Its COVID19 cut through time – Inviting teachers and students to Connect, Collaborate, Communicate and Celebrate their creativity in these challenging times  

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Do we have the perfect COVID19 cut through programs for you and your students?

It is time to combine learning with fun and post COVID career readiness

Expressions of interest are now open for The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas- Design a Bright Future Challenge investigating sustainability through an agricultural lens.

We know we are working in unusual times and our schools may feel like they are in chaos and teachers and students are feeling overwhelmed.

Our programs are an opportunity to engage students in an exciting, authentic learning experience supported by industry and educational experts.

Students will learn how to manage projects more efficiently and can take full ownership of their work, reflecting on and celebrating their progress and accomplishments. The model encourages students to find their voice and learn to take pride in their work, boosting their agency and purpose.

To bring some added Koala Karma to your lives our team has gathered all the bright minds in education together to create a portfolio of support materials for your learning journey

How does it work

The  Archibull Prize 2020 sees secondary schools tasked with identifying a local agricultural area of investigation and exploring its challenges and opportunities. The students will be assigned a Young Farming Champion and encouraged to identify specialist educational settings, tertiary, business, and government organisations with whom they can partner in their quest to take ownership of the challenge and share their findings and recommendations.

The Archibull Prize Expressions of Interest brochure can be found here

Secondary schools will also be encouraged to build a partnership with their feeder primary schools for Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future Challenge with the opportunity for the secondary school to offer student mentoring, facilitation and specialist support.

Kreative Koalas design a bright future challenge taps into creative minds to connect and inspire young people and the community to work together to act on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on a local level

Kreative Koalas expression of interest brochure can be found here

Based on the concept of ‘communities of practice’ these partnered learning opportunities between primary, secondary, specialist educational settings and tertiary institutions will enhance the transition of students through their education journey and provide post-school opportunities through other partnerships with industry and government.

The new model is tailored to support schools to encourage teacher and student collaboration using cross curricula learning.  In addition, it will incorporate the development of intergenerational knowledge and skills transfer while continuing to be an exemplary example of student-driven project-based learning.

Extra support will be available for students in rural and regional NSW through our new partnership with the STEM Industry School program

The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas provide young people with future focused learning linked to real world issues at both a society and agricultural industry level and fosters the top four skills 21st century employers want: collaborative team players, creative thinking, critical analysis and problem solving and influential communication.

Places are limited we currently have opportunities for 10 secondary schools and 20 partner primary schools to participate in 2020.

Visit our website to chose the progam that matches your school

Connect and Collaborate – Introducing the Young Farming Champions Innovation Hub

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At Picture You in Agriculture we believe empowered young people have the capacity to solve tomorrow’s problems today. The Innovation Hub is a Young Farming Champions alumni community of practice for individuals and groups to build an innovation mindset, explore new ideas, collaborate, experiment and accelerate learning applied to a real-world project that nurtures a bright future for agriculture.

Our Young Farming Champions are real people working in real jobs in real-world situations. Sometimes they may have big ideas for projects to benefit the entire agricultural sector. Sometimes they may be struggling with life changes. Sometimes they may have light-bulb moments of inspiration. Sometimes they will hesitantly mention a brilliant design that has been bubbling away in their sub-conscious. Sometimes they may have challenges. The Innovation Hub provides a forum for Young Farming Champions to express their ideas and challenges to a committee of their peers.

The Innovation Hub committee will then assess the merits of each, and its relevance to PYiA core business, and either take the idea further with simple methods of support for projects and passions, or connect the YFC to others in our extensive network who may provide the support they require.

In the inaugural test-case for the Innovation Hub Anika Molesworth tells us why working with the Young Farming Champions community is so important to her.

Connect and Collaborate with Anika

“Connecting and collaborating with young people in rural Australia (and those in urban places who are working in ag too) fills me with so much energy – I love working with people who are passionate about making a positive difference and don’t mind getting their hands dirty on farms! Apart from being a highly motivating group, they also challenge me to learn more about the wider farming sector and see new perspectives. What I am learning from my Young Farming Champions peers I then take into schools, where I have the great honour to teach students about sustainable farming and climate change. We cannot solve the big challenges in agriculture through disjointed and isolated effort – and the Innovation Hub creates a space where we can truly come together, stretch ourselves and support one another.”

With the inaugural Innovation Hub initiative, we are able to support Anika’s desire to connect and collaborate with her favourite audience – larger numbers of school children – in a structured way. This has been achieved by promoting her on The Archibull Prize website and directing interested people to her ‘last-Friday-of–the-month’ meeting schedule. By providing scaffolding around how people can connect with her, Anika takes her story and knowledge from rural paddocks to classrooms around Australia.

See Anika’s full initiative from the Innovation Hub here.

PYiA looks forward to sharing more stories from the Innovation Hub in coming months; stay tuned to hear how Young Farming Champions are supporting Young Farming Champions.

Emma Ayliffe and Marlee Langfield show the value of Place-Based Leadership skills for rural Australia

Marlee Langfield and Emma Ayliffe proud young agriculturalists

As part of our series showcasing champions in government, not for profits and the private sector doing great stuff we will be sharing stories about rural entrepreneurs, community champions and young people walking the talk as role models.

The research shows for young people in rural, regional and remote Australia to navigate change and take advantage of agricultural and STEM career pathways in their region they have to see “what and who they can be”.

Today we are showcasing two of our Young Farming Champions who epitomise place based leadership at the highest level and are using what they have learnt on their journey to multiply other leaders in their region.

First Hilux out of the shed is Emma Ayliffe followed by  cropping farmer Marlee Langfield is spending plenty of time on her tractor in the next few weeks.

Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) believes in giving voice to young leaders in rural Australia. It does this by equipping them with skills to communicate their stories, in positive terms, to varied audiences, and by providing a safe place to practice what they have learnt. We call these people our Young Farming Champions (YFC).

YFC understand that in order to create stronger communities in regional, rural and remote Australia place-based leadership is key. Leaders working in their own regions, with their own people, are highly motivated with a strong desire to capitalise on future economic opportunities.

Here we shine the spotlight on two of our successful place-based leaders: Emma Ayliffe and Marlee Langfield.

As often the youngest person sitting on boards and committees Emma has come a long way from her childhood tailing wild merinos on stations west of Port Augusta. Today she is a respected agronomist, business owner, farmer and community leader.

Emma Ayliffe Summit Ag

Emma Ayliffe cofounder of Summit Ag, entrepreneur and board member

Emma joined the YFC program in 2015 and has been an active member ever since, rising to the position of Chair of the Youth Voices Leadership Team (for YFC alumni) in 2020. In these short five years Emma began her working life as a cotton agronomist on the lakebeds south of Menindee, was head-hunted by Elders to fill a combined research, development and agronomy role, and in 2018 co-founded agricultural consultancy Summit Ag.

Along the way she has been a committed community and industry leader with roles including:

Emma has presented at various industry events including the 2019 Summer Grains Conference and the 2019 PYiA Professional Learning Weekend.

In 2020 Emma was named a finalist in the NSW Young Achiever Awards in recognition of her leadership in rural Australia.

Invisible Farmer

Marlee Langfield Photographer Catherine Forge Source Museum of Victoria

As CEO of Cowra agribusiness Wallaringa Trust, farmer and grain grower Marlee is a steward of the land and a leader in her community. Her family have been farming around Cowra for five generations, three of which have been on Wallaringa.

Marlee joined the YFC program in 2016 and in 2020 took on the position of Social Media Co-coordinator, a natural progression for a young woman already holding leadership positions within her local community including:

In 2019 Marlee’s farming journey was highlighted in the Invisible Farmer project and in 2020 she is furthering her leadership journey as part of the Grain Growers Limited Social Leadership Program. Once graduated Marlee is set to become part of the #grains100 alumni -a group of 100 influential and powerful voices that can communicate critical subjects beyond the farm gate.

“I believe communities need creative, innovative and courageous young people who can connect, collaborate and act. Transition of leadership from one generation to another is inevitable and if we, as young people, want to breathe life into our communities and see them continue from strength to strength we need to come to the table and be active participants.”

Marlee and Emma both believe one of the important facets of leadership is mentorship of the next generation, and in this they welcome Jess Fearnley to the role of Cultivate Intern with the Youth Voices Leadership Team..

Jessica Fearnley

Jess Fearnley Cultivate Growing Young Leaders program participant and Australian Women in Agriculture Youth Committee member

Jess is one of our current participants in the Cultivate Growing Young Leaders program  with expressions of interest now open. Successful applicants will receive a two-year package of support including media training, networking and mentorship opportunities to help them share their stories with the nation and graduate as Young Farming Champions.

Jess, who began her YFC journey in 2019, is already displaying leadership potential being on the Australian Women in Agriculture Youth Committee. PYiA looks forward to giving voice to yet another place-based leader in rural Australia.

 

 

Anika Molesworth says COVID-19 is a big challenge for farmers, but it also encourages us to share ideas and work together for a better and more resilient future.

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Is distance a barrier to #ClimateActionNow Young Farming Champion Anika Molesworth??

No way!!!!

If you think a global pandemic is too overwhelming to do something – Anika says think again!

Anika zoomed from her farm in Broken Hill to Pakistan last night, on the topic “How COVID-19 is impacting agriculture and rural communities, and what needs to be done.”

In Anika’s own words ……

To a large and diverse virtual classroom, we spoke about how COVID-19 impacts on both the lives and livelihoods of farmers and people living in rural communities.

My key points were:
• COVID-19 poses a particularly serious threat to farmers who live remotely and do not have easy access to doctors and healthcare.
• The disease is a vulnerability amplifier for poorer farmers, older farmers, those who have limited labour resources and few market options.
• Disruption to food availability and affordability can lead to reduced food options in some regions and therefore poorer diets and malnutrition.
• Transport restrictions can impede access to markets, and challenges in logistics can be particularly obstructive for fresh food that is highly perishable, which may result in increased food loss and waste.
• Increased costs of farm inputs, like livestock feed, fertiliser, water, contract labour and machinery, may result in lower net returns.
• The reduction in tourism to rural areas has flow-on financial impacts to local farmers and local businesses (e.g. restaurants, shops, hotels).
• Improving hygiene and working conditions for farmers is critical to prevent the spread of disease, as well as improving information channels and access to healthcare.
• Improving the standard of living for farmers through education, income diversification, market access, food transport and storage practices, will help them to become more resilient to future crises.

There was great conversation with lots of excellent questions and comments.

I learnt a lot and thank Humera Hania for inviting me to virtually visit Pakistan to be part of this event.

COVID-19 is a big challenge for farmers, but it also encourages us to share ideas and work together for a better and more resilient future.

Visit Anika’s website to learn more how she is putting her passion project into action

Visit her Youtube Channel here 

Applications now open to join the Young Farming Champions program

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Are you an early career professional with a passion to lead and advocate for agriculture? If so then Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA), in conjunction with Corteva Agriscience, is seeking applications to join the prestigious Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program. Graduates of this program become Young Farming Champions – a national network of globally connected young thought leaders thriving in business and in life, who are inspiring community pride in Australian agriculture.

Young people aged between 18 and 30, who are studying or who have completed an agriculture related degree, are invited to apply for the Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program. Successful applicants will receive an incredible two-year package of support including media training, networking and mentorship opportunities to help them share their stories with the nation.

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In Year One participants will attend two mandatory immersion workshops in July and November, and The Archibull Prize Awards Ceremony. They will be partnered with a Young Farming Champion to support their journey and will be required to develop an action plan with their employer or university.

In Year Two of the program participants will put their learnings into practice by visiting schools as part of The Archibull Prize to raise awareness of Australian farming and the diversity of agricultural careers.

2020 represents the first year of collaboration between PYiA and Corteva, which extends beyond the Young Farming Champions program to the creation of resources to be used in schools to teach sustainability. Dan Dixon, ANZ Marketing Director for Corteva Agriscience is excited to participate in this initiative and support young agricultural professionals willing to champion agriculture through the wider community.

“Educating teachers, students and non-farming communities on the latest sustainable agricultural advancements and the importance of agriculture to the nation is vital to ensure that not only Australian agriculture has a voice, but that voice is providing accurate information that is then amplified through our schools,” he said.  “Previous participants of the programme are already viewed as leaders in their fields. We encourage all agriculture graduates to apply to become members of this growing community.”

Expressions of interest for the 2020 Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program can be accessed via the Expression of Interest brochure found here 

For further information please contact Picture You in Agriculture National Director Lynne Strong at lynnestrong@pyia.com.au

 

 

Emma Ayliffe paying it forward for Tulli Young Farmers

“If you want to keep leading, you need to keep growing, and few things stretch a leader like leading growing leaders.” John Maxwell 

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Rural Entrepreneur and finalist in the 2020 Channel 7 NSW Young Leader of the Year Emma Ayliffe is paying it forward supporting young farmers to be the best business and environmental managers they can be

At Picture you in Agriculture we know and support the research that follows the 70-20-10 rule research that shows how people get good at their jobs (and love what they do).

  1. 70% of what people know and what they know how to do, came experientially. They learned on the job.
  2. 20%, somebody showed them, a coach or a mentor.
  3. 10% they got in classroom, formal education, higher education, training programs at work or at eternally

YFC Impact Talent Development

Young Farming Champion and acting chair of the Youth Voices Leadership Team,Emma Ayliffe acknowledges the support and guidance she has received in her career as an agronomist and farmer. Now she is paying that support forward with the establishment of the Tulli Young Famer’s Group.

“The group is for young farmers (and farmers young at heart),” Emma says, “and it aims to bring together younger people from around Tullibigeal to discuss what is happening on farm and to act as a conduit for information. As a fledging farmer I have a lot to learn and as an agronomist I feel I have knowledge to share.”

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Emma created the group, now 58 members strong, via Facebook, spoke to a few young growers and enticed them to the pub for a chat. With $10,000 funding through the NSW Government’s Young Farmer Business Program, the new group held their first workshop, themed “The Business of Farming: From the Ground Up” on February 3.

“At the workshop we had a number of presenters including Tom Nicholas from Healthy Soils Australia, Tristan Stevenson and Hamish Ross (StevTech and Hutcheon and Pearce) talking around new spraying technology and Geoff Minchin talking about pasture management and investment,” Emma says. “And we also had Young Farming Champion Dan Fox who was a real superstar.”

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Dan is very grateful to benefit from having access to three generations of mentors and inspiration

“The ideas of soil health and regenerative agriculture  – and the benefits of that system – are becoming more popular around the world and I shared our experience with what we are doing on our farm, what has been working for us and what we’ve learnt on our journey,” Dan says of his presentation. “As farmers we can become isolated and so a group like Tulli Young Farmers is a very valuable thing for getting people together, making sure your mates and neighbours are all right and sharing stories. And it’s especially good to see the next generation excited by agriculture.”

Tulli Young Farmers will hold their second workshop – “The Business of Farming: Books, Bankrolls and Bestowals” on March 16, which will take a look at the “office” side of farming, and are planning a bus tour later in the year.

“My aims for the group are to keep everyone talking,” Emma says. “My ideal is an open and engaged farming community that is extremely supportive of each other and the next generation. It is great to be able to offer a non-judgemental and supportive group that can help to enable all growers in our region to be successful.”

You can view Dan Fox’s presentation here

Shoutout to our supporting partners for helping us to empower young people to solve tomorrows problems today

Sponsors

 

 

The Archibull Prize giving rural students the opportunity to get a taste of the diversity of tertiary education pathways

The Picture You in Agriculture team is committed to equal opportunity leading to equal outcomes.  As part of this committment we support students in rural and urban students  to have hands on opportunities to get a taste of diversity of careers on offer in the agriculture sector.

In November 2019 with the support of the principal of the newly announced Richmond Agricultural College – Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education rural students from Wee Waa High School and Lake Cargelligo Central School who participated in The Archibull Prize visited Western Sydney University .

Students and teachers from Lake Cargelligo Central School (L) and Wee Waa High School (R) with their Archies

The visit to Western Sydney University was a highlight in a year of deep and diverse learning experiences for these students as part of  The Archibull Prize. This innovative and fun program engages secondary school students in agricultural and environmental awareness through art, design, creativity and teamwork. It is known for its vibrant life-sized fibreglass cows (the Archies), which can be seen anywhere from the offices of politicians to the Sydney Royal Easter Show. In November each year The Archibull Prize concludes with a presentation and awards day. This is what is generally known about The Archibull Prize.

What is not so well known is the capacity of the program to bring together urban and rural communities in a collaborative manner. This year students from Wee Waa High School and Lake Cargelligo Central School, in northern and western NSW respectively, packed up their Archies and drove to Sydney for the awards ceremony.

“It was certainly a different experience transporting the Archie in the horse float that is usually designated to transporting the schools show steers to various shows around the country,” laughs Wee Waa teacher Verity Gett.

Hosting the rural students, in the unfamiliar urban environment, were fellow Archibull participants from Hurlstone Agricultural High School.

“Hurlstone Agricultural High School was excited to be able to host both schools and Western Sydney University (WSU) partners were very supportive of the visit and facilitated a tour for the students and staff.” Kris Beazley Principal of recently announced Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education    

And so the visit became more than The Archibull Prize. Students also had the opportunity to attend an ABC Heywire workshop, meet celebrity gardener Costa Georgiadis and to make a special presentation at the awards ceremony.

The Heywire workshop and interaction with Young Farming Champions was another highlight.

“The students really enjoyed working with the Young Farming Champions in the workshop from ABC and came up with some interesting stories. They are now considering entering their own story in the Heywire Storytelling competition.” Lake Cargelligo teacher Tara-Jane Ireland

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Students and Young Farming Champions came together for a story tellling workshop with  ABC Heywire

Emma Ayliffe was the Young Farming Champion working with Lake Cargelligo Central School as they studied the Australian grains industry through The Archibull Prize and she welcomed the opportunity to strengthen her association with the students in Sydney.

“It was wonderful listening to their experiences at the Heywire workshop and watching their stories develop. And it was great to see friendships develop between Lake Cargelligo and Wee Waa students as they realised their similarities and connections. I hope to continue my relationship with them beyond the Archies.” Emma Ayliffe Young Farming Champion

Following the Heywire workshop students travelled to Western Sydney University

“At the WSU Farm and precinct students had the opportunity to understand the interaction in the peri-urban landscape between urban development and agricultural production. They were also able to see all elements of the university’s water management systems in action.”

“The students were then treated to a visit to the University’s world class glass house facility, to witness several scientific plant experiments including the growing of different cultivars of eggplant and pollination with native bees.” Kris Beazley Principal Richmond Agricultural College – Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education

At the university students were able to explore the campus and ask questions regarding tertiary studies, learning that these days there are multiple pathways to university or TAFE entrance beyond the traditional ATAR scores.

For many of the students it was their first trip to Sydney and traffic, public transport, the boarding house and the sheer number of people proved eye-opening.

“They were fascinated by the facilities at the Hurlstone Agricultural High School campus, particularly the kitchen and dining facilities which are bigger than our Food Technology room,” Tara-Jane says.

Finally it was time for the awards ceremony and the day was opened with an Acknowledgement of Country by Lake Cargelligo student Brooke Kirby.

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Lake Cargelligo student Brooke Kirby opened The Archibull Prize Awards Ceremomy with an Acknowledgement of Country .

“Brooke was very nervous,” Tara-Jane says, “but proud to represent her school and culture at such a big event.”

For their Archibull project Lake Cargelligo Central School was highly commended for their infographic while Wee Waa High School was highly commended for their Archie Artwork.

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“The awards ceremony was a great event, with so much excitement in the room and so much inspiration for the future of agriculture and farming, despite challenges like climate change and drought,” Verity says. “It was very exciting for our students to meet and speak to Costa and we are looking forward to skyping him one day from our school farm and maybe getting him out here to visit. Overall it was a great opportunity for our small rural school to be involved in such a program and we are very proud to have received highly commended (or second place!) in the artwork section for our Archie ‘Chronibull’.”

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Both Wee Waa High School and Lake Cargelligo Central School are grateful for the Sydney experience and in particular the hospitality from Hurlstone Agricultural High School and Western Sydney University .

This story first appeared in The Land 

Shoutout to our supporting partners empowering young people to solve tomorrow’s problems today

Sponsors 

Hear more from teachers and students at Wee Waa and Lake Cargelligo on their Archibull Prize experience

  1. Wee Waa High School share their Archibull Prize experience

2. Wee Waa teachers and students share how the program bought teachers and students and the community together to build drought resilience

3. Lake Cargelligo Central School teacher Tara-Jane Ireland shares the breadth of experiences The Archibull Prize offers

 

4. Students from Lake Cargelligo Central School share their deep learnings with the art judge Wendy Taylor

 

Sam Arnfield discovers agriculture is a place where careers with purpose can grow limitlessly

I’m not yet thirty but I’ve already worked in grains, viticulture, horticulture and now the wool industry. It’s been an unconventional path but that’s OK. I think its important people know that with a bit of enthusiasm, anyone will take you on and give you a chance. Looking forward I’m excited to continue to learn new skills, with a view to becoming a leader and a manager of people, in whatever corner of the industry I find myself. One thing is for sure, I’ll be doing work that makes me happy. says Sam Arnfield Project Officer with Australian Wool Innovation

At Picture You in Agriculture we get a buzz out of sharing stories about young people who grew up in the city and discover agriculture is an exciting industry where innovation, disruption and creativity are fostered and where careers with purpose can grow limitlessly

This blog post introduces you to  Sam Arnfield our man on the spot with Australian Wool Innovation (AWI).  Sam’s career journey was first profiled as a 1st year university student. Ten years after leaving school Sam is a project officer working closely with Picture You in Agriculture to ensure our wonderful wool Young Farming Champions are well supported.

This is Sam’s journey to our door and it’s a journey with lessons for us all.

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Sam Arnfield sharing the properties of wool with students at RAS of NSW Farm Day education experiences 

I grew up on a concrete farm five minutes north of the Adelaide CBD. While I have zero family background in agriculture my love of food, biology and geography made studying it a natural choice and I was very lucky to have a fantastic high school ag teacher, Chris Muirhead, who was buoyant about the prospects of careers in agriculture.

At that time, university enrolments were on the slide and the sentiment in the industry was poor. South Eastern Australia was in the midst of the Millennium Drought and the wool price was around a third or what it is today. However, with booming middle classes in Asia and the advent of e-commerce and smart technology, Mr. Muirhead saw changes on the horizon for our world and our industry. He recognised the importance of enticing people from non-traditional backgrounds into agriculture at a time when young people were leaving the family farm in droves, never to return. I ignored him and followed my school mates to law school.

I took some time off after school teaching English school kids how to play cricket. This was the perfect opportunity to take stock and work out what I really wanted to do with my life. Returning home, I ditched law school before even starting and embarked on a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Adelaide Uni. It was there I met my best friends. We drank together, played footy together and ended up working together for some time.

Without a farm to go back to, or any practical agricultural skills, I foolishly chose the graduate job I thought could earn me the most money. I took a job in grain marketing – not the smartest move for a kid who’d failed maths every year in high school. I sucked, badly, and lasted six weeks and one day.

It was a lesson in doing things for the right reasons and a reminder that you should always do things that make you happy. Maybe that’s a selfish outlook, but we spend more time at work than we do with friends, family and loved ones so we may as well be happy while we do it.

With a degree and no job, I sheepishly went back to a research organisation I’d done some work experience with and begged for a job. I began as a casual, doing all the things nobody else wanted to do – counting potatoes, counting weeds, washing cars and weighing grain. It was mundane but it was fun. At that time, the organisation was packed full of young people, most of whom I’d studied with. We had fun and we worked hard. I stuck around like a bad smell, eventually landing a full-time job where I could spread my time between horticulture, viticulture and the grains sector, conducting field trials for new agro-chemistry.

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Jobs in agriculture offer diverse opportunities 

The job allowed me to travel around South Australia, learn some practical skills and gain a knowledge in a raft of sectors but I eventually realised I was working because I loved the people and not the work itself. After five years it was time for a change, and time for some more skills.

As serendipity would have it, I met a girl while I was searching for my new job. She just happened to be moving to Sydney. I quickly changed my filter settings to ‘Ag jobs in Sydney’ and before too long we were off. I landed a job at Australian Wool Innovation, which was odd to my friends considering I’ve never worked in wool in my life.

I barely knew the front end from the back of a Merino. I must have bluffed my interviews well, but I think it goes to show that if you’re keen and passionate about ag it doesn’t really matter what you’ve done, or what you know, people will give you a chance.

I got learned up pretty quickly on the sheep front and I’m currently coordinating projects in the Leadership and Capacity Building portfolios. This group of projects aims to capture and retain the best and brightest people within the wool industry. I work with initiatives such as Young Farming Championsto foster the development of young wool industry participants and to encourage YFCs to become inspirations for young people. Other projects involve fostering careers through scholarships, educational resources and leadership programs. I get to work with passionate, smart and driven people from all around Australia every day.

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A typical day at the office can include sharing the properties of wool with school students

A typical day in our office at Circular Quay has me collaborating with colleagues, contacts and industry leaders about how to best present the wool industry to students, updating educational resources, planning events and of course all the boring backroom administration. Recently, I’ve been working with colleagues to coordinate a response and to collate information to assist woolgrowers impacted by the recent bushfires.

Although I’ve only been here a year, I’ve learned an incredible number of skills and have grown more confident in my abilities as a communicator. From people management and organisation as well as managing funds and writing legal contracts it’s been a steep learning curve. Stepping out of the paddock into an office was tough but it’s a step I needed to make. My colleagues have been so generous with their time, and I’m absolutely loving my role.

The history and camaraderie that exists within the wool industry is, I think, unique to wool. Everyone I speak to is hell-bent on improving and driving Australian wool forward. Everyone’s got lots of great ideas and with that comes some robust conversations.

At the core of it, wool is a choice for growers and consumers. The challenge to encourage people to continue to grow and buy this fantastic fibre is one that the industry is tackling head on.  That discerning consumers around the world are attracted to the sustainable credentials of wool is encouraging and I think the current market value reflects this.

I  look forward to playing my role in encouraging young Australians to enter and remain within this vibrant industry.

I’m not yet thirty but I’ve already worked in grains, viticulture, horticulture and now the wool industry. It’s been an unconventional path but that’s OK. I think its important people know that with a bit of enthusiasm, anyone will take you on and give you a chance. Looking forward I’m excited to continue to learn new skills, with a view to becoming a leader and a manager of people, in whatever corner of the industry I find myself. One thing is for sure, I’ll be doing work that makes me happy.

Beaudesert State High School are using their win in 2019 Archibull Prize as a microphone for agriculture’s new voices   

Preparing twenty-first century learners depends on everyone in the community seeing this as their business.

Beaudesert Statw High School with Costa

Each year the world looks forward to the creative talents of the entire Beaudesert State High School as they bring quirky and imaginative angles to The Archibull Prize competition. Their 2019 entry was no exception. Representing Australia’s dairy industry their Archie, Hope, incorporated real bovine bones, braille, a cut-out Herringbone dairy and a robotic milking arm. It earned Beaudesert the title of Grand Champion Archibull and has opened the door to allow agriculture’s new voices to amplify their impact.

Watch the moment when the Beaudesert State High School students and teachers find out they have won The Archibull Prize 2019

Beaudesert’s 2019 Archibull journey was a collaboration between students, teachers, industry and community, and epitomises the ethos it take takes a village to raise a child.

Highly effective schools have high levels of parent and community engagement. ‘Community’here includes parents, business and philanthropic organisations, and various services and not-for-profit organisations. Rather than being set apart from the rest of the community, the school is now often seen to be its hub. The community, in turn, is seen as an important source of resources and expertise for the school.  Source

At the helm was agriculture teacher Laura Perkins.

“We’ve always had support from the community but each year it gets bigger and bigger and this year it was like a snowball that turned into an avalanche. We had Subtropical Dairy and Dairyfields Milk Suppliers (DFMSC) supporting us. We had Dovers – a local machinery group, we had Hillview Primary School  and the council have been amazing.

We got a letter from the Hon. Scott Buchholz MP offering his congratulations to the school and he made a comment how the Archibull was the talk of the town.

We had our own Facebook page and the support on that was superb. The Beaudesert Times were fabulous online and in print and some of the comments from the community on their Facebook page were amazing.

Local people want to know how we can get the cows out in the community even more.”

250 students worked directly on Hope – designing, painting, soldering and applying the myriad of LED lights. “And that’s not including all these other kids who have been supportive and encouraging, especially in the People’s Choice Award, and took what we were doing home and spread the word,” Laura says.

For Laura the biggest highlight in participating in The Archibull Prize has been working with other faculties in the school with special mention to robotics expert Vincent Kruger and the development of her students, and in particular a vision-impaired girl named Shaye.

“When I first met Shaye she barely raised her head when I said hello to her but now when I ask who would like to do some guest speaking in front of a group she jumps in straight away,” Laura says. “She chose a message to put on our cow in braille and now we have been contacted by Sally Baldwin from Braille House who is going to support this student, and the rest of our school, to learn braille. Shay now wants to get a stick and a guide dog and work herself and not rely on others. But it’s not just her. It is all the other kids as well.

“The confidence the students participating in The Archibull Prize have developed is amazing. They speak fluently. They think before they say things and they are very exact in what they say.”

This confidence is manifesting itself as a promotion of agriculture, which has been consolidated by winning the Grand Champion Archibull trophy. At the conclusion of the Archibull presentation day in Sydney special guest Costa Georgiadis spent time with the Beaudesert students explaining to them the importance of their win. He produced, from a battered canvas bag, a chipped silver Logie and told how this item has helped him share messages important to him.

“I said to my kids that we really need to listen to Costa because he is a clever man,” Laura says. “Our Archibull award is beautiful – it’s a hand painted cow and I’ve always wanted one – but the last thing I want is for this to go to the library and sit behind glass and over time get pushed back a little further because there are newer trophies added.”

BSHS Logie and Archie

“I told our kids ‘our Archibull trophy is not just a trophy. You need to use it as a microphone to let people be aware of what your journey has been and where it is going to take you. If it gets a chip so be it, if it gets a bit not-so-fancy then so be it, but you need to use this now to project your voice.’

This is the start of these kids getting their own voice and talking about their experience and their journey.”

BSHS and Costa

The journey took another step forward when Laura and her students were invited by Brian Cox to present at a Young Dairy Network dinner in December.

“I thought this was a great opportunity to get the kids started and give them momentum. And it also gives us something positive to hear about. As dairy farmers we can get stuck in our own worlds and routines so having the youth come along gave us some energy. They all spoke confidently and were comfortable in front of us telling their stories. The students have shown me through The Archibull Prize the dairy industry has the next generation of ambassadors coming through with the communication skills to help the community investigate, analyse and advance other’s understandings of the dairy industry’s commitments to sustainable and ethical practices and this event has inspired me to encourage young farmers within southeast Queensland to present to our group.” says Brian Cox

The Beaudesert Archibull students are taking on leadership roles within the school, with the 2020 school captain also an agriculture student, and are knocking on a multitude of doors. They are looking at opportunities to speak at national dairy conferences, to visit robotic dairies and to partner with industry programs.

“Anything we can connect these kids with is going to be beneficial and this is all because of the Archibull Prize. These opportunities wouldn’t have arisen if we hadn’t done this.” says Laura

And the team behind The Archibull Prize say mega kudos to the entire Beaudesert Community

Consistent findings from the research in Australia and overseas is that strong school-community engagement can bring a range of benefits. These are not only to students but to teachers, schools as a whole, partners and the wider community. For these benefits to occur, school-community partners need to have a shared vision, work in genuinely collaborative ways, and monitor the progress and effectiveness of their partnership activities. Sharing the results of this good practice means others can recognise the important role that community groups can play in supporting education and schools. Preparing twenty-first century learners depends on everyone in the community seeing this as their business. Source

 

What teachers value most about participating in The Archibull Prize

Blacktown and Costa

Expressions of interest are now open for The Archibull Prize 2018. Make the finals and you too can meet Costa

We have listened and delivered. After a three week judging tour, over 40 video interviews and written teacher case studies we are sharing the secret to success.  See The Archibull Prize teacher insights page here. As you can see the definition of success varies greatly

We asked our Lead Teachers questions like.

What are the highlights of being involved in The Archibull Prize?

The growth and the confidence you see in the students and the pride they take in it. How can, as a teacher, you not engage in a project that embraces the students so thoroughly? How can you not give them the opportunity to experience something they
take great pride in, that they work above and beyond in, and they’re prepared to give up their time and stay back till 5pm of an afternoon? How can you say no to that?

Jillian Reidy The Henry Lawson High School

The highlights are seeing how engaged and enthusiastic the kids are, and the relationships you develop with them through collaboration and teamwork. Our whole class presents our work, meaning the kids have to get up in front of their peers and they gain such confidence from that. The kids get a real growth through the Archibull – and it’s fun! Teachers and parents all love it.

Tracy Devlin Gwynneville Public School

What outcomes have you seen beyond a painted cow?

  • We have seen many layers of upskilling of students and educators to work in a large collaborative team on a STEAM project
    • Project Based Learning in action and on a public forum
    • The Archibull has been influential in St Raphael’s decision to teach agriculture as a subject from 2018 for the first time.

Inel Date St Raphaels Catholic School Cowra

Can you tell me two things you have learnt about the industry you studies that you didn’t know before The Archibull Prize?

What stood out for all of us were the career opportunities available in the industry – for example we had never given any thought to what an agronomist was. The other highlight was the impact cotton has on the community. I kept asking the girls “What would we do if we didn’t have the cotton industry?

Khanthamala Gifford Blacktown Girls High School

Our Young Farming Champion Peta Bradley told us that wool absorbs odours. She told us of a guy who wore the same woollen shirt for 27 days and it still wasn’t smelly at the end of it!

Melinda Adderly Granville Boys High School

What is the impact of the Young Farming Champions visit on your students?

It’s very important to get the Young Farming Champions into the school as soon as possible, because the kids are literally sitting there thinking that a farmer is going to be some old guy in a hat with straw hanging out of his mouth. So, when they see these young, dynamic people and they’re like, “Whoa, what? You’re a farmer?” It shocks me. It happens every year and they’re still doing that because they don’t know. It really opens their eyes up

Sarah Robinson Matraville Sports High School

Dione Howard was really amazing. Its fantastic to see young women in agriculture. Being a young person off the land, the ideas that she could share, it was very real. It was so cool for the kids to meet her and hear about her life. 

Lisa Bullas Calvary Christian College Carbrook Campus

Now is your chance to sign up and be a part of The Archibull Prize 2018.  Send me an email for an EOI at lynnestrong@art4agriculture.com.au