Young Farming Champions Muster August 2019 1st Edition

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.” 

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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. 

Emma Ayliffe season comparison

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.” 

Matt Champness

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!

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Anika the Drum.jpg

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.

Watch it on ABC iView Here. 

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.

John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations  this week published Anika’s piece “The Drought and Inter-generational Equity” where she writes:

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. 

Anika Insight story

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…

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):

And if you’d love to see more of her Agmentation pitch, we posted it to our Picture You in Agriculture (PYIA) Facebook Page earlier this week.

 

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.

Becca George and Forbes Corby.jpg

“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  

Forbes Corbey Armidale Express.jpg

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?

Becca George UNE Campaign.jpg

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.

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YFC Keiley O’Brien, third from the right.

“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.” 

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YFC Lucy Collingridge, Keiley O’Brien and Becca George caught up at the Narromine Showgirl Ball last weekend. Keiley was the 2018 Narromine showgirl and did an awesome job as the MC for the 2019 Narromine Showgirl Ball.

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. 

Keiley OBrien Rural Biz.jpg

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.

Ruby Canning 2

“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. 

Check out Ruby’s beautiful photographs of the Sheep and Wool Show in the Stock and Land here. 

Ruby Canning 1
Ruby Canning with Joely Mitchell the Acting Stock and Land Editor at Lambition.
Jo Becca and Erika at the SHeep and Wool show.jpg
We were excited to see Ruby also spotted fellow wool lovers Rice YFC Erika Heffer and Dairy YFC and YVLT Chair Jo Newton in the crowd at the Sheep and Wool Show!

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!

Dione -Raising the Baa

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! 

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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! 

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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

Becca George.jpg

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. 

Prime Cuts 

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!

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Congratulations Meg Rice

Martin Murray

Congratulations to YFC Tim Eyes from The Food Farm: Central Coast Produce who last week won champion tree felling at the district fire brigade championships!

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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! 

Sally Downie Archie Action

Archie Action 

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!” 

Lifetime Highlights 

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…

Grandad The LandGrandad The Land Story

Marlee Langfield The Land CoverThe Land Marlee Story

#YouthVoices19 #YouthVoicesYFC #YoungFarmingChampions #ArchieAction #YouthinAg

Young Farming Champion Muster July 2019 Second Edition

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.

Tocal College Workshop

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. 

Italywooltour

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 ItalySam Wan Wool 1
  • Botto Giuesseppie, iconic fabric mill – one of the three ‘Royals’ of BiellaSam Wan Wool 5
  • Tollegno 1900 SPA, mainly a worsted fabric producer, producing 4.5million metres of fabric each year, in over 5000 variationsSam Wan Wool 4
  • Fratelli Piacenza SPA, woollen mill specialising in the Noble Fibres (superfine merino, cashmere, yak)Sam Wan Wool 2
  • Marzotto, spinning and weaving factory in Valdagno

 

Sam Wan Wool 3

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

Sam in Italy 2

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. 

Becca George

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.”

Chloe D Meat Judging

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.”

Kath Jas and Greg

“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. 

Jas Rabo Bank workshop

Jas topped off her week by attending the YFC Workshop in Tocal, and is this week heading to the GRDC event at Spring Ridge, “Dealing with the Dry: farm management options during and after the drought.” Say G’day if you spot her! 

Prime Cuts 

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! 

Casey Onus

“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. 

Jo Newton Farm Online Story
Jo writes, ‘’Leaders aren’t born overnight. Leadership needs to be viewed by our sector as an on-going journey.
We need to come together as an industry and put more structure behind the development of our future leaders. We need to offer them support from all angles and respond to what they say they need next.
If we stop reinventing the wheel and started putting four-wheels on the cart, we can travel in the right direction, together.
For our sustainable future, experienced leaders and emerging leaders need to work together. The emerging need to be brave: step up, get involved, take a chance.
The experienced need to reach back down and pull us up.
By working together, we can ensure that our leadership journeys don’t end when the industry event does.” 

Well said Jo! Read the full story on Farm Online here.

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.” 

Alana The Land July 2019

“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 

Emma A

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:

Lifetime Highlights 

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: 

Lucy Collingridge

“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! 

Lucy Collingridge Kayaking

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 

Anika Antarctic

 

#YouthinAg #YouthVoices19 #KreativeKoalas 

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.

Tim -Central Coast Harvest Fest_.jpg

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.

Anika -41st CRLC(1)

“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.

Anika -41st CRLC

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.

Casey -Rugby Country Championships_

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!

Prime cuts

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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