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.
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
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.
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:
- Sowing fertiliser with rice, rather than broadcasting fertiliser, to overcome weeds
- Inter-row cultivation – this will require some machine engineering by Matt!
- Cutting the rice crop with a whipper snipper – not just useful in the garden!
- 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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!
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!
And mega Congrats to Cotton YFC Laura Bennet on her recent marriage. Best wishes for a happy life together, from the YFC team!
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!