Young Farming Champions Muster – June 2nd Edition

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions across the country and the globe

In the Field

Young Farming Champion Tim Eyes opened the gates of ‘Food Farm’ at Wyong Creek to the Central Coast Harvest Festival visitors over the June Long weekend.

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The harvest festival gives the public a unique glimpse behind the farm gate and an opportunity for Tim to showcase regenerative farming practices.

Those lucky enough to score a ticket, before they SOLD OUT, were treated to an intimate ‘Food Farm’ experience. Harvesting potatoes, milking a heritage Australian dairy cow, collecting the pasture raised eggs, enjoying a sausage sandwich from the Food Farm’s very own grass fed and finished beef and chatting with farmer Tim all while learning about paddock to plate concepts.

“It means SO much to know that there are people out there interested in connecting with local food and farmers”

If your interested in visiting Tim at the Food Farm check out their website

Jasmine Whitten is also about to embark on a career change. After working with the Landcare based at Cobar she is packing up and headed back to her home town of Tamworth where she will take up a position as a Farm Consulting Business Analyst with AgriPath. We wish you the best of luck with your new adventure and can’t wait to hear what you get up too.

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Grain Young Farming Champion Marlee Langfield created a short photo essay of the “Wallaringa” barley crop.  With 12mm of rain flalling this week in the Cowra region (the most incrop rain received so far this growing season!) fingers are crossed for follow up falls as Marlee continues to grow great grains.

Out of the Field

We we excited to announced our newest Young Farming Champion 2nd Year University of New England student Emily May. Emily brings a unique perspective to Young Farming Champions as she has witnessed first-hand Sydney’s urban sprawl impacting on agriculture.

Emily grew up on the outskirts of Sydney in the Hawkesbury district and her first job was working at a local orchard. She has since worked with numerous small farms and market gardens in the area, developing a passion for agriculture along the way. She has also watched as, in a short period of time, these farms have given way to housing developments. Now studying a Bachelor of Agriculture at the University of New England Emily is determined to find a way to balance these conflicting land uses.

“I believe that in order to keep agriculture on the outskirts of Sydney we need to utilise innovation and technology to compete with this urban sprawl, and it is this understanding that drives me in my university studies.”

Emily May Tractor

Read Emily’s story here

With a focus on finding a solution to avoid a global food shortage -YFC Sam Coggins has been awarded the International Rice Research Institute Scholarship for 2019. The scholarship will see Sam to travel to the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines and undertake three weeks of hands on training on all aspects of rice production in Asia. Sam will also learn about the research focus of IRRI and its partners; structuring effective international collaborations; and importantly, will gain insights and contacts to work effectively as part of the international research community in the future.Sam -IRRS scholarship_

 

For the second year in a row WoolProducers Australia is conducting their Raising the Baa Leadership Program, and for the second year in a row our Young Farming Champions are right in the spotlight.

  • Dione Howard will undertake a fully-funded Company Directors Course with the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Dione will gain knowledge needed to navigate complex governance challenges and apply innovative and well-informed thinking when considering strategy and policy.
  • Samantha Wan has been selected as a Youth Ambassador who will work towards developing policy briefs and implementation strategies for two key industry issues over the next twelve months. Sam will join the WoolProducers Board as an observer providing her with exposure and experience in policy development and agri-politics in general.

Well done to Dione and Samantha as they actively contribute to building a robust, innovative and sustainable Australian wool industry.

Last week Young Farming Champion Lucy Collingridge swapped the black soils of the Narrabri Shire for the golden sands of the Gold Coast as she attended the inaugural Australian Biosecurity Symposium. In her role as Biosecurity Officer at North West Local Land Services Lucy is passionate about protecting Australia agriculture and our environment and is always working towards a sustainable, productive and profitable agricultural industry! So she jumped at the opportunity to attend the Symposium. The conference provided the ideal platform to explore how to transform Australia’s biosecurity systems to better protect our economy, environment and way of life.

Lucy will implement her learnings when she returns home to the agricultural wonderland heart that is the North West of NSW -in the meantime Lucy reminds us how work with her in protecting the environment…

“You can be a biosecurity legend with us by cleaning your shoes when traveling, making sure you don’t take any fruit across exclusion zones and declaring any animal or plant products when coming home from an overseas holiday!”

Young Farming Champion Anika Molesworth was invited to be a mentor at the 41st Climate Reality Leadership Corps event . Her mentees were Year 11 and 12 secondary students and first year university students who discussed with her the recent student strikes (15th March 2019) and their disappointment at their school curriculum not educating on topics of great global importance.

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“Last week I made 800 new friends at the 41st Climate Reality Leadership Corps. The energy in the room could have powered all of Australia, as we learnt about climate science, catalyzing change in our communities, and pathways to transition to a low-carbon future.”

This three day event provides citizens concerned about the future of our planet with a chance to join a range of in-depth,practical skill-building workshops that explore key climate challenges and offer insights into solutions.

In addition to mentoring Anika had the rare opportunity to learn directly from an extraordinary lineup of climate communicators including former US Vice President Al Gore, Natalie Isaacs Founder and CEO of 1 Million Women.

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Natalie Isaacs Founder and CEO of 1 Million Women with Anika

The highlight of the event for Anika was a contingent of people from the Torres Strait Islands and their stories of how climate change is affecting them here and now. Read the story here

Prime Cuts

Congratulations to superstar Agronomist and Young Farming Champions Casey Onus who has recently been named as one of four finalists in the Zoe McInnes Memorial Agronomy awards. The winner will be announced that this year’s Summer Grains Conference on the Gold Coast in July. The award celebrates the life of  Zoe McInnes in died in a farm accident in 2013 and recognises outstanding contribution to Agronomic Excellence. The winner receives a $5,000 bursary to allow them it expand their knowledge and assist in delivery new information to growers. We wish you luck Casey at the Summer Grains Conference and congratulate you on being, very deservedly, nominated for this award.

Casey -Zoe McInnes Mem Agronomy Finalist 

Lifetime Highlights.

Casey, in her spare time, also loves a game of footy and recently represented the Central North Zone in the Women’s 15s at the NSW Country Rugby Union Women’s Championship in Tamworth over the June Long weekend.

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According to Casey “the jersey was writing cheques my body couldnt cash”

Archie Action

Young Farming Champions Lucy Collingridge and Jasmine Whitten had an initial meet and greet Google Hangouts with their Archibull Prize Schools

Comments from Lucy

‘There’s something to be said about kids who have no connection to agriculture and their energy and excitement to learn.”

“What an awesome bunch of enthusiastic kids! Can’t wait to meet them next month!”

Questions  from the students flowed freely and included

  • When did you get involved in agriculture, what are we doing to help farmers with the drought, what does your job involve, what do you love about agriculture?”
  • what it’s like to live in Narrabri ,to what colour is Merino fleece, to the biosecurity risks associated with bringing in feed?!”

Jasmine and the team from Granville Boys High managed to do some virtual egg cracking – potentially a world first

And Merrylands High School gave their Archie a Royal Welcome

 

Young Farming Champions Muster June 2019 Edition 2

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the country (and globe!)

In the Field

Youth Voices Leadership Team  YFC Mentor and all round amazing woman Dione Howard has been busy learn all the ins and outs of social media at the Social Media Gov Summit. As part of the workshop she learnt  about how to delve into the behind the scenes of the common social media apps to learn how to find your most engaged audiences and what is working well on a social media channel. One lessons she shared with the team is “vertical video is king ” as it takes up more screen “real estate”. A great reminder for us all to get a little more intimate with our social media apps…

Young Farming Champion Lucy Collingridge shows she is ahead of the curve filming in vertical mode

Winter cropping is underway but what a difference a few hundred kilometers can make…In the northern part of NSW with Agronomist Casey Onus’ clients dry sowing in anticipation for a break, while at the south end of the state Agronomist and farmer Emma Ayliffe will complete her’s and her clients winter crop sowing this week. Australia is such a vast and varying country and while some farmers have been extremely lucky with the rain, others are still waiting for mother nature to provide some relief from the drought.

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Dryland crops around Moree going in exactly that, dry!

The opposite happens in the south with early crops out of the ground and what is left to be sown going into moisture with a promising start.

Grain Young Farming Champion Marlee Langfield is looking forward to her germinating canola crop getting some rain. Check out this great time lapse video of Canola seeds germinating

Overseas NFF 2030 leaders course Alumni Matt Chapness is in Laos sharing the technology and knowledge that we have on weed management in staple crops. Matt is working with rice growers in Laos sowing rice and introducing the concept of inter-row cultivation for weed control to help them get better crop yields

“They are small holder farmers and are very vulnerable to climatic shifts. It doesn’t take a lot for them to lose a whole year of production. They don’t have a lot of savings … I want to help them as they aren’t as fortunate as we are.

“Obviously it is different to Australia, but there are similar principles applying.”

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Matt working with growers in Laos to improve how they grow rice which is not only a staple crop in their diets it is critical to many farms incomes.

Out of the field

Dione Howard, busy as always, is off to Melbourne next weekend as she wraps up her stint as the Wool Producers Youth Ambassador Role. As part of her trip she is attending the Wool Producers Animal Health and Welfare Advisory Committee and Executive meeting as an observer which has been a key aspect of her involvement as the Youth Ambassador. While there she will also get to find out the next round of “Raising the Baa” recipients as they are announced.

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 Dione Howard 

Young Farming Champion Meg Rice attended the National Press Club Agricultural Leaders Debate

YFC Jasmine Whitten has been way out west has been running education programs in Cobar at the St John’s Parish Primary School. Run in conjunction with the Buckwaroon Landcare and Peak Gold Mine Environmental officers the program showcases how farmers care for one of our most precious resources, soil.

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Jasmine pictured here with the students of St John’s Parish school and the teams from Buckwoon Landcare and Peak Gold Mine

Young Farming Champion Lucy Collingridge used social media to share how she is volunteering her time to support rural and regional communities through the agricultural show movement. Lucy shared her wisdom and experience in this fabulous blog 

Young Farming Champion Alana Black has started her global journey of a lifetime flying out last week to join the Rural Youth Project, based in Scotland. The aim of the project is to  “develop feasible strategies to develop leadership and enterprise skills amongst young people in agricultural and rural communities based on understanding their current situation, aspirations, opportunities and challenges.”

Alana is currently in the Netherlands on an agriculture learning journey and shared her trip highlights on ✔️ vertical and aquaponic farms 🍅 ✔️ community farming initiatives 🚜 ✔️ floating dairy farm 🐮 through our social media pages

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The Netherlands is the most densely populated country in the European Union and with 26% of the landmass under sea the Dutch are looking more and more to urban farming to meet production needs. At STRIJP-S which has become a place for artists, designers, theatre-makers and musicians to showcase their work Alana visited a closed loop aquaponic farm. Located on the 5th floor of an old Phillips manufacturing building. 

Alana Black Striip S At Kipster Farm which is the first farm of the world to produce CO2-neutral eggs and has a viewing facility open 24hrs a day for transparency Alana was very impressed with the farm’s egg cartoons. Made from  potato starch, cellulose fiber and water, the  CO2 footprint of a the Kipster egg box is 90% smaller compared with a standard egg box.

Screen-Shot-2018-05-03-at-14.26.32LIDL.Kipster-1009101534-7615_adftvqKipster Farm

Alana also visited the world’s first floating dairy. The offshore facility is right in the middle of Rotterdam’s Merwehaven harbour and will house 40 cows milked by robots. Eighty percent of the cows’ diet will come from food waste gathered from Rotterdam’s nearby restaurants.

The Floating Farm is 27m2 and has three levels. The lower level, on the floating base, houses the factories and a visitor’s area and shop. The factories process the raw cow milk, rainwater collected from the roof and cow urine and manure. Once processed, the manure will be used as fertiliser to grow feed for the cows.

 

Talking about globetrotters Wool Young Farming Champion Sam Wan is off to Italy. The trip is part of her prize pool of winning Elders Employee of the Year Sam will use the Italian wool study tour to experience the Italian connection of the wool pipeline and learn all she can to benefit her wool growers 🇮🇹

Superstar YFC and climate action activist Anika Molesworth has had the most thrilling experience receiving the Instyle and Audi Future Shapers Women of Style award for the Farmer of Change award! On top of rubbing shoulders with the rich and fabulous she looked stunning and gave an inspiring speech . We couldn’t be prouder (and more jealous) of her truly unreal experience. See her acceptance speech here

Lifetime Highlights

Well honestly who can go past the superstar Anika…congratulations on being so damn fabulous, if you haven’t already go and grab your copy of June InStyle Magazine and see for yourself.

As the sunsets on yet another wrap-up of a fortnight of achievement of young people forging their way in this world we will leave you with this

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“Why fit in when you were born to stand out!” – Dr. Seuss

We also blogged about our lessons learnt

  1. What we have learnt about the world of volunteering 
  2. What we have learnt about using social media to amplify youth voices
  3. What we have learnt about leadership development 

Its been an exciting fortnight for our Young Farming Champions – looking forward to sharing the future with you

#YouthinAg #YouthVocies19 #StrongerTogether

Young Farming Champions Muster May 2019 1st Edition

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the country (and globe!)

It’s rained and we’re celebrating! Come and join the Muster as we sow crops and play in puddles, as we talk climate change and create Landcare groups, as we acknowledge that without a healthy environment we don’t have healthy farming systems. Oh, and we’re also contributing to Brexit!

In the field

With plenty of rain around it is creating a lot of excitement and activity around. Some of the driest parts of NSW have finally received some life changing amounts of rain allowing for stock feed to grow, dams to fill and crops to be sown.

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Marlee (1)

YFC Marlee Langfield captured some great images on her farm as they completed dry sowing of canola before rain.

In outback NSW, Wool Young Farming Champion Bessie Thomas is celebrating after 85mm of rain over Easter weekend and 33mm of follow up rain this week.

Bessie Burragan

The rainfall brings sweet relief to her family whose property “Burragan” has been in drought for more than two years. They’re calling it: #droughtbroken at Burragan. Bessie created a short video showcasing the change in landscape and was lucky enough to have it featured on Sky News! Checkout Bessie at Burragan on Facebook to see it!

Wool YFC and volunteer extraordinaire  Lucy Collingridge has had a big  fortnight firstly as part of the team making Narrabri Show a huge success

And working in partnership with Narrabri Shire Council to obtain substantial funding to tackle Biosecurity issues in the area. Read more about it here  

YFC Erika Heffer has also been involved with local events helping to run a new Landcare Group “Deniliquin Kolety Lagoos Landcare Group” as they are assisting in the revegetation of the Edward River and teaching high school students from the region about local fish species with Dr John Conalin. They have done days one at Deniliquin and one at Barham.

Erika

 And from overseas YFC Kirsty McCormack is battling challenges of a much different kind to what we are seeing here in Australia….Spring Snowfall events! This is causing challenges to calving (and issues with roads) but will provide some good summer cropping/feed moisture we guess…?

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Out of the field

YFC and Climate Ambassador Anika Molesworth as been standing strong on Twitter the last couple of weeks presenting a series of videos on climate change, its impacts and what we can do!

Anika Molesworth Twitter

Anika was inspired by the urban based audiences she met as keynote speaker at NSW Geography Teachers Association Conference, Prime Super International Women’s Day lunches and NSW Rotary Conference all in the last 8 weeks.  Speaking about her family’s farm near Broken Hill, in Far West NSW, describing her sense of belonging, the joys of heavy rainfall,  working with inspiring rural people, concern during drought and dust-storms that at the end of her presentations she found one particular comment was made to her over-and-over – “I had no idea it was like that.” So she decided to make a series of short videos sharing her observations and insights on her life in Far West NSW around a central theme of climate change – both its impacts and how it can be addressed.

You can find Anika’s videos on Youtube here 

Follow Anika on twitter to see more @AnikaMolesworth

YFC Facilitator Greg Mills caught up with YFC Laura Phelps in London this week. Laura is currently working for the UK government on the Brexit Food Safety Strategey 

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Prime Cuts

Congratulations to YFC Emma Turner, Jasmine Whitton and YFC Intern Jess Fearnley who all graduated last Friday! A lot of hard work was put in so well done to all and best of luck as you being your work life journey.

Jasmine and Emma

Young Farming Champions Jasmine Whitten and Emma Turner donned the hat and gown to graduate from University of New England 

Jasmine had this to say of her 4 year journey to a Bachelor or Rural Science with honors

YFC Lucy Collingridge also starred in the gradwalk video

 Congratulations are also in order for  YFC and Young Aggies Co-chair Casey Onus who has just started a new role with B&W Rural in Moree, we wish you all the best for your new adventures.

Casey Onus B&W Rural

Congratulations to Laura Bignell who was runner up in overall placings at the Intercollegiate Meat Judging North competition in Rockhampton last weekend!

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Laura ( 2nd from left top row) with the highly successful UNE team 

Lifetime Highlights

Seven rural women from the Riverina region had the pleasure of meeting the incoming Governor of New South Wales this Monday 6th May. Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC was sworn in as Governor just last Thursday 2nd May and took the time to meet and promote women in agriculture at Monday’s morning tea. The group included Airlie Landale of Farm Table, Stephanie Clancy 2019 The Land SRES Showgirl, and one of our own Young Farming Champions Dione Howard. We look forward to the Honourable Margaret Beazley’s term as Governor of NSW and thank her for supporting women in agriculture! #StrongerTogether.

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YFC Anika Molesworth is flying the flag for #YouthinAg and walking the red carpet at Women of Style Instyle Awards this week. We hear the dress they have selected for her is to die for

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Anika Molesworth a woman of style 

Watch this space

You can catch up on our feature blogs over the past fortnight here

1. How a career in plant breeding has led Rebecca Thistlethwaite to find love and compassion for people across the globe

2. Feelings arent facts but they do determine what facts you identify with

3. Aimee Snowden and the power of the Sydney Royal Easter Show to foster careers

#YouthinAgVoices #Amplifiers #YouthVoices19 #StrongerTogether

 

Young Farming Champions Muster April 2019 Second Edition

It’s Sydney Royal Easter Show time! This year we have sixteen Young Farming Champions trekking to Sydney for the show. Whether it’s stewarding merinos, hosting groups of glampers around the campfire, prepping prize poultry or judging show cattle, we are THERE! It’s the highlight of the agricultural show calendar and if you’d like to share the #myeastershow love with us, head on over to the Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page to keep up with our YFCs at the show.

Read on for this week’s tops stories from our Young Farming Champions (YFC) across the county!

In the field

If you’ve ever wondered what the life of a contract musterer looks like, Wool YFC Chloe Dutschke shared insights into her career when she guest hosted our Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page this week. Head to our Facebook page to follow more of Chloe’s adventures.

Chloe Dutschke

It was a busy week for Chloe, coinciding with the announcement of the Peter Westblade Memorial Merino Scholarship, in which Chloe was named a 2019 Scholarship winner. Mega Congratulations Chloe! Read more about it in The Border Mail here.

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Wool YFCs Adele Smith, Chloe Dutschke and Dione Howard at the Peter Westblade Scholarship dinner.

Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) Vice-Chair Emma Ayliffe attended the Acres of Opportunity Irrigated Cotton field day in Conargo, NSW. It was an opportunity for growers to look at a new cotton development in the local area.

Emma Ayliffe grower day

Out of the field

Primary Preview Day 1

Well done to our team of Young Farming Champions and friends of the program who helped pull off the incredible Primary Preview Day at Sydney Royal Easter Show last Thursday. Hundreds of school children engaged with activities around wool, eggs, soil and bees, hosted by our YFCs Samantha Wan, Haylee Murrell, Tim Eyes, Jasmine Whitten, Laura Bignell and Casey Onus.

Primary Preview Day 2

The biggest thanks goes to the team of brilliant “doers” who support our Young Farming Champions in these activations. All news from Sydney Royal reports the Primary Preview Day was a smashing success and we owe so much of that to the dream team who are behind us every step of the way. Thank you to everyone involved.

This was also a great opportunity for friend of PYiA, the incredible Aimee Snowdon from Little Brick Pastoral catch up with Hamish McClure, one of the winners of our 2018 National Agriculture Day competition.

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The first Saturday on the Royal Easter Show provided the perfect opportunity for Paddock Pen Pals teacher Zoe Stephens from Carlingford West Public School and YFC Sam Wan and Dione Howard to meet face to face in the Sheep Pavilion.

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Emily King from Australian Wool Innovation made the most of Zoe’s visit with an interview for the Yarn podcast series.  We look forward to sharing Zoe’s yarn with you shortly.

Beyond Sydney Royal, Climate Action YFC Anika Molesworth has had a busy week with keynote speaking gigs to more than 1000 people at NSW and ACT Geography Teachers Association Conference, Rotary Conference and Prime Super – Unleash Your Super Power Events.

Our PYiA Program Director was in the audience at the Prime Super – Unleash Your Super Power Event and said Anika had a very powerful affect on the audience with a number of people commenting that Climate Change was an important issue to them and Anika had empowered them to have meaningful conversations with friends, family and colleagues about Climate Action. Well done Anika!

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lucy with deer

This week Wool YFC Lucy Collingridge travelled to Wee Waa and Walgett to present to two classes of students studying Certificate II & III of a Conservation Land Management course. As a Biosecurity Officer, she spoke to the students about the Biosecurity Act 2015, best practice for pest animal management and why management of invasive species is important, and what everyone can do to minimise the risk of spreading weed seeds. Lucy says, “The skills and confidence that I gained from the YFC program came in handy today! On arrival in Wee Waa, I discovered that the facility did not have a projector for my PowerPoint and I was able to modify my presentation to suit the setting. Without my YFC training I would have let this affect my delivery!”

Wool Young Farming Champion Sam Wan and Eggs Young Farming Champion Jasmine Whitten represented PYiA at Animal Welfare Collaborative Academic Think Tank Summit in Sydney on 9th April.

The goal of The Animal Welfare Collaborative is to act as a conduit for the multiple stakeholders in Australia’s livestock production system (industry bodies, community organisations, animal welfare organisations, research institutes, and the Federal, State and Territory governments) to do the following:

  1. Collaboration: Build respectful, collaborative relationships
  2. Translation: Turn the scientific evidence base of animal welfare into useful, field-ready decision tools
  3. Adoption: Increase the adoption of evidence-based ‘best practices’ in animal welfare
  4. Progress: Facilitate incremental, evidence-based improvements to animal welfare
  5. Participation: Enhance public participation in evidence-based decisions around animal welfare

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YVLT mentor coordinator and Wool YFC Dione Howard spoke at the District Veterinarians of NSW Conference in Newcastle this week about the complications of grazing canola in dry conditions. Around 90 delegates descended from across the state to discuss lessons learnt from drought, the key issues in NSW surveillance activities and to celebrate 101 years of public veterinary service.

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YVLT Chair Jo Newton joined several hundred animal scientists from around the world at the British Society of Animal Science Conference in Edinburgh. She presented some of her research in the genetics and genomics session. Jo also had the opportunity to catch up with researchers at University of Edinburgh and gave a guest seminar on the value of genetic & genomic tools. She managed to fit in some sightseeing too, including a whisky tasting in the largest private whisky collection in the world.

Prime Cuts

We are very excited to introduce the 5 University of New England students who have been selected to undertake the Young Farming Champions Program. They are:

Welcome to the team!

Forbes Corby was spotted at the Sydney Royal Easter Show Ag Bag Stand, where he is spending his Easter break making sure every cent raised by the sale of the Ag Bag goes directly to the RAS Foundation Community Futures Grant program. Great work Forbes!

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Congrats are also due to YFC Sally Poole who will shortly commence a new role as a precision ag agronomist at Precision Cropping Technologies (PCT) in Goondiwindi.

Massive shout out to YFC Alana Black who has had a piece published in The Australian Farmer. In it Alana shares her family’s experience with succession planning and has some great advice for anyone thinking about succession in farm businesses. You can read the story here.

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It very much feels like all roads lead to the Royal this week with many YFC involved throughout the show. Congrats to YFC Bec Thistlethwaite, who has been selected as a 2019 Rural Achiever and is currently enjoying a behind the scenes Easter Show experience. Good luck to Bec this week as we await the announcement of the RAS Rural Achiever Scholarship.

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YFCs Lucy Collingridge, Rebecca Thistlethwaite and Jasmine Whitten catch up at Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Lifetime Highlights

Congrats to YVLT secretary & Wool YFC Peta Bradley on her recent efforts at the Coffs Harbour Ocean Swim. Peta competed in two events, taking home two medals! A gold in the 600m Jetty Swim and bronze in the 2km ocean swim. Now in it’s 22nd year over 600 people competed in the charity event. You can watch some of the action here:

Wool YFC and YVLT communications coordinator Bessie Thomas and her family swapped the bush for the beach earlier this month, holidaying in the beachside paradise of Port Stephens thanks to an incredible random act of kindness. Bessie and her family – who have been farming through drought for several years –  were gifted the week long holiday from Alloggio/Port Stephens Accommodation business owners Will Creedon and wife Karen, former member of the NSW Legislative Council Scot MacDonald, and the Port Stephens Council. Local businesses The Little Nel cafe, Imagine Cruises, 4WD R US sandboarding adventures and Crest Birubi Beach cafe all pitched in to spoil Bessie’s family with delicious meals and amazing adventures. Read more in The Rural Weekly here.

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Bessie Thomas and family pictured with Karen and Will of Allogio / Port Stephens Accommodation

Outback Magazine and PYiA journalist Mandy McKeesick currently writing a feature story on the fishing industry took the opportunity to make PYiA HQ her base this week. Have a great week together Mandy and Lynne!

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Mandy is keen to take some Jamberoo green grass home with her 

 

#myeastershow #YouthinAg #YouthVoices19 #ThisisAusAg

Young Farming Champion Muster April 2019 Edition 1

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the country (and globe!)

In the Field

Sheep breeders descend on Dubbo.

Central West NSW was home to all things sheep on the week of the 18th of March. Wool Young Farming Champion (YFC)  and Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) Secretary, Peta Bradley was present along with a 300 plus strong crowd at the Sheep CRC Final Conference celebrating 19 years of industry collaboration, research and adoption. Following this Sheep Genetics, who Peta works for, had their Leading Breeder conference, 170 sheep breeders from 6 states plus New Zealand attended.The conference theme was “Breeding sheep for a Future Environment”. See the word cloud below from the conference under the #leadingbreeder19 tag taken from the avid sheep breeders on Twitter.

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Jasmine Whitten our Eggs Young farming Champion has been busy attending the Local Landcare Coordinator State Gathering in Sydney. This was an event where all the coordinators from across NSW got together for a few days of networking, sharing and learning from each other. At the event Jasmine participated in strategic planning, governance, and group facilitation workshops. She learnt a few tips and tricks which will hopefully make their way into her school presentations in this year’s Archibull Prize.

Landcare

On top of this Jasmine in her role as a Local Landcare Coordinator at Western Landcare worked with the Buckwaroon Landcare Group organised a schools event for year 4 students at Cobar Public School. This event was called Healthy Soils, Healthy Farms and taught students how farmers care for their soil through the use of QR codes, using a stream table and an experiment which focused on the importance of grasses in our farming systems. It was a huge success with students asking if they can do it every single week!

Check out this little girl explaining how it all works  – another Jasmine in the making

YFC Calum Watt is kicking big goals in Western Australia as he researches better breeds of barley at Murdoch University in Perth. Calum is completing a PhD aiming to increase barley yields under future predicted temperature increases and has been nominated by his university to attend the University Scholars Leadership Symposium in Kuala Lumpur in August. We look forward to the insights from the symposium – jump over to the blog to read more about Calum’s research!

Calum

The ‘field’ for many of our YFCs currently extends well beyond the paddocks of Australia – YFC Laura Phelps is currently in the United Kingdom leading the team responsible for EU-Exit for the Food Standards Agency. The Food Standards Agency makes sure that food is safe, what it says it is and that the rights of the consumer are protected. Laura has put together a guest blog for us on what she’s loving about working in the UK and the path that led her there – have a read and check out her visit to Hogwarts!

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YFC and YVLT Chair Jo Newton guest hosted the Picture You in Agriculture Facebook Page from Ireland which also happens to coincide with the day of the Irish – St Patricks Day! Originally Jo started her YFC experience has a Wool YFC and she got her sheep fix by heading to an Irish sheep farm for lambing. You can read more about Jo’s experiences on our Facebook Page.

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Some of the Eastern States were lucky enough to get under some much needed rain over the last fortnight with some significant rainfall reports recorded. Reports of >120mm in Central West NSW were recorded and some rivers which have not flown in 2 and a half years now have water moving downstream.

As Young Farming Champion Lucy Collingridge commented it would have been pretty awesome to watch the Castlereagh River start flowing again in Coonamble! This footage right on 12pm as the waters hit town ☔️

Fingers crossed that this is a sign of things to come for the rest of 2019 and follow up rainfall is not too far off the horizon. See our Facebook Page to see where the rain fell!

Rainfall

Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Out of the field

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Now for an update on the launch of our Paddock Pen Pals program! Last muster we’d had the first couple of Google Hangout sessions beaming our YFCs straight into the classroom. The next wool YFCs taking the schoolroom to the paddock – or wool selling centre – were Sam Wan and Chloe Dutschke. Sam had an immediate connection with the students from Carlingford West Public School, being a city-kid herself. Chloe tuned in from the vast plains of Hay NSW which amazed the students in their classroom.

Our YFCs are again gearing up for Primary School Preview Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, which will be held on 11th April. Students in Years 4-6 will experience the show behind the scenes and learn about Australian agriculture in a series of fun and interactive workshops. This year we are excited to be partnering with University of New England (UNE) and their Discovery Voyager team to bring five workshops to students on the day. YFC Jasmine Whitten will be talking all things eggs, YFCs Sam Wan and Haylee Murrell will be sharing the wonders of wool, YFC Casey Onus will workshop the secrets in soils and YFC Tim Eyes will bring the story of bees to students. We can’t wait to share with you some stories from the day in our next muster!

Earlier this month YFC and Youth Voices Vice Chair Emma Ayliffe recapped her recent trip to Israel over on our Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page. Emma shared many insights into the 2019 ADAMA Young Agronomist Study Tour, including everything from farming systems in Israel to the nation’s rich cultural landscape. 

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Emma’s recap coincided with World Water Day on March 22nd, here’s what Emma had to say about water use in Israel:

I was lucky enough while in Israel to spend a day looking a desert farming, it is amazing to see high value crops being successfully grown in a region that receives 30mm/year! Irrigation allows these small producers to capitalise on their land, even though the water they use is extremely salty. This means that irrigation decisions need to carefully assessed based on weather, soil salt levels and the growth stage of the crop. It is truly amazing to see what can achieved with a bit of determination.”

Catch up on more of Emma’s recap over at our Facebook page!

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Congratulations to part of the YFC family, Greg Mills, who alongside his business partner in FutureGen Education Angela Colliver, was recognised for innovation in training programs in meat processing plants across NSW. Greg and Angela have developed programs to introduce school teachers to the industry, including plant tours and processing operations such as biosecurity risks, ethical handling of animals, use of robotics and packaging. Well done Angela and Greg!

Greg and Angela

Greg Mills and Angela Colliver of FutureGenEducation 

This week the NSW & ACT Geography Teachers’ Association annual conference is to be held at Sydney’s ANZ stadium. Climate YFC Anika Molesworth is keynote speaker at the conference and will speak on youth in agriculture, climate and community. This year’s conference theme is “reflecting on the past, assessing the present and shaping the future” and we are proud that Anika has been chosen to share her powerful messages on this theme. Congratulations Anika!

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Young Farming Champions Muster March 2019 Second Edition

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions across the country.

In the field

lets hang out sheep

This week there is a woolly buzz in classrooms in Sydney and we are thrilled to launch the pilot of our new program Paddock to Plate Pen Pals. Supported by Australian Wool Innovation this new program will see students Google Hanging Out with our Young Farming Champions working in the wool and sheep supply chain.

Skype sessions have been used successfully in the past to take the schoolroom to the field, such as when YFC Emma Ayliffe used the technique with Parramatta Public School for The Archibull Prize. For teacher Esra Smerdon the experience brought a real-world connection to the classroom. “When we skyped with Emma, she was able to show us how they used moisture probes to identify whether or not they needed to water and how they used that data to inform them,” she said. See case study here

Carlingford West Public School Google Hangout with Danila Marini

Monday morning CSIRO Sheep Researcher and YFC Dr Danila Marini beamed into Carlingford West Public School to discuss all things animal wellbeing, virtual fencing and technology and teacher Zoe Stephens says students were fascinated:

On Tuesday morning it was Riverina Local Land Services District Veterinarian and Wool YFC Dione Howard turn

This is what teacher Zoe Stephens had to say ” What a great connection! The students were so engaged and interested. I think you may have inspired some students to become future vets! The medical equipment you showed the students were amazing, especially as they could identify that we use the same equipment for humans! Thanks for your time and enthusiasm!

Carlingford West Public School with Dione Howard 2

Elders Wool broker Sam Wan and sheep musterer Chloe Dutschke will beam into Carlingford West PS later this week. Paddock to Plate Pen Pals will also be supported by blog posts, social media and case-studies.

Alexandria Galea

In the Central Highlands of Queensland, YFC and Secretary of the Central Highlands Cotton Growers and Irrigators Association (CHCGIA) Alexandria Galea and YFC and Cotton Info Extension Officer Sharna Holman worked with a team to deliver a Teach the Teacher Tour to gain hands on experience of agriculture.

Sixty teachers visited an irrigation farm, took a quick agronomy lesson and had a siphon starting competition. The adventure continued to a horticulture farm, to an automotive packing plant for citris and grapes and Fairbairn Dam.  Events like this aim to inform teachers of farming practices and give them a positive and fun experience of agriculture so that they can share this knowledge in the classroom. Great work Alexandria and Sharna.

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The Archibull Prize is celebrating its 10th birthday this year and the team is looking back over what we have learnt throughout our decade long journey of harnessing the best and brightest young ag minds to take the farm into urban classrooms. Our first Lessons Learnt Blog explores careers in agriculture and offering real world skills to solve real world problems. Elders wool broker and AWI YFC Samantha Wan shines as an example of the calibre of young professionals working with school students to encourage careers in agriculture. Read more HERE

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Out of the field

YFC Dr Danila Marini talks sheep welfare and the fascinating new world of virtual fencing with University of New England:

“Since ancient livestock herders began erecting barriers of brush and stone to contain animals, fencing has been a time-consuming and expensive business for farmers. Imagine, then, the virtual fence: an invisible line on the landscape that animals will not cross, which can be created on a map on a tablet, and moved or erased at a touch. After decades of research trial and error — lots of error — the concept is now a reality, at least for cattle. The rapid minaturisation of technology means that the solution may soon be applied to sheep, and that’s where UNE post-doctoral student Dr Danila Marini steps in.” Read more HERE

Danila Marini

Climate YFC Anika Molesworth is off to Antarctica this year and has co-authored a story in the lead up to her adventure via The Crawford Fund titled “Farming on Thin Ice.”

“Later this year, two young agricultural researchers who are both former Crawford Fund scholars and now RAID Network members, will be setting off to Antarctica. They were selected to take part in an incredible 12-month program with a cohort of 95 women in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) from around the globe. The Homeward Bound programme is a global leadership initiative to equip women in STEMM with strategic and communication capabilities in order to influence policy and decision-making regarding the sustainability of our planet.” Read more HERE

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Bianca Das (left) and YFC Anika Molesworth (right) will be setting off to Antarctica later this year.

Friend of Art4Agriculture and consultancy guru Greg Mills caught up with Wool YFC Peta Bradley at Zone Junior Judging in Armidale. Peta was meat sheep judge and Greg was the steward. The winner and runner up  from Armidale will compete at the zone final at Sydney Royal Easter Show next month.

peta and greg

YFC and 2017/18 ADAMA Young Agronomist of the Year Runner-up Emma Ayliffe is fresh off the plane from ADAMA’s Young Agronomist study tour to Israel. Emma and the study tour team had a jam-packed trip and returned with many agricultural insights. Stay tuned for Emma’s recap on the Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page this week!

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YFC Meg Rice attended a NSW Farmers workshop last week that was aimed at developing practical leadership skills in women.

Meg Rice

YFC and Local Landcare Coordinators (LLC) Erika Heffer and Jasmine Whitten are both off to Sydney this week for the Statewide LLC Gathering. Jasmine checked with the  Picture You in Agriculture Facebook Page from the Dubbo airport this morning on her way to the big smoke. She’ll keep us updated on all the Landcare happenings this week, so keep an eye out!

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Wool YFC Chloe Dutschke is one of six finalists for the this year’s Peter Westblade Scholarship. The Scholarship exists to promote the practical skills associated with the sheep and wool industry and aims to deliver hands on experience and mentoring to young people aspiring to a career in the wool industry. The recipient of the 2019 Peter Westblade Scholarship will be announced at the scholarship dinner on April 4th. Good luck Chloe!

We’re excitedly looking for the next crop of Young Farming Champions to join out team in 2019! Expressions of Interest are now open for University of New England Young Farming Champions. If this is you or someone you know, please share the word! Find our more HERE

 

UNE YFC Flyer

IN 2019 there will be a smorgasbord of opportunities for schools to partner with our Young Farming Champions.   In 2019 we will be rolling out our Primary School program Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future Challenge  in Western Sydney and the Hunter.

Kreative Koalas is an innovative STEM project-based learning program that focuses on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

It empowers teachers to engage young people with a diverse range of academic skills, provides them with teamwork, problem solving and communication skills and a creative vehicle to design real world projects that have real world impact.

Competing for cash prizes and the title of Grand Champion Kreative Koala schools are:

  • Provided with a blank fibreglass koala for students to create an artwork on or to use as the subject of an artwork which focuses on a sustainable development goal.
  • Paired with Community Champions, business and community groups who hold the knowledge, wisdom and experience to assist the students to learn about local projects which are already addressing Australia’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) commitment.

Contact Lynne Strong E: headkoala@kreativekoalas.com.au to access an expression of interest brochure

#YouthinAgVoices #YouthVoices #StrongerTogether

Young Farming Champions Muster March 2019 First Edition

This fortnight’s top stories from Young Farming Champions around the country.

Another fortnight of celebrating the amazing achievements of the young farming champs. It is an exciting time for the team, with the Archibull Prize expressions of interests for secondary schools is now open! We can’t wait to see what the schools come up with, and support them on the journey through agriculture.

In the Field

In our latest Lessons Learnt from the Drought Wool YFC’s Bessie Thomas, Peta Bradley  and agronomists James Kanaley and Martin Murray share their stories on how the drought is affecting them, their families and their businesses

You can read Bessie and Peta’s stories here.
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You will find James and Martin’s stories here 

James Kanaley (2)

The last fortnight saw the celebration of Regenerative Ag Day with a number of YFC showcasing what hey are doing with their businesses.

YFC Marlee Langfield is celebrating the selection of one of her photos in the AgWomen Global Book…. stunning pic, Marlee!

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Egg Industry YFC Jasmine Whitten has been busy in her new role as the local landcare coordinator for Western NSW presenting to the Cobar and District Rotary club talking about her role for the LLS, her volunteering and how all this fits in with her personal values.

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Friend of the YFC Nicole McDonald has also had a feature piece as part of the Archibull Career Snapshot, and not with the typical agriculture job description that you might expect. Nicole took some time out to describe her role as a social science researcher and how that fits into the broad world of agriculture, going to once again show the wide diversity of career option on ag. Read Nicole’s story here.

Erika Heffer ran a Foundations in Leadership course for a teamwork exercise mentoring 14 people in Masterchef style. She also made an appearance on ABC Swan Hill Radio talking about the Archiebull Prize as well as all the other wonderful projects she has been busy with.

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Sheep YFC Chloe Dutschke has been in NSW at Wyvern Station learning the tools of the trade for sheep. This included learning about sheep selection, stockmanship, personal development, agtech and a heap of other skills. This was thanks to the Peter Westblade Scholarship where Chloe was joined by 30 other sheep producers.

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Out of the Field

Congratulations to YFCs Keiley O’Brien and Jasmine Whitten who both competed in their Showgirl zone finals this month. These two stars shone bright and you should both very proud of your tremendous efforts. Thank you to Lucy Collingridge for your involvement and keeping everyone up to date with your wonderful hosting of the Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page during the week of Showgirl Finals.

Horticulture YFC Tayla Field was featured on the Career Harvest website with an article on careers  in horticulture and all of the opportunities that have been provided to her, read more here.

Shoutout to James Bidstrup for a mention at the evokeAG conference. The importance of sharing the amazing story that is Ag isn’t lost at all on the wider community it seems! Thanks so much.

James Bidstrup

And what do NASA and Australian Agriculture have in common? YFC Rebecca Thistlewaite has featured on the Graincorp podcasts to discuss how research coming from NASA is helping plant breeders and scientists to breed hardier crops. Take a listen here.

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Expat and YFC Laura Phelps has been promoted in her role in Brexit to the Head of EU-Exit at Food Standards Agency. Congratulations Laura on this amazing promotion, we are looking forward to seeing what you can achieve.

Finally, the Youth Voices Leadership Team held their inaugural AGM on Monday. Huge congratulations to these YFC on their re-election to the following committee positions:

Dr Jo Netwon, Chair

Emma Ayliffe, Vice Chair

Peta Bradley, Secretary

Dione Howard, Mentor Leader

Anika Molesworth, External Relations Manager

Bessie Thomas, Communication Co-ordinator

#YouthinAg #YouthVoices19

 

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