Young Farming Champions Muster August 2019 1st Edition

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

In the field

First stop on our round the globe tour this week is with YFC Sam Coggins who has touched down in SE Asia for the next stage of his work with Rise Harvest. Sam is the co-founder of the Rise Harvest smartphone app that provides site-specific fertilizer recommendations for smallholder rice growers in Myanmar.

 “I just had a day in the field during an intensive rice course at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, where I tried unsuccessfully to plough rice field with Gertrude the carribou  (native water buffalo),” Sam says. ” I will be here for the next three weeks and then I’m going to straight to Myanmar to put learnings into practice developing digital fertilizer knowledge tool with smallholder rice growers.” 

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On Aussie soil, Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) vice-chair and agronomist Emma Ayliffe sent us this update from her farm near Lake Cargelligo, central NSW: 

“The 2019 winter cropping season has seen a much better start compared to last with rains earlier to get crops out of the ground. Small rain events every couple of weeks are helping to sustain our crop but we need a substantial rain event in the next couple of months to get closer to average yields. Compared to last year we are in a much more exciting position as can be seen this this picture,” Emma says. 

Emma Ayliffe season comparison

Friend of the YFC program, National Farmers Federation 2030 Leader Matt Chapness is in Laos and sent us an update while “passing the time on a two hour drive to the village.”

“Yesterday I demonstrated a modified whipper snipper we made to control weeds in direct seeded rice in Laos. This picture (below) shows the results. Field overrun by weeds (left), weed cut (right). I’m off to demo to three other villages today and give them our design.” 

Matt Champness

Out of the field 

Climate YFC and InStyle Magazine Farmer for Change/Klorane Changemaker Anika Molesworth is a triple threat this week with appearances on both television and radio, as well as articles published online!

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Anika joined the panel on ABC’s The Drum to talk about climate change, examining the impacts of higher temperatures and lower rainfall, dissecting Australia’s current climate and energy policy, and looking forward to where the country could go from here.

She spoke about how the agricultural industry is being challenged by rapidly changing conditions, why current policy is out of line with the science, and gave examples of the great potential in rural Australia as we move to a low-carbon economy.

Watch it on ABC iView Here. 

Anika also spoke with Triple J’s Hack about drought and the Future Drought Fund which provides relief for some farmers experiencing the word drought in recorded history and the need for emissions to be reduced in order to prevent worse future droughts. Take a listen here.

John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations  this week published Anika’s piece “The Drought and Inter-generational Equity” where she writes:

In failing to act on human-induced climate change, our political leaders are neglecting the rights of the next generation.

“You just need to turn on your television to know this drought is tough. Every evening, Australian families are being bombarded with footage of struggling farmers, dust-bowl paddocks and hungry animals…” Read more here. 

Anika Insight story

A two time Charles Sturt University graduate, Anika this week starred on the CSU “Insight: explore news, careers and study with CSU” website in the stroy, ‘Women in agriculture- let’s push things forward.’ Read more here.  And what a woman she is! Keep up the great work Anika!

If you don’t follow Anika on Twitter, you can find her at @AnikaMolesworth She has been named one of the most influential people in Australian agriculture on Twitter and this week alone her tweeted video on a national drought strategy has been viewed 17,800 times and counting…

Also hitting the radio waves this week was Eggs YFC and YVLT communication creative team member Jasmine Whitten who spoke to ABC New England for the NSW Country Hour. “I spoke about my passion for agriculture and the education activities I have done as a Young Farming Champion and a Landcare coordinator,” Jas says. It’s absolutely worth a listen:

Jas also headed back to her old stomping ground of the University of New England (UNE) last week for the uni’s huge Ag Week event. We spotted Jas in this video from Agmentation (a two-day sprint and pitch grassroots problem-solving event):

And if you’d love to see more of her Agmentation pitch, we posted it to our Picture You in Agriculture (PYIA) Facebook Page earlier this week.

 

Ag Week was the perfect opportunity for our new UNE YFC to introduce themselves over on PYIA. Well done to our Ruby Canning, Emily May, Haylee Murrell, Forbes Corby & Rebecca George for a brilliant week of guest hosting our social media channels. Pop over to PYIA now to take a look back over the week, which included Becca George and Forbes Corby speaking on the Rural Focus Symposium Q & A panel, alongside speakers Andrew Roberts, David Brownhill & Jock Whittle.

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“The theme of the day was ‘corporate vs family farming: learning from each other.’ On the panel we discussed challenges for young people entering farming & what we think the future of farming looks like for our generation,” Becca says. 

As chair of the Farming Futures committee, YFC Forbes Corby was spotted in this story about the symposium in the Armidale Express  

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YFC Becca George was showcased on the UNE Agriculture Facebook page as part of the Farming Futures UNE Careers Fair, which is an opportunity for both high school and university students to meet industry representatives and consider careers in agriculture. What excites Bec about the future of careers in agriculture?

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Heading west to Narromine, YFC and 2018 Narromine Showgirl Keiley O’Brien recently MC’d the 2019 Showgirl competition, which consisted of interviews, a luncheon and a ball.

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YFC Keiley O’Brien, third from the right.

“We had five entrants in the competition, each who were a deserving winner, with Annabelle Powell, an embedding nurse, being named the 2019 Narromine Showgirl. 

I was honoured to MC the night as our outgoing Showgirl and had an absolute blast in doing so. It was great to see so many people within our district come together to celebrate our town, our show, and our people. We had a record number of 176 people in attendance, with two fellow YFC Bec George and Lucy Collingridge amongst the crowd.

“Big thanks to our judges: Spike Orr, Vice President of the Parkes Show Society, Effie Ferguson, The 2019 Land Sydney Royal Easter Show Girl Runner Up, and Lydia Herbert, ASC Next Gen Vice President.” 

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YFC Lucy Collingridge, Keiley O’Brien and Becca George caught up at the Narromine Showgirl Ball last weekend. Keiley was the 2018 Narromine showgirl and did an awesome job as the MC for the 2019 Narromine Showgirl Ball.

Last week also saw Keiley attend the Grain Growers Innovation Generation conference in Ballarat, Victoria with her employer RuralBiz Training. “Innovation Generation brings together award-winning speakers, innovators and industry professionals from across the sector, to inspire and challenge young people within the grains industry. I had a fabulous time networking and endorsing the flexible training programs offered through my work,” Keiley says. 

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Not far away in Bendigo it was all action at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show, where UNE YFC Ruby Canning was busy photographing for the Stock and Land Newspaper.

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“The Sheep and Wool Show is the largest of its type in the Southern Hemisphere,” Ruby says. “It was a great experience meeting and networking with other individuals within agriculture. Competitors traveled from all over the country, including as far as Western Australian, to showcase their top stock.” 

“While I was there I worked closely with Joely Mitchell, the Acting Editor of the Stock and Land. Along with photographing most of the champions, I had the privilege of photographing the industry dinner Lambition, which included meeting and photographing MLA corporate chef Sam Burke, as well as Jason Strong the newly appointed Managing Director of MLA.

“To top the event off one of my photos made the front page of the Stock and Land Newspaper for the second time, and I was shortlisted for the BBM Global Industry Scholarship.”

Congratulations Ruby! Fingers crossed for you with the scholarship winners announced in early October. If she wins, Ruby plans to travel to Canada and America to study the feedlot industry and meat grading and quality systems in comparison to Australia. 

Check out Ruby’s beautiful photographs of the Sheep and Wool Show in the Stock and Land here. 

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Ruby Canning with Joely Mitchell the Acting Stock and Land Editor at Lambition.
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We were excited to see Ruby also spotted fellow wool lovers Rice YFC Erika Heffer and Dairy YFC and YVLT Chair Jo Newton in the crowd at the Sheep and Wool Show!

Over to Wagga Wagga, NSW, where YVLT mentor leader and Local Land Services (LLS) district veterinarian Dione Howard has been as busy as… well… an LLS district veterinarian!

Last Friday Dione attended the Graham Centre Livestock Forum with Riverina LLS, where livestock researchers, producers and market experts shared their latest insights.

Later in the week Dione spoke to the Charles Sturt University (CSU) Vet Science Class of 2020 about all things district vetting before the students head out on their final year of placements. The following day CSU had its Ag Careers Fair where students come together to hear from organisations in the agriculture sector who they might consider working for when they finish their agriculture, animal, vet or business degrees – lots of opportunities!

Dione -Raising the Baa

This Friday the Riverina LLS hosted a Lamb Post Mortem Workshop, in conjunction with Elders Wagga Wagga, where Dione shared with producers common causes of lamb mortalities and how they can identify what has happened to lambs so that they can make improvements for next year. Wow – what a week! 

This week also saw Dione present at NFF House, Canberra, to a Lunch ‘n’ Learn group about her experience as WoolProducers Youth Ambassador for 2018-19. This was the last of her commitments for this program, now it’s over to Woolly YFC Samantha Wan for the 2019-20 Youth Ambassador role! 

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Speaking of Sam… If you’re heading to Sheepvention in Hamilton, Victoria, this week keep your eyes peeled for Samantha Wan. Sam is presenting the Elders Southern Clip of the Year awards. Looking forward to hearing more about this Sam! 

We’re also staying tuned for news from YFC Steph Fowler who flew to Germany this week for the International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) which starts this Sunday. Steph is presenting three papers on the meat science research she has been doing at Department of Primary Industries, and Steph’s PhD student will be presenting another two papers. Break a leg, Steph! 

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Coming up this week in Sydney is the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) of NSW’s leading  Agricultural and Agribusiness careers expo, AgVision2019.  YFC Lucy Collingridge and Dee George, and friend of the program and NFF 2030 Leader Aimee Snowdown are all heading AgVision’s way – say hi if you see them!

UNE YFC Becca George is gracing the RAS of NSW Facebook Page and website this week as one of the 2019 RAS Foundation Rural Scholarship winners. 22-year-old Becca is a fourth year Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Agriculture UNE student in Arimdale, originally from the small central NSW town of Nevertire. The RAS Foundation Rural Scholarships support students from rural areas who have to relocate to study. Applications are now open for 2020 RAS Foundation Rural Scholarships: Apply here

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And did you catch Becca George’s photo on the Ten News Daily Bailey segment? Congrats Becca and we hope it’s pouring with rain out there soon. 

YFC and YVLT communication creative team volunteer extraordinaire Marlee Langfield was the face of the recent Rural Women’s Network Hidden Treasures Honour Roll campaign, which recognizes fabulous volunteering efforts of rural women. As a 2017 Hidden Treasures nominee, Marlee was asked to talk about why she loves being involved with her local community and how she hopes the Morongla Show will continue for another 100 years. “They came to the Country Women’s Association/Red Cross meeting to film, which meant they could see me in volunteer action,” Marlee says. Nominations for the 2019 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll have now closed. 

Prime Cuts 

Congratulations to Wool YFC Samantha Wan who has been selected as one of three finalists in the 2019 National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia Wool Broker Award! Read all about it on Sheep Central here. Well done and good luck Sam! The prize sounds right up your alley… 

“The winner of the 2019 award will win an all-expenses paid trip to attend the 2020 Congress of the International Wool Textile Organisation in Tongxiang, China in May 2020. Arrangements will also be made for the 2020 award winner to visit the wool textile industry in China.

NCWSBA executive director Chris Wilcox said the winner will be announced at the AWIS Wool Week dinner in the evening of Thursday, 22 August.”

Double YFC whammy for the NSW Young Farmers – with two YFC elected at the recent Annual General Meeting. Mega congrats to Meg Rice who was re-elected as a NSW Young Farmer Councillor, and Martin Murray who was elected as NSW Young Farmer deputy chair and onto the grains committee. Well done Meg and Martin!

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Congratulations Meg Rice

Martin Murray

Congratulations to YFC Tim Eyes from The Food Farm: Central Coast Produce who last week won champion tree felling at the district fire brigade championships!

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And a huge warm welcome to the latest amazing talent to join the YFC team, Sally Downie. Sally has been awarded the 2019 Picture You in Agriculture Scholarship. Read Sally’s blog here to discover what makes her so incredible and a deserving winner of this scholarship. Sally’s heading to Beaudesert State School as part of the 2019 Archibull Prize and they’re already as excited as we are! 

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Archie Action 

2019 Archibull Prize school visits are well under way and this week YFC Lucy Collingridge visited Greystanes High School and St Johns Park High School, where she spoke with 50 secondary students. At Greystanes High School, Lucy met with a range of students from years 7-12 who elected to participate in The Archibull Prize this year with their art teacher. Here, Lucy skyped with YFC Emma Ayliffe to give the students an insight in to the cotton industry. At St Johns Park High School Lucy spoke with the year 9 elective arts class who are participating in The Archibull Prize with their art teacher. Lucy also had the pleasure of speaking with the year 10 elective agriculture class who joined the session. 

“I loved my time at the schools and I am looking forward to some follow up Google Hangouts with the students and tracking the progress of their Archibulls for 2019!” Lucy says. “Big thanks to teachers Donna Draper, Max Labal and Leah Bonus!” 

Lifetime Highlights 

How special is this…! YFC and Cowra grain grower Marlee Langfield was recently doing some family research when she came across a 1979 newspaper clipping with her grandad Clem Capps on the front cover of The Land newspaper. We love the headline, “Everything Old is new again” because 39 years later, Marlee and her partner Andrew made the cover! Read and enjoy the stories below…

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Marlee Langfield The Land CoverThe Land Marlee Story

#YouthVoices19 #YouthVoicesYFC #YoungFarmingChampions #ArchieAction #YouthinAg

Shining the spotlight on Lake Cargelligo Central School a little school doing big things

Continuing our series of shaing stories about the schools we work with going above and beyond today we shine the spotlight on Lake Cargelligo Central School. 

The cost of freight is a serious limiting factor to how far and wide we can take The Archibull Prize. This year two school communities in rural NSW came together to fund their local schools participation in the program. One of these is Lake Cargelligo Central School which has a strong focus on agricultural education

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With the cost of freight being a limiting factor the Lake Cargelligo community came together to fund the transport of Archie to their local school

Pigs and grains are the focus of two projects students from Years 9 and 10 at Lake Cargelligo Central School are undertaking this year to increase their emphasis on agricultural education. Pigs will be the feature of a paddock to plate project while the students will study the grain industry in The Archibull Prize.

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One of the first thing the secondary students did was introduce Archie to the kinders

“Our school is located in regional/remote NSW and the majority of our students have some connection to agriculture through their family,” agriculture teacher Tara-Jane Ireland says. “We run an agriculture show team that focuses on all enterprises we can access (chooks, sheep and cattle) and we source animals from local breeders to build connections with the community.”

In the paddock to plate project students will raise, show and process two pigs (Peppa and George) and then combine with food technology students to create menus for the table. Read more about Peppa, George and the rest of the team here.

Like The Archibull Prize, the pig paddock to plate event is an example of project-based learning. “Project-based learning has become an integral part of our teaching practices at LCCS to enhance the engagement of our students,” Tara-Jane says. “In 7/8 all our classes complete learning through PBL and teachers are now expanding this to 9/10. This allows our students to develop essential life skills like leadership, communication and problem solving.”

Twenty students will participate in The Archibull Prize. They are looking forward to not only connecting with students from other Archibull schools, but with a local artist and their Young Farming Champion Emma Ayliffe, who they are hoping can assist them develop career goals and aspirations.

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“Our aim is to focus on holistic approaches to agriculture while having fun,” Tara-Jane says, “and to help students lead healthy lifestyles by producing their food sustainably now and in the future.”

#ArchieAction #YouthinAg #YouthVoices19

Young Farming Champions Muster – June 2nd Edition

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

In the Field

Young Farming Champion Tim Eyes opened the gates of ‘Food Farm’ at Wyong Creek to the Central Coast Harvest Festival visitors over the June Long weekend.

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The harvest festival gives the public a unique glimpse behind the farm gate and an opportunity for Tim to showcase regenerative farming practices.

Those lucky enough to score a ticket, before they SOLD OUT, were treated to an intimate ‘Food Farm’ experience. Harvesting potatoes, milking a heritage Australian dairy cow, collecting the pasture raised eggs, enjoying a sausage sandwich from the Food Farm’s very own grass fed and finished beef and chatting with farmer Tim all while learning about paddock to plate concepts.

“It means SO much to know that there are people out there interested in connecting with local food and farmers”

If your interested in visiting Tim at the Food Farm check out their website

Jasmine Whitten is also about to embark on a career change. After working with the Landcare based at Cobar she is packing up and headed back to her home town of Tamworth where she will take up a position as a Farm Consulting Business Analyst with AgriPath. We wish you the best of luck with your new adventure and can’t wait to hear what you get up too.

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Grain Young Farming Champion Marlee Langfield created a short photo essay of the “Wallaringa” barley crop.  With 12mm of rain flalling this week in the Cowra region (the most incrop rain received so far this growing season!) fingers are crossed for follow up falls as Marlee continues to grow great grains.

Out of the Field

We we excited to announced our newest Young Farming Champion 2nd Year University of New England student Emily May. Emily brings a unique perspective to Young Farming Champions as she has witnessed first-hand Sydney’s urban sprawl impacting on agriculture.

Emily grew up on the outskirts of Sydney in the Hawkesbury district and her first job was working at a local orchard. She has since worked with numerous small farms and market gardens in the area, developing a passion for agriculture along the way. She has also watched as, in a short period of time, these farms have given way to housing developments. Now studying a Bachelor of Agriculture at the University of New England Emily is determined to find a way to balance these conflicting land uses.

“I believe that in order to keep agriculture on the outskirts of Sydney we need to utilise innovation and technology to compete with this urban sprawl, and it is this understanding that drives me in my university studies.”

Emily May Tractor

Read Emily’s story here

With a focus on finding a solution to avoid a global food shortage -YFC Sam Coggins has been awarded the International Rice Research Institute Scholarship for 2019. The scholarship will see Sam to travel to the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines and undertake three weeks of hands on training on all aspects of rice production in Asia. Sam will also learn about the research focus of IRRI and its partners; structuring effective international collaborations; and importantly, will gain insights and contacts to work effectively as part of the international research community in the future.Sam -IRRS scholarship_

 

For the second year in a row WoolProducers Australia is conducting their Raising the Baa Leadership Program, and for the second year in a row our Young Farming Champions are right in the spotlight.

  • Dione Howard will undertake a fully-funded Company Directors Course with the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Dione will gain knowledge needed to navigate complex governance challenges and apply innovative and well-informed thinking when considering strategy and policy.
  • Samantha Wan has been selected as a Youth Ambassador who will work towards developing policy briefs and implementation strategies for two key industry issues over the next twelve months. Sam will join the WoolProducers Board as an observer providing her with exposure and experience in policy development and agri-politics in general.

Well done to Dione and Samantha as they actively contribute to building a robust, innovative and sustainable Australian wool industry.

Last week Young Farming Champion Lucy Collingridge swapped the black soils of the Narrabri Shire for the golden sands of the Gold Coast as she attended the inaugural Australian Biosecurity Symposium. In her role as Biosecurity Officer at North West Local Land Services Lucy is passionate about protecting Australia agriculture and our environment and is always working towards a sustainable, productive and profitable agricultural industry! So she jumped at the opportunity to attend the Symposium. The conference provided the ideal platform to explore how to transform Australia’s biosecurity systems to better protect our economy, environment and way of life.

Lucy will implement her learnings when she returns home to the agricultural wonderland heart that is the North West of NSW -in the meantime Lucy reminds us how work with her in protecting the environment…

“You can be a biosecurity legend with us by cleaning your shoes when traveling, making sure you don’t take any fruit across exclusion zones and declaring any animal or plant products when coming home from an overseas holiday!”

Young Farming Champion Anika Molesworth was invited to be a mentor at the 41st Climate Reality Leadership Corps event . Her mentees were Year 11 and 12 secondary students and first year university students who discussed with her the recent student strikes (15th March 2019) and their disappointment at their school curriculum not educating on topics of great global importance.

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“Last week I made 800 new friends at the 41st Climate Reality Leadership Corps. The energy in the room could have powered all of Australia, as we learnt about climate science, catalyzing change in our communities, and pathways to transition to a low-carbon future.”

This three day event provides citizens concerned about the future of our planet with a chance to join a range of in-depth,practical skill-building workshops that explore key climate challenges and offer insights into solutions.

In addition to mentoring Anika had the rare opportunity to learn directly from an extraordinary lineup of climate communicators including former US Vice President Al Gore, Natalie Isaacs Founder and CEO of 1 Million Women.

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Natalie Isaacs Founder and CEO of 1 Million Women with Anika

The highlight of the event for Anika was a contingent of people from the Torres Strait Islands and their stories of how climate change is affecting them here and now. Read the story here

Prime Cuts

Congratulations to superstar Agronomist and Young Farming Champions Casey Onus who has recently been named as one of four finalists in the Zoe McInnes Memorial Agronomy awards. The winner will be announced that this year’s Summer Grains Conference on the Gold Coast in July. The award celebrates the life of  Zoe McInnes in died in a farm accident in 2013 and recognises outstanding contribution to Agronomic Excellence. The winner receives a $5,000 bursary to allow them it expand their knowledge and assist in delivery new information to growers. We wish you luck Casey at the Summer Grains Conference and congratulate you on being, very deservedly, nominated for this award.

Casey -Zoe McInnes Mem Agronomy Finalist 

Lifetime Highlights.

Casey, in her spare time, also loves a game of footy and recently represented the Central North Zone in the Women’s 15s at the NSW Country Rugby Union Women’s Championship in Tamworth over the June Long weekend.

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According to Casey “the jersey was writing cheques my body couldnt cash”

Archie Action

Young Farming Champions Lucy Collingridge and Jasmine Whitten had an initial meet and greet Google Hangouts with their Archibull Prize Schools

Comments from Lucy

‘There’s something to be said about kids who have no connection to agriculture and their energy and excitement to learn.”

“What an awesome bunch of enthusiastic kids! Can’t wait to meet them next month!”

Questions  from the students flowed freely and included

  • When did you get involved in agriculture, what are we doing to help farmers with the drought, what does your job involve, what do you love about agriculture?”
  • what it’s like to live in Narrabri ,to what colour is Merino fleece, to the biosecurity risks associated with bringing in feed?!”

Jasmine and the team from Granville Boys High managed to do some virtual egg cracking – potentially a world first

And Merrylands High School gave their Archie a Royal Welcome

 

Here’s a good yarn -we’re raising the baa

For the second year in a row Wool Producers Australia is conducting their Raising the Baa Leadership Program, and for the second year in a row our Young Farming Champions are right in the spotlight.

The leadership course has two components, the first of which is the Youth Ambassador role. “The Youth Ambassador position exposes people aged 18 -35 years to policy within Wool Producers and gives them the opportunity to learn and understand the policy cycle and how a board works so they understand how many decisions that affect the wool industry are handled by Wool Producers,” Wool Producers Australia President, Mr Ed Storey says.

Dione Howard was the inaugural Wool Producers Youth Ambassador in 2018 and part of her role was to attend Wool Producers’ board meetings. “I had very little experience with policy prior to the Youth Ambassador role,” Dione says. “It has opened up a whole new world in the agricultural space and I feel that I now have a much clearer idea of how decisions are made that affect farmers and people like myself as a veterinarian.”

In 2019 Wool Producers has nominated two Youth Ambassadors, one of who is Sam Wan

” I saw this as an opportunity to gain insight into the organisation and actively learn in the role,  have a strong interest in learning the intricacies of identifying needs and key stages for policy development and to gain a working understanding of industry governance, achieving objectives and driving improvement within the bounds of shareholders, regulators and the wider community. I see an understanding of the processes behind regulations being able to positively impact my role and scope as a wool broker and day to day dealings with wool growers.” say Sam

There is no denying Sam’s enthusiasm for sharing the wool story far and wide as this video of her engaging with students at the 2019 Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day shows

Dione will be continuing the program in 2019 with its second component – a fully-funded Company Directors Course with the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

“The Company Directors Course is a fantastic opportunity for future leaders from all sectors of the wool industry to develop and refine their leadership skills for positions on industry Boards,” Ed says. “The skills are very important to ensure good governance and leadership is understood before people contribute to a Board.”

“It is an awesome opportunity to finish the Wool Producers Youth Ambassadorship with the AICD Company Directors Course,I believe it will assist me to take the next step in my leadership journey. I have been fortunate enough to receive the benefit of immersive workshops through the Young Farming Champions program sponsored by AWI and these have enabled me to develop my skills for delivering outcomes for the wool industry on the ground, in schools and at industry events. I believe that by completing the Company Directors course I will expand my skill set to be able to deliver for the wool industry from a governance perspective.” ” Dione says.

Its World Environment Day and we are celebrating with the launch of our 2019 schools programs

 

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Each year Picture You in Agriculture conducts extensive research into our two schools-based programs The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas. Our research has shown the environmental issues of most concern to young people are ensuring Australians have access to clean air (95%) and clean water (93%) and that we all work together to reduce the amount of waste we generate (90%). Also highly ranked by young people is using clean energy (87%) and knowing what food is bad for you (85%).

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84% of young people surveyed believe it is everyone’s responsibility to look after the planet and identified farmers as the main partners they want to work with to achieve this. Our programs, The Archibull Prize in secondary schools and Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future in primary schools, open students’ eyes to the world of agriculture, particularly the variety of STEM-based careers. The programs also offer students one-on-one access to their very own farmers with the Young Farming Champions.

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This year our Young Farming Champions will Google Hang Out with students in the 15 primary schools participating in Kreative Koalas, sharing their career in agriculture with a strong focus on the impact of the fibres they choose to wear and use to reduce the impact of their fashion choices on the planet.

Twelve Young Farming Champions from the wool, grains, dairy, horticulture and eggs and poultry industries will be delivering The Archibull Prize in 20 schools. Our YFC have got off to an early start with Google Hangout Meet and Greets which will be followed up with face-to-face workshops in schools. In addition, a number of Archibull Prize schools have indicated they will be getting out of the classroom and taking the students to their local universities and farms where possible.

The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas both employ 21st-century learning, which empowers young people to be critical, creative and confident communicators working together to solve real-world problems that have real-world impact. In turn, this creates job-ready employees of the future.

Our research also shows us how we can tailor the programs to meet the needs of participating students and teachers. Using this feedback we supplement the face-to-face visits of the Young Farming Champions with digital technology, for example skyping from a paddock direct to a classroom, or participation in the Paddock Pen Pals program.

Teachers have the opportunity to participate in a professional development workshop held at Tocal College, which is supported by partners Aussie Farmers Foundation, Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and Hunter Local Land Services. The workshop is led by the Young Farming Champions, including new inductees from the University of New England and their alumni mentors, and a team of coaches.

The coaching team includes Jenni Metcalf, Greg Mills and Gaye Steel and will be strengthened in 2019 with the addition of Josh Farr from Campus Consultancy.

“It’s a privilege to work with this cohort of change-makers and leaders. As the YFC take their stories of personal and career growth into schools, they inspire the next generation to aim high, tackle some of the world’s biggest problems and most importantly, to act locally first, in their own backyards.” Josh Says

Today is World Environment Day, and, with a fresh perspective that comes from something new, it is Josh who clearly sees the connection between this important day and our objectives:

“Working with the Young Farming Champions provides me with the opportunity to empower young leaders who take a proactive stance on environmental sustainability and climate change.”

World Environment Day

Can you guess what our Woollies are up to for Woolmark’s Wool Week

The Woolmark Company’s Wool Week runs from May 20 to 26, championing the best wool and wool-rich apparel and home textiles in time for winter. So with all this woolly attention we wanted to know what our Wool Young Farming Champions were up to for Wool Week.

For Sam Wan wool has taken her around Australia and around the world. This time last year she was in Hong Kong as part of the International Wool Textile Organisation’s (IWTO) Young Professionals Program and this week she flies off to Italy for a study tour in conjunction with her Elders Employee of the Year 2018 award. But before she jumps on a plane this is what Sam is doing for wool:

  • Preparing for this (and next) week’s wool sale
  • Zooming in with the Western Sydney University team who are participating in this weekend’s National Merino Challenge
  • Organising presentations for her three Archibull Schools – Irrawang High School, Northern Beaches Secondary College and Burwood Girls High School
  • Attending an interview with WoolProducers for their Wool Ambassador Program
  • Wool sale day on Thursday
  • Promoting wool everyday through her blog: Wool for Every Day

Phew! This girl really loves her wool.

But Sam in not our only woolly.  Another YFC gearing up for a year of spreading the wool love into schools with The Archibull Prize is Lucy Collingridge. This week Lucy is organising google hang-outs and school visits for Greystanes High School and St Johns Park High School. That’s in her spare time. At work as a biosecurity officer with Local Land Services Lucy will be meeting with a wild dog baiting group to help wool producers to sustainably improve on-farm productivity and profitability.

YFC Peta Bradley lives and works in Armidale and will be wearing wool, especially as the temperatures start to drop. Around her neck will be her favourite Merino Wool Scarf, which is a divine blend of wool and possum fur. On the weekend she will be stewarding in the wool shed at the Dubbo Show and as that means standing around on concrete floors she will have Woolmark woollen socks on her feet. During her working week with Merinolink Peta will be assisting wool producers breed the best sheep.

YFC Bessie Thomas from Burragan Station in western NSW is recovering from last week when she took on the position of shearer’s cook at Burragan, where pulled lamb and gravy rolls were on the menu (along with quiche, fruit and chocolate muffins). According to Bessie the lamb and gravy pan was nearly licked clean! Not that life is going to slow down for Bessie – there are still 5000 merinos who need crutching and plenty of ewes to be pregnancy tested. Then Bessie needs to prepare for her own school visit with The Archibull Prize to Hurlstone Agricultural High School.

Showing our woollies come from all backgrounds we have YFC Chloe Dutschke who hails from the wine regions of South Australia and who is this week mustering sheep around the Hay plains. She is moving ewes to sheltered paddocks in preparation for lambing and classing young rams. YFC Adele Offley was born and raised on a sheep property near Crookwell on the southern highlands and today wool is still in her blood. She will be spending wool week working with wool growers in her job as a wool technical officer. And she is promoting this fabulous fibre across social media.

Dr Danila Marini is enjoying a Pint of Science , a global event that began in the United Kingdom six years ago, featuring University of New England’s scientists talking about their latest research and findings.

YFC Dione Howard is a woolly working as a veterinarian with Local Land Services and on a daily basis conducts disease investigations for wool producers. But adding to Wool Week, in her position as WoolProducers Youth Ambassador, she will be travelling to Melbourne to attend the Animal Health and Welfare Advisory Committee and the WoolProducers board meeting.

Wow. It may be Woolmark’s Wool Week with an emphasis on fashion but our woolly YFCs are all contributing to ensuring this remarkable fibre is grown in the best of conditions on the happiest of sheep, and sharing their stories in schools and across social media.

Our favourite woolimation

Happy Wool Week Woollies.

#LoveWool #WearWool #Thisflockinglyfe

 

Lessons Learnt Number Three – Leadership development is an evolution

 Young People may only be 20% of the population but they are 100% of the future.

Too often their voices aren’t heard.

At Picture You in Agriculture we are providing them with the skills and opportunities to earn a seat at the decision making table.

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Welcome to next chapter in our Lessons Learnt series. At Picture You in Agriculture we are big fans of the concept of Communities of Practice where people who share our vision and are getting great stuff done come together and share their lessons learnt, their successes and work together to amplify each others voices, pool their expertise and make more great stuff happen. This blog post in our Lessons Learnt series shares how we are supporting the leadership development of our Young Farming  Champions using Anika Molesworth as a case study. 

We believe leadership development is an evolution. In the initial workshops of the two-year Young Farming Champion program participants are taught the basic skills – how to tell their story, how to reach audiences, how to interact with media, both print and social. They then use The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas as a safe environment to hone these skills and are encouraged to take them into the wider community.

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Young Farming Champion Anika Molesworth is using her voice, the skills she has learnt, the accolades she has garnered and the networks she has created to amplify youth voices and mobilise a movement for #ClimateActionNow .

Pivotal to the success of this leadership journey is a continuum of support, networks and opportunities. In this edition of our Lessons Learnt series we look how Anika Molesworth is using her voice, the skills she has learnt, the accolades she has garnered and the networks she has created to amplify youth voices and mobilise a movement for #ClimateActionNow .

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In the last eight weeks Anika has been the keynote speaker at the NSW Geography Teachers Association Conference, Prime Super International Women’s Day lunches and the Rotary District 9520 Conference, talking about her love for her semi-arid property near Broken Hill and the way in which it is being affected by climate change.

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How these conferences came about is a lesson in networking and communication. For Rotary it was availing themselves of local talent at their conference held in Broken Hill. Prime Super invited her to speak after sponsoring the NSW/ACT Regional Achievement and Community Award for Agricultural Innovation, which Anika won in 2018.

“While all the award winners are special, sometimes one comes along that stands out,” General Manager Distribution, Prime Super Mark Ashburn says. “We think her work on sustainable agriculture is inspiring and directly contributes to the success of tens of thousands of our members directly involved in agriculture.”

The Geography Teachers conference was an amalgam of many avenues.

“I saw Anika present at the Brave New World Agriculture to 2030 Conference in Sydney in November 2018,” president of the Geography Teachers Association of NSW Lorraine Chaffer says. “Much of what she said had links to topics in the NSW Geography Syllabus. I was impressed by Anika’s positivity about the future and her message about taking action and later found a TED TALK she had made the previous year. The link to geography was very strong so I approached Anika, via Twitter, with a request to present at the GTANSW & ACT Annual Conference in Sydney – using a mix of her Brave New World and TED talks. We were not disappointed.”

Although all of Anika’s recent presentations have followed a similar theme, she finds it important to tailor each talk for the organisation. “To be impactful and give a memorable presentation, it is important to tailor every presentation to the specific audience and have a clear vision on what you want to achieve by giving your talk,” she says.

“The whole process of presenting is adaptive and ever-evolving. I always ask myself, who are my audience? What do they want to hear? What is the message I want to convey? How do I want them to feel and what do I want them to do when they leave my presentation?”

Education needs to go beyond changing what is inside people’s heads. It also needs to facilitate action by providing supportive infrastructure and practical know-how. Anika’s presentations inspire and give people tangible actions they can make as individuals, and this becomes evident at question time. “I often get questions from the audience on big global challenges, which cannot be given quick, easy answers,” Anika says.

“My response is often that I don’t know all the answers and that’s why we need all-hands-on-deck working collectively to find the solutions. Having audience buy-in is very important to me. We are all responsible in trying to find the answers to these big questions, to work together in doing that, and I am pleased if I can help start that conversation.”

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Feedback from Anika’s presentations has been positive and encouraging. Geography teachers described her as engaging, highly inspirational, informative and relevant to the curriculum they are teaching. Prime Super believes her positive outlook for the future will translate to their members having a positive outlook for their financial future.

“We have been thrilled with the event feedback, much of which has included a request to bring Anika back after her trip later this year,” Mark says. “When you get an ‘encore’ and you’re a super fund something has gone right. Anika is a delight to work with and we hope to continue to work with her in the future.”

The trip that Mark alludes to is Anika’s acceptance into the esteemed leadership program Homeward Bound and her travel to Antarctica later in the year. Remuneration from these speaking engagements will go towards Anika’s fundraising for the program, but Anika feels the speaking opportunities go beyond financial contribution.

“They provide me with a platform to share my story and topics I believe are important and they further hone my communication skills, helping me practice and learn so I can do it even better next time.”

This is proof that leadership development is indeed an evolution. Picture You in Agriculture provides transformational leadership training for young people in agriculture between the ages of 20 and 35 and young people in schools between the ages of 10 and 18. Our programs use agriculture as a foundation to inspire students and young agriculturalists to think critically and creatively about real-world issues and work collectively to take action and create real-world impact.

#ClimateActionNow #StrongerTogether #YouthVoices #YouthinAg