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.
Over 30 entries were received in our National AgDAy
Careers Competition from primary and secondary schools in both rural and urban
environments. We even had entries from the Charters Towers School of Distance
Education and the Port Augusta School of the Air.
Students were asked to identify their interests and
favourite subjects, imagine an agricultural career, research the educational
pathway to that career and play with LEGO!
This year we teamed with Career Harvest and Aimee Snowden from LittleBrick Pastoral who designed 12 LEGO figurines illustrating agriculturalcareers. Students then had the choice of crafting their entries around one ofAimee’s characters or designing their own.
We were blown away with the LEGO figures returned to
us! There were animal welfare officers, farm architects, florists, robotics
engineers and heavy vehicle mechanics just to name a few. In all 22 unique
careers were identified.
Considering the quality of the entries it was
difficult to determine the seven finalists but here, in alphabetical order only,
Frederick Herrmann from Yanco Agricultural High School who chose to be an architect to design and construct rural infrastructure
Hamish Maclure from Yanco Agricultural High School who described in great and exacting detail the life of a stock and station agent (which suggests he has spent more than one day at the sales!)
Joshua Carpenter from The Henry Lawson High School who envisaged a career as an agricultural teacher – and one who returned to his home town of Grenfell to teach
Molly McCreadie from Gwynneville Public School who also chose to be a farm architect
Paige Brown from Yanco Agricultural High School who wants to be a wool classer
Sienna Banks, also from Gwynneville Public School who chose an animal welfare officer.(This was a popular profession with at least three students choosing it!)
Tom Ramsay from Charters Towers School of Distance Education who chose to be a contract musterer.
The judges also made special mention of the entry from
Eliza Friend from Frensham School Mittagong
Congratulations to all students who entered the
competition and designed LEGO characters to show us the broad world of
Our winners will be announced at The Archibull Prize Awards at Sydney Olympic Park on November 20th 2018
Special shoutout to Career Harvest who have donated the iPad minis as prizes
This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions around the country (and overseas!)
In the Field
Young Farming Champion Ben Egan who farms at Warren in NSW featured in The Land in this great story Drought Makes you think outside the Boxfrom Sam Townsend sharing what the drought has taught him and how his family are adapting in the drying times
The drought has taught Ben Egan to be a problem solver. Picture The Land
The sixth generation farmer from Kiameron Pastoral Company at Warren said while this drought was one of the toughest they had been through, it had made them think outside the box when it comes to cattle management, including their weaning.
Together with his parents Michael and Sue, and wife Eleanor, the family operates a mixed farming enterprise across 20,000 acres, comprising of cattle, irrigated cotton, and dryland winter crops including wheat, canola and chick peas.
“We’ve looked at issues at hand, there is not enough feed in the paddocks, cows are starting to slip conditions but we have calves on the ground that are still healthy and doing well,” he said Source
In Armatree, NSW, Wool YFC Peta Bradley returned home on the long weekend to help with the family with moving newly weaned lambs.
“Whilst they have never seen in grass in their life the lambs have done really well on a diet of grain. We are moving them to a failed crop whilst still trail feeding them”
and at Picture You in Agriculture HQ putting installing solar panels has proved a very effective rain dance with some coastal regions of NSW getting up to 200mm
Making the most of rain on farms is complicated depending on your farming system. For most farmers its a morale booster reminding them it does rain and for some little girls in far western NSW who may never have seen its impact it can look like the 9th wonder of the world
Out of the FieldYFC Jo Newton had a busy week at the Royal Melbourne Show stewarding, checking out the activities for AgTech on Show and more. Keep an eye on the Picture You In Agriculture Facebook page this week as Jo recaps her time at Melbourne show!
Also at Melbourne Royal was Grains YFC Dee George who was a finalist of the Victorian Rural Ambassadors Award. Dee spent Saturday with 6 other ambassadors visiting the livestock, woodchop and many other pavilions.
“We were fortunate enough to have many in depth tours with the people who run and put together all the amazing pavilions at the show, which a lot of work goes into prior to the show starting.”
On the Sunday all the ambassadors gave their 2 minute speeches.
Dee described the entire program as a great experience. We all pass on huge congratulations to the runner up Hayden Williamson, and the winner James Kirkpatrick (who is the brother Young Farming Champion Jessica Kirkpatrick)
Fellow Grains YFC Marlee Langfield has had a busy week to say the least. This week she spoke to the Inner Wheel group in Cowra, NSW about the current conditions. You can read the story here
On Monday was the Morongla Show which Marlee got to guide Steph Cooke MP around (pictured above ). Also this week she brought her first mob of sheep (so she is officially back in the mixed farming game) and submitted an entry form for the Cowra Showgirl Competition. Good luck Marlee we look forward to hearing how it goes.
YFC Steph Fowler was the Madame of Ceremonies for the Cowra Show Spring Cocktail Party
Rice YFC, Erika Heffer volunteered at the Deni Ute Muster over the long weekend which she described as a fantastic experienced. Erika is back at work this week and is busy preparing to attend the 2018 National Landcare Conference and Awards held on the 10-12th of October in Brisbane. Enjoy your time Erika and we will eagerly await hearing how it goes in a future muster.
Marlee Langfield wearing her professional photographer’s hat has taken out the Looking After Your Wellbeing OPEN Section in the Farmer Health in a Changing World – 2018 PHOTO COMPETITION
Well done Marlee – you are an all round superstar
Cotton Young Farming Champion Anika Molesworth has picked up another accolade for her championing of the low carbon economy and resilient farming systems winning the NSW Office and Environment and Heritage 2018 Young Sustainability Champion Green Globe Award.
‘I am excited to have the voice of young people in agriculture lifted up and recognised through this Award.. There are many young people working tirelessly in agriculture to make it the best it possibly can be. There are so many young champions in the farming sector who are bringing fresh, creative ideas to a truly exciting and forward-thinking industry. These people come with new tech, new skills and new perspectives that are essential for vibrant and resilient farming systems. These people are making a meaningful contribution to food security, the protection of the land and wildlife, are influencing policy and ensuring a bright future, not only for rural Australia, but for all of us.” said Anika following the win
Well done Anika you are a wonderful role model, mentor and voice for young people and women in agriculture.
Inside info tells me October promises to big a big month for our Young Farming Champions – Watch this space
#YouthinAg #YouthVoice18 #ArchieAction
Featured image is Grains YFC Dr Bec Thistlethwaite
Our resident YFC “Meat Doctor” Steph Fowler is moving into the next phase of her merino genetics trial, with 600 lambs processed and sampled for meat quality traits. Steph says it will be a while yet before the samples are processed but it’s exciting to have all the samples finally collected for the year! Can’t wait to hear these results, Steph.
Grains YFC Keiley O’Brien has kicked off this years hay making season, giving a canola crop the chop in Narromine, NSW. Fingers crossed for a good season ahead!
Out of the Field
Wool YFC and Youth Voices Leadership Committee chair Dr Jo Newton has spent the weekend at the Royal Melbourne Show, stewarding for the White Suffolk, Suffolk & South Suffolk Judging. Jo says, “Being a steward is a bit like being a secretary for the judge who is in charge of assessing the animals. At the MelbShow we used a tablet to record the results for each class, make sure owners (& judge) know what animals are needed in the judging ring as well as announcing results on the microphone.” If you’re at the Melbourne show this week make sure you pass by the Sheep Shed and say G’day to Jo!
YFC and Green Globe Awards Finalist Anika Molesworth has hit the radio waves again with a great interview on Hit 99.7 Riverina. Anika has been working to make NSW a more eco-friendly place to live, and she joined the show to talk to Claire & Sam about how she feels about being nominated for an Award. Take a listen here
Anika was also featured on the Weekly Times this week, talking about farming in outback NSW, championing for climate action and her PhD work. This is a lovely insight into a wonderful ag champion. Well done Anika! Read it here
The famous Henty Machinery Field Days were on this week and Wool YFC Dione Howard and Rice YFC Erika Heffer were both there. Dione and fellow vets from Riverina and Murray Local Land Services were answering animal health and biosecurity questions over the three days, while Erika was in the Landcare shed.
It was a busy week in the office for Dione who then headed to the Hay Sheep Sale on Wednesday, where approximately 47,000 sheep were sold. Dione says many properties were selling large numbers of sheep due to the ongoing dry conditions.
Dione ran into fellow YFC Chloe Dutschke at the sale who had travelled from Tupra station, where she has been contracting for the last couple of months. Great pic, ladies!
Cotton YFC Sharna Holman is super keen to be heading to “Go Ahead” Greg Mills‘s extension workshop in Townsville next week, as part of the Australasia-Pacific Extension Network 2018 Roadshow. Greg is a consultant on all things agribusiness extension, was the Kondinin Group and ABC Rural 2017 Consultant of the Year, and is a great friend of the Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions program. We have no doubt you’ll have a great day and take home many valuable insights Sharna!
Well done to Grains YFC Dee George (front left) who has been touring the Royal Melbourne Show this week in her role as a Victorian Rural Ambassador State Finalist. #YouthinAg #RoyalMelbourneShow
And congrats to YFCs Sharna Holman and Alexandria Galea #teamcotton who were both recently elected to the Wincott – Women in Cotton committee, Sharna as communications officer and Alexandria as a regional representative for Central Queensland. Check out these great introductions to Sharna and Alexandria on the Wincott facebook page.
Massive milestone moment right now for University of New England students, Poultry YFC Jasmine Whitten and Wool YFC Emma Turner, who both have their honours seminars today.
Jasmine’s honours is investigating the effect of environmental enrichment on fearfulness of pullets (young layer hens). Emma’s honours studies the implementation of shorter shearing intervals. Huge congratulations for all the hard work and time you’ve both put into reaching these milestones. Enjoy this moment!
Exciting times ahead for Cattle and Sheep YFC and Rabobank graduate Felicity Taylor who has just received a promotion as a Rabobank Rural Officer. Felicity will spent the next two months in the Netherlands working in Rabobank’s Global Food and Agriulture Sector, supporting multinational agribusinesses, as part of her current graduate position before moving back to her hometown of Moree, NSW, to begin her new position. Mega congrats Felicity!
Dione, Emma, Cassie and Sam have proven that it is not just the collection of industry accolades that is important but often the process itself. Nominating for awards allows each person to reflect on their career, to give thanks and recognition to others, to extend industry networks and experiences, and to gain skills that will equip them into the future.
Our Young Farming Champions are encouraged to nominate for the highest awards in their industries to not only showcase their own careers but to acknowledge the support they have received along the way. Here, four of our recently successful YFCs share their experiences.
Dione Howard has been named the inaugural Wool Youth Ambassador with WoolProducers Australia in a position designed to expose a new generation to policy and advocacy issues important to the wool industry. “I applied for the Youth Ambassador role to extend my leadership capabilities and gain skills to develop policy,” Dione says, “and through it will attend board and advisory committee meetings as an observer for 12 months and work on policy projects.”
Dione has recently graduated from university and has commenced work as a district veterinarian with Local Land Services. She believes the Youth Ambassador role has come at an ideal time as she transitions from education to industry, and it will equip her with skills to take on leadership positions in the future.
Emma Ayliffe runs her own business, Summit Ag, and was encouraged by her peers to nominate for the ADAMA Young Agronomist of the Year competition, in which she was runner-up in 2018. The program recognises Australia’s top agronomists less than 30 years of age and Emma found she even enjoyed applying for the award. “I entered this competition as an opportunity to reflect on where I have come from and think about where I am heading,” Emma says, “and the application process was wonderful as the types of questions that are asked where VERY thought provoking.” Among other things, the questions asked Emma to consider the role agronomists play in Australian agriculture, the future of agriculture technology, the challenges faced and the career milestones she aspires to.
The Young Agronomist of the Year program will allow Emma to create networks within her industry and gain international agricultural experience with an overseas trip. “This is a very humbling award,” Emma says, “but it confirms to me I am exactly where I want to be in regards to my career choice and helps to give me confidence in what I do every day.”
Cassie Baile and Samantha Wan were both finalists in this year’s WoolBroker Award. This prestigious award recognises excellence in Australian woolbroking for those who have been in the industry less than 10 years. “I was nominated by the company I work for, Australian Wool Network. I was grateful for the opportunity to represent them and myself within the industry,” Cassie says. For Samantha nominating was an opportunity to give thanks: “It was a way to acknowledge the support of my employer Elders, and many others within the industry and to promote Art4Agriculture and associated career programs,” she says.
As finalists Cassie and Sam will attend to the NCWSBA (National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia) Board Meeting, the AWIS (Australian Wool Industries Secretariat) Lunch and the Wool Week Dinner at the MCG. “I have gained confidence in presenting, built quality relationships with fellow wool brokers and industry leaders, and enjoyed the experience which came from presenting for the Wool Broker Award,” Cassie concludes.
Dione, Emma, Cassie and Sam have proven that it is not just the collection of industry accolades that is important but often the process itself. Nominating for awards allows each person to reflect on their career, to give thanks and recognition to others, to extend industry networks and experiences, and to gain skills that will equip them into the future. Well done girls.
Alexandria Galea doesn’t mind a yarn. She grew up on a cotton property in central Queensland and while she admits she didn’t have an instinct for farm work, she did develop a love of sharing stories from her farming background.
This love of sharing and storytelling led her to a degree in secondary school education.
“I was half way through my teaching degree when I realised I also wanted to study agriculture, and it greatly excited me to think of all the pathways I could take. Upon graduation I turned to the field to gain more experience and exposure to agriculture and was fortunate to be offered a role as a sales agronomist with Cotton Growers Services.”
Today we introduce you to the second of our 2018 Cotton Young Farming Champions Alexandria Galea
This is Alexandria’s story
For generations my family have been working on the land. The family tree has gotten its hands dirty in many fields starting in horticulture on the Mediterranean island Malta and dry land cropping in South Australia. Today some are growing sugar cane or rearing cattle. In the mix I have grown up in the Central Highlands of Queensland on my parent’s irrigation property where we grow cotton, grains and pulses.
Despite coming from these blood lines I never quite inherited the nature of the typical country girl. I blissfully ignored practicality and sun safety to rock getups that only the Spice Girls could pull off around irrigation ditches or cattle yards (at least I was easy to spot). Although I was never hard to find as you could hear me a mile away yelling for help when bogged or caught in such a good yarn with the calves that I’d walk straight into the backside of a cow.
Enough said farm work was not quite my strong point but I loved it. As I grew up I realised I had a passion for collaborating, sharing and learning with others, in particular youth, or what others would call an interest in talking the ears off somebody. With this in mind I set out to become a teacher.
A passion for teaching and sharing a story led to an invitation to join the Young Farming Champions program
Following high school I spent my time split between studying a Bachelor of Secondary Education and working in agricultural businesses. Working in agriculture started as a necessity to pay for the hefty bills of text books and late night educational excursions at university to become a real joy which I looked forward to. I got to experience a range of jobs from working with agronomists bug checking, accounting and supplying growers with products. Most importantly I got to have a good yarn with a diverse range of people within the industry.
Never a dull day in my office especially when you get stuck in the mud
I found this work very interesting and rewarding, it opened my eyes to the magnitude of careers in agriculture which are not locked within the boundary fence of a farm. For the first time I could see how I (the not so intuitive farm girl) could be involved in an industry so close to my heart. I enjoyed liaising with farmers, the mix of working in the field and in the office, understanding the science behind growing plants and the ability to see a range of crops across a vast area. I was half way through my teaching degree when I realised that I also wanted to be studying agriculture. This greatly excited me to think of all the pathways I could take. Upon graduation of university I had the opportunity to work in the classroom however I turned to the field to gain more experience and exposure to agriculture. I was fortunate to be able to take on a role as a sales agronomist with Cotton Growers Services.
Working in agriculture is full of challenges to overcome in particular managing climate constraints.
In this role I had the pleasure of facilitating educational workshops at the Emerald Agricultural College to give students exposure to and broaden their knowledge of different types of crops, roles within farming and a range of technologies. In this space I am the most excited, it is a feeling of its own to open the eyes of another especially about farming.
My path in agriculture has only just began and I am very excited to see where my sparkling boots take me and for the yarns to be had! All are welcome to join.
Alex joined 2018 Cotton Young Farming Champions Sally Poole and Anika Molesworth at our first YFC workshop for 2018 in Tocal this month and it is clear she well make a great storyteller for cotton. Welcome Alex
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 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?
We would like to welcome Sally Poole the first of our three Cotton Young Farming Champions for 2018
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.
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.
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.
At an abattoir in Indonesia on the University of Adelaide beef trip. 2015
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.
Enjoying the fruits of my (and the farmers) labour, mung bean crop in Chinchilla 2018