Meet Calum Watt who is helping to breed better barley and his research attracts millions of dollars in funding 

Our Young Farming Champions have chosen diverse careers in the agriculture sector.  They are working together to mobilise a movement to create a bright future for our farmers and our communities.  They are excited to share their stories of hope.

As part of our careers in agriculture snapshots series on The Archibull Prize website it gives us great please to introduce you to Calum Watt who is helping to breed better barley and his research attracts millions of dollars in funding.

Calum Watt

Calum Watt grew up on a small farm in Western Australia where he quickly learnt that he didn’t like sheep. He did however like plants and so he embarked on a botany degree at university in Perth. This in turn led to a Masters in Agricultural Science and now a PhD at Murdoch University where he is researching barley.

For Calum, studying the genetics of plants has gifted him a meaningful way to improve agriculture for Australia and the rest of the world. Calum starts his day in the laboratory trying to find differences in 1500 potential  barley varieties using DNA markers that are invisible to the naked eye. To do this he uses fancy bits of equipment that are smaller than a fridge but can cost as much as $600,000. His assistant today is Lee-anne, an undergraduate student. He teaches her the ropes of laboratory genetics and although their work may take many hours Calum finds great satisfaction in advancing the progress of scientific knowledge. His work will help future-proof barley from stresses that will be imposed by climate change.
Later in the morning Calum and Tefera, a plant physiologist, drive two hours to a research crop in the wheat belt. They note patchy germination in one trial and
herbicide damage in another and, as these sites are very important for data
collection, they must decide how to overcome these problems. There is a lot of
interest in improving barley productivity – so much so that Calum’s research
funding equates to millions of dollars.
Returning to Perth in the evening Calum settles down to read some scientific
articles to support his research. Although at times it feels like his work is never
done he is writing articles that the whole world will read – and that puts him on
the cutting edge of international agriculture.

Calum is also part of the team of superstars behind AgriEducate . Another tribe of #youthinag doing exciting things
This is Calum’s career in agriculture. What will yours be?

#youthvoices #leadership #strongertogether #archieaction

 

 

Sally Poole says these boots are made for working

We would like to welcome Sally Poole the first of our three Cotton Young Farming Champions for 2018

fodder beats.jpg

This is Sally’s story…………

Growing up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney you are constantly surrounded by sun, surf, sand and blonde beauties. From a very young age I knew I did not fit into the surrounding culture as I loved rocking my work boots and a tiara, in my teenage years this developed into a really awkward goth stage.

 

But I digress, this love for my work boots came from a very early introduction to my Aunt and Uncle’s deer and cattle properties, from which point I have always worn my work boots and known that I all wanted to do was to become farmer. Whilst I am still saving my pennies to buy my first farm, my love for everything agriculture and my determination to be involved in the industry has taken me on some wild adventures around Australia and the globe. Only my boots can tell the true stories but here are some of the highlights that have shaped my career so far.

One of my favourite things growing up about the farm were the horses, and this turned into years of riding in Sydney, becoming a horse riding instructor, and eventually when I finished school, running away to the country to be a competition groom on a large equestrian property. Whilst I loved my work I was always incredibly curious as to what was happening next door with the cattle. Fast forward a few years of awkward times and lots of travel and I decide that was it. I wanted to know everything about farming. So I set off to Charles Sturt University and enrolled in a Bachelor of Agricultural Science. And boy oh boy, what a steep but incredible learning curve that was!

When I started university, I wanted to pursue a career in livestock, or international development, or big business, or…… Then I was introduced to the world of agronomy. Some encouragement from inspiring soils and agronomy lectures and the excitement of watching a crop grow and interact with the environment, management and technology, and I was hooked.

Photo1.jpg

Winning Crops competition team 2015

It wasn’t till my third year of university that I became really good friends with a bunch of my fellow ‘ag’ girls. These women are some of the most passionate, strong, dedicated and incredible woman I have ever come across. Together we organised and held many events for both woman in agriculture and other groups in agriculture, and went on many adventures to learn as much as we could about agriculture. Still to this day these incredible women continue to inspire me and push me to drive change and purse excellence in our respective sectors.

Photo 2.jpg

 Some of the inspirational women at our Wagga Women in Ag Network brunch 2015 with Catherine Marriott centre 

While at university I took the opportunity to participate in many overseas trips including student exchange to the University of Kentucky and study tours to South Africa, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. These trips really broadened my understanding of agricultural principles whilst showing me how much the interaction between people, culture, agriculture, and the environment influence each other. I think this is a really important concept to understand and is a significant key to further improving agricultural productivity and ensuring future food security and is a principle I use in my work daily.

Photo 3.JPG

At an abattoir in Indonesia on the University of Adelaide beef trip. 2015

Photo 4.jpg

 Some of my favourite poddy calves on Coodardie Station in the NT 2016

 My cotton journey started when I was introduced to cotton working on a side project for the DPI NSW. The intensity and the influence of management and technology exemplified all the aspects of agronomy I loved. I was instantly hooked and determined to know everything I could. So when the opportunity to become a graduate agronomist for Landmark on the Darling Downs came up, my bags were instantly packed.

Today, I am an agronomist for Landmark working on the Darling Downs helping drive innovation, best management practice and continually share my passion for agriculture with everyone. However, it hasn’t been without its challenges, but there have been a lot of good times and a lot of hard work. The inspirational people I meet every day, the incredible women that have driven my passion further and the influential mentors that have backed me along the way are all the reason that this tiara, work boot wearing chick from the northern Beaches of Sydney has ended up where she is today.

Photo 5.jpg

Enjoying the fruits of my (and the farmers) labour, mung bean crop in Chinchilla 2018

_2018 A4ASponsors_foremail

Young Farming Champions Muster August 2018 Week 3

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

In the Field

It’s been great week for our Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions (YFC), fresh off the excitement of last weekend’s YFC and Teachers workshop in the Hunter Valley.

Teachers have declared  interacting with the the Young Farming Champions the highlight of the workshop. Equally the Young Farming Champions  valued been able to partner with teachers to gain a clearer understanding of the curriculum , the perspective of teachers and the role The Archibull Prize plays in empowering teachers to meet the needs of their students. All in all the workshop was declared a huge success and a mutual lovefest

Peta Bradley

Young Farming Champion Peta Bradley volunteered to be the “talent’ for the Teacher Video interview technique session 

Well done to our incredible Rice YFC Erika Heffer who harnessed her enthusiasm from the workshop and put her new skills into practice right away with a great interview on ABC Radio on Tuesday.

If you tuned into Anne Delaney on ABC Riverina Breakfast you might have heard Erika speak on behalf of the Ricegrowers Association of Australia about their “Water for Wildlife and Rice” campaign. Erika was involved in running a Pozible campaign to source funds for the idea, which is a “collaborative farming program that combines regional farming know-how with water supporters and owners of agricultural land to produce food and fibre in conjunction with the provision of ecosystem services.”

Read more about Water for Wildlife and Rice here

The Pozible campaign was unfortunately unsuccessful in raising the necessary funds for it come to fruition, but Erika says the team will continue looking for ways to raise capital this great idea. Good luck and well done, Erika!

In Western NSW our “Woolly” YFCs Emma Turner and Bessie Thomas are working on seperate ideas to boost the spirits and provide social opportunities for locals living through the current drought.

Emma is hosting a Women’s Health Day in Ivanhoe, NSW, with the exact details and date yet to be announced. Looking forward to finding out more Emma!

Bessie is hosting a Barefoot Bowls and Bocce mental health day at her sheep property near Wilcannia, NSW. It’s a opportunity for locals to take an afternoon off from the large workload of feeding stock through dry times, kick off their work boots and relax with some friendly competition on the bowling green (which is currently very brown).

Bessie Bowling Green

Great work on supporting your local communities and farmers, Emma and Bessie! Good luck!

Out of the Field

In Melbourne this week Beef YFCs Steph Fowler and Jasmine Green attended the International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) conference alongside more than 500 attendees from across the globe. It’s the first time ICoMST has been on Aussie soil in 30 years.

ICMST

Steph, who has attended the conference several times overseas, said “it was great to see Down Under so well represented with lecturers and post doc students from all major agricultural universities represented, along with CSIRO, DPI (Vic, WA and NSW) and industry.”

“A highlight for me was definitely the conversations with researchers from different places. I learnt a lot about what’s going on in my area of research in Ireland, New Zealand and Germany and hopefully will get the chance to collaborate formally on some new projects with them,” Steph said.

Jasmine Green enjoyed learning about new and interesting research happening in the meat industry. “There are now new ways to measure eating quality across various meat types, concepts around smart packaging and traceability from farm to consumer, discussion around how to combat food “fraud” and robotics/automation,” Jasmine said. “It was excellent!”

It’s AgQuip time! Australia’s largest agricultural field day is on this week in Gunnedah, NSW, and two of our YFC are heading that way!

Grain farmer and YFC Marlee Langfield will be selling merchandise and hosting our Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page from the Case IH stand  and Wool YFC and Local Lands Service (LLS) animal biosecurity officer Lucy Collingridge will be representing North West LLS and Cotton YFC Casey Onus will be talking all things Precision Agriculture at the Landmark stand.

Marlee Langfield.JPG

“My role is based around helping landholders manage the pest animals on their property and our display at AgQuip will be on best practice to manage feral animal populations to reduce the impact of these burdens on the landholders,” Lucy said.

“We will have a feral pig trap, multiple animal displays [Bowman’s Taxidermy are bringing a mounted pig, fox and two deers], lots of information about best practice pest animal management, and information on the new North West pest animal plan.”

If you’re at AgQuip this week be sure to look out for Marlee and Lucy!

There are lots of good news stories coming out of schools this week as our Art4Agriculture Archibull Prize school visits continue.

Tuesday saw Cotton YFC Sharna Holman visit Dakabin State High School where she spoke to a mix of art and agriculture students participating in the Archibull Prize. “I loved my visit!” Sharna said. “It was fantastic to visit a school that reminded me so much of my own going through high school. They were a great group of students and I especially loved seeing the students get engaged with the biosecurity activity of thinking of biosecurity practices which could help make up their School’s farm biosecurity plan.”

Meg Rice MacIntyre HS (2)

Meg Rice and students from McIntyre High School work shopped the careers from A to Z in the Australian grains industry 

On Thursday Northern Tablelands LLS YFC Meg Rice visited McIntyre High School in Inverell, speaking to agriculture students in Years 9. “It was a wonderful opportunity to share all the experiences that I have been offered within the agricultural industry.” Meg said. “The students were particularly interested in my recent to visit Cambodia and Lao, as part of a University of New England study tour, fand how culture has a large impact upon agricultural practices.”

Meg Rice

Wool Young Farming Champion and Wool Classer Deanna Johnston visited Beaudesert State High School to share her career journey  . Deanna was overjoyed to swamped by students after her talk asking how to get into wool classing.  Deanna tells us Beaudesert have taken robotics to the next level with their Archibull Prize entry this year. If the end result is half as exciting as the titbits she shared with us. Wow do they have an Archie people will be talking about across the world

Beaudesert SHS (1)

Well done Sharna, Meg and Deanna!

And well done to Alan Eagle Scholarship YFC Emma Longworth for the great work on your AGEX field day at the University of New England Smart Farm this week. A little birdie told us it was a wonderful event!

SMARTer Farming Field Day

Prime Cuts

RAS Foundation Rural Scholarship applications for 2019 are now open, closing on August 31st! Several of our incredible YFC  have won these scholarships in the past, which provide a financial support for study and allow many students extra time to engage in extracurricular activities.

If you have a passion for rural and regional New South Wales and are committed to giving back to these areas, scholarships of $6000 for full-time study and $3000 for part-time study are available. Submit your applications here

_2018 A4ASponsors_foremail

Featured photo credit: Cotton Young Farming Champion and owner of Summit Ag out in the field checking for bugs with her business partner Heath McWhirter

 

New Partnership puts Agricultural Careers front and centre for young people

Key Points.

  • Young people’s perceptions of agriculture and regional areas are a caricature created by TV, movies, cartoons, news and limited personal experience. Agriculture needs career communications that bring to life specific roles that challenge stereotypes.
  • When young people are asked to identify careers in agriculture they can’t. Their answers revolve around farming related activities. Research (including The Archibull Prize surveys) show there is a positive correlation between knowledge and interest.

The 2017 SEED report Developing student interest in the agriculture sector identified Agriculture as a career is completely off  the radar for young  people. To turn this around and fast track putting agriculture career pathways front of mind for young people Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) and the Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia (PIEFA) are partnering to promote agricultural careers.

In late 2018 PIEFA will relaunch the Career Harvest website which is designed as a one-stop shop for prospective careers in agriculture. The site gives information on career pathways, internships and scholarships, with advice and news from graduates and industry.

Similarly, PYiA runs a careers website under their Archibull Prize banner featuring Young Farming Champions (YFC) illustrating the diverse range of agricultural careers with videos and career snapshots. The content is aimed at primary and secondary students participating in The Archibull Prize and encourages students to consider a career in agriculture.

“Our Young Farming Champions are visiting schools, sharing their stories in the community and online, showing young people, teachers, careers advisers and parents a career in agriculture is an exciting chance to be part of the solution.  A chance to undertake problem solving and see your work impact the lives of others

The new partnership between the two bodies will allow for cross-promotion of content between both sites. “Industry and schools need a platform to promote agricultural education and I believe this partnership with PIEFA is a wonderful start to positive collaborations,”

We are all in this together. Collaboration reduces duplication.  Collaboration creates opportunity and solves common priorities” PYiA Director Lynne Strong said.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

PIEFA CEO Ben Stockwin also believes this will be a mutually beneficial arrangement.

“PIEFA has recently taken on the management of Career Harvest and aims to curate careers information on behalf of industry to pull together information that informs and attracts new entrants to the industry,” he said. “PYiA and YFC have been at the forefront of presenting a modern, contemporary and accurate portrayal of the industry in a way that is accessible to young people across Australia. Career Harvest is very proud to have these programs as partners.”

More than just on-farm, agriculture today offers careers across a wide spectrum including jobs in environment and sustainability, biosecurity, humanities, extension, communications and engineering to name a few. Having platforms such as Careers Harvest and The Archibull Prize will guarantee a new generation is aware of these opportunities.

#YouthVoices18 #YouthinAg #STEMCareers

_2017 Supporting partners Capture

Local Land Services and Young Farming Champion Casey Onus collaborate at Tocal Field Day

 

Extending over three days in May the Tocal Field Days, held in the NSW Hunter Valley, are a premier event to showcase all that is new and exciting in agriculture, and in 2018 we were excited to see a collaboration between Hunter Local Land Services and Young Farming Champion Casey Onus, who together took the world of drones to the enthralled public.

Casey Onus tocal 069 (4)

Casey Onus at Tocal Field Day answering landowners questions about CASA rules and  utilising drones on-farm in their individual situations 

“We set up a drone simulator on the big screen in the Hunter LLS tent to encourage people to come and ask their questions about using drones on farm and to have a go at flying before they make the investment to get one,” Casey said. “The drone simulator was quite popular, especially with the school kids on the Friday, but we had quite a lot of landowners come with questions about CASA rules, utilising drones on-farm in their individual situations and even questions from people who had already purchased a drone but didn’t quite have the confidence to fly it yet.”

Although Casey believes satellite imagery remains more economical for large-scale crops, she knows drones have multiple uses on the farm from stock scouting in rugged terrain to monitoring water troughs and weed populations. And they are fun to fly!

So popular was Casey’s demonstration that even Chair of Hunter Local Land Services Board Lindy Hyam, had a go at the simulator.

Casey Onus tocal 069 (1).JPG

Chair of Hunter Local Land Services Board Lindy Hyam and Casey Onus encouraging landholders to ask questions about using drones on farm and to have a go at flying before they make the investment to get one, 

“Hunter Local Land Services recognises that addressing innovation and utilising modern technology is a key challenge for many local farmers, and is keen to find practical solutions to help local producers improve their productivity and profitability,” Penny Evans from Hunter LLS said. “Casey and her drone simulator created quite a buzz at the Tocal Field Days and it showed there is demand from the local community to help them adapt new technologies to their needs.”

Hunter LLS and Casey will partner again in 2018 as they take The Archibull Prize into local schools to excite young people about the high level of technology in agriculture and inspire them to think about STEM career pathways in agriculture .

#youthinag #archieaction #youthvoices18

_2017 Supporting partners Capture

Young Farming Champions Muster June 2018 Week 1

This weeks top stories from Young Farming Champions across the country

In the Field 

Our Young Farming Champions like Wool producer and UNE Honours student Emma Turner are regularly invited to share their research at events like MerinoLink The Hour of Power .  You can never overestimate the value of a great head shot for your bio and we love working with Antony Hands at Chasing Summer Photography who shot Emma’s portfolio this week.  We are confident you will agree we also got the perfect shot for our In the Field segment this week.

Speaking of UNE students big shout out for your first trimester exams this week

From the Field

Young Farming Champions Tayla Field and  Emma Ayliffe will be visiting schools in Sydney and Wollongong as part The Archibull Prize 2018.

Another 1000 students will be talking  all things cotton and veggies, gaining a greater understanding of the challenges to feed and clothe them in the 21st Century and being  inspired to join the next generation of agriculturalists finding solutions to those challenges.

Lucy Collingridge is travelling to Edmonton and Argentina later in the year and has created the Facebook page 1 Agriculturalist 2 Conferences 3 Countries  to share her learnings from her trips.  Lucy is looking forward to bringing home some fresh ideas for both the Australian agricultural sector and the show movement.

Wool Young Farming Champion Sam Wan has organised a special treat for her visit to Picnic Point High School

Sam Tweet.JPG

 

Prime Cuts 

UNE students Jasmine Whitten, Lucy Collingridge and Meg Rice have been selected to participate in an agribusiness study tour of Argentina and Uruguay which includes attending the 2018 International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) Annual World Symposium and Forum in Buenos Aires. Lucy and  Jasmine will represent UNE in the (IFAMA) Student Case Competition. UNE won the undergraduate division of the global competition in 2017.

The Study Tour is run as 6 credit point unit and is aligned with the annual IFAMA conference which is held in a different global location each year.

Young Farming Champion Casey Onus shares her tour highlights from 2017 here

_2017 Supporting partners Capture

Young Farming Champions Muster – Week 4 May 2018

Our vision is to promote positive images and perceptions of farming and engage in activities and innovative programs that encourage Australia’s best and brightest to consider a career in agriculture

Our Young Farming Champions are regularly in the field and out and about sharing agriculture’s good news stories.

Our Young Farming Champions also grab every opportunity to learn and grow and pay it forward

This weeks top stories from Young Farming Champions across the country

From the Field:

This week Cowra Grain farmer  Marlee Langfield  is speaking to Paterson Rotary on women in agriculture, alternative career pathways and opportunities for youth in the rural communities.  Marlee is also visiting Vacy Public school as guest speaker talking all things grains with students currently undertaking a science and technology paddock to plate unit

In the Field

Dr Jo Newton is presenting at the AgriBio Site seminar on ImProving Herds

Anika Molesworth is participating in the  Rice Industry Leadership Program 2018 –2020 – the “Foundations of Leadership Course. This eight day program has been developed in conjunction with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

Prime Cuts

People are agriculture’s most important resource. Young people in agriculture have access to a plethora of opportunities to grow as people, and to develop innovative ideas which will continue driving agriculture forward to a bright future

This week we are excited to announce

Sharna Holman has been selected to participate in the Future Cotton Leaders program . Previous YFC participants have been wax lyrical about this program and we look forward to Sharna sharing her  Future Cotton Leaders journey with us and the wider community

Lucy Collingridge and Stephanie Fowler have been successful in receiving a scholarship to attend the Royals of the Commonwealth Conference in Edmonton. This is another experience that has allowed previous YFC scholarship  winners like dynamo Hannah Barber  to contribute at the highest level to the agricultural show movement.

Sam Coggins  has won both the University of Sydney Medal for High Distinction subject average and the prestigious Convocation Medal which honours alumni who have shaped our world

#Youthinag #YouthVoices18

_2017 Supporting partners Capture