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.
Nine Roadshow units including a custom built Pantech for the Royal Shows and 8 4WD and a purpose built trailer are travelling to the majority of Royal Shows and local agricultural shows, agricultural field days, major cultural festivals and sporting event around Australia, throughout 2012 as part of the Australian Year of the Farmer showcase
The AYOF National Roadshow will be a celebration of Australian farmers and produce. It will entertain and educate all Australians – metropolitan, rural and regional; delivering key messages supporting the Year’s objectives and tagline, “Our Farmers. Our Future.”
The Roadshow exhibits will be attended by some of the AYOF Ambassadors, industry leaders, celebrities and local identities who will “meet and greet”, interacting with the general public about the Year of the Farmer.
These Roadshow units will be exhibited at 250 plus events including the V8 Supercars, travelling a combined distance of over 56,000 kilometres, within twelve months.
Our special guest at the 2011 Archibull Prize was the Minister for Primary Industries, Hon Katrina Hodgkinson who recognised the efforts of budding young artists as part of the agricultural art award, the 2011 Archibull Prize.
The Minister spoke extensively with students from a number of schools as she viewed the finalist artworks which will be on display for six weeks at Woolworths Head Office at Bella Vista.
“The Archibulls provide a unique opportunity for our city kids to learn all about farming, agriculture, and where our food comes from,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“Using videos, artwork, blogs and multimedia, school kids from Western Sydney this year tackled the theme, what it takes to sustainably feed and clothe Sydney for a day. The students had the opportunity to express their thoughts on agriculture and rural Australia by designing and decorating an iconic life-sized fibreglass cow. As part of the Art4Agriculture awards, each school researched and showcased a key agricultural commodity, including dairy, beef, sheep, wool, cotton, grains and poultry. It was my pleasure to announce the winner of the 2011 Archibull Prize as Caroline Chisholm College of Glenmore Park who turned their blank cow into a Rubik’s Cube to tell the story of beef,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
Ms Hodgkinson said the Art4Agriculture initiative is a great way for students growing up in the city to get a real insight into life on the land.
“Each school was mentored by a Young Farming Champion who worked with the students through the project and shared their experiences of life on the land. By rolling up their sleeves and getting involved, the program is an innovative way of bridging the rural-urban divide and helping tomorrow’s leaders understand the challenges of feeding the world.”
More than 20 urban Sydney schools took part in the Archibull Prize this year.
The Art4Agriculture Archibull Prize was developed with the support of the NSW Department of Primary Industries LandLearn initiative, Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry and Woolworths and RIRDC.
Art4Agriculture National Program Director Lynne Strong and National Program Manager Kirsty John of Event Directors were excited to be off the Glenwood High School in Western Sydney where we were going to meet the IT genius that is Alexander Rafferty.
We discovered Alexander when we ran the “What you can CreATE” competition to share the statistics of what it takes to feed and clothe Sydney for a day sustainably we uncovered from working with the Central District Exhibit for Sydney Royal Easter Show in April this year See background below**
Alexander created the most amazing web page see it here. Is this kid a whizz or not?
When we arrived at Glenfield High we discovered we would be presenting Alexander with his giant cheque (see pix below)at a ceremony to celebrate the school’s 2012 prefects as well as congratulate Alexander.
How proud is the school of Alexander. We discovered web design is just one of a diverse range of skills this awesome young man has.
This is what Alexander had to say after the presentation “I think it’s fantastic that I have gotten to use my own skills to help raise awareness of the importance of farmers in the suburbs. The competition opened my eyes as well. Before, I knew little about the modern farmer”
*Here is the background from our Art4ag web site web page found here
Three years, ago Wendy Taylor the designer of the Central District Exhibit at the Sydney Royal Easter Show contacted me I Art4Agriculture National Program Director Lynne Strong) after seeing Art4Agriculture’s Picasso Cows program.
Wendy had long felt that the District Exhibits should encourage designers to challenge themselves to reinvent and create new and unique displays.
Even on the phone, I could hear her enthusiasm and bright mind ticking over. I knew I had to meet this woman.
When we did connect, it wasn’t long until we talked about our new school-based program, the Archibull Prize.
Wendy was just as excited about the “Archies” as I was—she felt strongly that the District Exhibits echo its ideals, promoting sustainable and local agriculture. The program is designed for secondary schools and aims to increase agricultural and environmental awareness through art, creativity and teamwork. Each participating school learns about relevant agricultural issues and then using the ‘blank canvases’ of two life size, fibreglass cows, must depict two contrasting stories about the future of agriculture in their local area. It is up to the students how they use the cows—whether they paint, sculpt, drape, photograph, or project on or whatever they choose.
So began one of the most inspiring journeys I have walked (or run, in the case of Wendy), watching this woman’s vision come to life onto the unique canvas that is the iconic Central District Exhibit.
In 2010 Wendy and her team launched our Art4Agriculture signature program, the Archibull Prize. The display used the recognisable figure of the cow, reinvented into everyday items of produce utilising art and design to connect concept and community for the promotion of agriculture.
The display featured 10 cows, each representing an area of agriculture, as defined by the District Exhibit competition: Dairy Produce, Foods, Wines, Preserves, Fruits, Vegetables, Cucurbits, Grain, Stock Fodders and Wool. The ten cows stand within a profusion of agricultural products – with diversity and abundance for all to see. The front and back walls of the display are simplified to create balance and maintain the emphasis on agriculture. The sculptural and dynamic impact of the cows, with the uniqueness of concept, draws attention to the District Exhibits and the Archibull Prize program, leaving a lasting impression on the viewer. See it come to life here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOOHL4X4yjQ
So where to in 2011?
During a visit to Clover Hill Dairies, Wendy and her family were amazed at the quantity of milk that a single farm supplied to Sydney each and every day.
This sparked an idea and started a discussion. What does it take to feed Sydney for one single day?
We decided to research and uncover this quantity of food, to highlight the importance of the rural sector. To our amazement, these figures did not exist; there were some industries that weren’t able to supply any figures of any kind. The quantities are staggering and they only hint at the full story. It’s staggering enough to discover you need 90,000 cows to produce 1.3 million litres of milk that Sydney consumes every day, but then how much land do you need for those cows? How many people to run the farm? How much feed for the stock?
These are only a handful of questions and they are only for one area of agriculture. The drive behind this display is to start a discussion. If we can get people talking, thinking and appreciating their reliance on the rural sector, then the display has done its job.
For us, the 2011 display celebrates the noblest profession – our farmers.
Australian farmers feed and clothe 60 million people. If they were doctors or nurses or pharmacists or ambulance officers or firemen there would be a moment in most people’s lives when they would be reminded just how important those professions are.
Farmers, at less than 1 per cent of the Australian population, are almost invisible. With food in abundance in this country, there is little opportunity to remind Australians just how important our farmers are.
Wendy Taylor and the Central District Exhibit, I salute you – for fourteen days and fourteen nights you are reminding Sydney and showing visitors just how important our farmers are.
Let’s hope this starts a very long conversation and a new appreciation for the Australian farmers who produce our food and fibre.
So just what does it take to feed Sydney for a day? We will be loading all the statistics from the Central District Display early in May.
What next – the 2012 Challenge
Wendy and the Central District Exhibit has kick-started this campaign in a way farmers could only dream about. Australian Year of the Farmer 2012 will be a fantastic opportunity to continue these conversations
This is my challenge to Australian farmers:
Farmers are currently number 9 on Australia’s most trusted professions list. How can we work together to make 2012 the year Australia votes to put their farmers at number 1?
Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion Siannon Parice and partner Tay Plain of Clearcut Productions have joined forces with Art4Agriculutre to create a series of videos to showcase young people doing great things to sustain our landscapes and waterways
Most recently Siannon captured the spirit and passion of Dune Day through the lens of her camera
Dune Day is a community event organised by the Gerringong Gerroa Landcare Liaison network in partnership with Landcare Illawarra and Southern Rivers CMA. The event aims to raise awareness about the importance of Landcare and Bushcare and in particular coastal restoration projects.
Dune Day also aims to engage a range of demographics ranging from children, youth, young adults as well as the rest of the community through a range of interactive activities such as sand sculpting, local young musicians, live street art, photography, information displays, tree planting, and workshops on native flora and fauna.
Dune Day attracted around 100 community members on Saturday the 12th of November who came out to celebrate Landcare volunteers who contribute to environmental restoration projects across the entire Illawarra region.
The event also helped to raise hundreds of dollars in donations which will go back into regional Landcare projects which aim to protect our native flora and fauna.
Our 2011 Young Farming Champions have been telling NSW primary and secondary students their stories of involvement in food and fibre production. The students thirst for
knowledge about agriculture has been amazing. The program has become part of
the educational theme in next year’s Australian Year of the Farmer and as Art4Agriculture National Program Director Lynne Strong explains will be rolled
out to over 9,000 schools nationally.
“The Art4Agriculture programs and the Young Farming Champions will go national as
part of the Australian Year of the Farmer activities in 2012 and we are calling
for expressions of interest from young farmers across Australia to get involved
in the Young Farming Champions program. Art4Agriculuture was developed by
farmers and is delivered by farmers and we are keen to work with state farming
organisations to not only help build the capacity of young farmers to tell
agriculture’s story to a fundamental key audience – consumers but also
lead their industries into the future”. She says.
Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions will also have the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive and diverse program of events during Australian Year of the
Farmer in 2012 (and beyond). These events will provide a platform from which to
develop, build and strengthen the capacity of the Young Farming Champions and
allow industry to develop key farmer-to-stakeholder and farmer-to-consumer
And Art4Agriculture’s Young Farming Champion Alison McIntosh is already living that
In her role as Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion Alison has been visiting schools across Western Sydney sharing her story.
Alison found the experience highly rewarding. At Caroline Chisholm College she not
only shared her story with the students they also proudly showed Alison their
farm as well as videoing her and putting her under the spotlight with a mock TV
At Terra Sancta College the students said Alison’s visit gave them a whole new insight
into Australian domestic beef industry. Alison also found herself part of a
photo shoot with the school’s Archibull in amusing spots in the school
surrounds including a photo-shoot with the chooks. Alison’s
phobia of birds is well known amongst her friends and when the students
suggested she hold a rooster she was mortified and gracefully (she hoped she
looked graceful and not petrified) declined
At Richmond High School Alison shared her story with the visual arts students who are
painting the Archibull. Alison said it was clear the students were highly
creative and many sketched and wrote down ideas as she spoke.
“Richmond High School agriculture classes show team have always been very active and highly regarded on the show circuit winning many prizes with their beef cattle and I am looking forward to seeing how their partnership with the visual arts students translates onto their cow art” says Alison
This week Alison found herself centre stage at the biggest agriculture A list event on
the calendar. She not only had the great thrill of representing young
farmers but all farmers across the country by giving a speech on their behalf
at the launch of Australian Year of the Farmer in 2012
(Hopefully I can get a better shot of this shortly from the official photographer)
This is part of what Alison had to say
What an honour it is to be standing here today as a representative of all Australian
farmers! I am a 4th generation farmer on my family’s beef cattle farm in southern NSW – and I really couldn’t imagine doing anything else for a living!I have combined my love of
working with people and with animals in the industry I love, and this is very
As a young rural leader I want to enhance the links between urban and rural
Australia, so that all Australian’s have a deeper appreciation for where their
food comes from. The research which Year of the Farmer are releasing today,
highlights some of the challenges which lie ahead for farmers like me in
achieving this – but the coming years activities will go a long way to begin
this important process.
I am excited about 2012; The Australian Year of the Farmer will help bring farmers
like me closer to our customers. Our nation and the world need farmers; The
Australian Year of the Farmer is an important year for ALL Australians. I am
looking forward to spreading the word about our great Australian farming story,
and particularly ensuring that the next generation of young Australians are
well connected to farmers and the farms where their food comes from.
Check out this video to be reminded of how proud all Australian can be of their