra farmer and YFC Marlee Langfield met at their first YFC development workshop in Sydney in 2016. Living, and running farm business, hundreds of kilometres apart meant they didn’t run in the same circles, but this year when Marlee was looking for help with a job she didn’t have the machinery or expertise to do, she knew just who to call. We’ll let them tell the story….
KEILEY: I’ve been in the Art4Agriculture program as a Grains Industry Young Farming Champion since 2016, although where I live, we haven’t had any grain to farm at all this year. And to be honest, the last year or two before that have been touch and go as well. My partner Ross and I, alongside his parents, run our family owned business Noble’s Ag Contracting, based in Narromine, NSW.
We thought this drought would be over by now. We planned our upcoming wedding around it being over. Unfortunately, it’s not. It’s continually getting worse. Skies like the one below show the harsh reality, that this drought is worse than anything we have experienced before. I’m not certain if it is the worst in history, who am I to make that call!? But it certainly is the worst in our history. And living in it is hard.
Just about every morning you can find me out of the house at 6AM on my walk around the property that we live on. I’ve found the daily ritual of walking the best way to start my day, but lately it’s moved from positive to negative, as the paddocks and grass around me, which would usually be looking lush at this time of year, are truly dry and dead.
It’s a slap in the face each morning that our business will struggle to make an income this year. Without anything growing in those paddocks, there is nothing for us to harvest or bale for hay. We certainly aren’t alone in this situation, especially within our area, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier.
We have also lost access to all of our irrigation water, as we pump from the Macquarie River and it is currently at a record low. This means that our irrigated Lucerne enterprise will halt this year, with no water to grow a crop. We also run the risk of our established Lucerne crops dying off due to lack of water and predicted extreme heat over summer.
Financially, this is a worry – especially when some of our irrigation infrastructure is new and still requires repayments. Emotionally, it’s sad to sit back and not be able to do anything about it, like turn the pivot on to keep the crop thriving and an income streaming in. But that’s drought.
It has been dry and bare for a couple of years now. We decided from the start that as a couple of 20-odd year old’s with a young business and a young family that we’d push ourselves hard just to hang in there and get through this drought, and I believe we’ve done that bloody well to date. But that doesn’t mean it’s been easy.
Until this drought hit, we had always been able to source enough work within a one hour radius of home. Now to keep things ticking over Ross is travelling up to seven hours away for hay contracting work. That means plenty of nights apart. Plenty of meals eaten on their own. Plenty of missed family moments and those typical ‘how’s your day been’ conversations. It’s also been filled with plenty of questions from Ruby, our two-year-old, asking where her dad is.
We have been lucky to have some good friends and industry connections who have helped us out by giving us hay cutting jobs throughout this tough time. As hard as travelling long distances and working away from home can be, we are extremely grateful for these opportunities.
One friend, who has helped us by letting us help them, is fellow YFC Marlee Langfield and her fiancé Andrew Gallagher at Wallaringa, Cowra.
MARLEE: Andrew and I made the decision to cut all our 2019 canola crop for hay. Of course, this was not the original plan. Normally we would harvest the canola in November for seed and it would be sold to companies that would press the seeds for oil and use the byproducts for animal feed. However, due to the drought and the significant lack of rain on the spring forecast, the tough decision had to be made.
Growing canola for oil consists of waiting until flowering is finished (late September) and the plants then “pod up” forming seeds in the pods. Once 60 percent of the seed in the pods has changed colour the canola is ready for windrowing (cutting) and is then laid in rows on top of the stalks in the paddock to dry out, before harvesting the seed 10 days to two weeks later. But cutting Canola for hay must occur during the flowering stage as this is when the crop is at peak biomass…perfect for hay! Thus, the decision to make hay has to be made early in the growing season.
As we don’t normally aim to make hay, we lack the necessary machinery to do so. I’d seen on Nobles Ag contracting website they had the correct hay equipment and knowledge. Ross was keen and able to help, so the business relationship started from there.
What seemed like endless hectares of cutting, re-conditioning, raking, baling and stacking (add some sleepless nights in there too) later, we have hay!
Andrew and I are really appreciative to Nobels Ag Contracting for their professional hay making services. We now have a quality product ready to sell!
Out of the Field
Grains YFC Calum Watt attended the Fresh Science program in Perth last week and says it was a really valuable experience, training with TV, radio and industry engagement. Calum’s highlight was trying to present the crux of his research (on barley and wheat, hence the beer in hand below) in the time in takes a sparkler to run out of puff, which is about 30 seconds: “Tough!”
Wool YFC and Local Lands Service Biosecurity officer Lucy Collingridge and NFF 2030 Leader and Lego Farmer Aimee Snowdon caught up at the Cootamundra Show… along with Channel Seven’s Weekend Sunrise weather presenter James Tobin who opened the show.
Wool YFC Lucy is the social media and website manager, chief Merino steward and chief steward of the fleece Young Judges Competition, as well as stewarding in other sections as needed. Aimee Snowden attended as an ASC Next Generation Group 9 Delegate and helped with the Young Judges Competitions and beef cattle stewarding.
With string numbers of sheep and cattle exhibited, it was a real booster for the local agricultural industry in a time of hardship. Friday featured more than 100 school aged youth competing in the Young Judges Competitions for fleece, Merino, grains, fruit and veg, meat breed sheep and beef cattle. Lucy and Aimee both helped coordinate these events, which sees one or two students from each group final competition become eligible to compete at the state finals at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
YFC Marlee Langfield caught up with Cootamundra MP Steph Cooke at her local show on the October long weekend. Marlee is an active member of the Morongla Show and admin of the show’s facebook page. She said “It was an absolute fantastic day where traditions were celebrate and memories made.”
Spotted in The Land this week: Wool YFC Max Edwards buying rams at the Boxleigh Park Merinos annual ram sale last week, showcasing the best of the best in Wellington, NSW.
Our friends the NFF 2030 Leaders caught up at the National Farmers Federation’s 40th Birthday Celebrations last week.
YFC Martin Murray and Tegan Nock also attended and graduated from the 2019 cohort of the 2030 NFF Leaders Program.
Coming up Out of the Field
Eggs and Poultry YFC Jasmine Whitten and Wool YFC Melissa Henry are both crossing the state to attend the Landcare Forum in Broken Hill at the end of the month. Melissa will be attending with her Local Lands Services group and the Saving the Superb Parrot project, which is up for an award. Good luck Mel.
Climate YFC Anika Molesworth is heading to the icy cold of Antarctica mid November as part of Homeward Bound. She’s busy doing lots of preparation, reading about Antarctica, doing homework of science communication and visibility, and organising warm clothes!
“Homeward Bound is a 12-month leadership program which culminates in a three-week intensive voyage to Antarctica. The initiative, turned global movement, aims to heighten the influence and impact of women in STEMM, in order to impact policy and decision making as it shapes our planet. “
Beef YFC Jasmine Green from Summit Livestock has been touring the country judging show cattle at shows in Melbourne and Launceston and if you’re heading to the Geelong Show this week you might catch her there too! Say hi if you see her.
Congratulations YFC Sally Downie! The Charles Sturt University student and dairy farmer has been named Australian Agricultural Student of the Year at the 2019 Farmer of the Year Awards. What an achievement! Well done Sally. Read more here.
Congratulations NFF 2030 Leader Matt Champness who has been named Novice Category winner of the Australian Farm Institute’s John Ralph Essay Competition on The Future of Animal Agriculture. Well done Matt!
And we’re very proud of friend of the YFC Greg Mills, from GoAhead Business Solutions, whose essay entry was also shortlisted in the open category and will be published in AFI’s November journal. Congratulations Greg!
Congratulations to Wool YFC Cassie Baile who has been named one if six finalists in the Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association Ltd Awards.
We’re on the countdown to our 2019 Archibull Awards on the 19th November and celebrating this year’s excellent Archie entries over on the Picture You in Agriculture Facebook Page. Pop on over to see all our exciting news, including:
This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions around the world…
In the Field
What better way to start the week than with news just in from the rice fields of Myanmar, where YFC Sam Coggins is working as a Soil Research Officer at the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) – a government agency in Australia’s aid program that commissions agricultural research to support farmers in developing countries and Australia.
Sam sent us this “Day in the Life” snapshot:
We work with partners in Asia, Africa and the Pacific to collaboratively create practical solutions for shared farming challenges. The ultimate goal to support food security, sustainability and economic prosperity for us and our neighbours. For example, one project is analysing how rice growers in Myanmar and Australia could use fertilizer more productively and sustainably. Part of my job has been iterating a digital fertilizer advisory tool with farmers in Myanmar to learn how we can make it useful for them.
Here is an average day of prototype iterations:
Have strangely tasty naan with beans in it (local Myanmar brekky dish), drive to the house of local research partners and plan consultations for the day.
Travel to villages and sit down with farmers to chat about farming and bounce the latest prototypes of digital fertilizer advisory tool off them.
Return to our accommodation, chat through what we learned and redevelop the parts of the smartphone app that farmers didn’t like.
I love my job because it has so much variety and I get to practically contribute to stuff I really believe in.
Back in Australia, resident Biosecurity Officer and wool Young Farming Champion Lucy Collingridge recently held the final meeting in a two year long feral pig monitoring project. The project, which is part of a PhD project for feral pig expert Darren Marshall of SQ Landscapes, involved the collaring of feral pigs to monitor their movement across the landscape, the testing of blood samples for zoonotic diseases and an index of abundance camera monitoring project. Another essential aspect of the project is the community perception and participation in feral pig control.
The project was initially featured on landline in 2018, and a follow up segment was aired last weekend. Watch the story here.
Lucy also held a meeting to support the landholders involved in the Cuttabri area who successfully obtained a grant to manage pests and weeds in their area. Feral cat and feral pig traps have been sourced locally, grain for free feeding and ammunition for the humane destruction of pest animals have been supplied to the group to support their in-kind work in controlling pest animals on their holdings. This program is also supported by Australian Wildlife Conservency who are actively working in the Pilliga National Park and State Conservation Adea fo reintroduce native species such as the Bilby.
Information about the grant can be found here.
Grains YFC Keiley O’Brien made time to get amongst it and snap some beautiful family photos in the crops. Keiley and her partner Ross run Nobel’s Contracting and are experiencing their most wide spread hay making season yet, with jobs from Tullamore, to Cowra to Balranald.
Wool YFC Bessie Thomas is getting ready for shearing across their western NSW properties this month. Their shearing team will shear about 10,000 merinos during the next few weeks, with the wool then heading down to Elders wool technician and auctioneer Samantha Wan to work her magic fetching the best price for the fibre.
Wool YFC Melissa Henry from Quebon Coloured Sheep hosted the Re-Gen Grazing Group at their farm near Young, NSW. “We were out in the paddocks looking at pasture, root growth and soils. We received some really positive feedback and a few tips on how we can further improve our pastures through grazing management. Thank you Boorowa Community Landcare Group, Scott Hickman and all members of this very supportive group,” Melissa says.
Out of the Field
The September School Holidays marked the arrival of the Royal Melbourne Show. Besides the showbags, carnival rides, horse events & livestock judging there’s another side of agricultural show’s that’s not always seen by the general public. Wool YFC Sam Wan & YVLT Chair Dr Jo Newton had the opportunity to experience some of this.
Dressed to impress, Sam and Jo attended the Official Opening of the Royal Melbourne Show with the Governor of Victoria the Hon. Linda Dessau AC. Sam attended as a finalist for this year’s Emerging Leader in Victorian Agriculture (ELVA) awards while Jo was there as a 2018 ELVA winner. They were accompanied by Sam’s husband Tom (left) and Jo’s brother James (right).
In addition to recognising young people who are passionate about careers in agriculture, events during the show also pay tribute to the army of people who bring the show to life.
Jo says, “Attending the Art, Craft and Cookery High Tea opened my eyes to a whole other side of the show. At this year’s show more than 4000 entries were received across all the art, craft and cookery judging categories. This is many more entries than the 172 received at the first competition in 1911! The High Tea is an opportunity to not only acknowledge the Championship winners but also celebrate all the stewards – show volunteers – who take care of the logistics of such a big competition. It was fascinating learning more about what’s involved in this part of the show.”
In further Melbourne Show news, YFC Jasmine Green was a judge in the Beef Cattle Interbreed competition and National Farmers Federation 2030 Leader and Lego Farmer Aimee Snowdon attended the Agribusiness Leaders Luncheon.
Congrats to Jo Newton also for her second opinion piece for Farm Online, “What we can learn from the Visible Farmer Project.” Read the story here.
Climate YFC and founder of Climate Wise Agriculture Anika Molesworth is proud of her local council has become the latest to declare a Climate Emergency. Anika addressed Broken Hill Council and a room full of supporters last week as part of the public forum and the Landcare group that was driving this declaration. She says the council chambers broke into loud applause in support of the declaration.
“The role of local government in responding to #ClimateChange is critical. It’s not just about reducing our emissions but helping our residents respond and build resilience to the impacts of a changing climate. Impacts are being experienced by our local community, environment and infrastructure,” Anika says.”
“Building pressure on higher levels of government to fund and legislate for emergency action to restore a safe climate is the most critical task a council can undertake”
Anika appeared in Women’s Day last month, writing about the national climate marches, and the Barrier Daily Times last week speaking on council declaration. Keep up the great work Anika!
University of New England YFC Becca George traveled to Dalby, Qld, for the 2019 SMARTBEEF Conference was held from October 2nd – 4th. “Some highlights of SMARTBEEF include the demonstration of the ‘bunk bot’ an autonomous bunk reading robot, and a Q&A and demonstration from celebrity chef Jess Pryles, also known as ‘hardcore carnivore,’” Becca says.
“Jess cooked tri tip beef using her line of meat seasoning and a smoker. There were many great speakers, demos and of coarse yummy grain fed beef! Thank you to Angus Australia for sponsoring me to attend SMARTBEEF 2019.”
Grains YFC Marlee Langfield was mentioned in parliament by Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke MP following last month’s Pizza and Pitch series of consultations with youth across the Cootamundra electorate.
In the video below Steph Cooke MP says, “Among the many inspirational attendees in Cowra was Marlee Langfield who would like to see a better connection between current Agricultural Show Societies and the next generation. We spoke about the stigma young people experience in joining committees and groups and discussed ways to move forward towards bettter integration and acceptance.”
Marlee also appeared in The Land Newspaper this week, celebrating 100 years of the Morongla Show. Marlee is an enthusiastic volunteer on her local show committee.
Ruby Canning has also recently landed the role of media and publicity coordinator for the UNE Farming Futures executive committee. You’ll rock it Ruby!
YFC Sally Downie has been named a finalist for Agricultural Student of the Year in the Farmer of the Year awards, and Picture You in Agriculture founder Lynne Strong and Sally’s YFC mentor Meg Rice have been officially invited to attend this year’s awards ceremony. Good Luck Sally!
In the world of cotton, two past YFC Billy Browning and Richie Quigley have been announced Nuffield Australia scholarship recipients. Huge congrats!
Billy Browning has also been named a finalist in the ADAMA Young Cotton Achiever of the Year Awards. Good luck Billy.
Perth based grains YFC Calum Watt travelled to Brisbane as a finalist in the 3 Minute Thesis competition, although he didn’t progress to the final we’re incredibly proud of his efforts. This week he’s back in WA learning all things TV and radio communication as part of the Fresh Science program. This wraps up with informal “layman’s presentations” on big scientific topics on Wednesday night. Good luck Calum!
Jump onto Facebook and follow Red Meat YFC Kirsty McCormack’s page Cow Nerd Girl, sharing her insights into rodeo and international agriculture from Australia to Canada. “Writing has always been a secret love, along with the camera this is permanently attached to my arm,” Kirsty writes. “With an opinion always formed I decided I would share some of these moments (good and bad) with the rest of the world.” If you’ve ever wondered what life is like in the world of Canadian beef ranches and rodeo, follow along here.
This beautiful photo below of YFC Bessie Thomas’s daughter Airlie was re-grammed by ABC Kids sustainability warrior Dirt Girl #dirtgirlworldofficial
The 10th Annual Judging Tour of the Archibull Prize is kicking off and we’ve received some fabulous sneak peaks! If you don’t follow us on Facebook, now’s the time to pop over to Picture You in Agriculture and enjoy our most favourite time of year: #ArchieAction time!
More detailed photos and video of all this year’s amazing entries will be going up on the Art4AgricultureChat blog so WATCH THIS SPACE as we head towards the biggest event of our year, the Archibull Prize Finals!
This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the globe.
In the Field
Spring is here and our young farmers are starting the season on a high. They’re planting trees, shearing sheep, hanging out with cute little lambs and stopping to smell the wildflowers along the way.
Wool YFC Melissa Henry, from Quebon Coloured Sheep, has been busy planting trees with her three year old daughter Ruby on their farm near Young, NSW. “ We’re planting Yellow Box, Apple Box, White Box and Blakley’s Red Gum,” Mel says. “These species are part of the threatened ecological community of Box Gum Grassy Woodlands on the SW Slopes of NSW. We are planting paddock trees to provide connectivity across the landscape for the Superb Parrot and other woodland bird species as well as providing shade for our sheep. It’s a win win.”
Another Woolly YFC and YVLT Communications Creative Team Leader Bessie Thomas is enjoying the first season of wildflowers in three years on her sheep station in far west NSW. Bessie says good rain received in April and May has lead to the spring flourish at their Wilcannia property, while drought has made conditions too dry to grow wildflowers in the previous two years. With temperatures heating up quickly and bushfires across Australia’s eastern states we’ve got our fingers crossed for some spring and summer rain for all those who need it.
YFC, agronomist and director of Summit Agriculture Emma Ayliffe took a break from her usual work outside among the cotton and almond crops to rousey in the shearing shed on her farm near Lake Cargelligo, NSW. Emma and her partner Craig shore their 200 Dohne Merino ewes and crutched their remaining 100 lambs. “Considering how dry it has been we have managed to keep the stock in great condition,” Emma says. “The remaining 100 lambs will hopefully be sold in the next 4-6 weeks.”
In keeping with the wool theme, our resident Local Land Services (LLS) vet and Wool YFC Dione Howard has been hanging out with the cutest little lambs near her hometown of Lockhart, NSW, during lamb marking: “These little ones were too young to be marked so they were hanging out waiting.”
Dione has started a new Instagram account with the Riverina LLS vet team showcasing what’s happening in the field. Check out @locallivestockvets on Instagram to follow Dione and her colleagues, along with all their cool cases, seasonal warnings, animal health updates and more.
And check out these cuties hanging out with our newest Australian Wool Innovation YFC and shearer Tom Squires on the north coast of Tasmania! What a glorious start to spring!
Out of the Field
It’s been a huge fortnight on the ag social calendar for our YFC, as usual!
YFC Emma Ayliffe, Chloe Dutschke and Lucy Collingridge attended the Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner & National Announcement at Parliament House, Canberra.
With over 500 people in attendance, the sell out event included a large number of agri-influencers and provided a range of networking opportunities. Senator The Hon. Bridget McKenzie, NFF’s Fiona Simpson and Tony Maher and journalist Pip Courtney were among those present.
Our YFC also caught up with some friends of the program – NFF 2030 Leader Nicole McDonald and Country to Canberra’s Hannah Wandel were also enjoying the night.
The dinner was the announcement of the national winner of the Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award, with a big congratulations to Jo Palmer from The Rock, NSW for securing the national title.
YFC and YVLT Communication Social Media Coordinator Lucy Collindridge says, “Last night was an amazing opportunity to meet and be inspired by some of the leading female agriculturalists from across Australia. Passionate, hard working, resilient and humble. In the words of Senator The Hon. Bridget McKenzie, ‘You can’t be what you can’t see.’ The 2019 national finalists are a group of rural women showing the world exactly what you can achieve!”
Last week Wool YFC Adele Smith was out and about at the 2019 SWS Stud Merino Breeders Field Day in Harden, NSW. Adele’s employer Moses & Son were sponsors of the event and Adele enjoyed the day chatting to producers and studs about the services they offer – including wool weighing, shown below:
Wool YFC and LLS Biosecutiry Officer Lucy Collingridge coordinated a landholder meeting to finalise a pig ecology and community engagement research project in her area. The project, which is part of a larger scale PhD project for Darren Marshall of SQ Landscapes, looked at the movement of pigs through the environment, the impact of coordinated management programs and the attitudes of farmers in the group to feral pig management.
ABC Landline was back again to film the project, with a segment coming up about the results of the project. If you’re interested to learn more about the project, check out the original Landline story here.
YFC and Local Land Services vet Dione Howard attended Farmers for Climate Action’s conference in Orange and she says it was unlike any conference she has attended before! “The theme of the conference was ‘Risks and rewards of farming in a changing climate’ and the line up of speakers presented just that – the facts of climate change and the effects which are already upon us, but also the opportunities and real solutions that exist to minimise agriculture’s contribution to climate change. It was empowering to take home strategies for land and animal management, resilience and wellbeing.”
University of New England (UNE) YFC Ruby Canning was at the recent Tamworth Show judging for the F002 Qualifying beef paraders. The top 12 from the class will go forward and represent at Sydney Royal Show next year.
Taking advantage of a recent uni holiday break, Ruby ran a workshop at Kempsey High School about parading, clipping and junior judging, which included tips on how to get over the fear of the microphone at judging competitions, show preparation, and beef showmanship.
“This was organised after I judged an outstanding group of students at Kempsey Show earlier this year and about 32 students attended the all-day workshop,” Ruby says. “It was great to be able to provide some guidance to a group of passionate young beef enthusiasts, and hear about some of their aspirations within the industry. I enjoyed sharing my knowledge and insight about my experiences in junior judging and paraders and giving some tips. The feedback was positive, as students enjoyed the opportunity to participate and ask questions, and they were all very appreciative of my time which was lovely.”
Last week NFF 2030 Leader Matt Champness attended the Asia-Pacific Weed Science Society (APWSS) Conference in Kuching, Malaysia. Matt is currently working with rice farmers in Laos and presented some of his work on week control at conference.
Matt sent us this recap from the event: Unsurprisingly due rice being the major crop grown in the region, controlling weeds in rice was the basis for many of the presentation – of high relevance to me. Herbicide resistance would appear to be a major issue in the region – as it is globally. I was therefore disappointed to see so much work on developing new chemistry or differing mixes to overcome this issue. As Einstein famously defined insanity “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
I delivered a presentation on the work the Crawford Fund is doing to build capacity in weed identification and control weeds in direct seeded rice in the Lao PDR. The crux of the presentation was the inter-row cutter we have developed to control weeds. Fortunately there were some great presentations on biological control of weeds and physical and cultural controls – crop competitiveness, row spacing, clean seed etc (a bit more sophisticated than my whipper snipper presso!) I also learnt a great deal about successful methods of capacity building and extension in the region – something I am incredibly passionate about. The conference provided a great opportunity to learn and network with leaders in the region. I must thank the Crawford Fund for their continued support.
Congratulations to fellow NFF 2030 Leader and LEGO Farmer Aimee Snowdon who was the keynote speaker at the gala dinner for the Australasia-Pacific Extension Network (APEN) conference in Darwin. This year’s theme was Extending Horizons – fitting for Aimee’s first trip to the Northern Territory – and she also joined the other keynote speakers and conference organisers on a panel to wrap up the conference.
“I was really inspired by the sharing and collaboration of the delegates,” Aimee says. “The concurrent sessions showcased projects from right across the Australasia Pacific region and across industry. The passion and knowledge of our extension officers, and their drive to deliver improvements, efficiencies and technology for growers is impressive! As a collective they have an incredible story to tell, and make an invaluable contribution to our industry. It was a honour to share the LEGO Farmer with them.”
We’ve got fresh pics from Global Table where Climate YFC Anika Molesworth moderated a panel on Disrupting Climate Change. She also spoke with former US Secretary of State John Kerry about sharing the story of agriculture and how to engage others on climate action.
In the last 30-days, we’ve had more than 6,400 people read about the stories of Young Farming Champions, the Youth Voices Leadership Team, Lynne Strong’s journey leading the organization and all of the support that our range of diverse partners provide us.
If you’d like to learn more about what our team is up to, please look us up, follow our page and let us know what you think.
Coming up Out of the Field…
Henty Machinery Field Days is this week! It runs from Tuesday 17th-Thursday 19th September and there’ll be tractors and trailers and big cultivators. YFC Dione Howard will be at the LLS shed on Wednesday and LEGO Farmer Aimee Snowdon will be speaking at the Charles Sturt University Innovation Hub on Tuesday. Don’t forget to say hi if you see them!
What a week for YFC, InStyle Farmer for Change and founder of Climate Wise Agriculture Anika Molesworth! Anika has been named one of the Australian Financial Review’s 2019 100 Women of Influence. Congratulations Anika! She’s joined by an inspirational and diverse array of influential women, including friend of Picture You in Agriculture and founder of Farmers For Climate Action Anna Rose. Mega kudos to you both.
Congratulations to Grains YFC Calum Watt who has had a phenomenal week of wins. Calum won the Murdoch University’s 3 Minute Thesis competition where research students have to explain their doctoral thesis in less than 180 seconds. He’s is now heading to Brisbane in October for the Asia Pacific finals.
Also this week Calum won the Paul Johnston memorial award for best presentation for an under 35 year old at the National Barley Technical Symposium.
And last but not least, Calum has been accepted into the Fresh Science 2019 WA program, a national competition helping early-career researchers find, and then share, their stories of discovery.
Calum’s PhD sees him using CRISPR technology to improve the productivity of barley crops and he has just submitted his second paper for publication. Huge, huge congrats on all Calum!
Huge congrats also to YFC Emma Ayliffe who has been nominated in the 2020 Telstra Business Women’s Awards! Good luck Emma!
UNE YFC Becca George has just been just announced as one of the ALFA SMARTBEEF Conference scholarship recipients from Angus Australia. She’ll be heading to Dalby, Qld, to attend the conference in the first week of October. Well done Becca, we can’t wait to hear more!
Beef researcher and YFC Steph Fowler (pictured center) attended the the NSW DPI Central West Cluster Regional Research Roundup and won best early career research presentation. Congratulations Steph!
Dairy YFC Sally Downie is also in The Land this week, after telling her story of mental health battles and triumphs in the Hear Them Raw podcast. This is a truly touching story about one incredibly strong woman, who used her personal experiences to launch the Grassroots Blueprint initiative for better rural and regional mental health at a grassroots level. Read Sally’s story here and listen to the podcast Hear Them Raw here.
In conjunction with Sydney Science Park and Little Brick Pastoral, Picture You in Agriculture has launched our third “Imagine Your Dream Career in Agriculture” competition to coincide with National Agriculture Day on November 21. The competition is open to school students Years 5 to 12 and we want them envisage their own career in STEM based agriculture. National Farmers Federation blogged about our comp on Australian Farmers this week: Imagine Your Dream Career in Agriculture
Or head straight to the competition link on our website HERE.
Congratulations to Little Brick Pastoral (aka LEGO Farmer Aimee Snowdon) on your 5th Birthday!
We loved this blog entry from superstar YFC, auctioneer and wool technician Sam Wan, which we’re sure must have been a lifetime highlight! Did you know Icebreaker has a lifetime sock guarantee on its merino socks? We didn’t! Read Sam’s blog Wool For Every Day to find out how she went about returning and replacing her worn out merino socks for FREE! What more incentive do you need for buying wonderful wool?
Anika Molesworth loved her Google Hangout with James Erskine Public School students, who were super excited about their Kreative Koalas learning and loving doing composting and recycling in their school. Anika says they asked awesome questions and they are planning to give a presentation to their 500 peers on climate change.
We all know dogs are a human’s best friend and when it comes to farm dogs they are both best friends and highly valued team members! This week celebrated International Dog Day and YFC Peta Bradley sent us these beautiful pictures of her family’s gorgeous farm dogs from Armatree, NSW.
YFC Dr Danila Marini has been enjoying her week of work outside testing potential applications of virtual fencing with a small flock of young merino ewes. She says the new applications look promising! Good luck with the write up, Danila.
Out of the Field
YFC and Drought Coordinator for Forbes Shire Council Sally Downie hosted a Drought Business Forum on last week as an opportunity for small businesses to come together and speak with a business support service.
“Two presenters from Central West Business HQ attended and contributed to the discussions. They presented on how businesses can adapt to the changing retail environment, how to get other business streams and finance issues. They were also able to offer free additional follow up support for all businesses in a range of ways depending on their individual needs. This is exactly what businesses need due to the limited assistance for drought affected businesses currently available,” Sally says.
“The feedback from event was very useful and will be used to compile a report and sent to relative parties and for council reference to help better support our local businesses.The goal now is to ensure there is follow up and action taken to improve support and create widespread awareness as well as to generate support for these businesses to those outside of Forbes.” Well done a very important community event Sally! If you’d like to read more, head over to our Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page for more.
PYiA founder Lynne Strong represented the YFC team at the Heywire FRRR Youth Innovation Grants Announcements on 18th August and was so inspired by the foresight and courage of the program she blogged about it here: Can we teach Courage? We are huge fans of the Heywrite program, with several of our YFC – including Sally Downie – being Heywire Alumni.
Lots of news in from AgQuip 2019 last month with many of our YFC meeting up at the largest agricultural field day in the country. Ruby Canning sent it this great pic of our five new University of New England YFC, Becca George, Forbes Corby, Ruby Canning, Haylee Murrell and Emily May.
Wool YFC Lucy Collingridge was working with the North West Local Land Services at AgQuip. As part of her role as Biosecurity Officer she spoke with landholders from across the state to provide best practice pest management advice. From wild dogs to rabbits, deer to feral cats, the environmental and agricultural impacts of all pest species were discussed. In her lunch break, Lucy had a quick catch up with egg YFC Jasmine Whitten and grains YFC Marlee Langfield. These three superstars form part of our Youth Voices Leadership Team social media committee and it was the first time they had all met face-to-face together!
YFC and 2019 Peter Westblade Scholarship winner Chloe Dutschke is currently on a wool classing tour of Western Australia as part of her scholarship. Chloe is travelling with Scholarship chairman Craig Wilson and has visited Billandri Poll Merinos, viewing rams and tagging lambs with genetic ID tags. She is currently at Wattle Dale Merinos preparing rams for their inspection day. Have fun Chloe!
Exciting week for YFC Hannah Hawker who got the best seat in the house for the Parkes Show.
“Following a stint as an intern in the announcers box at Sydney Royal this year, I’ve picked up a few gigs for local shows in my area. As much as I am a sucker for any country show, I was particularly excited as we came into the last week of August for my beloved local show,” Hannah says.
“Parkes has a huge selection of events that actually run over four days if you include the horse program on Sunday. I’ve seen the show from a number of angles over my time but this might well have been the best, and I don’t just mean the view from the second story box perched perfectly over the centre of the main arena. A special pass into the pavilions before they opened to the public gave me an insight into the massive effort judging and set up was- run completely by volunteers, usually families, and all for the joy of showcasing our local excellence. People in it for the love of it.
“Print outs, results, sponsors bios, run sheets passed along my desk as the day went on. I had a brief moment to stop and think at the enormity, and level of professionalism, involved in this event.
“Announcing was a hoot as the old hands welcomed me in with enthusiasm and trust well beyond my experience. Events of the days and sponsors making it possible was standard, but the horse events and dog high jump gave opportunity for excitement and ad libbing, getting the crowd involved and sharing some of the knowledge I’d gained over my years. Congratulations to the committee of Parkes PA&H and thank you for letting me be involved!”
Coming up Out of the Field this fortnight:
YFC and Cowra farmer Marlee Langfield is heading to Pizza and Pitch for Cowra Youth, a meetup with Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke. The initiative aims to help MP Steph Cooke inform her priorities and goals to make towns in the Cootamundra electorate better places to live. Steph Cooke is calling for young locals to pitch ideas for their communities and we’re no doubt the incredibly community minded Marlee will have some great ones!
Are you heading to Global Table in Melbourne this week? YFC and InStyle Farmer for Change Anika Molesworth is, along with friend of the program and National Farmers Federation (NFF) 2030 Leader Oli Le Lievre.
“Global Table brings together leading international and Australian agrifood events under one umbrella to join the conversation on solving our biggest food challenges and creating tomorrow’s breakthroughs. Global Table kicks off with a three-day conference at the Melbourne Showgrounds, featuring Seeds&Chips – The Global Food Innovation Summit, coming to Australia for the first time.”
Anika is moderating a session called ‘Disrupting Climate Change,’ while Oli is working in the Innovation Precinct, hosting programs like the Agrihackathon. Good luck to you both and we can’t wait to hear how the week goes!
YFC Lucy Collingridge, Emma Ayliffe, Chloe Dutschke and friend of the program and YVLT minute secretary Sophie Howard will be attending the 2019 Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner and National Announcement at Parliament House in Canberra.
Youth Voices Leadership Team vice chair and agronomist Emma Ayliffe is gearing up for her role as keynote speaker at the upcoming Chicks in the Sticks event in Victoria’s Grampian Ranges next month. Tickets via here.
Friend of the program and NFF 2030 Leader Matt Champness beamed in from south-east Asia to speak to the Victorian Country Hour this week chatting about his work with farmers in Laos. Matt is presenting the findings of his work at the Asia Pacific Weeds Society Conference in Kuching Malaysia this week. Break a leg, Matt! Take a listen to Matt on the Country Hour here.
NFF 2030 Leader and Lego Farmer Aimee Snowden has a busy month ahead, say hi from us if you see her at any of these upcoming events:
I’m part of the organising committee for this year’s Victorian AgriBusiness Summit in Wangaratta this week, co-hosted by the Ovens Murray Ag Biz Alliance (OMABA). We’ve got a great program together!
UNE YFC Ruby Canning is off to Kempsey High School this week to give the students some guidance and tips on parading and cattle showmanship. Ruby joined forces with their Ag teacher after judging the cattle at Kempsey Show earlier in the year. And if you were at Tamworth Show this weekend you may have spotted Ruby judging the qualifying round of beef cattle that will be heading to Sydney Show:
“Drought is devastating by its very nature. It creeps up on the landscape and even after its end is declared, the impacts keep coming. That is the nature of Australia and drought, it is a part of our climate and we know to always expect it.
Despite this, our drought policy is not well established but we do seem to have a well-established pattern every time drought strikes.
Conditions set in and it’s crisis time. It is all over the media, donations flood in from those far removed from the dry dams, dying stock and failed crops.
Months pass, no rain, no relief, more stress, debt and work. Farmers are in the thick of it, but why is everything quiet?” Keep reading here.
Congratulations to YFC Laura Phelps who has been working in the UK for the last 12 months and has extended plans to stay, taking on a new role as Head of Banking, Business Investment and Tax in the investment area for the Department for International Trade. Best of luck Laura!
Mega Congrats to YFC Meg Rice who graduated from UNE with a Bachelor of Agriculture/Bachelor of Law this week! We can’t wait to see where your hard work and dedication will lead you Meg.
It has been a HUGE week of Archie Action for YFC going into and Google Hangout-ing with schools across the country for the 2019 Archibull Prize.
Samantha Wan had a blast at Manly Secondary School Campus, Burwood Girls High Schol in Sydney and Irrawang High School in the Hunter.
YFC Tayla Field had a great day at McAuley College in Beaudesert.
Dairy YFC Sally Downie is hanging out with Beaudesert State High School in QLD and East Lodden College in Vic this week, Wool YFC Peta Bradley is heading to Skill Set College, Bathurst for a Face-to-Face visit, Wool YFC’s Lucy Collingridge has an e-meeting with Greystanes High School and Bessie Thomas is hanging out with Hurlstone Agricultural High School. Good Luck everyone! We know you’ll have a ball!
This weeks top stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the world.
In the Field
This month YFC Katherine Bain has swapped the snow for sunny Queensland. “Two weeks ago I drove out of Orange, NSW, with my general manager en route to one of Paraway Pastroal Co’s south west Queensland properties in the channel country, to visit our NSW cattle of agistment,” Katherine says.
“Because of the ongoing drought in NSW, the cattle properties I work with in Central West NSW had no grass and an ever rising feed bill. We were in a lucky position that our channel country properties had a bumper flood and some general rain over other parts of the property that grew a lot of grass! So we made the decision to truck most of pregnant Angus cows to Queensland to calve.”
“As a bit of a break for the managers, we decided to hold our regional meeting on the property. As a Victorian who has barely been north Warren, NSW, this was a pretty cool experience! It was a 12 hr drive up and back through some beautiful and every changing countryside. The highlight of the trip for me was getting to go up in a helicopter to get the birds eye view of the channels. The view was just amazing!”
Cowra NSW cropping farmer Marlee Langfield has been popping up in our Facebook newsfeeds this week, profiled on the MSM Milling page in their “Meet the Growers” series. All four posts about Marlee are a great insight into her life on the farm and we especially loved the the birds eye view videography of this year’s canola crop. It’s definitely worth heading over to MSM Milling on Facebook to watch.
Last week YVLT vice-chair and agronomist Emma Ayliffe enjoyed the opportunity to present some of her work on biological whitefly control in cotton crops at the Southern Cotton Research Update. “As part of this project we released a parasitic wasp into cotton fields in the aim to reduce the need for the use of chemicals to control the pest,” Emma says. “The work we did this year was able to show that where we release the wasps we got higher levels of parasitism than where we didn’t – as we expected.”
“But what was really cool was seeing fields near where we did the releases also have higher levels of releases, proving that the wasps were willing to move outside of the fields released in. It was also shown that the whitefly (pest) population ‘crashed’ in fields where the wasps were released, while whitefly continued to increase in fields which were untreated by wasps.”
Out of the field
This week YVLT chair and dairy geneticist Jo Newton’s research has hit Ireland’s largest farming news portal. Jo’s passion for science helped her secure a 2018 Endeavour Postdoctoral Fellowship to Ireland. She spent 6 months working as a visiting scientist at Teagasc Moorepark, where she explored the value of new DNA tools – known as genetic & genomic tools – for dairy, beef & sheep farmers.
Now some of that research is being shared with the farming community through Agriland – Ireland’s largest farming news portal. “It’s so exciting being part of research which can deliver tangible benefits to farmers. It’s great that this work isn’t confined to a scientific journal it’s being shared in accessible forums for industry”
YFC Emma Ayliffe stepped out in style as the MC and presenter at the Southern Valley Cotton Growers Association Dinner last Friday night. All reports say she did a marvelous job. Well done Emma!
Emma’s tips to be a top MC are:
make sure you do your research
practice but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it “exact” on the night, you’re the only one who knows what you forgot
the first minute is the hardest
if you make a mistake laugh, with the audience
you might hear your voice shake, the audience won’t
enjoy the moment!
Emma is also pumped to be a guest speaker at the upcoming Chicks in the Sticks event in the Grampians region of Victoria this October. This annual event is run for rural and farming women and this year’s theme is “Cultivating pathways for women in agriculture and the environment.” As a young business owner and agriculturalist, we think Emma’s story will captivate and inspire all. More details of this event to come!
YFC and The Food Farm farmer Tim Eyes travelled from his farm on the Central Coast to present at Icebergs Bondi last week as part of the Sydney Taste Festival. Tim spoke to a special audience of diners about red meat production in Australia, which he is hugely passionate about.
Tim was also busy at AgVision at the Sydney Showgrounds recently, where more than 1,200 students were learning all about agricultural and agribusiness careers.
YFC Prue McCormack, YFC Lucy Collingridge and YFC Dee George all joined in the fun at AgVision too!
Agronomist Dee George had a ball presenting to five groups over the day of AgVision. “I had my pasture plate metre, some games about guessing which grains are which and what they are made into, and then I did some soil pH testing,” Dee says. “It was a great day being able to speak to young enthusiastic kids who want to study and work in agriculture.”
Dee also made it to Sheepvention last week, as did three of our Woolly YFC Sam Wan, Emma Turner and Peta Bradley.
Dee was busy talking to clients in the Elders tent, while Peta was working with MLA, talking sheep breeding programs. “Sheepvention is a great place to catch up as there are sheep there from NSW, Vic, SA and Tas as well as some breeders from WA venturing over to check out the sheep,” Peta says.
Sam Wan’s main role was presenting the Elders Southern Clip of the Year awards. “Presenting the awards after a full selling season was a highlight for me, and seeing the next gen sires for the wool industry and catching up with clients,” Sam says.
Our newest YFC Sally Downie is advocating for youth in drought as part of the UNICEF NSW Youth Drought Summit. Through her involvement with ABC Heywire, Sally was invited to be the over 18s chair for the steering committee, a group of young people of a range of ages and experiences from across NSW. “Together we bring our own experiences, our passion and desire to help and our local connections to make this summit possible. I’m honoured to have this role as having worked so closely with people impacted by drought, often finding myself to be the youngest in the room and being impacted myself, I know how important this summit is,” Sally says.
October 9-11 October UNICEF are holding the first NSW Youth Drought Summit.
“This is a vital event for regional/rural youth as it provides a platform for their voice to be heard and for them to connect with other young people affected by drought.
Youth are often forgotten when it comes to drought, we don’t always recognise the impacts drought as of youth. The impacts range from everything from stress and worry about their parents impacting their wellbeing to issues with education, extracurricular activities and social activities.
Youth should not be forgotten as it is their future we are working towards.
Youth also don’t get their voice heard, even youth working in agriculture are often not engaged in the conversation as they are intimidated by the older more experienced people in the room. Youth have a sense of hopelessness because they feel they can’t do anything to help.
This role was something I could not say no to because it’s so close to my heart and I know how important this summit is. I’ve been involved with drought support but very rarely have I heard youth discussed or seen anything done to support youth. I’ve also been the youngest in the room and I want that to change because youth have a voice and they need to be heard.
We have meet once in Sydney for a meeting and development day which was also a chance for us to get to know each other. Since then we have regular online meetings. We give feedback to UNICEF on every step of the process including designing the application process to make sure we think youth will be encouraged to apply, to promotion and designing what will occur at the summit.
Personally I want this summit to be an event that empowers youth to speak about drought and know that their voices matter. It’ll also be a place for youth to get their voices heard by parliament which is very important. I hope it will create change for youth during this tough time now and in future droughts… maybe we could even foster some young agricultural advocates and politicians!
Most importantly this is a chance for youth impacted by drought to have a break. A free trip away, possibly to somewhere they have never been, at a time most families can’t even think about going on a holiday. It will give these young people an experience of a lifetime, allow them to make friends and enjoy themselves for a few days. This is vital for their wellbeing and the outlook they have on life. – Sally Downie
What an important initiative! Well done Sally. Read this story in the Forbes Advocate to hear more from Sally.
YFC and meat scientist Steph Fowler is back in Oz after a successful presentation at the International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) conference. “It was interesting to note the European perspectives on meat grown from muscle biopsies in bioreactors,” Steph says. “There is a huge movement from research here to provide meat alternatives and hybrid meat products which we don’t see much of in Australia. While the arguments for their production are based on reducing the environmental impact of meat production, little is known about whether there is any impact of such products on human health or whether such products are going to be accepted by consumers and regulators. There’s lots to ponder.” Sounds fascinating Steph!
Australia’s largest primary industry field days – AgQuip – is coming up this week and we’ve got YFC from across the country heading Gunnedah’s way!
YVLT Social Media Communication Team Leader and Local Land Services (LLS) biosecurity officer Lucy Collingridge will be in the LLS shed with the invasive species display. “We will have a makeshift rabbit warren and smoker to demonstrate rabbit control. Frank (the fallow) and Richie (the wild dog) will be attending with us (it’s their first outing)! We will have a number of pig trap doors on display so landholders can see other ways of setting up their traps. And of course lots of best practice pest animal management information and advice available,” Lucy says.
Our University of New England (UNE) YFC Becca George, Ruby Canning, Becca George, Emily May, Forbes Corby and Haylee Murrell will be found in the UNE tent. “We have a virtual reality poultry dissection, SMART farm demos and the ‘soil your undies’ cotton prac, plus a few more things happening!” Becca says.
Keep your eye out for YFC Felicity Taylor on the Rabobank site, and YFC Marlee Langfield and friend of the program Greg Mills who are just heading along to check out all the action of AgQuip. Enjoy guys!
Huge congratulations to YFC Martin Murray and YFC Teagan Nock who have both been announced as participants in this year’s National Farmers Federation (NFF) 2030 Leaders Program. The program is part of NFF’s vision to be a $100 billion industry by 2030. We wish you both all the best!
We’re on the hunt for our next National Agriculture Day competition winner!
Picture You in Agriculture & Little Brick Pastoral are excited to announce our partnership with Sydney Science Park to bring you our third “Imagine Your Dream Career in Agriculture” competition, coinciding with National Agriculture Day on November 21.
The competition encourages students in Years 5-12 to envisage their own career in STEM based agriculture. Get your dream career thinking caps on, let your school aged friends know and find out everything you need to enter here.
Congratulations to YFC Marlee Langfield and her partner Andrew on their recent engagement. Wishing you both lots of happiness – and bumper crops too! A talented photographer on top of her busy farm schedule, we love Marlee’s gorgeous pics celebrating their engagement in this year’s canola:
And here’s a good news story to brighten even the dreariest drought stricken day… Do you remember last month when YFC Becca George tweeted a gorgeous pic of her Angus cattle into the Ten News #DailyBaileyNSW weather segment? Becca’s photo won her a holiday to the Cook Islands! We’re so excited for Becca to be swapping dry and dusty Nevertire, NSW, for palm tress in the South Pacific. Fingers crossed she comes home to rain and green grass. Watch Becca’s thank you video below: