Language is Leadership – Dr Dione Howard interviews Dr Holly Ludeman, Steven Bolt and John Cunnington from The Livestock Collective

In this episode of Leadership is Language Young Farming Champion Dione Howard talks to the leadership team and founding members of The Livestock Collective (TLC)

Inspired by the vision of the Centre for Food Integrity (CFI) in the United States and Canada Dr Holly Ludeman has created a whole of supply chain movement to build relationships of transparency and trust between livestock producers and consumers

Like the CFI Holly and her team at TLC are bringing together livestock producers to empower and support them to develop best practices and engage with consumers on issues of trust, transparency and sustainability.

We provide a united voice for the livestock supply chain. We care about Australia’s livestock sector from farms through to communities around the world. Source 

The Leadership Collective is a great example of how adversity can create opportunities for people to step up and lead, and that leadership arises as much, if not more so, from the bottom up as it does from the top down

Our key takeaways from Dione’s interview with Dr Holly Ludeman, Steven Bolt and John Cunnington from The Livestock Collective are:

  • Farmers are passionate people who are proud of what they do.
  • Consumers are interested in the origins of their food and want the opportunity to talk to the people who produce their food.
  • Agriculture can no longer stick its head in the sand and say I am a legal business leave me alone
  • Its hard to stick your head out on your own, we are stronger together, together we can support and lift each other up
  • We can train our farmers to have conversations where they can discover what consumers care about and find common ground for connection and collaboration.
  • We can create safe spaces where everyone has an opportunity to be heard and understood.
  • We all have different areas of expertise and its important that we speak to those areas of expertise.
  • Respect that we all have different lived experiences and life journeys, if you can’t engage politely, don’t engage.
  • There is great power in authenticity, people love hearing from people who are living the experiences

Interviewees:

Dr Holly Ludeman is a veterinarian and agricultural scientist and has been involved extensively in all parts of the livestock export industry, both in Australia and importing markets. Holly is the founder and managing director of the The Livestock Collective as well as employed as a Corporate Governance and Compliance officer for Emanuel Exports

Steven Bolt is the Stud Principal for Claypans Merino Stud. Steven sits on a number of industry representative groups including the board of the Live Export Advisory Group and is President of the Stud Merino Breeder Association.

John Cunnington is the Business development Manager of Halleen Australasian Livestock Traders Pty Ltd as well as the Chair of West Australian Livestock Exporters Association, Director of Australian Livestock Exporters Council, Chair of Young Livestock Exporters Network and a Director of The Livestock Collective.

Find out more

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Host:

Dr Dione Howard is a District Veterinarian with Riverina Local Land Services based in Wagga Wagga, NSW. Dione won the 2021 Sydney Royal Easter Show Rural Achiever award. Dione is currently the Chair of the Youth Voices Leadership Team and a founding member since its inception in 2018, previously holding the positions of Mentor Leader, Innovation Leader and Vice Chair.

Dione’s seat on the YVLT Executive is enhanced by her completion of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Company Directors Course, which she undertook in conjunction with her role as Wool Producer’s Youth Ambassador in 2019.

“What keeps me coming back to YVLT and the YFC community is being able to assist young agriculturalists to achieve their goals and extend their leadership and communication capabilities. Since I’ve been a YFC our team has achieved some amazing things. The future is very bright for this group and if you’re thinking about it, now is the right time to apply to be a Young Farming Champion!”

CONNECT WITH DIONE

 @dione_howard

 Dione Howard

 @dionehoward_

Careers and Pathways to a job in agriculture – a personal approach to reaching hearts and minds

One of the guiding principles of Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) is to introduce students to the world of work and encourage the uptake of agricultural careers by presenting the industry as an exciting option for a career with purpose.

Together with our supporting partners PYiA delivers the in-school programs Kreative Koalas ( primary students) and The Archibull Prize (secondary students) to ensure career development begins on the first day of school.

This life-long learning journey is further strengthened by the engagement of Young Farming Champions, a cohort of young agricultural professionals who relate easily to students.

The programs:

  • Align with the National Career Education Strategy using bottom-up tried and tested innovative localised approaches targeting wants and needs of teachers, students, parents and carers.
  • Support partnerships to thrive between schools, education and training providers, employers, parents and carers, and the broader community.
  • Ensure students have transferable skills that equip them for the future of work.

Our surveys and research over the last decade have proven this to be a highly effective model of keeping agriculture careers front of mind, improving agricultural career outcomes, creating educational pathways and catering for the needs of teachers and students and the future workforce and employers.

Kreative Koalas is an action learning program for primary school students that introduces them to the world of work through connection to the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals. Kreative Koalas embeds sustainability across multiple Key Learning Areas of the school curriculum and encourages students to develop external collaborations with professionals within their community; expanding their understanding of the world of work as they learn how people in different jobs contribute to a sustainable future.

We were lucky to have the opportunity to have a Zoom meeting with farmer and environmentalist Karin Stark, whose family uses renewable energy (solar) to power their cotton and wheat farm. This was an extremely valuable experience, as students were able to develop their knowledge and understanding of how renewable energy can be used in different communities for different purposes.

The Archibull Prize then consolidates this introduction by showing students career pathways to sustainability though the lens of agriculture and asking them to investigate innovative approaches to problem solving in an industry that requires multi-disciplinary knowledge and skills. Throughout The Archibull Prize students develop the transferable 21st century skills that underpin employability for the future.

“Picture You in Agriculture’s school-based programs support the establishment of school-industry partnerships, connecting young people with the world of work in agriculture. Delivered to students K-12, these programs were adapted by teachers to meet the developmental needs of students and used to integrate a range of subject interests and skills into project-based learning activities. Teachers were empowered to collaborate with local community groups, employers, and organisations which meant the program activities provide effective career guidance in ways that are meaningful for students. It is promising, that in a year where teachers reported significant challenges with student’s engagement at school due to COVID-19 restrictions, that both The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas programs successfully contributed to the development of participants 21st century skills and increased interest in careers in agriculture.” Dr Nicole McDonald PhD in Vocational Psychology of Agriculture, BSci. (Hons.) Psychology Program Evaluation

Underpinning the success of both Kreative Koalas and The Archibull Prize are the Young Farming Champions (YFC). Due to their age (often not much older than the students they connect with) YFC become role models. They are memorable, credible, passionate about their industries and they disrupt  stereotypical images of what a farmer is.

See how 2020/2021 Australian Young Farmer of the Year, Emma Ayliffe is sharing her journey to be a farmer with students here

Students learning from a YFC realise careers in agriculture can be high-level, STEM-based worlds of opportunity.

Value adding to the one-off engagement events like careers fairs offered by industry, YFC go into schools as part of a 12-week immersion process providing multiple touch points for learning and two way conversations. For these 12 weeks the YFC are basically on speed-dial for teachers and students.

YFC are trained by PYiA to be advocates for agriculture and positive role models for younger generations. Through their training they are given opportunities to practice in safe environments to become confident communicators and trusted voices in the communities in which they work and live. Horizontal development comes from online and in-person workshops where they build their skills and knowledge. Vertical development comes from the multiple opportunities to stretch themselves and interact with thought-leaders and strategists from around the world.

Our YFC represent a range of industries and professions in agriculture.

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They firstly learn to lead themselves then, as alumni, they learn to lead others while being supported by mentors from their sponsor organisations or workplace and through the YFC alumni buddy system. This produces young people who understand the importance of listening to understand and are confident sharing their story with students and opening students (teachers, parents and influencers) minds to changing images and perceptions about careers. Our research shows that YFC as role models are the key to opening the door.

Through Kreative Koalas, The Archibull Prize and Young Farming Champions, PYiA is providing leadership and career development action learning opportunities for young people from Prep to early 30s; showcasing the world of work in agriculture and sustainability and providing pathways and skills for the workforce of tomorrow.

A little bit of trivia to show its working

  • Nationally, the most popular broad field of education (in terms of the number of applications) in 2020 was Health (74,780 applicants or 26.0 per cent of all applicants). This was followed by Society and Culture (69,036 applicants or 24.0 per cent) and Management and Commerce (32,516 applicants or 11.3 per cent).
  • Fields of education that recorded strongest growth in applications in 2020 were Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies (10.8 per cent), followed by Information Technology (9.8 per cent), Natural and Physical Sciences (3.1 per cent), Society and Culture (2.3 per cent), Education (2.0 per cent), Health (1.7 per cent), Engineering and Related Technologies (1.1 per cent) and Architecture and Building (0.7 per cent Source

At PYiA we believe leaders are made. They are products of their environments, of the people surrounding them, nurturing them, and INVESTING IN THEM.

We thank our supporting partners for investing in our Young Farming Champions

We thank our supporting partners for investing in the wellbeing of young Australians by ensuring students:

  • have the skills and capabilities to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing world of work.
  • have access to high-quality career education, and
  • make more informed career and pathway decisions to prepare them for life beyond school.

#agriculture #SDGs #careersinstem #careerswithpurpose #careersinagriculture #youthinag

 

 

 

 

Young Farming Champion Emma Ayliffe is 2021 Australian Young Farmer of the Year

Agronomist, business owner and Young Farming Champion Emma Ayliffe has been named the Young Farmer of the Year in the 2020/2021 Kondinin Group and ABC Rural Australian Farmer of the Year Awards, at a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra on June 17.

Emma Ayliffe and her partner Craig Newham

The prestigious awards recognise outstanding achievements in Australian agriculture and Emma is a worthy winner of her category.

Emma Ayliffe is a trailblazer; an innovative young woman on a mission to lead Australian agriculture and rural communities into a bright, resilient and profitable future. At 29 she is a successful business owner, a nationally recognised agronomist, a fledgling farm owner, an in-demand public speaker and a role model to a cohort of young people looking to follow her into this future with optimism and confidence.

What sets Emma apart as a young farmer is her desire to share agricultural information both behind and beyond the farm gate. With financial and sweat equity in her own piece of land, Emma trials innovative ideas and shares these with her agronomy clients and wider farming community. She shares her agricultural story with all Australians.

“It is great to be able to show young people, and young women, that you can really be a big part of the agricultural industry,” Ms Ayliffe said. “My goal with this award is to use it to keep building the profiles and opportunities for young people in ag and, personally, to take on more leadership within the industry to ensure an inclusive, cohesive and prosperous future.”

Watch Emma being interviewed by Warwick Long for The Country Hour

 

Emma was nominated for the awards by Lynne Strong from Picture You in Agriculture, who also nominated the winner of 2020/2021 Rural Consultant of the Year award Dr Neil Moss.

Dr Moss is a respected veterinarian and director of agricultural consultancy Scibus who has been supporting Australian agriculture for over 25 years.

Dr Neil Moss with Karen Deane (L) and Dan Dixon (R) from Corteva AgriScience and Sally Murfet (Rural Consultant of the Year in 2019) 

Neil’s skills and experience came to the fore in 2020 when was appointed as the Dairy Liaison Officer to head up the crisis response to the dairy industry in South East NSW following the devastating bushfires. This appointment required Neil to draw both on his deep knowledge of dairy farming as well as his compassion and empathy of the community. At the same time, Neil was able to draw on his deep connections and respect across the greater industry to pull together a cohesive and effective response.

“It is a deeply humbling honour to win this award and it is an accolade I would never have expected or sought.” Dr Moss said. “I am thrilled that the work I have done with farmers and the dairy and beef industry over time has been so appreciated and well received. I am looking forward to further building the “extension bridge” between research and implementation and continuing to provide practical, integrated and evidence-based advice to farmers and the broader livestock industry. I will use the award to continue to strive for excellence in client care and empowerment and to promote collaboration in effective service-delivery to produce best outcomes for dairy and beef business regardless of their scale, level of production intensity or stage in their journey of growth and development. I would like to thank the Kondinin Group, ABC Rural, Corteva and most importantly, the many farmers and other industry professionals and mentors whom I have had had the pleasure to learn from and work with over the years.”

Watch Neil being interviewed by ABC journalist Kath Sullivan

Both Emma and Neil participated in a leadership development workshop and networking event as part of their awards.

Congratulations Neil and Emma. Picture You in Agriculture is proud to be working with the best humans

Watch Emma being interviewed by ABC journalist Kath Sullivan

Listen to Neil talk to David Claughton on the Country Hour here

 

 

 

 

Careers in Agriculture – Opening the door to new worlds with Young Farming Champions

“In a world full of noise it can be overwhelming for school students to decide on a career and it’s hard to be what you can’t see.”  

With research showing young people moving from primary school to secondary school have closed their minds to 70% of the careers available agriculture is excited that Picture You in Agriculture has found a successful tried and tested model to open young people eyes to the exciting and diverse world of work in agriculture.

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Every school participating in The Archibull Prize competition is partnered with a Young Farming Champion (YFC) to assist them in their agricultural learning journeys. But did you know a YFC represents more than a friendly face in your classroom? A YFC can open the door to brand new worlds for your students and introduce them to the diversity of knowledge and careers available that align with the issues most important to them. A YFC can show your students careers within agriculture that have social and environmental purpose.

A recent Picture You in Agriculture survey has shown the following issues are what young people care about and want to learn how they can play a role in addressing

Further research shows how YFC can successfully engage with teachers and students to change agricultural preconceptions.

Our YFC champion these issues every day in their jobs within agriculture and fishing; YFC such as Tayla Field and Bryan Van Wyk.

Read Tayla’s case study here 

Tayla is a business manager for salad producer One Harvest and knows the importance of food security and the impact of consumer expectations in the provision of safe and nutritious food, and of good food produced in an environmentally sustainable manner. At the 2021 Hort Connections Gala dinner Tayla spoke of these issues and you can watch the video here.

From the table above Tayla cites “Knowing what food is good for you” and “Making less waste” as issues she can directly address within her job.

“We have been seeing consumers becoming more aware of their health during COVID, with freshness, taste, provenance and nutritional value being key purchasing drivers. Luckily, the fresh produce industry has a range of options from fresh fruit and vegetables to nuts and herbs, that can form a part of a healthy diet for shoppers of all ages. Our business uses plastic to deliver our products to the consumer in a safe way, while maintaining the integrity and freshness of the raw material, but we are working on a number of operational projects to reduce plastic throughout our supply chain. This includes the introduction of new ways of working and new machinery to help facilitate these changes. I am loving being able to see these projects come to life and the business focusing on, and actively investing in, improving our environmental footprint,” Tayla says.

Tayla works with the vegetable farms of Australia’s east coast and further north, on the seas out from Cairns and Karumba, Bryan Van Wyk is managing the prawn trawler fleet for Austral Fisheries. Life in the oceans has been identified as one of the top issues of interest to secondary students and Bryan takes this part of his job incredibly seriously. He recently zoomed in to speak with QLD Marine teachers.

Bryan Van Wyk’s office 

Having enough food to feed everyone” and “Life in the oceans” are high on our list of priorities so its pretty cool to see that its equally as high on young people’s minds. With nearly 20% of the world’s animal protein coming from seafood, commercial fishing is an important way of feeding the world. However, if poorly managed or unregulated, it can result in widespread ecosystem declines. Australia is blessed with some of the healthiest oceans and best fisheries management practices in the world. The Northern Prawn Fishery is Australia’s largest and most valuable prawn fishery and is renowned for its robust ecosystem-based management and bycatch reduction work. With 11 vessels in this fishery, Austral Fisheries work closely with scientists, fisheries managers and industry to ensure the on-going health and sustainability of the oceans in Northern Australia,” Bryan says.

In a world full of noise it can be overwhelming for school students to decide on a career and, like us all, it’s hard to be what you can’t see. Young Farming Champions are role models for students; they are memorable, relatable, credible, passionate about their industries and they are disrupting the stereotypical images of what a farmer is. How many students would think as a ‘farmer’ they could be dressed in a stunning pink dress addressing a national conference, or working on fishing boats while raising the profile of Patagonian toothfish? There are new worlds to discover every day in agriculture and a YFC can be your personal, professional guide.

Practicing in safe places – why it is important for supporting partners to provide action learning opportunities for Young Farming Champions

Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) is proud to partner with a range of organisations who support our Young Farming Champions (YFC) through their leadership and career development journeys. Two of these partners are Riverina Local Land Services (RLLS) and Corteva Agriscience, and both have recently shown the power of giving young people the opportunity to practice in safe places.

Riverina Local Land Services sponsors YFC Dylan Male and invited him to present to the Board and to join Board members on property tours. Dylan grew up in the Riverina (Wiradjuri Country) and although now studying in Melbourne he relishes the chance to return home. When general manager Ray Willis asked Dylan to present to the Board he took the opportunity to speak of this connection to the Riverina and how it sparked his interest in agriculture, which has led to a PhD researching the revival of an Aboriginal crop species. Following the Board meeting Dylan joined members for a networking dinner and then an agricultural tour of the Young Region.

“I am excited to not only be embarking on this learning journey [with YFC] but to also be joining such a great family of agricultural leaders motivated to achieve positive change. I look forward to future opportunities provided by RLLS that will continue to empower me on my journey to become a Young Farming Champion,” Dylan says.

Dylan Male with the Riverina Local Land Services Board

Ray, too, appreciates the partnership between PYiA and RLLS and the mentoring his organisation can provide Dylan.

“By providing Dylan with opportunities in our Board room, working alongside our staff and our individual one-on-one sessions, we hope to expose him to real world examples to show him how important building relationships and conveying your message is, no matter your situation. We plan on assisting Dylan build on his confidence, skills and abilities with a broad range of experiences with us,” Ray says.

Each year Corteva Day celebrates the launch of Corteva as an independent pureplay agriculture business and at an event held at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney recently YFC Steph Tabone and Connie Mort were invited to present to the group on their YFC experiences.

“The environment that Connie and I were able to talk within was safe as we knew everyone in the room, but it gave us the opportunity to step out of our comfort zone as we got to speak in front of the group, when normally we would be the ones listening in the crowd,” Steph says.

Rob Kaan presenting at the Corteva Day breakfast 

Following Corteva Day Steph has a range of opportunities coming up including attendance at a Think Tank event hosted by Green Collar and at the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW AgVision event, where she will share Corteva’s agricultural career pathways with year’s 9-12 students. This combined with YFC workshops, the YFC buddy system (where she is partnered with Dr Jo Newton OAM ) and mentoring with ANZ Corteva managing director Rob Kaan means Steph is fast-tracking her road to confident leadership.

“I feel grateful to be involved in the YFC program as it has already led to many positive things for me personally and professionally, and I appreciate the support and safe places to learn and challenge myself.”

Steph Tabone, Lynne Strong and Greg Mitchell at the Corteva Day breakfast 

Connie Mort was also invited by Rob Kaan to share her experiences with the Young Farming Champion program with Corteva team members at the organisation’s second birthday celebrations at the City of Sydney Botanic Gardens

I really valued the chance to stand up along side Steph and share what we have been doing with PYiA, and also how our values at Corteva align so nicely with what we are aiming to achieve as part of the YFC journey. There was great enthusiasm from our colleagues about how they can support us over the course of the YFC program, and that they can support the industry in which they work through their own involvement with PYiA, which I’m truly excited about.   

I am really looking forward to connecting with my fellow YFCs during the upcoming workshops and face-to-face events, and learning from those that have been a part of the program for many years already. It is encouraging to know that we have this safe space to communicate with our peers on this program when we are faced with challenges and need some feedback. I am enjoying being partnered with YFC alumni buddy Katherine Bain for the first part of my learning journey and looking forward to sharing my story with the Griffith Soroptimist club in July”

Rob Kaan is proud of the mentoring opportunities initiated by his company.

“At Corteva we are fortunate to have established some clear corporate values during the creation of the organization two years ago after our merger process.  People management and talent development is one of our key pillars, supported by a strong sense of promoting diversity and inclusion.  Within this, employee mentoring is a process we provide to employees seeking guidance, support and the opportunity to learn new skills and competencies from peers.  It’s often not a supervisor to employee relationship; mentoring works best when two employees build an open and trusting relationship built on curiosity, sharing experiences and providing guidance in a “safe environment”.   We help facilitate these employee connections and, in the case of young talented employees like Steph and Connie, YFC helps complement our mentoring programs very nicely,” he says.

PYiA’s vision to empower young people to reach their full potential through life-long learning and support is mirrored in organisations such as Riverina Local Land Services and Corteva Agriscience. When partnerships such as these, that invest in our young people, are formed and nurtured we will see agriculture and community thrive.

Leadership is Language – Han Worsley CEO of Country to Canberra talks with Meg Rice and Dione Howard

In this episode of Leadership is Language CEO of Country to Canberra Han Worsley shares her tips for volunteer recruitment and engagement with Country to Canberra board member and YFC Meg Rice, and YVLT Chair Dione Howard.

 

Key Messages

  • Volunteering is about seeing and capturing potential within your network
  • Look for diversity in your team to reflect the diversity of your community
  • Extend and invest in your volunteers; create leadership pipelines
  • Choose volunteers motivated and aligned with your vision

 “Volunteers take on a position in addition to all the wonderful things that they do. The nature of the people who apply for these positions is that they are go-getters; they do have multiple things on their plate already and they are really committed to making a change in their community. We need to be conscious that they are also the busiest people with the least time.”

 

About Han

Han Worsley is a passionate educator, gender equality advocate, and public speaker.

Winning Country to Canberra’s inaugural Leadership Competition in 2014 began a dedication to young rural women and non-binary people, to recognise the value of rural communities and people, and create meaningful change across Australia. They have developed and helped deliver leadership and empowerment workshops to over 3,500 students in 80 rural Australian communities as part of the C2C Project Empower Program, and spoken passionately at events across Australia for organisations such as the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, the Australian Medical Students Association, the Australian National University, and the YWCA.

 

A current STEM Primary Education student at the University of Canberra, Han is also committed to improving the quality and accessibility of education across Australia. Han plans to return to rural Australia upon completion of university.

 

Connect with Han:

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Twitter:

About Meg

Meg Rice is a Graduate Policy Officer at the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in Canberra. She is also a passionate Young Farming Champion and credits the program with giving her the skills to have insightful conversations with current and future leaders within the agricultural industry. Meg further employs these skills as the Innovation Hub Representative for the PYiA Youth Voices Leadership Team.

Connect with Meg

LinkedIn 

Twitter 

About Dione

Dione is a District Veterinarian with Riverina Local Land Services based in Wagga Wagga, NSW. She has been an active member of the Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) since its inception in 2018; holding the position of Mentor Leader and Innovation Leader. 2021 has seen Dione step into the role of YVLT Chair.

Dione’s seat on the YVLT Executive and the Picture You in Agriculture Board is enhanced by her completion of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Company Directors Course, which she undertook in conjunction with her role as Wool Producer’s Youth Ambassador in 2019.

Dione was recently awarded 2021 RAS Rural Achiever.

Connect with Dione

LinkedIn

Twitter 

Want to know more?

 Canberra to Country (C2C) supports young rural women and non-binary people to reach their leadership potential. Learn more about their program and competitions here and learn about their team member job titles here. C2C embodies the phrase “be the image you want the world to see.”

Dione Howard, realises her dream and is recognised for her commitment to agriculture in RAS Rural Achiever Awards

Dione Howard 2021 RAS of NSW Rural Achiever Photo Source The Land

A long-held dream was realised on Sunday April 11 when Dione Howard was named the 2021 RAS Rural Achiever at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. The RAS Rural Achiever Award is a “state-wide leadership program run by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW to recognise future young leaders (20-29 years of age) who are committed to making a significant contribution to their community and to rural Australia.”

We are thrilled the rest of the world is finally seeing the brilliance we at Picture You in Agriculture have known for the last six years when Dione joined the Young Farming Champions program as a wool industry representative.

Dione is a sixth-generation sheep grazier who grew up on her family’s 80-year-old Merino stud at Milbrulong, near Wagga Wagga, and it is where her commitment to agriculture began. After completing a degree in veterinary science from Charles Sturt University Dione commenced work as a District Veterinarian for the Riverina Local Land Services, but this is but the tip of a very large ice-berg. Dione’s achievements as an advocate for the Australian wool industry include:

  • Young Farming Champion since 2015
  • Current Chair of the Youth Voices Leadership Team
  • Participant and volunteer for the AWI Merino Challenge
  • 2016 AWI Young Wool Growers Study Tour
  • Inaugural WoolProducers Australia Youth Ambassador in 2018
  • Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation student internship in 2017
  • 2017 address at Australian Farm Institute Round Table Conference
  • Host of Leadership is Language series 2020 and 2021

Dione believes it is imperative the voices of young people in agriculture be heard so the sector can acknowledge and work through its challenges, attract the best and brightest minds and contribute to the vibrancy of regional, rural and remote Australia.

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General Manager of Riverina Local Land Services Ray Willis said the award demonstrates her outstanding achievements.

“We are very proud of Dione and her dedication to rural communities and championing rural youth leadership programs such as the Picture You in Agriculture program. Dione is an outstanding young professional and a real asset to our region and Riverina Local Land Services — she thoroughly deserves this award.” Ray Willis

This was not the first time Dione had applied for the Rural Achiever Award but she has mindfully cultivated persistence throughout her leadership journey.

“I’ve put my had up for opportunities, got knocked back and tried again or tried other avenues. It’s about finding ways to complete tasks, cope when things are tough and look at the bigger picture and the outcome at the other end. When I first applied and missed out on a Rural Achiever spot I thought that perhaps it wasn’t meant to be for me. However, I attended the show in 2019 and had the BEST couple of days, and thought ‘I’d better give this another go!’ I had also finished university by this time and felt more grounded with where I was in my career and life’” she says.

This persistence held Dione in good stead when named as a Rural Achiever in 2020 only to have COVID cancel the Sydney Royal Easter Show. But patience once again had its rewards.

“We were treated to an absolutely jam-packed program in 2021 complete with crowds at capacity for a meticulously planned COVID-safe event. The eyes of the world were on Sydney for the duration of the show, and it was wonderful to be involved in such a successful event,” she says.

Dione was in competition for the Rural Achiever title with some of NSW’s brightest young agricultural minds including Ryan McParland from Jamberoo, Kory Graham from Sutton Forrest, Sally Gavin from Cumnock, Mitchell Dwyer from Cowra, Josie Clarke from Bellimbopinni and Allister Clarke from Finley. Read the full story here in The Land.

As part of her Rural Achiever experience Dione led the affirmative team in a debate on the topic of “Are the best of Australia’s rural days ahead of it?” To Dione this topic may have seemed like a no-brainer as each day she and her fellow Young Farming Champions share the positive stories of our agricultural industry. Read about the debate here in another story from The Land.

Dione will represent NSW in the national Rural Achiever finals (including New Zealand) to be held at the 2022 Sydney Royal Easter Show and she foresees a busy year ahead.

“I can’t wait to showcase all that it means to be a part of rural and regional communities, and to have a career as a young woman in agriculture. The Rural Achiever program has inspired me to continue to build my networks and to make the most of opportunities as they come along. Who would have thought I’d have led an alpaca in the Grand Parade, or been interviewed by the announcer for the main arena? Two things to tick off the bucket list!”

Congratulations Dione. The world is just beginning to realise the brilliance we have known for years. We are honoured to be a part of your success and look forward to watching your ever-evolving story.

and you can watch the 2021 RAS Rural Achievers Debate here

 

Leadership is Language – Conversations with Thought Leaders. JO NEWTON talks with JOSH FARR

Welcome to Series 3 of Leadership is Language – Conversations with Thought Leaders. Our first interview sees Dr Jo Newton OAM interview Josh Farr, Founder of Campus Consultancy as they discuss how leadership is service for the greater good.

 “We take a broad approach to the notion of leadership as service. Our philosophy is if you are helping somebody else, if you’re taking proactive action and not stepping back, if you’re leaning into challenges, if you see as problems as a way to add value to the world, then that is leadership.”

 

 

Key Messages

  • Leadership is Service. Leadership is not necessarily a title, it’s the actions you take that make you a leader
  • Confident communicators don’t become less afraid, they become braver
  • To become an effective communicator find people you admire and study them, practice, practice, practice

About Josh

After gaining a First Class Honours Degree from UNSW and beginning work as a civil engineer, Josh underwent his first mental health training program. Realizing he had much to learn and contribute beyond his technical experience, he spent the next 2-years travelling to 39 countries before returning to Australia to work in education and non-profits. Josh worked as the Victorian Recruitment Manager for Teach For Australia and saw the impact of education on young people experiencing disadvantage.

 

In 2017, Josh founded Campus Consultancy and has grown the company to be a market leader to empower young leaders to be their own agents of change. His team has since taken more than 21,000 student leaders from 33-universities and more than 30 high schools through his workshops on leadership, entrepreneurship and emotional intelligence. He’s delivered 2 TEDx talks including his most recent titled, “Leadership is service.”

 

Connect with Josh

LinkedIn:

About Jo

At the age of 31 Jo was recognised as an OAM on the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her service to agriculture through her advocacy and support of young people, volunteering and contribution to dairy research. Passionate about research that delivers tangible benefits for farmers, since obtaining a PhD in animal breeding and genetics from the University of New England in 2016, Jo’s work has focused on practical tools to illustrate the benefit of better herd-improvement decisions on farm. This includes 6 months as a visiting scientist at Teagasc Moorepark, Ireland on an Endeavour Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Jo currently works as a research scientist for Agriculture Victoria. Jo has a history of active involvement across the wider agricultural sector, particularly in advocacy and support of young people in agriculture. Her volunteer contributions span 17 years and dozens of leadership roles across 14 not-for-profit organisations including her current roles as a Non-Executive Director of Picture You in Agriculture and a member of the Youth Voices Leadership Team.

Jo’s contributions to agriculture have been recognised through numerous awards including: – Medal of the Order of Australia 2020 – University of New England’s Young Distinguished Alumni Award 2018 – Leadership Category Victorian Young Achiever Awards 2018 – Royal Agriculture Society of Victoria’s Emerging Leaders in Victorian Agriculture Award 2018 -Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence List.

 

Connect with Jo:

LinkedIn: 

Twitter @jonewton89

 

Want to know more?

Read more about Josh and Campus Consultancy here.

“I don’t believe you can have a conversation about leadership without having a conversation about morality and ethics”

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“How you communicate, empathise and make people feel is fundamental. There are many ways of getting your ideas out to the world – verbally, written, artistically – the key is finding the medium that suits you and that you enjoy creating.”

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“What is enough? Why are so many people striving for things they don’t want? Gandhi said “happiness is when what you say, what you believe and what you do are in alignment.”

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Crafting Careers in Agriculture Rob Kaan says it starts with engaging with young people and their parents (our consumers )

“We see the consumer being just as important as the farmer. Changing entrenched cultural values and beliefs held by parents is challenging so it’s really important to us to focus on students, which is why we target agriculture and STEM education in schools around the world. This helps the kids form their own educated and hopefully positive views on agriculture.” Rob Kaan MD Corteva Agriscience Australia/NZ/Japan/Korea

At Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) we have four goals.

Achieving Goal 4 – attracting the best and brightest people to the agriculture sector which we do using our Young Farming Champions as role models in our in-school programs The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas also requires a whole of sector commitment to

  • expose young people as early as possible to jobs in agriculture whilst they are at school
  • ensure there are multiple touch points to agriculture along their school journey
  • equip students and job seekers with navigation resources into agricultural career pathways and jobs
  • ensure industry routinely assesses its skills and credential requirements
  • inspire the agriculture sector to take a whole of supply chain approach to being the image we want the world to see.

In this Crafting Careers in Agriculture* series we speak with leaders in the industry to understand their views on the future of the agricultural workplace.

Following the opinion piece from Young Farming Champion Emma Ayliffe our first Thought Leader is Rob Kaan

Rob is the managing director – Australia/NZ/Japan/Korea – at Corteva Agriscience, a company ahead of the curve when it comes to workforce forecasting to ensure they have the right team on the ground supporting farmers now and in the future.

Rob believes engaging with school and university students and, in turn, their parents (the consumers) is an important avenue for attracting people to agriculture.

“We see the consumer being just as important as the farmer. Changing entrenched cultural values and beliefs held by parents is challenging so it’s really important to us to focus on students, which is why we target agriculture and STEM education in schools around the world. This helps the kids form their own educated and hopefully positive views on agriculture.”

“It’s also why working with PYiA is important because it provides a pipeline from school to university, allowing us to identify and develop talent. A great example is Corteva’s Steph Tabone who has recently joined the Young Farming Champion program.”

Sparking an agricultural interest in students and the consumers is only one step to attracting the future agricultural workforce. Rob believes creating a workplace where people want to work is critical and Corteva is actively addressing this.

“Diversity in many forms is important but gender diversity is critical so we work to have positive policies in place such as maternity and paternity leave and strive to have gender balance within our teams and leadership. Employee flexibility is another important factor and this has been highlighted with COVID. We still need good guidelines and rules in place to support collaboration, but I think young people want a flexible work environment. Another factor is technology. School kids don’t always make the connection between cool technology and agriculture. That is a big gap and one we want to change.”

Finally, Rob talks about what he calls the purpose of agriculture; a notion that the sector not only provides food and fibre, but is influenced by holistic real-word interests.

“Relationships with food companies and the active promotion of integrated pest management (IPM) are important activities that support our corporate values. Young people are also interested in these issues and issues such as sustainability and climate change.”

Corteva’s identification of the needs of the future workplace puts them in an optimum position to be an employer of choice for the students they are currently reaching in schools. And what example would Rob give them of a cool career?

“The future challenges for agriculture are both daunting and exciting at the same time, with a singular focus on the global need to grow more food with less; less labour, less water, less land and less impact. Developing and utilising automated technology is a great example of this– anything from driverless vehicles, sprayers and harvesters to specialised drones and satellites. Automation using cutting edge technology is going to be a huge global market that will help solve significant labour shortage issues in all countries.”

And how did Rob find his way into a career in agriculture?

Rob readily admits to having no affiliation or connection with agriculture during his childhood years. In fact, he wanted to be a veterinarian.

“I didn’t get the HSC marks to directly enter vet science, so the only other pathway was through agricultural science at Sydney University. Once I entered this stream, I found I really enjoyed it and stayed with a focus on agronomy.”

Connect with Rob on LinkedIn

* The Crafting Careers series is an initiative of the Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) and their commitment to

  • expose young people as early as possible to jobs in agriculture whilst they are at school
  • ensure there are multiple touch points to agriculture along their school journey
  • equip students and job seekers with navigation resources into agricultural career pathways and jobs
  • ensure industry routinely assesses its skills and credential requirements
  • inspire the agriculture sector to take a whole of supply chain approach to being the image we want the world to see

Technology helping farmers get better outcomes for the planet

This is the second in a two part series journalist Matt Da Silva has created with Young Farming Champion Emma Ayliffe to share how Australian farmers are using information and technology gains to move toward #NetZeroFarming.

“We are proud to be adopting new practices that are better for our environment and helping to demonstrate that there are other ways of doing things; and, in my role as an agronomist, sharing this knowledge and learning.”

Farm Overview

Business and/or property name: C & E Pastoral, Gleeson’s

Business partners: Emma Ayliffe and partner Craig and his family

Farm size: 1700 acres (688 hectares)

Farm locality/region: Burgooney, Lake Cargelligo (roughly northwest of Wagga Wagga, in the central west of New South Wales, about 550km from Sydney)

Topography: rolling hills, red loam

Rainfall: 360mm per year

Primary outputs: Wool, first cross lambs, grains (mainly wheat but also some oats, barley and canola)

Secondary outputs: If above average rainfall, may plant canola, chickpeas, mungbeans.

Drone technology allows Emma to map the weeds on the farm. A drone is sent up to find green areas indicating that weeds have started to grow.

Tristan Stevenson from StevTech launching the surveillance drone.

Weeds use moisture that might otherwise be used by crops, and they also harbour insects and disease, so it is important to minimise their occurrence. Sending a drone out with a camera attached that transmits a video of the fields lets us pinpoint the areas that need spraying and reduces the use of chemical sprays. The resulting data maps the weed population and allows us to turn it into a green area map.

This allows us to maintain the best ground cover, control our weeds, and reduce resistance risk.

The StevTech ute with the drone on the ground in front of it.

Weed mapping allows us to minimise our chemical costs by targeting the only areas in the paddock that have weeds. We can often look at using higher value chemistries that may be cost prohibitive if we had to spray it all. Only spraying when we have too also helps avoid chemical resistance.

The following two images shows weed cover of paddocks. In the first image, drone mapping produces a 95 percent saving of chemicals.

Thank you to SteveTech for image

In the second image, drone mapping produces an 83 percent saving of chemicals.

Thank you to SteveTech for the image

Data from the drone mapping is  sent to a computer in the spray rig allowing the rig operator to target chemicals to conform precisely to hotspots where weeds are specifically concentrated. The following image shows what is displayed in the spray rig during application of chemicals, the olive green circles on the screen are the weeds being sprayed. Learn more about broadacre cropping weed detection here

The great thing about this technology is that we can utilise the machinery and systems that we already have, so don’t have to spend a lot of money on new equipment.

Thank you Matt and Emma for these insights on how modern farmers are minimising their use of herbicides to get better outcomes for farmers, consumer and the planet. Read how Matt blogged Emma’s story here

Improving farming’s productive efficiency will enable farmers to produce the same quantity of food, or more, with less
inputs, in smarter ways. This, in turn, will enable the sector to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

We can all be part of the solution. The cost of food waste to the Australian economy is estimated to be around $20 billion each year. Australian consumers throw away around 3.1 million tonnes of food—that’s close to 17,000 grounded 747 jumbo jets.

The impact of food waste also includes the energy, fuel and water used to grow food that may not be used. When food waste is sent to landfill, it contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

To help address this important issue, the Australian Government committed in 2016 to develop a National Food Waste Strategy to establish a framework to support actions that work towards halving Australia’s food waste by 2030. This ambitious goal aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12 for sustainable consumption and production patterns

Join the movement and Fight Food Waste 

#NetZeroFarming #TogetherWeCan #YouthinAg