The world needs creative, innovative and courageous young people who can connect, collaborate and act. We know that youth may only be 20% of the population but they are 100% of the future. The time is now to let them share their dreams and design the future they want to see.
Our Young Farming Champions are known as innovators, and during isolation they have certainly lived up to this title! In June we launched the Leadership is Language series, where our team sit down (virtually) with some of Australia’s foremost thought leaders to discuss how leadership can be influenced by the language and communication styles we use.
The first interview in our series was hosted by Lucy Collingridge, who chatted to social science researcher Dr Nicole McDonald, and Nicole followed up this debut with a workshop specifically for Young Farming Champions. Next in the series saw friends of the YFC Kirsty White from Bald Blair Angus Stud sit down with human agronomist Rebel Black. Then it was Emma Ayliffe’s turn to chat to agri-specialist Sally Murfet, who also hosted an interactive workshop for the team.
Keep an eye on the website for more interviews in the Leadership is Language series – you’ll never know who might pop up!
In The Field
Here in Australia we may be shivering through winter but YFC Kirsty McCormack is enjoying a Canadian summer. Kirsty has been working for genetics company “Quantum Genetix” as their Technical Sales Manager since Dec 2019. She lives on the ranch where her partner works, right next door to the Rocky Mountains and while July usually means it’s time for the Calgary Stampede, coronavirus has cancelled it this year. Instead of riding rodeo Kirsty is taking the time to enjoy the beautiful Rockies. We recently asked Kirsty what she loves about the world of agriculture
The people!! … how passionate they are. How much innovation and pride they take in making it better! …. the connection to the land the way they manage the soils
Follow Kirsty on Instagram to see and feel how she shares her love of what she does through beautiful words and magificent images.
Also working in North America is Kylie Schuller who is the sales manager for Andrews Meat Industries in Atlanta, Georgia. Kylie was one of the earliest YFCs, graduating in 2013 and, even though she admits she wasn’t thrilled with agriculture growing up (she grew up on a feedlot), she now has plenty to say on how the industry has provided a world of opportunity for her. See what advice she has for new YFC here.
And while we’re chatting about northern summers YFC Alana Black, who is now based in Scotland, works with the Rural Youth Project. This “research-based project aims to develop feasible strategies to facilitate the involvement of young people in agricultural and rural activity by better understanding their current situation, aspirations, opportunities and challenges.” One of Alana’s recent initiatives was to coordinate the Road Ahead seminar, which brought together six agriculturists from across the globe (including our very own Emma Ayliffe) to talk about farming and food-supply post Covid-19. “It was a chance to discuss the future of farming through our eyes and it was followed by the opportunity for journalists from around the world to hit us with their burning questions,” Emma says. If you didn’t manage to stay awake for the 11pm to 1am live broadcast on July 10, you can catch the replay here.
Back on Australian soil and two of our YFC – Emma Turner and Cassie Baile – have been busy providing wool reports for the Australian Wool Network. Watch their most recent video here. And also having a yack about agriculture have been Emma Ayliffe and Martin Murray who recently contributed podcasts to the newly formed Farms Advice website. Catch Emma’s podcast here and Martin’s here.
Combining his interest for plants, agriculture and a newfound love for genetics, Young Farming Champion Calum Watt will be submitting his PhD thesis in September. Calum’s thesis looks at how genetic research improved the productivity, sustainability and profitability of grain production by enabling plants to utilise their resources more efficiently and withstand seasonal stresses. Read the story in FarmOnline here
Out of the Field
We reported last month that Emma and Jo Newton would be featuring on Well-Being Wednesday; a free webinar hosted by Cynthia Mahoney and Louise Thomson discussing the wisdom and stories of rural woman. Well, now you can catch their videos!
In July we also caught up with YFC Dione Howard and her dad Graeme. The Howards have long been associated with NSW Farmers, with Dione’s great-grandfather being involved with early farming advocacy organisations in the 1950s and 60s. Check out the blog to see the cutest photo of Dione and her Dad, and learn why agricultural advocacy is important to them.
The Howard Family a wonderful example of the culture of volunteering and advocacy in rural and regional OZ
YFC Jasmine Whitten is a business analyst with Agripath in Tamworth and this month she spoke with evokeAg about how we are currently using farm data and the potential for where farm data can take us in the future. Discover what she had to say about farm data here.
Last year four of our YFC – Bessie Thomas, Lucy Collingridge, Dione Howard and Emma Ayliffe – were honoured in the annual NSW Department of Primary Industries Hidden Treasures list. This year Lucy is returning the love; taking part in a video to promote the 2020 Hidden Treasures about her extensive range of volunteering.
And while she’s at it Lucy is also going dry in July. This is why: “I’m healthy, I’m happy, I’ve got it pretty easy in life. Some people don’t. We all know someone impacted by cancer, or we have lost someone from the dreaded disease. This July, I’m joining in on #DryJuly to help support cancer patients.” As we go to press Lucy has already raised over $1200 and the month is not over yet. Throw your support behind Lucy by donating here.
In our Prime Cuts this month it’s a huge congratulations to YFC Melissa Henry and her Quebon Coloured Sheep. Melissa is passionate about supporting small-scale producers like herself and hand-crafters that want to grow their livestock enterprise and make the best use of their wool and lamb products. She regularly exhibits Quebon’s coloured wool and recently won Champion Lamb Fleece at the 23rd National Fleece Competition of the Black and Coloured Sheep Breeders Association (NSW) Inc. She also took out prizes for weaner and lamb fleece at the event held in Canberra. Find out more about Melissa’s coloured sheep by visiting the website.
There is now a doctor in the (YFC) house. Congratulations to Anika Molesworth who had her PhD accepted during July – an amazing achievement and very well deserved. We’re all proud of you!
This week is National Volunteer Week with the theme of “Changing Communities. Changing Lives” and we’d like to give a huge shout-out and thank you to over one hundred Young Farming Champions who volunteer, in some capacity, 365 days a year.
Our YFC have exciting and rewarding careers in agriculture and on top of this give their time to anyone from the local fire brigade to state show societies, but most importantly they volunteer to inspire young people to follow them into agriculture. Even in a COVID world our YFC are integral parts of The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas creating a new world of collaboration, community and connection.
Read on for examples of our wonderful YFC in action.
In The Field
The coronavirus crisis continues to dominate our lives but our Young Farming Champions have come up with novel ways to approximate ‘business as usual’.
Local Land Services Biodiversity Officer Lucy Collingridge has set-up a drive-through bait collection point for farmers wishing to participate in fox control. “Foxes don’t social distance, so we needed a program that worked for landholders,” Lucy says. Read all about her initiative in The Land.
Also innovating during the coronavirus is wool broker Sam Wan. With buyers unable to attend the usual weekly sales the industry has had to change to an online medium – and Sam was leading the change. Read more about the online wool auctions on Sheep Central.
Before the wool can get to Sam it needs to come off the sheep and YFC Tom Squires has spent the corona crisis shearing rams. On a property in central Tasmania Tom was a part of a 5-person crew, whipping the wool off 5,000 sheep. However, this time around there was a few additional rules and guidelines with every worker keeping 1.5 metres apart and following strong hygiene practices. “Essentially, the same rules which apply in Woolworths apply to the shearing sheds” Tom says. “It has certainly made some shearing times on farms longer than usual, but everyone’s health is a priority and we are grateful the industry can continue to operate”.
On a lighter note, home isolation has meant some of our YFC are returning to familial roots. Katherine Bain took the chance to continue Easter traditions despite isolation and made a year’s supply of quince paste for everyone!
Planting season has also been in full swing for our YFC croppers as they take advantage of good rain received earlier in the year and get out the big toys. Check out this blog post to see what Marlee Langfield, Emma Ayliffe and Dan Fox are planting, and check out Marlee’s superb images below.
Congratulations to Alana Black who is celebrating twelve months in Scotland working for Jane Craigie Marketing and Rural Youth Project, eating haggis and milking coos. Alana has a Bachelor of Communication – Public Relations from Charles Sturt University and in 2018 was announced as an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Trailblazer for her work on communication and succession planning in family farming businesses. Alana’s Scottish employers are so happy with her they made her an anniversary video. Way to go Alana!
Our YFCs are also working in research laboratories and offices and sharing their technical knowledge with the world. Check out this paper forming part of Calum Watt’s continuing ambition to breed better barley for your beer, this one from meat scientist Stephanie Fowler on fat content of the lamb chop to go with Calum’s beer, and this one from Jo Newton on big data in the dairy industry.
Sharna Holman has been sharing her cotton knowledge on social media – spamming Facebook and Twitter en masse. When confronted on why she has been filling our newsfeed with cotton spam here is what she had to defend her actions: “I think it’s important to showcase agriculture and often our day-to-day jobs and, in my case the trials I’m involved in, to different audiences to highlight the variety in agriculture and agricultural careers. For me, sharing my ‘work life’ on Facebook often allows my city friends to get an insight into what I mean when I say ‘I’ve been in the field’ especially being a born and bred Sydney-sider. Sharing on twitter allows cotton growers and agronomists to get an insight into our trial work, what we are doing and our results and it allows conversations to start with people that we may not have been able to reach traditionally due to distance or time. So sorry, not sorry, for all that spam….”
Out of the Field
World Earth Day was held on April 22 and magazine Marie Clarie asked three scientists about their personal perspective on how these climate events are affecting the wild spaces where they live and work. One of these was our Young Farming Champion Anika Molesworth who is a farmer at Broken Hill. She inspired the heart and minds of many with a single quote, “I only have to look out the window of my home to see the impacts of climate change,” she says. “It breaks my heart to see the land suffering this way. However, with this sadness for what has already been lost, and the anger for the lack of action taken to address a problem we have been warned about for so long – comes hope.” Anika is continually creating a better future by being a part of the conversation. We are always wondering where we will see Anika feature next. Keep watching this space!
Not to be out done YFCs Tom Squires and Lucy Collingridge celebrated World Earth Day by sharing their love of nature and adventure on our social media channels. Lucy summed up perfectly why we should all celebrate World Earth day, “the earth is such a fragile yet beautiful wonder, and I am lucky to be alive at a time when you can jump in a plane, train, boat or car and see so much of what it has to offer. From watching whales breech only metres from our zodiac in the depths of Antarctica to kayaking next to glaciers that are thousands of years old. What an absolute privilege it is to be able to experience so many of nature’s wonders – not only when we travel abroad but also at home.”
And all of our YFCs are stars on the revamped Archibull Prize website. Tayla Field, Jasmine Whitten, Jessica Fearnley and Casey Onus talk sustainable communities, Lucy talks biosecurity and there are over 30 career profiles on the amazing lives of YFCs. Also on the website is the first project from the newly formed YVLT Innovation team, which showcases Anika and provides a structured way for the general public to engage with her. Read more on the Innovation team in this blog and keep an eye out for exciting developments in the near future.
Still on Anika and during lockdown she has taken the time to connect with farmers from around the world via Zoom. “I have organised or facilitated seven online events over the past few weeks – which has been such a fantastic and energising experience! We can learn a lot from our global farming family and we can be there to support one another during these challenging times.”
Also innovating during lockdown is Dione Howard who has been judging agricultural essays. “The South Coast and Tablelands Youth in Ag Movement created an online show and fellow 2020 RAS Rural Achievers Ryan McParland and Kory Graham have invited the rest of our group to take part in the show as judges,” she says. “I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s entries and feeling inspired about the year ahead for shows and community events across Australia.” Make sure you join ‘Online Show 2020’ Facebook group for updates and results.
Usually during April Lucy would also be doing her bit for agricultural shows at Sydney Royal and even though she couldn’t be there in person this year, she gave her time for an interview with show ring announcer Lyndsey Douglas. Read the full interview here.
In more exciting out of the field news UNE students Ruby Fanning and Becca George have been selected as part of the Angus Youth Consultative Committee. The Committee provides consultation and representation on behalf of Angus Youth members, and will be a wonderful opportunity for them to explore their leadership potential. Read more on their selection here. Congratulations girls.
Our YVLT Chair Emma Ayliffe, continues to kick amazing goals and after six years of study has completed her Master of Science in Agriculture. This is alongside running her business Summit Ag, farming her own land with partner Craig and donating endless hours as a volunteer. Congratulations Emma – you are an inspiration to us all.
Emma also inspires us with her work/life balance and here she and Craig enjoy a beer and a sunset snap to celebrate two years of farm ownership. Let’s cross our fingers they get wetter years for the next two and keep the farming dream alive!
and the best news you can join the team
Thanks to Corteva Agriscience two scholarships are available to join our Growing Young Leaders program
Anika Molesworth took the Young Farming Champions message global when she visited Antartica as part of Homeward Bound
Welcome to the first Young Farming Champions Muster for 2020. What a year it has been already; opening with drought, morphing into bushfires, blessed with rain and now we are living in a global pandemic, which has taken normal and turned it on its head. However, our cohorts of YFCs are not called champions for nothing and are rising to all challenges placed before them.
Let’s have a look at what Young Farming Champions have been up to under the umbrella of the coronavirus.
First up, the YFC alumni at Youth Voices Leadership Team have announced their new committee for 2020. We welcome Emma Ayliffe as Chair, Dione Howard as Vice Chair, Marlee Langfield and Jasmine Whitten as Social Media Coordinators, Jo Newton as Returning Officer, Samantha Wan as Innovation Hub Representative, Anika Molesworth as Partnerships Ambassador and Jessica Fearnley as the Cultivate Intern.
And not even coronavirus is going to stop The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas with work underway to take the programs online with a new collaborative vision.
In The Field
Our YFC horticulturists Emily May, Tayla Field and Jess Fearnley are exploring new pathways on their career journeys. Emily commenced work with Ace Ohlsson at the end of March as a sales support officer based in McGrath’s Hill (north-west Sydney), and she is excited by the opportunity to share her knowledge with farmers in the region.
Tayla is currently completing a three month internship with Natures Way Foods in the UK. That’s right a career in agriculture can take you global!
And Jess, who works as a development officer with NSW Department of Primary Industries, is using skills learnt in her first year of the Cultivate program to kick start her leadership journey.
And while we’re talking about careers this blog, written by our AWI colleague Sam Arnfield, is a great example of where agriculture can take you.
Out of the Field
In March YVLT Social Media Coordinator Marlee Langfield joined a group of industry trailblazers, influences and farmers who came together from across Australia to begin their journey on the Grain Growers Limited Social Leadership Program. The aim of this six month program is to upskill producers in engagement to raise awareness and build connections with different audiences about the experience of grain farming in Australia. 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.
Marlee has also featured on the Invisible Farmer Project with her story titled: Proud to call myself a rural woman. We’re proud to call you a YFC, Marlee. Read her fabulous story here.
Photographer/Source: Catherine Forge, Museums Victoria
It was back to school for Jo Newton (third from left in photo) who returned to Tintern Grammar as part of the Junior School Girls International Women’s Day celebrations. The Year 6 students ran the assembly with each year level preparing interview questions about different alumni’s careers. The Preps prepared questions for Jo, which included asking her about why she enjoyed working with animals and what steps they could take if they wanted to work with animals. The Preps also performed a special song they had written about Jo.
YFC agronomist Casey Onus presented a talk on “promotion, price and unheard advice” to growers and emerging agronomists at the Grains Research and Development Corporation catch up in Goodiwindi on March 3. Good on you Casey for paying it forward.
YFCs Jasmine Whitten, Dione Howard, Matt Cumming, Meg Rice, Keiley O’Brien, Marlee Langfield, and Dan Fox attended the inaugural Young Farmer Business Program in Dubbo on February 7. Gatherings such as this play an integral role in our networking, socialising and personal wellbeing. Watch the videos here and here.
Anika Molesworth moderated an online panel webinar titled “Making a Global Difference” on March 19th – run by the Crawford Fund and the Future Farmers Network. The webinar was about agriculture in developing countries, its benefits of volunteering to our neighbours and Australian agriculture, and pathways to get involved. Anika was joined by fellow YFC Sam Coggins on the panel who gave great insight on his time working overseas in agricultural development and what he’s up to now with ACIAR.
Emily May has teamed up with Harvest Trails and Markets (aka Hawkesbury Harvest) and ABC702 radio who broadcast ‘what’s fresh on the Farm Gate Trail’ each Saturday morning.
“Through connections made with YFC I was put in contact with the Hawkesbury Harvest Trail who offered me the opportunity to be one of their voices for their segment on ABC radio. I have applied what I have learnt by reducing the amount of jargon I use in my speech and ensuring the message I portray is of positive nature. Making sure to not reinforce the negative has also been important in developing my messages.”
Emma Ayliffe, never one to sit still for long, began 2020 by setting up Tulli Young Farmers and hosting their first field day with guest speakers including our very own Dan Fox. Read more here.
Did we mention Emma doesn’t like to sit still? Well we are pleased to announce she has been recognised for all her dedication and hard work, being named a finalist in the NSW 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards.
“The Young Leader Award is much bigger than me,” Emma says. “It’s a recognition for the business and the amazing people I work with. It is an amazing pat on the back for the YFC and YVLT for all we have achieved and a huge recognition for the wider ag industry that allows someone like me to have a go and push the boundaries”.
This, folks, is leadership at its finest and we will be keen to follow Emma’s leadership journey closely over the next few years.
Also kicking big goals is YVLT Vice Chair Dione Howard who was named a finalist in the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) 2020 RAS Rural Achiever Award. Unfortunately the Sydney Royal Easter Show is cancelled this year due to coronavirus but on the flip side Dione has another twelve months to polish her skills! The 2020 Rural Achiever cohort will be held over until 2021.
Not one but two Cotton YFCs have been awarded Nuffield Australia Scholarships!! Narromine’s Billy Browning, supported by the Australian Department of Agriculture and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, will investigate the value-adding of irrigation water and increased utilisation of low-flow water, while Richie Quigley, supported by the CRDC and Cotton Australia, will investigate cropping systems and methods to retain more crop residue in zero-tillage farming systems. Congratulations boys.
Congratulations to YFCs Hannah Hawker and Prue McCormack who have welcomed little bundles of joy into the world. Alfie George Hawker was born on 2.12.2019 to Hannah and Sam, while Isla McCormack was born to Prue and Shannon McCormack. Congratulations also to Keiley O’Brien and her partner Ross who tied the knot in late February. Rumour has it they got the got the best wedding gift anyone could ever ask for – a decent drop of rain!
But all great love stories have a few good plot twists. This was the sunset at which Anika and her fiancé Corey were to say their wedding vows. Their loved ones would raise their champagne to the sky, the orchestra would play and they would dance as the stars came out. However, this chapter took a different turn.
“Instead of symbolising a life of love between two people, this sunset is written into our story to signify the love we have for all family and friends in our hearts. The wedding will just have to wait for another perfect sunset when the threat of COVID 19 is just a thing of the past.”
This fortnight’s top stories from our Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the globe!
Last weekend YFC gathered in Sydney to celebrate the achievements of 2019, learn new skills, develop expertise and plan for the year ahead. Let’s jump straight over to YFC Dione Howard for a workshop recap:
Friday through to Monday saw new YFC learn from coach Jenni Metcalfe of Econnect Communications. Jenni worked with YFC to develop interview skills for speaking on camera and working with the media. Coach Josh Farr worked with YFC alumni to develop strategies for managing conflict, time management and the ever-important social media.
YFC Jasmine Whitten and YVLT acting chair Emma Ayliffe wowed the group on Saturday night with presentations that are sure to inspire their audience into the new year.
Monday saw YFC come together with students from Wee Waa and Lake Cargelligo High Schools who had travelled to Sydney for The Archibull Prize on Tuesday. Simone Tunbridge from ABC’s Heywire program stepped the group through developing and sharing a powerful story.
And the action didn’t stop on Monday as the workshop wrapped up – next it was time for the 10th Annual Archibull Prize Awards. Like a fine wine they keep getting better with age!
Over to YFC Katherine Bain for an Archibull Awards run down:
The 2019 Archibull Prize is definitely one to remember! I was really impressed with where the kids drew their inspiration from for their Archies. They used these inspirations to tell their story of Ag, with all its complexities, really well. When I got to interview them, their passion for the Archies really shined which was so heartening to see. Some of my favorite Archies were Beaudesert’s Milking cow, Hurlstone’s completely felted cow and Lake Cargelligo’s Hydroponic cow. Some of the highlights of the day were Costa Geogiadis’s moving talk and the energy that he brought to the room and Beaudesert’s emotional win as the Grand Champion for 2019!
It was a massive day for everyone involved, but so fulfilling seeing everyone smiling at the end of the day, knowing that months of hard work had paid off.
The Young Farming Champions team would love to thank all of our supporters and sponsors of The Archibull Prize for 2019 – we love working with schools in this program and are proud of what each student learns and achieves when participating in The Archibull Prize!
In the Field
Wheat and barley harvest is in full swing at Grains YFC Marlee Langfield’s farm, Wallaringa, Cowra. Marlee, a talented photographer who also runs Marlee Langfield Photography, sent through this photo essay: “We are very thankful for our harvest and hope everyone stays safe this harvest season.”
Out of the Field
Climate YFC and western NSW farmer Anika Molesworth is on the journey of a lifetime with Homeward Bound, heading to Antarctica as part of a collaborative effort towards leadership for #climateaction. Anika is one of 111 women – the largest ever female group to head to Antarctica – from 33 countries, and she has also been chosen to support Al Gore’s Climate Reality leadership organisation, presenting on how she perceives the climate crisis through the lens of her work. We are so incredibly proud of you Anika. Keep the updates coming!
Follow @AnikaMolesworth on Twitter and @anikamolesworth on Instagram to keep up to date.
To celebrate National Agriculture Day, Wool YFC and Senior Biosecurity Officer Lucy Collingridge had a chat with Kristy Reading on ABC New England North West. Take a listen here. In a celebration of our agricultural industry, Lucy spoke about the great progression our agricultural industry has achieved in recent decades, the opportunities available in our agricultural industries – including a large range of jobs, overseas study tours and conferences – and how supportive our industry is. For a young women who comes from a non-agricultural background, Lucy should be incredibly proud of her achievements over recent years, including study tours to Argentina, Uruguay and Canada, the completion of a Graduate Certificate in Agriculture and involvement in many country shows across NSW, and she believes the Young Farming Champion program is a fantastic platform to be able to share her experiences with other young people and show them the opportunities available in the Australian agricultural industry.
Speaking of National Agriculture Day, we’ve announced the winners of our National Ag Day comp, hosted alongside Little Brick Pastoral, Career Harvest and Celistino. Well done to all the entrants and winners! Jump over here to read all about it.
We’re in Outback Mag! Thanks to the marvelous Picture You in Agriculture journalist Mandy McKeesick our YFC program and wonderful wool YFC Samantha Wan are featured in the December/January issue of R.M. Williams Outback Magazine.
“Since inception 10 years ago, the Young Farming Champions program has trained more than 100 people to promote agriculture to young people.
“At Burwood Girls High School in Sydney students are excitedly awaiting a farmer. Many will be imagining an older white male, so when 31-year-old Sam Wan breezes through the door, preconceptions and stereotypes fly straight out the window. Sam is young. She is female. And she is one of them. As a first-generation Chinese-Australian born in the western suburbs of Sydney, Sam’s own stereotypical career path may have been a doctor or lawyer, but she has found her calling as a wool broker in Melbourne, and her enthusiasm for the industry is infectious.”
Read more here. And buy December/January issue of Outback Magazine to read the full story!
University of New England YFC Becca George was in The Land last week, speaking about her involvement with Angus Youth Roundup and dreams for the future. Read the article below:
Well done to YFC Bronwyn Roberts from B R Rural Business who spoke at the Young Beef Producers Forum in Roma, Qld.
Cotton YFC Alexandria Galea was spotted in the new National Ag Day video “The Quiet Farmer” from Rabbit Hop Films:
The Quiet Farmer from Rabbit Hop Films on Vimeo.
Congratulations to YVLT acting chair Emma Ayliffe who has been announced as a semi finalist in the First National Real Estate Leadership category of the 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards. We wish you so much luck in the judging Emma and appreciate all the hard work you have put into the Picture You in Agriculture programs throughout 2019 (and before!)
Read this wonderful story in the Lake Cargelligo News which details Emma’s dedication beautifully.
Congratulations also to YVLT Communication Creative Team Leader Bessie Thomas who won the Spirit Category of the Weekly Times and Harvey Norman Shine Awards. Bessie and her husband Shannan flew to Melbourne for the intimate awards luncheon with the other category winners at Cruden Farm. They were hosted by Harvey Norman CEO Katie Page and chairman of The Herald and Weekly Times Penny Fowler. Read more here.
Bessie says the experience was an absolute delight and honour.
“Meeting the other finalists and sharing in their stories was very special. These awards really bring to light the incredible things rural women are doing all over Australia, that there is often no other recognition for. I’m so thrilled and proud to be among such a dedicated, courageous and passionate bunch of humans.”
Congratulations to Wool YFC Matt Cumming and his fiance Heidi who got engaged on the weekend. Best wishes to you both!
This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the country…
In the Field
YFC Tim Eyes from The Food Farm: Central Coast has been busy making hay (while the sun shines)! “When I started farming on the coast I was told you cannot make hay here and I am still told that every week. Yet this is my first season doing small squares and third season in round bales,” Tim says.
“It’s very hard to access information from fellow hay farmers. I think making hay is in people’s blood and they seem to just know how to do it but it’s hard to articulate what they are looking for. In saying that, making hay is one of the best things I get to do on the farm. It’s a lovely process.”
Acting Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) chair and YFC Emma Ayliffe is harvesting wheat at her home near Lake Cargelligo, NSW. Though it’s not a bumper crop, due to drought, she was happy to have the job done before this week’s forecast rain.
As agronomist and business owner of Summit Agriculture, one part of Emma’s current day job has her completing cotton trials. This photo shows the effects of using biodegradable film to increase soil temperature and increase plant growth. You can see the difference for yourself in these 3 week old (4 node) cotton plants:
Elders agronomist and YFC Dee George has been lucky to be working with some lush, green crops in the Western Districts of Victoria. “Where I live is has been a very lucky part of Australia for rainfall,” Dee says.
“Here is a client’s pasture – a mix of cereals, annual ryegrass, balansa clover and shaftal clover – he cut for silage. The windrows were so large I couldn’t get my arms around it!”
Our resident Biosecurity Officer and Wool YFC Lucy Collingridge has been busy with emergency management training recently. This training is aimed at building the skills and knowledge of staff who respond to an emergency response, such as a fire, flood or disease outbreak. This is an essential part of making sure our agricultural industry is ready for anything thrown at it!
Much of eastern Australia has seen its most widespread rain event in six months, but it’s been hit and miss for our YFC across drought affected areas.
Wool YFC and YVLT Communication Creative Team Leader Bessie Thomas is celebrating following an incredible 57mm of rain in 3 hours yesterday. If you’re in the far-west you might have caught Bessie chatting to ABC Broken Hill radio on Monday morning about the lucky break.
Out of the Field
YVLT acting chair Emma Ayliffe had the opportunity to tell her story at Chicks in the Sticks in Moonambel Victoria on Saturday 26th October. Emma says it was a great day, where participants had the opportunity to do workshops with soils a well as a tour of the Moonambel Gap Olive Grove. After a gorgeous grazing platter lunch Emma shared her story with 90 rural and regional women. “The highlight of the afternoon was meeting so many wonderful women from diverse backgrounds that were all meeting for the love of their rural lifestyles and to support the producers in their own backyard,” Emma says.
Wool YFC Peta Bradley attended the AAABG (Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics) conference in Armidale last week. Bringing together the latest research in animal genetics, with extension staff and farmers. “I was also lucky enough to present in a session on the breeders day,” Peta says. And by all accounts she did a fantastic job!
The NSW Landcare & Local Land Services conference in Broken Hill was a hit according to YFC Jasmine Whitten. Earlier in the year Jasmine was selected as one of 16 presenters at the conference.
She had the pleasure of sharing an education program called ‘Healthy Soils, Healthy Farms” which she helped design and deliver with the Buckwaroon Landcare group – a group of farmers from Cobar. The education program aimed to help primary school students in grade 4 understand how farmers care for the soil through the use of QR codes, science experiments and a stream table to understand how water moves through our landscape.
Jasmine’s presentation was a huge hit at the conference, with attendees declaring it was one of the best and many people deciding to use similar ideas in their activities. Jasmine was also one of the five young people who received an Intrepid Landcare Sponsorship to attend the conference which was supported by the Bio Conservation Trust (BCT). This scholarship has seen Jasmine explore the concept of ‘How we can work together to conserve biodiversity on private land?’ which she is busily trying to finalise to share with the world, so stay tuned!
Climate YFC Anika Molesworth, Wool YFC Melissa Henry and Rice YFC Erika Effer also attended the conference and the four superstars took the chance to catch up, which is fabulous to see. Well done team!
University of New England YFC Becca George was invited to guest speak at the Zonta Club of Armidale’s October meeting. “I spoke on my personal experiences with drought as well as at the UNICEF Youth Drought Summit earlier in October,” Becca says. “With Armidale on Level 5 water restrictions & the smaller surrounding towns nearing ‘Day 0’ there were questions from the members about what was discussed at the summit regarding water. Thank you Zonta Club of Armidale!”
Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association (ARCBA) scholarship winners and UNE YFC Becca George and Ruby Canning attended the Young Breed Leaders Workshop.
YFC Becca George and her sister and YFC alumni Dee George are showcased in this month’s NSW Farmers magazine ‘The Farmer.’ Their family has been farming Central West NSW since 1912 and you can read the full story here: Nevertire Women Lead The Way on Family Farm
In an extra busy week for Becca, she also attended the Australian Women in Agriculture (AWiA) national conference in Ballina, NSW. “I recently received one of the student scholarships to attend the 2019 AWiA Conference, awarded by the committee,” Becca says. “The theme of this years conference was ‘Review, Renew, Regenerate’. The sessions included topics on culture in agribusiness, current and emerging risks in the industry, regenerative agriculture, as well as the importance of self care and maintaining physical and mental health. Thank you to the Australian Women in Agriculture Committee for giving me the opportunity to attend this event & network with likeminded women.”
YFC and grain farmer Marlee Langfield and her fiancé Andrew are the new face of “Tang Laysy Import Export Co., Ltd.” Ad for canola oil which has hit the streets of Cambodia!
Marlee’s face also made the cover of the National Farmers Federation (NFF) 2030 Roadmap, which included the national drought policy. You’re changing the face of Aus Ag in the best possible way Marlee!
NFF 2030 Leader and Friend of the YFC Matt Champness was spotted over on the Crawford Fund website. Read this update on his time as part of the Crawford Fund’s Laos-Australia agricultural mentoring program.
As a past Youth Ag Summit delegate, Aimee shared her story on how the Youth Ag Summit helped her journey to becoming Little Brick Pastoral. This year’s delegates will be challenged to create their own project, so Aimee spoke about her love of photography, farming, and improving youth education, and why and how she ventured into photographing LEGO.
It was at the Youth Ag Summit Aimee realised the consumers of 2050 are the youth of today, and therefore sharing knowledge of how food and fibre is produced should start with them – and what better way than LEGO. Well done Aimee!
Friend of the YFC Guy Coleman is an Australian delegate to the 2019 Youth Ag Summit. Good luck Guy!
This week alone our YFC have been acknowledged by the community in some tremendous ways and we couldn’t be more proud!
Climate YFC and InStyle Farmer for Change, Klorane Changemaker and 2019 Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence (AFR WOI) Aumna Anika Molesworth, attended the AFR WOI dinner celebrating the 2019 nominees with Picture You in Agriculture founder Lynne Strong.
Rice YFC Erika Heffer won the 2019 Austcover Young Landcare Leadership Award.
Well done Jasmine Whitten on your outstanding presentation at 2019 NSW Landcare and LLS Conference!
Mega Congratulations to YFC Emma Ayliffe, Lucy Collingridge, Dione Howard and Bessie Thomas who have all been named on the NSW Department of Primary Industries Hidden Treasures Honour Roll 2019. The Hidden Treasures Honour Roll celebrates women volunteers who give so much to their rural communities. We couldn’t agree more that these women are absolute treasures!
And just between us and the fence post, there are a few more exciting awards in the pipeline for our YFC over the next few weeks. We can’t wait to share the news with you. Watch this space!
We are on count down to our 2019 Archibull Prize Awards and it’s time to head over to the Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page to keep up with the action! We’ve asked this year’s YFC to share their favourite blogs from the schools participating in this year’s competition. There’s lots to read and get excited about ahead of awards day onNovember 19th. Check it out!
AND…. Time is running out to vote for the 2019 Archibull Prize People’s Choice Award! It only takes a few minutes to look through he amazing artwork entries this year and pick your favourite. We’ve already counted more than 32,000 votes. Yes, that’s THIRTY TWO THOUSAND votes. Can we beat our all time record of 60,000? Vote now and don’t forget to share the link with your friends!
Join the fabulous Costa Georgiadis our guest of honour at the awards ( immortlaised in Lego by Lego Farmer Aimee Snowden) in celebrating our incredible 2019 Archibull Pirze finalist schools
Top stop stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the globe!
In the Field
“Connect and Collaborate” are the two words we use most often at Young Farming Champions HQ, and this week it’s our pleasure to start our Muster with two stories highlighting these values.
Wool YFC and Tasmanian based shearer Tom Squires and YFC and Wool Broker of the Year Samantha Wan teamed up to secure sale success for Squires Pastoral.
Just 18 months since the start of the Squires Pastoral wool growing operation, Tom Squires has topped the weaner wool price for the Elders Wool Sale on October 10th. Elders Wool Auctioneer Samantha Wan sold Tom’s first three bales of wool at $14.32 per Kg, topping the weaner wool category in the sale.
Tom says, “While the market has taken a beating with prices falling 33 percent in 12 months, I’m positive there is a future for wool. The wool market is one of the most volatile markets in the world, but you take the lows with the highs and at the end of the day just hope that the highs outweigh the lows.”
Given the current market, Tom was happy with the result and says “it’s a nice feeling knowing that the wool you work to produce is in demand.” Tom’s remaining three bales will be held onto in the hope the market rises in the coming months. Well done to you both!
From the wool warehouses of Melbourne to the dry paddocks of New South Wales, where two Grain YFC have connected to help each other’s farm businesses prosper through the drought.
Narromine based YFC Keiley O’Brien and Cowra farmer and YFC Marlee Langfield met at their first YFC development workshop in Sydney in 2016. Living, and running farm business, hundreds of kilometres apart meant they didn’t run in the same circles, but this year when Marlee was looking for help with a job she didn’t have the machinery or expertise to do, she knew just who to call. We’ll let them tell the story….
KEILEY: I’ve been in the Art4Agriculture program as a Grains Industry Young Farming Champion since 2016, although where I live, we haven’t had any grain to farm at all this year. And to be honest, the last year or two before that have been touch and go as well. My partner Ross and I, alongside his parents, run our family owned business Noble’s Ag Contracting, based in Narromine, NSW.
We thought this drought would be over by now. We planned our upcoming wedding around it being over. Unfortunately, it’s not. It’s continually getting worse. Skies like the one below show the harsh reality, that this drought is worse than anything we have experienced before. I’m not certain if it is the worst in history, who am I to make that call!? But it certainly is the worst in our history. And living in it is hard.
Just about every morning you can find me out of the house at 6AM on my walk around the property that we live on. I’ve found the daily ritual of walking the best way to start my day, but lately it’s moved from positive to negative, as the paddocks and grass around me, which would usually be looking lush at this time of year, are truly dry and dead.
It’s a slap in the face each morning that our business will struggle to make an income this year. Without anything growing in those paddocks, there is nothing for us to harvest or bale for hay. We certainly aren’t alone in this situation, especially within our area, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier.
We have also lost access to all of our irrigation water, as we pump from the Macquarie River and it is currently at a record low. This means that our irrigated Lucerne enterprise will halt this year, with no water to grow a crop. We also run the risk of our established Lucerne crops dying off due to lack of water and predicted extreme heat over summer.
Financially, this is a worry – especially when some of our irrigation infrastructure is new and still requires repayments. Emotionally, it’s sad to sit back and not be able to do anything about it, like turn the pivot on to keep the crop thriving and an income streaming in. But that’s drought.
It has been dry and bare for a couple of years now. We decided from the start that as a couple of 20-odd year old’s with a young business and a young family that we’d push ourselves hard just to hang in there and get through this drought, and I believe we’ve done that bloody well to date. But that doesn’t mean it’s been easy.
Until this drought hit, we had always been able to source enough work within a one hour radius of home. Now to keep things ticking over Ross is travelling up to seven hours away for hay contracting work. That means plenty of nights apart. Plenty of meals eaten on their own. Plenty of missed family moments and those typical ‘how’s your day been’ conversations. It’s also been filled with plenty of questions from Ruby, our two-year-old, asking where her dad is.
We have been lucky to have some good friends and industry connections who have helped us out by giving us hay cutting jobs throughout this tough time. As hard as travelling long distances and working away from home can be, we are extremely grateful for these opportunities.
One friend, who has helped us by letting us help them, is fellow YFC Marlee Langfield and her fiancé Andrew Gallagher at Wallaringa, Cowra.
MARLEE: Andrew and I made the decision to cut all our 2019 canola crop for hay. Of course, this was not the original plan. Normally we would harvest the canola in November for seed and it would be sold to companies that would press the seeds for oil and use the byproducts for animal feed. However, due to the drought and the significant lack of rain on the spring forecast, the tough decision had to be made.
Growing canola for oil consists of waiting until flowering is finished (late September) and the plants then “pod up” forming seeds in the pods. Once 60 percent of the seed in the pods has changed colour the canola is ready for windrowing (cutting) and is then laid in rows on top of the stalks in the paddock to dry out, before harvesting the seed 10 days to two weeks later. But cutting Canola for hay must occur during the flowering stage as this is when the crop is at peak biomass…perfect for hay! Thus, the decision to make hay has to be made early in the growing season.
As we don’t normally aim to make hay, we lack the necessary machinery to do so. I’d seen on Nobles Ag contracting website they had the correct hay equipment and knowledge. Ross was keen and able to help, so the business relationship started from there.
What seemed like endless hectares of cutting, re-conditioning, raking, baling and stacking (add some sleepless nights in there too) later, we have hay!
Andrew and I are really appreciative to Nobels Ag Contracting for their professional hay making services. We now have a quality product ready to sell!
Out of the Field
Grains YFC Calum Watt attended the Fresh Science program in Perth last week and says it was a really valuable experience, training with TV, radio and industry engagement. Calum’s highlight was trying to present the crux of his research (on barley and wheat, hence the beer in hand below) in the time in takes a sparkler to run out of puff, which is about 30 seconds: “Tough!”
Wool YFC and Local Lands Service Biosecurity officer Lucy Collingridge and NFF 2030 Leader and Lego Farmer Aimee Snowdon caught up at the Cootamundra Show… along with Channel Seven’s Weekend Sunrise weather presenter James Tobin who opened the show.
Wool YFC Lucy is the social media and website manager, chief Merino steward and chief steward of the fleece Young Judges Competition, as well as stewarding in other sections as needed. Aimee Snowden attended as an ASC Next Generation Group 9 Delegate and helped with the Young Judges Competitions and beef cattle stewarding.
With string numbers of sheep and cattle exhibited, it was a real booster for the local agricultural industry in a time of hardship. Friday featured more than 100 school aged youth competing in the Young Judges Competitions for fleece, Merino, grains, fruit and veg, meat breed sheep and beef cattle. Lucy and Aimee both helped coordinate these events, which sees one or two students from each group final competition become eligible to compete at the state finals at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
YFC Marlee Langfield caught up with Cootamundra MP Steph Cooke at her local show on the October long weekend. Marlee is an active member of the Morongla Show and admin of the show’s facebook page. She said “It was an absolute fantastic day where traditions were celebrate and memories made.”
Spotted in The Land this week: Wool YFC Max Edwards buying rams at the Boxleigh Park Merinos annual ram sale last week, showcasing the best of the best in Wellington, NSW.
Our friends the NFF 2030 Leaders caught up at the National Farmers Federation’s 40th Birthday Celebrations last week.
YFC Martin Murray and Tegan Nock also attended and graduated from the 2019 cohort of the 2030 NFF Leaders Program.
Coming up Out of the Field
Eggs and Poultry YFC Jasmine Whitten and Wool YFC Melissa Henry are both crossing the state to attend the Landcare Forum in Broken Hill at the end of the month. Melissa will be attending with her Local Lands Services group and the Saving the Superb Parrot project, which is up for an award. Good luck Mel.
Climate YFC Anika Molesworth is heading to the icy cold of Antarctica mid November as part of Homeward Bound. She’s busy doing lots of preparation, reading about Antarctica, doing homework of science communication and visibility, and organising warm clothes!
“Homeward Bound is a 12-month leadership program which culminates in a three-week intensive voyage to Antarctica. The initiative, turned global movement, aims to heighten the influence and impact of women in STEMM, in order to impact policy and decision making as it shapes our planet. “
Beef YFC Jasmine Green from Summit Livestock has been touring the country judging show cattle at shows in Melbourne and Launceston and if you’re heading to the Geelong Show this week you might catch her there too! Say hi if you see her.
Congratulations YFC Sally Downie! The Charles Sturt University student and dairy farmer has been named Australian Agricultural Student of the Year at the 2019 Farmer of the Year Awards. What an achievement! Well done Sally. Read more here.
Congratulations NFF 2030 Leader Matt Champness who has been named Novice Category winner of the Australian Farm Institute’s John Ralph Essay Competition on The Future of Animal Agriculture. Well done Matt!
And we’re very proud of friend of the YFC Greg Mills, from GoAhead Business Solutions, whose essay entry was also shortlisted in the open category and will be published in AFI’s November journal. Congratulations Greg!
Congratulations to Wool YFC Cassie Baile who has been named one if six finalists in the Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association Ltd Awards.
We’re on the countdown to our 2019 Archibull Awards on the 19th November and celebrating this year’s excellent Archie entries over on the Picture You in Agriculture Facebook Page. Pop on over to see all our exciting news, including:
This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions around the world…
In the Field
What better way to start the week than with news just in from the rice fields of Myanmar, where YFC Sam Coggins is working as a Soil Research Officer at the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) – a government agency in Australia’s aid program that commissions agricultural research to support farmers in developing countries and Australia.
Sam sent us this “Day in the Life” snapshot:
We work with partners in Asia, Africa and the Pacific to collaboratively create practical solutions for shared farming challenges. The ultimate goal to support food security, sustainability and economic prosperity for us and our neighbours. For example, one project is analysing how rice growers in Myanmar and Australia could use fertilizer more productively and sustainably. Part of my job has been iterating a digital fertilizer advisory tool with farmers in Myanmar to learn how we can make it useful for them.
Here is an average day of prototype iterations:
Have strangely tasty naan with beans in it (local Myanmar brekky dish), drive to the house of local research partners and plan consultations for the day.
Travel to villages and sit down with farmers to chat about farming and bounce the latest prototypes of digital fertilizer advisory tool off them.
Return to our accommodation, chat through what we learned and redevelop the parts of the smartphone app that farmers didn’t like.
I love my job because it has so much variety and I get to practically contribute to stuff I really believe in.
Back in Australia, resident Biosecurity Officer and wool Young Farming Champion Lucy Collingridge recently held the final meeting in a two year long feral pig monitoring project. The project, which is part of a PhD project for feral pig expert Darren Marshall of SQ Landscapes, involved the collaring of feral pigs to monitor their movement across the landscape, the testing of blood samples for zoonotic diseases and an index of abundance camera monitoring project. Another essential aspect of the project is the community perception and participation in feral pig control.
The project was initially featured on landline in 2018, and a follow up segment was aired last weekend. Watch the story here.
Lucy also held a meeting to support the landholders involved in the Cuttabri area who successfully obtained a grant to manage pests and weeds in their area. Feral cat and feral pig traps have been sourced locally, grain for free feeding and ammunition for the humane destruction of pest animals have been supplied to the group to support their in-kind work in controlling pest animals on their holdings. This program is also supported by Australian Wildlife Conservency who are actively working in the Pilliga National Park and State Conservation Adea fo reintroduce native species such as the Bilby.
Information about the grant can be found here.
Grains YFC Keiley O’Brien made time to get amongst it and snap some beautiful family photos in the crops. Keiley and her partner Ross run Nobel’s Contracting and are experiencing their most wide spread hay making season yet, with jobs from Tullamore, to Cowra to Balranald.
Wool YFC Bessie Thomas is getting ready for shearing across their western NSW properties this month. Their shearing team will shear about 10,000 merinos during the next few weeks, with the wool then heading down to Elders wool technician and auctioneer Samantha Wan to work her magic fetching the best price for the fibre.
Wool YFC Melissa Henry from Quebon Coloured Sheep hosted the Re-Gen Grazing Group at their farm near Young, NSW. “We were out in the paddocks looking at pasture, root growth and soils. We received some really positive feedback and a few tips on how we can further improve our pastures through grazing management. Thank you Boorowa Community Landcare Group, Scott Hickman and all members of this very supportive group,” Melissa says.
Out of the Field
The September School Holidays marked the arrival of the Royal Melbourne Show. Besides the showbags, carnival rides, horse events & livestock judging there’s another side of agricultural show’s that’s not always seen by the general public. Wool YFC Sam Wan & YVLT Chair Dr Jo Newton had the opportunity to experience some of this.
Dressed to impress, Sam and Jo attended the Official Opening of the Royal Melbourne Show with the Governor of Victoria the Hon. Linda Dessau AC. Sam attended as a finalist for this year’s Emerging Leader in Victorian Agriculture (ELVA) awards while Jo was there as a 2018 ELVA winner. They were accompanied by Sam’s husband Tom (left) and Jo’s brother James (right).
In addition to recognising young people who are passionate about careers in agriculture, events during the show also pay tribute to the army of people who bring the show to life.
Jo says, “Attending the Art, Craft and Cookery High Tea opened my eyes to a whole other side of the show. At this year’s show more than 4000 entries were received across all the art, craft and cookery judging categories. This is many more entries than the 172 received at the first competition in 1911! The High Tea is an opportunity to not only acknowledge the Championship winners but also celebrate all the stewards – show volunteers – who take care of the logistics of such a big competition. It was fascinating learning more about what’s involved in this part of the show.”
In further Melbourne Show news, YFC Jasmine Green was a judge in the Beef Cattle Interbreed competition and National Farmers Federation 2030 Leader and Lego Farmer Aimee Snowdon attended the Agribusiness Leaders Luncheon.
Congrats to Jo Newton also for her second opinion piece for Farm Online, “What we can learn from the Visible Farmer Project.” Read the story here.
Climate YFC and founder of Climate Wise Agriculture Anika Molesworth is proud of her local council has become the latest to declare a Climate Emergency. Anika addressed Broken Hill Council and a room full of supporters last week as part of the public forum and the Landcare group that was driving this declaration. She says the council chambers broke into loud applause in support of the declaration.
“The role of local government in responding to #ClimateChange is critical. It’s not just about reducing our emissions but helping our residents respond and build resilience to the impacts of a changing climate. Impacts are being experienced by our local community, environment and infrastructure,” Anika says.”
“Building pressure on higher levels of government to fund and legislate for emergency action to restore a safe climate is the most critical task a council can undertake”
Anika appeared in Women’s Day last month, writing about the national climate marches, and the Barrier Daily Times last week speaking on council declaration. Keep up the great work Anika!
University of New England YFC Becca George traveled to Dalby, Qld, for the 2019 SMARTBEEF Conference was held from October 2nd – 4th. “Some highlights of SMARTBEEF include the demonstration of the ‘bunk bot’ an autonomous bunk reading robot, and a Q&A and demonstration from celebrity chef Jess Pryles, also known as ‘hardcore carnivore,’” Becca says.
“Jess cooked tri tip beef using her line of meat seasoning and a smoker. There were many great speakers, demos and of coarse yummy grain fed beef! Thank you to Angus Australia for sponsoring me to attend SMARTBEEF 2019.”
Grains YFC Marlee Langfield was mentioned in parliament by Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke MP following last month’s Pizza and Pitch series of consultations with youth across the Cootamundra electorate.
In the video below Steph Cooke MP says, “Among the many inspirational attendees in Cowra was Marlee Langfield who would like to see a better connection between current Agricultural Show Societies and the next generation. We spoke about the stigma young people experience in joining committees and groups and discussed ways to move forward towards bettter integration and acceptance.”
Marlee also appeared in The Land Newspaper this week, celebrating 100 years of the Morongla Show. Marlee is an enthusiastic volunteer on her local show committee.
Ruby Canning has also recently landed the role of media and publicity coordinator for the UNE Farming Futures executive committee. You’ll rock it Ruby!
YFC Sally Downie has been named a finalist for Agricultural Student of the Year in the Farmer of the Year awards, and Picture You in Agriculture founder Lynne Strong and Sally’s YFC mentor Meg Rice have been officially invited to attend this year’s awards ceremony. Good Luck Sally!
In the world of cotton, two past YFC Billy Browning and Richie Quigley have been announced Nuffield Australia scholarship recipients. Huge congrats!
Billy Browning has also been named a finalist in the ADAMA Young Cotton Achiever of the Year Awards. Good luck Billy.
Perth based grains YFC Calum Watt travelled to Brisbane as a finalist in the 3 Minute Thesis competition, although he didn’t progress to the final we’re incredibly proud of his efforts. This week he’s back in WA learning all things TV and radio communication as part of the Fresh Science program. This wraps up with informal “layman’s presentations” on big scientific topics on Wednesday night. Good luck Calum!
Jump onto Facebook and follow Red Meat YFC Kirsty McCormack’s page Cow Nerd Girl, sharing her insights into rodeo and international agriculture from Australia to Canada. “Writing has always been a secret love, along with the camera this is permanently attached to my arm,” Kirsty writes. “With an opinion always formed I decided I would share some of these moments (good and bad) with the rest of the world.” If you’ve ever wondered what life is like in the world of Canadian beef ranches and rodeo, follow along here.
This beautiful photo below of YFC Bessie Thomas’s daughter Airlie was re-grammed by ABC Kids sustainability warrior Dirt Girl #dirtgirlworldofficial
The 10th Annual Judging Tour of the Archibull Prize is kicking off and we’ve received some fabulous sneak peaks! If you don’t follow us on Facebook, now’s the time to pop over to Picture You in Agriculture and enjoy our most favourite time of year: #ArchieAction time!
More detailed photos and video of all this year’s amazing entries will be going up on the Art4AgricultureChat blog so WATCH THIS SPACE as we head towards the biggest event of our year, the Archibull Prize Finals!
We all know dogs are a human’s best friend and when it comes to farm dogs they are both best friends and highly valued team members! This week celebrated International Dog Day and YFC Peta Bradley sent us these beautiful pictures of her family’s gorgeous farm dogs from Armatree, NSW.
YFC Dr Danila Marini has been enjoying her week of work outside testing potential applications of virtual fencing with a small flock of young merino ewes. She says the new applications look promising! Good luck with the write up, Danila.
Out of the Field
YFC and Drought Coordinator for Forbes Shire Council Sally Downie hosted a Drought Business Forum on last week as an opportunity for small businesses to come together and speak with a business support service.
“Two presenters from Central West Business HQ attended and contributed to the discussions. They presented on how businesses can adapt to the changing retail environment, how to get other business streams and finance issues. They were also able to offer free additional follow up support for all businesses in a range of ways depending on their individual needs. This is exactly what businesses need due to the limited assistance for drought affected businesses currently available,” Sally says.
“The feedback from event was very useful and will be used to compile a report and sent to relative parties and for council reference to help better support our local businesses.The goal now is to ensure there is follow up and action taken to improve support and create widespread awareness as well as to generate support for these businesses to those outside of Forbes.” Well done a very important community event Sally! If you’d like to read more, head over to our Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page for more.
PYiA founder Lynne Strong represented the YFC team at the Heywire FRRR Youth Innovation Grants Announcements on 18th August and was so inspired by the foresight and courage of the program she blogged about it here: Can we teach Courage? We are huge fans of the Heywrite program, with several of our YFC – including Sally Downie – being Heywire Alumni.
Lots of news in from AgQuip 2019 last month with many of our YFC meeting up at the largest agricultural field day in the country. Ruby Canning sent it this great pic of our five new University of New England YFC, Becca George, Forbes Corby, Ruby Canning, Haylee Murrell and Emily May.
Wool YFC Lucy Collingridge was working with the North West Local Land Services at AgQuip. As part of her role as Biosecurity Officer she spoke with landholders from across the state to provide best practice pest management advice. From wild dogs to rabbits, deer to feral cats, the environmental and agricultural impacts of all pest species were discussed. In her lunch break, Lucy had a quick catch up with egg YFC Jasmine Whitten and grains YFC Marlee Langfield. These three superstars form part of our Youth Voices Leadership Team social media committee and it was the first time they had all met face-to-face together!
YFC and 2019 Peter Westblade Scholarship winner Chloe Dutschke is currently on a wool classing tour of Western Australia as part of her scholarship. Chloe is travelling with Scholarship chairman Craig Wilson and has visited Billandri Poll Merinos, viewing rams and tagging lambs with genetic ID tags. She is currently at Wattle Dale Merinos preparing rams for their inspection day. Have fun Chloe!
Exciting week for YFC Hannah Hawker who got the best seat in the house for the Parkes Show.
“Following a stint as an intern in the announcers box at Sydney Royal this year, I’ve picked up a few gigs for local shows in my area. As much as I am a sucker for any country show, I was particularly excited as we came into the last week of August for my beloved local show,” Hannah says.
“Parkes has a huge selection of events that actually run over four days if you include the horse program on Sunday. I’ve seen the show from a number of angles over my time but this might well have been the best, and I don’t just mean the view from the second story box perched perfectly over the centre of the main arena. A special pass into the pavilions before they opened to the public gave me an insight into the massive effort judging and set up was- run completely by volunteers, usually families, and all for the joy of showcasing our local excellence. People in it for the love of it.
“Print outs, results, sponsors bios, run sheets passed along my desk as the day went on. I had a brief moment to stop and think at the enormity, and level of professionalism, involved in this event.
“Announcing was a hoot as the old hands welcomed me in with enthusiasm and trust well beyond my experience. Events of the days and sponsors making it possible was standard, but the horse events and dog high jump gave opportunity for excitement and ad libbing, getting the crowd involved and sharing some of the knowledge I’d gained over my years. Congratulations to the committee of Parkes PA&H and thank you for letting me be involved!”
Coming up Out of the Field this fortnight:
YFC and Cowra farmer Marlee Langfield is heading to Pizza and Pitch for Cowra Youth, a meetup with Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke. The initiative aims to help MP Steph Cooke inform her priorities and goals to make towns in the Cootamundra electorate better places to live. Steph Cooke is calling for young locals to pitch ideas for their communities and we’re no doubt the incredibly community minded Marlee will have some great ones!
Are you heading to Global Table in Melbourne this week? YFC and InStyle Farmer for Change Anika Molesworth is, along with friend of the program and National Farmers Federation (NFF) 2030 Leader Oli Le Lievre.
“Global Table brings together leading international and Australian agrifood events under one umbrella to join the conversation on solving our biggest food challenges and creating tomorrow’s breakthroughs. Global Table kicks off with a three-day conference at the Melbourne Showgrounds, featuring Seeds&Chips – The Global Food Innovation Summit, coming to Australia for the first time.”
Anika is moderating a session called ‘Disrupting Climate Change,’ while Oli is working in the Innovation Precinct, hosting programs like the Agrihackathon. Good luck to you both and we can’t wait to hear how the week goes!
YFC Lucy Collingridge, Emma Ayliffe, Chloe Dutschke and friend of the program and YVLT minute secretary Sophie Howard will be attending the 2019 Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner and National Announcement at Parliament House in Canberra.
Youth Voices Leadership Team vice chair and agronomist Emma Ayliffe is gearing up for her role as keynote speaker at the upcoming Chicks in the Sticks event in Victoria’s Grampian Ranges next month. Tickets via here.
Friend of the program and NFF 2030 Leader Matt Champness beamed in from south-east Asia to speak to the Victorian Country Hour this week chatting about his work with farmers in Laos. Matt is presenting the findings of his work at the Asia Pacific Weeds Society Conference in Kuching Malaysia this week. Break a leg, Matt! Take a listen to Matt on the Country Hour here.
NFF 2030 Leader and Lego Farmer Aimee Snowden has a busy month ahead, say hi from us if you see her at any of these upcoming events:
I’m part of the organising committee for this year’s Victorian AgriBusiness Summit in Wangaratta this week, co-hosted by the Ovens Murray Ag Biz Alliance (OMABA). We’ve got a great program together!
UNE YFC Ruby Canning is off to Kempsey High School this week to give the students some guidance and tips on parading and cattle showmanship. Ruby joined forces with their Ag teacher after judging the cattle at Kempsey Show earlier in the year. And if you were at Tamworth Show this weekend you may have spotted Ruby judging the qualifying round of beef cattle that will be heading to Sydney Show:
“Drought is devastating by its very nature. It creeps up on the landscape and even after its end is declared, the impacts keep coming. That is the nature of Australia and drought, it is a part of our climate and we know to always expect it.
Despite this, our drought policy is not well established but we do seem to have a well-established pattern every time drought strikes.
Conditions set in and it’s crisis time. It is all over the media, donations flood in from those far removed from the dry dams, dying stock and failed crops.
Months pass, no rain, no relief, more stress, debt and work. Farmers are in the thick of it, but why is everything quiet?” Keep reading here.
Congratulations to YFC Laura Phelps who has been working in the UK for the last 12 months and has extended plans to stay, taking on a new role as Head of Banking, Business Investment and Tax in the investment area for the Department for International Trade. Best of luck Laura!
Mega Congrats to YFC Meg Rice who graduated from UNE with a Bachelor of Agriculture/Bachelor of Law this week! We can’t wait to see where your hard work and dedication will lead you Meg.
It has been a HUGE week of Archie Action for YFC going into and Google Hangout-ing with schools across the country for the 2019 Archibull Prize.
Samantha Wan had a blast at Manly Secondary School Campus, Burwood Girls High Schol in Sydney and Irrawang High School in the Hunter.
YFC Tayla Field had a great day at McAuley College in Beaudesert.
Dairy YFC Sally Downie is hanging out with Beaudesert State High School in QLD and East Lodden College in Vic this week, Wool YFC Peta Bradley is heading to Skill Set College, Bathurst for a Face-to-Face visit, Wool YFC’s Lucy Collingridge has an e-meeting with Greystanes High School and Bessie Thomas is hanging out with Hurlstone Agricultural High School. Good Luck everyone! We know you’ll have a ball!
This week’s top stories from our Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the country and globe.
In the field
First stop on our round the globe tour this week is with YFC Sam Coggins who has touched down in SE Asia for the next stage of his work with Rise Harvest. Sam is the co-founder of the Rise Harvest smartphone app that provides site-specific fertilizer recommendations for smallholder rice growers in Myanmar.
“I just had a day in the field during an intensive rice course at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, where I tried unsuccessfully to plough rice field with Gertrude the carribou (native water buffalo),” Sam says. ” I will be here for the next three weeks and then I’m going to straight to Myanmar to put learnings into practice developing digital fertilizer knowledge tool with smallholder rice growers.”
On Aussie soil, Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) vice-chair and agronomist Emma Ayliffe sent us this update from her farm near Lake Cargelligo, central NSW:
“The 2019 winter cropping season has seen a much better start compared to last with rains earlier to get crops out of the ground. Small rain events every couple of weeks are helping to sustain our crop but we need a substantial rain event in the next couple of months to get closer to average yields. Compared to last year we are in a much more exciting position as can be seen this this picture,” Emma says.
Friend of the YFC program, National Farmers Federation 2030 Leader Matt Chapness is in Laos and sent us an update while “passing the time on a two hour drive to the village.”
“Yesterday I demonstrated a modified whipper snipper we made to control weeds in direct seeded rice in Laos. This picture (below) shows the results. Field overrun by weeds (left), weed cut (right). I’m off to demo to three other villages today and give them our design.”
Out of the field
Climate YFC and InStyle Magazine Farmer for Change/Klorane Changemaker Anika Molesworth is a triple threat this week with appearances on both television and radio, as well as articles published online!
Anika joined the panel on ABC’s The Drum to talk about climate change, examining the impacts of higher temperatures and lower rainfall, dissecting Australia’s current climate and energy policy, and looking forward to where the country could go from here.
She spoke about how the agricultural industry is being challenged by rapidly changing conditions, why current policy is out of line with the science, and gave examples of the great potential in rural Australia as we move to a low-carbon economy.
Anika also spoke with Triple J’s Hack about drought and the Future Drought Fund which provides relief for some farmers experiencing the word drought in recorded history and the need for emissions to be reduced in order to prevent worse future droughts. Take a listen here.
“In failing to act on human-induced climate change, our political leaders are neglecting the rights of the next generation.
“You just need to turn on your television to know this drought is tough. Every evening, Australian families are being bombarded with footage of struggling farmers, dust-bowl paddocks and hungry animals…”Read more here.
A two time Charles Sturt University graduate, Anika this week starred on the CSU “Insight: explore news, careers and study with CSU” website in the stroy, ‘Women in agriculture- let’s push things forward.’ Read more here. And what a woman she is! Keep up the great work Anika!
If you don’t follow Anika on Twitter, you can find her at @AnikaMolesworth She has been named one of the most influential people in Australian agriculture on Twitter and this week alone her tweeted video on a national drought strategy has been viewed 17,800 times and counting…
What are we learning from the #drought and how should we respond?
Also hitting the radio waves this week was Eggs YFC and YVLT communication creative team member Jasmine Whitten who spoke to ABC New England for the NSW Country Hour. “I spoke about my passion for agriculture and the education activities I have done as a Young Farming Champion and a Landcare coordinator,” Jas says. It’s absolutely worth a listen:
Jas also headed back to her old stomping ground of the University of New England (UNE) last week for the uni’s huge Ag Week event. We spotted Jas in this video from Agmentation (a two-day sprint and pitch grassroots problem-solving event):
Ag Week was the perfect opportunity for our new UNE YFC to introduce themselves over on PYIA. Well done to our Ruby Canning, Emily May, Haylee Murrell, Forbes Corby & Rebecca George for a brilliant week of guest hosting our social media channels. Pop over to PYIA now to take a look back over the week, which included Becca George and Forbes Corby speaking on the Rural Focus Symposium Q & A panel, alongside speakers Andrew Roberts, David Brownhill & Jock Whittle.
“The theme of the day was ‘corporate vs family farming: learning from each other.’ On the panel we discussed challenges for young people entering farming & what we think the future of farming looks like for our generation,” Becca says.
As chair of the Farming Futures committee, YFC Forbes Corby was spotted in this story about the symposium in the Armidale Express
YFC Becca George was showcased on the UNE Agriculture Facebook page as part of the Farming Futures UNE Careers Fair, which is an opportunity for both high school and university students to meet industry representatives and consider careers in agriculture. What excites Bec about the future of careers in agriculture?
Heading west to Narromine, YFC and 2018 Narromine Showgirl Keiley O’Brien recently MC’d the 2019 Showgirl competition, which consisted of interviews, a luncheon and a ball.
“We had five entrants in the competition, each who were a deserving winner, with Annabelle Powell, an embedding nurse, being named the 2019 Narromine Showgirl.
“I was honoured to MC the night as our outgoing Showgirl and had an absolute blast in doing so. It was great to see so many people within our district come together to celebrate our town, our show, and our people. We had a record number of 176 people in attendance, with two fellow YFC Bec George and Lucy Collingridge amongst the crowd.
“Big thanks to our judges: Spike Orr, Vice President of the Parkes Show Society, Effie Ferguson, The 2019 Land Sydney Royal Easter Show Girl Runner Up, and Lydia Herbert, ASC Next Gen Vice President.”
Last week also saw Keiley attend the Grain Growers Innovation Generation conference in Ballarat, Victoria with her employer RuralBiz Training. “Innovation Generation brings together award-winning speakers, innovators and industry professionals from across the sector, to inspire and challenge young people within the grains industry. I had a fabulous time networking and endorsing the flexible training programs offered through my work,” Keiley says.
Not far away in Bendigo it was all action at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show, where UNE YFC Ruby Canning was busy photographing for the Stock and Land Newspaper.
“The Sheep and Wool Show is the largest of its type in the Southern Hemisphere,” Ruby says. “It was a great experience meeting and networking with other individuals within agriculture. Competitors traveled from all over the country, including as far as Western Australian, to showcase their top stock.”
“While I was there I worked closely with Joely Mitchell, the Acting Editor of the Stock and Land. Along with photographing most of the champions, I had the privilege of photographing the industry dinner Lambition, which included meeting and photographing MLA corporate chef Sam Burke, as well as Jason Strong the newly appointed Managing Director of MLA.
“To top the event off one of my photos made the front page of the Stock and Land Newspaper for the second time, and I was shortlisted for the BBM Global Industry Scholarship.”
Congratulations Ruby! Fingers crossed for you with the scholarship winners announced in early October. If she wins, Ruby plans to travel to Canada and America to study the feedlot industry and meat grading and quality systems in comparison to Australia.
Over to Wagga Wagga, NSW, where YVLT mentor leader and Local Land Services (LLS) district veterinarian Dione Howard has been as busy as… well… an LLS district veterinarian!
Last Friday Dione attended the Graham Centre Livestock Forum with Riverina LLS, where livestock researchers, producers and market experts shared their latest insights.
Later in the week Dione spoke to the Charles Sturt University (CSU) Vet Science Class of 2020 about all things district vetting before the students head out on their final year of placements. The following day CSU had its Ag Careers Fair where students come together to hear from organisations in the agriculture sector who they might consider working for when they finish their agriculture, animal, vet or business degrees – lots of opportunities!
This Friday the Riverina LLS hosted a Lamb Post Mortem Workshop, in conjunction with Elders Wagga Wagga, where Dione shared with producers common causes of lamb mortalities and how they can identify what has happened to lambs so that they can make improvements for next year. Wow – what a week!
This week also saw Dione present at NFF House, Canberra, to a Lunch ‘n’ Learn group about her experience as WoolProducers Youth Ambassador for 2018-19. This was the last of her commitments for this program, now it’s over to Woolly YFC Samantha Wan for the 2019-20 Youth Ambassador role!
Speaking of Sam… If you’re heading to Sheepvention in Hamilton, Victoria, this week keep your eyes peeled for Samantha Wan. Sam is presenting the Elders Southern Clip of the Year awards. Looking forward to hearing more about this Sam!
We’re also staying tuned for news from YFC Steph Fowler who flew to Germany this week for the International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) which starts this Sunday. Steph is presenting three papers on the meat science research she has been doing at Department of Primary Industries, and Steph’s PhD student will be presenting another two papers. Break a leg, Steph!
Coming up this week in Sydney is the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) of NSW’s leading Agricultural and Agribusiness careers expo, AgVision2019. YFC Lucy Collingridge and Dee George, and friend of the program and NFF 2030 Leader Aimee Snowdown are all heading AgVision’s way – say hi if you see them!
UNE YFC Becca George is gracing the RAS of NSW Facebook Page and website this week as one of the 2019 RAS Foundation Rural Scholarship winners. 22-year-old Becca is a fourth year Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Agriculture UNE student in Arimdale, originally from the small central NSW town of Nevertire. The RAS Foundation Rural Scholarships support students from rural areas who have to relocate to study. Applications are now open for 2020 RAS Foundation Rural Scholarships: Apply here
And did you catch Becca George’s photo on the Ten News Daily Bailey segment? Congrats Becca and we hope it’s pouring with rain out there soon.
YFC and YVLT communication creative team volunteer extraordinaire Marlee Langfield was the face of the recent Rural Women’s Network Hidden Treasures Honour Roll campaign, which recognizes fabulous volunteering efforts of rural women. As a 2017 Hidden Treasures nominee, Marlee was asked to talk about why she loves being involved with her local community and how she hopes the Morongla Show will continue for another 100 years. “They came to the Country Women’s Association/Red Cross meeting to film, which meant they could see me in volunteer action,” Marlee says. Nominations for the 2019 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll have now closed.
Congratulations to Wool YFC Samantha Wan who has been selected as one of three finalists in the 2019 National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia Wool Broker Award! Read all about it on Sheep Central here. Well done and good luck Sam! The prize sounds right up your alley…
“The winner of the 2019 award will win an all-expenses paid trip to attend the 2020 Congress of the International Wool Textile Organisation in Tongxiang, China in May 2020. Arrangements will also be made for the 2020 award winner to visit the wool textile industry in China.
NCWSBA executive director Chris Wilcox said the winner will be announced at the AWIS Wool Week dinner in the evening of Thursday, 22 August.”
Double YFC whammy for the NSW Young Farmers – with two YFC elected at the recent Annual General Meeting. Mega congrats to Meg Rice who was re-elected as a NSW Young Farmer Councillor, and Martin Murray who was elected as NSW Young Farmer deputy chair and onto the grains committee. Well done Meg and Martin!
And a huge warm welcome to the latest amazing talent to join the YFC team, Sally Downie. Sally has been awarded the 2019 Picture You in Agriculture Scholarship. Read Sally’s blog here to discover what makes her so incredible and a deserving winner of this scholarship. Sally’s heading to Beaudesert State School as part of the 2019 Archibull Prize and they’re already as excited as we are!
2019 Archibull Prize school visits are well under way and this week YFC Lucy Collingridge visited Greystanes High School and St Johns Park High School, where she spoke with 50 secondary students. At Greystanes High School, Lucy met with a range of students from years 7-12 who elected to participate in The Archibull Prize this year with their art teacher. Here, Lucy skyped with YFC Emma Ayliffe to give the students an insight in to the cotton industry. At St Johns Park High School Lucy spoke with the year 9 elective arts class who are participating in The Archibull Prize with their art teacher. Lucy also had the pleasure of speaking with the year 10 elective agriculture class who joined the session.
“I loved my time at the schools and I am looking forward to some follow up Google Hangouts with the students and tracking the progress of their Archibulls for 2019!” Lucy says. “Big thanks to teachers Donna Draper, Max Labal and Leah Bonus!”
How special is this…! YFC and Cowra grain grower Marlee Langfield was recently doing some family research when she came across a 1979 newspaper clipping with her grandad Clem Capps on the front cover of The Land newspaper. We love the headline, “Everything Old is new again” because 39 years later, Marlee and her partner Andrew made the cover! Read and enjoy the stories below…
This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the country and globe.
First stop on our round the world tour of YFC this week is the tiny town of Tocal, NSW, where dozens of YFC and Kreative Koala teachers gathered for our first 2019 Workshop.
It’s over to Wool YFC Chloe Dutschke and Horticulture YFC Tayla Field for a workshop recap of the alumni stream:
Our workshop weekend kicked off with a dinner Friday night with a chance for Alumni YFC to catch up and to meet the 2019 intake of YFC and Kreative Koalas teachers.
Saturday started with a brainstorming session including how we can make the most of our program and to showcase Agriculture to the best of our abilities. This involved reviewing, gathering, implementing and analysis of our social media. We have many new ideas and cannot wait to bring them to life.
Josh Farr from Campus Consultancy is our new Alumni workshop facilitator and has brought an engaging energy to the program. We discussed the six needs of life that all of our decisions can be linked back to: Certainty, Variety, Connection, Significance, Growth and Contribution. We used them to understand our motives in situations and to recognize our needs in determining our own personal goals.
Our goal setting session was very rewarding with many of our YFC Alumni beginning to define goals for their own lives using the SMART goal setting rubric whilst also addressing and overcoming problems which can lead to our goals not being actioned.
Saturday’s program was also filled with a session on the sustainability circle conducted by Greg Mills, which showcased five of our YFC Alumni sharing with teachers participating in Kreative Koalas how their role meets the sustainability circle in their work. This was a great opportunity for teachers and Alumni to learn together.
We concluded Saturday with a dinner inviting special guests including Tracey Norman, Mayor of Dungog Council, Lindy Hyam, Chair of Hunter LLS, Jane Llyod Jones, School Engagement Officer at Hunter LLS as well as Julie White and Jo Hathaway from Tocal College. We left the dinner truly inspired after speeches from Lindy Hyam, Youth Voices Leadership Team vice-chair Emma Ayliffe and Josh Farr.
Listen to Emma’s dinner speech here:
Listen to Josh’s speech here:
Our workshop concluded on Sunday but not before YFC had a sustainability session debrief with Greg Mills, reiterating the importance of a good presentation and the use of three key messages and understanding the story we are trying to tell.
Josh once again captivated the YFC Alumni and took us on a journey to understand Emotional Intelligence and our belief system. We were challenged in this session to become vulnerable and delve deep into ourselves to find our beliefs and recognise how they affect our everyday lives. This session was very emotive for all our Alumni recognising how negative self beliefs can shape the way we think about situations and define experiences we have had.
This workshop was by far the best workshop I have attended, it was emotive, engaging, challenging with lots of new information learnt. Thank you very much to the Alumni, new YFC, Teachers and facilitators for a fantastic weekend.
Thank you for a brilliant recap Chloe and Tayla!
In the Field
Wool YFC and Elders Wool Technician and Auctioneer Sam Wan has achieved a selling centre trifecta: Auctioneering the Elders Wool Fremantle offering means that she has now sold at all three wool selling centres in Australia!
This career highlight comes on the back of Sam’s two week study tour to Italy as part of the award for Elders “Thomas Elder” Employee of the Year.
Wool YFC Samantha Wan: Starting in the northern Italian region of Piedmont, the city of Biella became the center of the textile business because of its geographical features. Written documents prove that wool workers and weavers have been active in the region since 1245. It’s known as the ‘Wool City’, as it’s where the best wool mills in Italy are gathered and the most high quality woolen fabrics are weaved.
The water from the area is particularly hard due to its Alpine beginnings. As water runs down from the Piedmont mountains into the Biellese region, it picks up elements of the mineral formations it erodes along the way. The resulting hard water, which is particularly valuable for finishing fabrics, helped to distinguish the local fabrics and aided Biella’s ascent to the top of the world of wool.
Verrone, combing mill to see how the greasy wool begins the journey in Italy
Botto Giuesseppie, iconic fabric mill – one of the three ‘Royals’ of Biella
Tollegno 1900 SPA, mainly a worsted fabric producer, producing 4.5million metres of fabric each year, in over 5000 variations
Fratelli Piacenza SPA, woollen mill specialising in the Noble Fibres (superfine merino, cashmere, yak)
Marzotto, spinning and weaving factory in Valdagno
Simply incredible to see how the wool fibres are nurtured to create garments.
Fascinating stop overs at Parma ham factory and sheep cheese dairy how they carve a niche for their products.
AWI/The Woolmark Company Milan office to hear of the latest collaborations and the Italian perspective on wool in today’s fashion
While wool is always the highlight, the tour also took me to iconic sights and experiences such as a gondola ride in Venice, the ruins of Pompeii (highschool dream fulfilled!), the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, Trevi Fountain, Florentine steak, the Colosseum and so many more!
Most people bring back trinket souvenirs, I’ve brought back a healthy appreciation of coffee and a bit of an espresso habit!
Out of the field
One of our newest YFCs from the University of New England, Becca George, has attended 3 conferences/ workshops across three countries in the past three weeks! “The 24th-26th of June I attended the IFAMA conference in Hangzhou China, then after landing in Sydney from Vietnam I went straight to the YFC workshop & then on the 8th-9th of July I was at the Australian Summer Grains Conference on the Gold Coast! No rest for the wicked or a YFC ” Becca says. Look back through our posts on Picture You in Agriculture to see more highlights of Becca’s trip.
Wool YFC and Peter Westblade Memorial Scholarship winner Chloe Dutschke recently attended the Intercollegiate Meat Judging competition careers expo, talking to students about her experience in agriculture so far and about the Peter Westblade Scholarship. “My highlight was seeing a record number of 45 companies attend the expo supporting youth heading into ag and the red meat industry. There were a record number of companies with graduate positions, so great to see them investing in the next generation of ag,” Chloe says. “It was also fantastic talking to students who are willing to do the tough jobs, start at the bottom and work their way up, to create innovation and showcase our ag industry.”
Eggs and Poultry YFC and YVLT Communication Sub Committee member Jasmine Whitten has had a busy week attending conferences and workshops across NSW.
“I went to the GrasslandsNSW conference, where I heard Greg Mills speak on social licence and also got to catch up with (Wool YFC) Katherine Bain. The conference covered so much, from how to build more profitable grazing businesses, to how producers are managing the drought building more profitable agricultural businesses.”
“I was also at the Bank Ready workshop which is part of the young farmer business program run by NSW DPI. The event had a great representation of people from lawyers, accountants, bankers and of course young farmers. My brother works on our family farm and he walked away inspired that there were options for young people to get into farming. These events are worth getting to if they are run in your region,” Jas says.
Huge congratulations to YFC and agronomist Casey Onus who was named Agronomist of the Year at the 2019 Summer Grains Conference on the Gold Coast last week. We are so proud of you Casey, well done!
“The 26-year-old B&W Rural agronomist beat out experienced agronomists from around the country, including fellow Moree agronomist Tony Lockrey who was named runner-up, to win the Zoe McInnes Memorial Award which recognises outstanding contribution to agronomic excellence by an agronomist.”Read more in the Moree Champion here.
Congrats to Youth Voices Leadership Team Chair and dairy geneticist Dr Jo Newton on her awesome op-ed “Forging an agricultural leadership path” published on Farm Online last week.
Well done to Picture You in Agriculture YFC Alana Black on her opinion piece published in The Land this week titled, “We need to be proactive in telling farm stories.”
“In order to stop decline of rural economies, we need to recognise it isn’t purely a geographical issue, and to ensure their strong continuation we need urban consumers to buy into regional communities,” writes Alana. Read the full story here.
YVLT Vice-Chair Emma Ayliffe is inspiring us all this week with her optimism and vision. Emma was showcased on australianleadership.com
Congratulations and a huge Thank You to friend of the PYIA programs Greg Mills who was recently thanked for his long-term contribution and support of our YFC with the presentation of a Champion of Champions award. No one deserves it more than you Greg, thank you! Watch here:
Wool YFC Lucy Collingridge made is back from the Arctic Circle in time to attend the Tocal Workshop. We were excited to hear about the rest of her incredible adventure:
“I headed to Norway and Denmark for a holiday. Most of my time was spent on a ship touring the western coast of Svalbard. I visited the worlds most northern town (Ny Alesund), saw a polar bear and reindeer, kayaked around some massive glaciers, went for a dip surrounded by icebergs and pack ice as it was snowing, and learned heaps about the amazing animals of the Arctic – did you know the Arctic Tern travels from the Arctic to Antarctica and back each year?! The really cool (pun intended) part of the trip was that it was a reunion of friends made on a trip to Antarctica two years ago – 20 of us “Epic Antarcticans” who were all on a Love Your Sister fundraising trip to Antarctica made the trip north for this Arctic adventure! “Places We Go” were on board to film the trip so that episode of the show will hopefully be out later this year.” We can’t wait to watch it Lucy!
Climate YFC and western NSW farmer Anika Molesworth is fundraising for her journey to Antarctica later this year where she will work closely with women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) from around the world on matters that affect the sustainability of our planet. Anika’s journey is part of her 12 month Homeward Bound leadership program and her campaign for support to get to her to Antarctica can be found here: chuffed.org/project/farmer-in-antarctica