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

 

Corteva announces agricultural scholarship winners

We are very excited to share with you that Corteva Agriscience has announced Emily May and Veronika Vicic as their scholarship winners to participate in the two-year Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program.

Veronika will join the program in the initial year where she will develop skills to advocate for agriculture while being mentored by a Young Farming Champion.

“ As part of the Young Farming Champions network I will have the opportunity to share my story to a wide audience, have greater impact and enable change. To do this I require confidence and skills to communicate, and the program will give me that. I want to be able to give back to the community by sharing the knowledge and experiences I have had with a younger audience and to encourage and excite the next generation about how food is produced, and the technological and environmental advancements agriculture has made.” Veronika said

Emily has already completed her initial year with the program and is aiming to widen her agricultural horizons and take on a mentoring role for the next generation.

“I am looking forward to increasing my network of like-minded agriculturists and to share the good news stories of agriculture to showcase the opportunities the sector can provide. This program will help me craft these stories and, in doing so, help champion our young people, particularly young women, who will be part of the changing face of Australian agriculture.” Emily said

Read more about Emily here 

 

In addition to the scholarship winners, Corteva will put two of their own– Connie Mort and Steph Tabone – through the program.

“Corteva is excited to have two of our talented staff members as a part of this impressive program. The training and networking opportunities available will greatly enhance their skills and personal development, setting their professional careers up for the future. As a business we are looking to young agricultural professionals across all industries to help us tailor our solutions to address the challenges that growers, consumers and communities are facing now and how we can ensure progress for generations to come.  The PYiA Cultivate Growing Young Leaders program aligns extremely well with our goals and aspirations.” Dan Dixon, ANZ Marketing Director for Corteva Agriscience said.

 

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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”

Watch the video

“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.”

Watch the video

“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.”

Watch the video

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

 

Leadership is Language with Cathy McGowan AO and the Youth Voices Leadership Team

In this episode of Leadership is Language Lynne Strong, in conjunction with a Youth Voices Leadership Team panel of Dione Howard, Jo Newton and Tayla Field, hosts an insightful leadership expose with former federal politician Cathy McGowan.

Watch Cathy share her tips for being an effective leader here

Key Messages

  • Agriculture has enough leadership programs; we need people “doing” the leadership
  • Start with the end in mind
  • Harness your networks and your team

 “In north-east Victoria we used to export our young people [to the cities]. Now there is a buzz in the community. Young people are wanted and respected. There is lots of energy and a sense that this is a place where young people want to live.”

 About Cathy

In 2013, Cathy McGowan broke the Liberal/National Coalition’s hold on the seat of Indi, becoming the first independent member for the north-east Victorian electorate and the first female independent to sit on the parliamentary crossbench.

She entered federal parliament on the urgings of young people from her electorate and in doing so brokered a new way of community politics. Her memoirs were recently published in Cathy Goes to Canberra, an inspiring tale of the power of grass-roots activism.

Cathy believes young people have the ability, articulation and creativity to make their vision for Australia a reality.

Connect with Cathy:

 LinkedIn: 

Twitter: 

Email: 

About Lynne and the YVLT

Lynne Strong is the founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Picture You in Agriculture. Part of her vision is to see the young people who participate in our programs have the opportunity to be surrounded by role models and turn the leadership skills and knowledge they learn into daily habits. This vision is crystallised in the Youth Voices Leadership Team, where young people design and direct their future. Dione Howard is the team’s vice-chair, Jo Newton is the returning officer and Tayla Field sits on the Innovation Hub.

Want to know more?

Read our previous blog here 

Read more about Cathy and order a copy of her book here

 

 

 

Turning up, Speaking up and Stepping up to Leadership with Cathy McGowan AO

Cathy McGowan AO entered federal parliament on the urgings of young people from her Victorian electorate of Indi, and in doing so brokered a new way of community politics. Her memoirs were recently published in Cathy Goes to Canberra, an inspiring tale of the power of grass-roots activism.

In 2008 Cathy attended Kevin Rudd’s 2020 Summit, where four keynote speakers, under 25 years of age, talked about their vision for Australia.

“I was stunned by their ability, by their level of articulation, by their creativity, by their vision for Australia and the thought that they’d given to their presentations. My biggest take away from that summit was that older people, such as myself and most of the attendees, in fact needed to pay attention to young people in our community. They knew things that we baby boomers did not. They certainly were better educated and had new approaches that could find the answers to the problems we were facing….. I made a firm commitment to pay attention and get to know the young people, not only in my life, but in my work,” Cathy says in her book.

In keeping with her commitment to young people as Australia’s future Cathy jumped at the chance to share her wisdom with our Young Farming Champions. She spoke openly to the cohort via a zoom conference, hosted by Lynne Strong in conjunction with a Youth Voices Leadership Team panel of Dione Howard, Dr Jo Newton OAM and Tayla Field.

Cathy covered many aspects of the leadership pathway such as creating time budgets, life-long learning, the importance of networking, the power of finding, and supporting, your tribe and of having confidence in the skill set you have already developed. If these things sound familiar it is because Cathy’s wisdom mirrors closely the visions and ideals of Picture You in Agriculture.

Cathy has a passion to liberate people to be leaders and empower them to grow in confidence. She believes we have enough leadership training programs in agriculture and what we now need is more people “doing” leadership. And she believes the YFC have the skills and salutes them for Turning Up, Speaking Up and Stepping Up to develop their courage muscle by practicing the knowledge and skills they learn in training by being the face of our in-school programs The Archibull Prize ( secondary schools) and Kreative Koalas ( primary schools )” she says.

The workshop was well received by the audience:

“I appreciate Cathy’s easy going, positive nature and her efforts to continually develop her skills. I enjoyed learning it’s okay not to know the exact right path to take, to step up to challenges, build resilience and have a go.” Steph Tabone

“Time budgeting is such an effective tool, particularly making time for exercise and other important tasks that may not be labelled as “work” but are essential in creating a successful, balanced life.” Elizabeth Argue

“I appreciate that Cathy has put herself out there to achieve all that she has so far, and from the workshop I realise we need to do the work and find a team to do the work with.” Dione Howard

“I appreciate the openness with which Cathy has shared her story so that we can all learn from her experience.  I found Cathy sharing her story of leadership versus stepping up as a visible leader particularly helpful.” Jo Newton

The Zoom recording of Cathy’s three tips for being an effective leaders can be found here

The zoom recording of the panel session will be loaded here shortly. Watch this space

Today’s Youth Voices Leadership Team – becoming tomorrow’s CEOs by turning leadership knowledge and skills into daily habits

If you are a Young Farming Champion (YFC) you already see yourself as an emerging leader for agriculture. If you also envision your future includes managerial positions, board appointments and CEO roles then the Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) is the perfect training ground.

The YVLT is a group of committed YFC alumni who have stepped up to take responsibility for, and share ownership of, a vision to enable and empower young leaders in agriculture. The YVLT provides a youth perspective to  Picture You in Agriculture program development and management decisions,  representing a powerful personal and professional development path, giving participants the skills and daily habits needed to take on community and business leadership roles in the future.

The current team members are Emma Ayliffe (chair), Dione Howard (vice-chair), Marlee Langfield (social media coordinator), Meg Rice (Innovation Hub representative), Jo Newton (returning officer), Anika Molesworth (partnerships ambassador) and Jess Fearnley ( minute secretary and intern). In addition the Innovation Hub, a sub-committee tasked with exploring new ideas for real-world projects, is ably staffed by Katherine Bain, Samantha Wan, Tayla Field and Chloe Dutschke.

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In a recent evaluation report by Dr Nicole McDonald several themes were identified as motivating factors for joining the YVLT:

  • intrinsic rewards for doing meaningful work for the future of agriculture,
  • continuing to develop skills and abilities that would help them be leaders,
  • being a part of a network of capable people that provide personal and professional support,
  • giving back to a program that had given them a launch pad towards other opportunities and industry wide recognition.

Nicole’s interviews with team members elicited responses including:

“[The YVLT provides] the opportunity to upskill around committees; getting your head around corporate governance, running subcommittees, supporting a chair, setting agendas, and running meetings. All of this puts me in better stead to manage my own business. There are also a lot of non-tangible skills; for example it’s forced me to set deadlines and expectations for myself, for the people trying to contact me and for my team. I’ve been upskilled in social media and communication skills particularly around formalising of emails and proposals and pitching for funding. Those skills are invaluable.”

 

“It’s more than a committee it’s a learning opportunity. In a short amount of time I’ve already taken on feedback and learnt more than I anticipated; I’ve learnt skills that I didn’t even think of when I signed up for the Youth Voices Leadership Team.”

 

“The professionalism is really of a high standard on the YVLT, as well as the consideration of personal and professional outcomes; not only looking at what the organisation is looking to achieve, but also what everybody personally is looking to achieve. Looking at what drives each individual person to get the best outcome has been really impressive and something I haven’t seen in other committees.”

 The YVLT is a valuable opportunity for YFC alumni to learn and practice professional and corporate skills in a safe environment. These skills include:

  • leading innovative and forward-thinking purpose-driven teams,
  • sitting on effective boards and committees
  • creating and developing and growing start-ups
  • program design and delivery
  • event management,
  • messaging and communications
  • building partnerships for collective action for collective impact,
  • time management
  • Problem solving and strategic thinking
  • negotiation and conflict skills
  • become a better listener, build empathy and rapport and use your influence to inspire behaviour change for the greater good

Or, as one of our YVLT so aptly sums up:

“It is a great environment to fail miserably safely, to get some really blunt and honest feedback, to improve on yourself and to improve on your general skills.”

The YVLT holds their annual general meeting in March with all positions open. This is your chance to turn your leadership  knowledge and skills into daily habits and create the future you envision.

#YouthinAg #LeadershipDevelopment #DailyHabits #YouthVoices

Anika Molesworth and Ronni Kahn walking the talk – courageous conversations lead to bold actions

Today’s guest blog post is by Young Farming Champion. agroecologist, farmer, author, keynote speaker, climate warrior and Climate Wise Agriculture founder Anika Molesworth 

Being involved in the agricultural sector has given me a front row seat to food production. I have stood in fields surrounded by millions of tiny corn plants, filled with awe at the fragility and possibility of this new life. I have seen hour-old lambs wobble to their feet for the first time, cheering on those first steps as it finds its mothers teat. I have felt the sense of pride of being a farmer and growing food with the knowledge that this is going to be enjoyed by someone and nourish them.

So, nothing saddens me more when I read the global stats on food waste.

One third of all food produced is lost or wasted –around 1.3 billion tonnes of food –costing the global economy close to $940 billion each year.

8% of greenhouse gases heating the planet are caused by food waste.

If one quarter of the food currently lost or wasted could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people.

It was with these stats in mind and determination to help address this issue that I caught up with Ronni Kahn with the Young Farming Champions Leadership is Language series.

The Leadership is Language series is part of the Young Farming Champions program, and it exposes some of Australia’s foremost thought-leaders on how we show leadership by the language and communication styles we use.

Ronni is CEO and Founder of OzHarvest. She is the yellow truck driving, dumpster-diving, food waste fighter who has recently released her memoir, “A Repurposed Life.”

Ronni and the incredible team at OzHarvest Education are doing fantastic work on stopping society’s dysfunctional food waste behaviour. Their goal is to adhttps://ozharvest.org/vocate, inspire and influence the community in order to halve food waste by 2030. It is so fantastic to see this work being done because no farmer wants to see their food end up in landfill. This is because it’s not only the food that gets wasted – it’s also all the time, labour, water, nutrients that went into producing it. Precious human and natural resources that need to be cherished, not dumped.

One of the most exciting questions to ask regarding food waste, I think, is

“How do we design waste out of the system?”

This is one of the principles of a circular economy – not just how do we recycle better – but how do we actually create systems where waste doesn’t exist?

Where can we put processes and technologies in place, that an output from one user/sector is immediately utilised as a valuable resource by another.

With one in five shopping bags in Australia ending up in the bin, there is huge room for improvement.

Ronni has a radiating smile as she talks about all the opportunities we have to fix the system and feed people properly. She definitely had me motivated to do more by the end of our conversation! Learning about their objective to collaborate with people right along the food system was particularly uplifting. The OzHarvest team is working with supermarkets, distributors, students and farmers to solve this problem.

We all need to play our part in reducing food waste – from the paddock to the plate – and by doing so, we will

#Zerohunger #Zerowaste #GlobalGoals

Leadership is Language with Ronni Kahn and Anika Molesworth

 

In this episode of Leadership is Language Dr Anika Molesworth sits down with OzHarvest CEO Ronni Kahn to discuss food waste and how we can all play a part in reducing it.

Key Messages

  • We must change our relationship to food
  • The beautiful thing is, we’re all part of the solution
  • Never say its somebody else’s problem. It is our problem.

  “My vision for the future is that good food is valued, respected, protected, grown locally, and looked after, and not wasted. So, I want to minimize food waste, upskill people on the value of food, and make sure that nobody goes hungry.”

 

About Ronni

Ronni Kahn AO is a social entrepreneur and founder of food rescue charity OzHarvest. Ronni is a passionate advocate and activist renowned for disrupting the food waste landscape in Australia. She appears regularly in national media, serves in an advisory capacity to government and is a sought after keynote speaker. Her mission to fight food waste and feed hungry people is supported by some of the world’s finest chefs. Ronni is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and was named Australian Local Hero of the Year. Her journey is the subject of a feature film, Food Fighter and her memoir, A Repurposed Life has recently been published.

 

Connect with Ronni:   LinkedIn and Twitter 

About Anika

Dr Anika Molesworth is the founder of Climate Wise Agriculture. She lives in the Far West of NSW Australia, where her family raises sheep and goats. It was the decade-long Millennium drought that spurred Anika’s interest in climate change, and how to ensure sustainable and vibrant farming landscapes into the future. Anika is a recognised thought-leader of agro-ecological systems resilience, she is an agricultural science researcher, communicator and works in international agricultural development.

 Connect with Anika:   LinkedIn  and  Twitter 

Want to know more?

Read more about OzHarvest here

And about their in-school program FEAST:

#zerohunger #Zerowaste #FightFoodWater #Foodfighter