Here’s a good yarn -we’re raising the baa

For the second year in a row Wool Producers 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.

The leadership course has two components, the first of which is the Youth Ambassador role. “The Youth Ambassador position exposes people aged 18 -35 years to policy within Wool Producers and gives them the opportunity to learn and understand the policy cycle and how a board works so they understand how many decisions that affect the wool industry are handled by Wool Producers,” Wool Producers Australia President, Mr Ed Storey says.

Dione Howard was the inaugural Wool Producers Youth Ambassador in 2018 and part of her role was to attend Wool Producers’ board meetings. “I had very little experience with policy prior to the Youth Ambassador role,” Dione says. “It has opened up a whole new world in the agricultural space and I feel that I now have a much clearer idea of how decisions are made that affect farmers and people like myself as a veterinarian.”

In 2019 Wool Producers has nominated two Youth Ambassadors, one of who is Sam Wan

” I saw this as an opportunity to gain insight into the organisation and actively learn in the role,  have a strong interest in learning the intricacies of identifying needs and key stages for policy development and to gain a working understanding of industry governance, achieving objectives and driving improvement within the bounds of shareholders, regulators and the wider community. I see an understanding of the processes behind regulations being able to positively impact my role and scope as a wool broker and day to day dealings with wool growers.” say Sam

There is no denying Sam’s enthusiasm for sharing the wool story far and wide as this video of her engaging with students at the 2019 Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day shows

Dione will be continuing the program in 2019 with its second component – a fully-funded Company Directors Course with the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

“The Company Directors Course is a fantastic opportunity for future leaders from all sectors of the wool industry to develop and refine their leadership skills for positions on industry Boards,” Ed says. “The skills are very important to ensure good governance and leadership is understood before people contribute to a Board.”

“It is an awesome opportunity to finish the Wool Producers Youth Ambassadorship with the AICD Company Directors Course,I believe it will assist me to take the next step in my leadership journey. I have been fortunate enough to receive the benefit of immersive workshops through the Young Farming Champions program sponsored by AWI and these have enabled me to develop my skills for delivering outcomes for the wool industry on the ground, in schools and at industry events. I believe that by completing the Company Directors course I will expand my skill set to be able to deliver for the wool industry from a governance perspective.” ” Dione says.

Primary School Preview Day an opportunity to meet the scientists and young people working in agriculture

On April 11 the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW will run their Primary School Preview Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, and Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) and the Young Farming Champions (YFC) will be right in the thick of it once again.

The Primary School Preview Day is an invitation for students in Years 4-6 to experience the show behind the scenes and to learn about Australian agriculture in a series of fun and interactive workshops.

New for 2019 is a two-fold partnership between PYiA and the University of New England, which will see each workshop supported by a scientist from the UNE Discovery Voyager team. Current students of the university will also attend and learn the art of activation from YFCs Casey Onus and Sam Wan, as well as presenting their own workshop titled Under the Fleece, which will look at lamb chops and other lamb-based menu items.

The activations hosted by PYiA and UNE are a prime example of intergenerational mentoring with established scientists assisting early-career YFCs who, in turn, will take university students under their wings to teach primary school kids.

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Getting Down and Dirty

Five Young Farming Champions supported by University of New England students will present the following workshops asking the kids to get their hands dirty, test the freshness of eggs, explore the uses of wool,  and play the pollination game. This is what can be expected:

Eggscellent with YFC Jasmine Whitten:  Under Jasmine’s enthusiastic tutelage students will become egg farmers and test the quality of the eggs destined for the family fridge, to ensure a great eating experience.

Amazing Wool with YFC Haylee Murrell: Using interactive questions and answers Haylee will teach the kids about the properties of wool, allowing them to touch and feel wool straight off the sheep’s back.

The World Wants Aussie Wool with YFC Samantha Wan: Sam will take students on a journey around the world as she buys fleece from Aussie farmers and turns it into all sorts of woollen products.

Our Soils Feed the World with YFC Casey Onus: Casey will get dirty and teach kids to find worms and other critters that make our soil perfect for growing our food.

The Purpose of Pollinators with YFC Tim Eyes: Tim will use bees, flies, bats and wind to pollinate plants and show kids the difference between pollen and nectar.

Year 4-6 primary school students are invited to an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek of the Sydney Royal Easter Show the day before the gates officially open on the 12 April. On Primary School Preview Day, students will explore the concepts of food and fibre production in Australia in a round-robin workshop format with fun, interactive workshops that are linked to syllabus outcomes. LAST CHANCE! Ticket sales close Mon April 1st.  You can book your school’s tickets here

If your school is coming to Primary School Preview Day dont forget to say hi

 

 

Sydney Royal Easter Show delivers a winner with Little Hands on the Land

Post a highly successful Primary School Preview Day in the Food Farm at the 2018 Sydney Royal Easter Show the following day our Young Farming Champions Events Team where given a behind the scenes tour by members of the RAS Youth Group

On Primary School Preview Day Young Farming Champion  Jasmine Whitten and intern Jessica Fearnley ran the Eggs-cellent workshop where students were given a 15 minute snapshot of how farmers ensure that only the very best eggs  make it into the carton in their fridge

First stop was a tour of the Cattle Pavilions were RAS Youth Group member Rachel Rodney provided insights into the planning  required to bring in the animal exhibits in the short turn around time between the show closing at night and opening next morning  Quite a feat when you think over 400 cattle may be moving in and out in a six hour period.

The YFC then moved to the Woolworths Dome and met with some of the teams behind the District Exhibit  displays and discovered there is over 12 months of planing to bring those magnificent display to life.

It was then onto the Poultry Pavilion where RAS Rural Achiever Joe Murphy  shared with the YFC his journey to become a Rural Achiever and the role of the Rural Achievers in assisting with running events at the show.

RAS Youth Group members Tobie Payne and Andrew Horne then introduced the YFC to the media centre team and the main arena announcers.  The YFC  discovered the Showground facilities entertain up to 1,000,000 people during the 12 days of the show and provide venues for sporting and community events for the other 353 days of the year.

Each year at the show there is a strong focus on providing visitors with genuine and fun agricultural experiences.  As it happens Young Farming Champion Tim Eyes is the night manager of one we think is brilliant ( almost as impressive as The Food Farm)

Little Hands on the Land is a working farm in The Daily Telegraph Paddock teaching kids from 2 to 10 the crop-to-shop agriculture story. Its a free activity that takes the little farmers on a journey through 10 stations including a milking barn, chook shed, fruit orchard, tractor pull and more before they get to the farmer’s market to trade their produce for farm dollars. Their hard-earned farm dollars can be spent at the last station – the supermarket.

In this video Tim explains how Little Hands on the Land works in the video below and our Young Farming Champions very enthusiastically took up the offer to show you what a whirlwind Little Hands Experience is like .

As you can see a good time was had by all including our intern for 2018 Haylee Murrell  who assisted YFC Tayla Field to run the Seed to Salad workshop

Calling all Aussie Wool Producers – we want your ideas

Meet Deanna and Lucy tomorrow they will be engaging up to 1000 primary school students in conversations about Wool at Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day,  Here are some of the WOOL FACTS they will be sharing on Social Media.  We are inviting our Aussie wool producers to suggest some more.

You can suggest via the comments section on the blog, on Twitter ( @art4ag) or on Facebook (Art4Agriculture). We look forward to your big ideas

#welovewool #FoodFarm #myeastershow #youthinag #youthvoices18 @eastershow

 

Calling all Aussie Cotton Growers – wise advice needed

Today our Young Farming Champions are bumping in for Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day 

Tomorrow they will be delivering 20 minute workshops to up to 1000 primary school students

Emma and Sharna will be talking all things cotton.   The Art4Agriculture team will be supporting them from the side-lines with a social media campaign

Here are some of the graphics we will be spreading far and wide

Shout out to our Cotton Farmers – is there anything else you would like us to share???

You can make suggestions via the comments section on the blog, on Twitter ( @art4ag) or on Facebook (Art4Agriculture). We look forward to your big ideas and we will endeavour to deliver

 

Spreading the cotton love
#cottonlove #YouthVoices18 #myeastershow @eastershow #FoodFarm @art4ag  @archibull

Meet Emma Ayliffe at the Sydney Royal Easter Show and learn how spiders can be your friend

Meet Young Farming Champion, Farmer and Agronomist Emma Ayliffe who with farmer Craig Newham will be running the Good Bugs, Bad Bugs Workshop at Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day.

Read Emma’s story in AGWomen Global HERE

Student participants will go home with a new appreciation of the insects around us using cotton farming as the model. The first thing they will learn is there are NO actual bad bugs, just bugs in the wrong place at the wrong time and there are some very pesky little bugs that just love to chew cotton plants. With Australia being the most water efficient cotton producing country in the world and (with Egypt) producing the best quality cotton in the world  ( ours is the whitest and the strongest) our cotton farmers are being very diligent about encouraging the bugs in the wrong place at the wrong time to find somewhere else to live and dine.

Students will discover our cotton farmers have developed a very impressive pest management system known as Integrated Pest Management or IPM for short.

Its a big picture process that requires

1. Knowing your enemy and your friends.
2. Taking a year round approach.
3. Thinking of the farm and surrounding vegetation as a whole system.
4. Having good on-farm hygiene.
5. Considering options to escape, avoid or reduce pests.
6. Sampling crops effectively and regularly.
7. Aiming to grow a healthy crop.
8. Choosing insecticides wisely to conserve beneficials (good bugs) and bees.

Emma and Craig will introduce the students to the good bugs also known as beneficials and the bag bugs that the good bugs keep under control. Then the students will test their bug knowledge

And like Emma they will find that spiders can be your friend ( at a distance)

Join the Young Farming Champions at Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day. Meet the team HERE

Watch what we do

@eastershow #youthvoices18 @art4ag @archibull #welovewool #eatveggies #welovecotton #weloveeggs #youthinag

 

Meet our Eggsperts Jasmine Whitten and Jessica Fearnley

Young Farming Champion Jasmine Whitten will partner with intern Jessica Fearnley to deliver the Eggscellent workshop at the Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day.

Students will be taken on a journey to become eggsperts discovering how the humble egg is good for both their brain and body. They will be given the chance to become an eggspert starting with dressing for the part (watch this space). Then the real challenge will begin! They will be put to the test as an eggspert. The challenge is for them to determine if the egg should be stamped as consumer quality and put into the egg carton or not.

Recognising only the very best eggs reach your fridge students will perform a scientific test using a haugh machine and a yolk colour chart to determine if the inside of the egg is of the highest of quality.

Eggs provide a number of minerals and nutrients which are good for both the brain and body.

Let’s discover why they are so good for kids?

  • Eggs contain choline which helps in the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involve in nerve and brain functioning and memory. Without it our bodies and brain just wouldn’t function properly.
  • One serve of eggs provides around a third of the recommended dietary intake of folate for children. Folate is essential for the growth and maintenance of healthy cells. Ideal for those growing bodies!!
  • One serve of eggs provides around half the recommended dietary intake of vitamin A for children. Vitamin A is essential for growth and eye health. That means if we have a eyes or a body we should eat eggs!
  • Eggs contain Zinc which plays a role in cell division, cell growth, and wound healing! Exactly what active and growing bodies need especially if their prone to needing bandaids!

We are looking forward to the newly minted eggsperts going home and educating their friends and family about why eggs are good for the body and brain.

 

Meet Lucy and Deanna talking all things wool at the Sydney Royal Easter Show

Meet our Dynamic Duo Young Farming Champions Lucy Collingridge (L) and Deanna Johnston (R) who will be coordinating our Amazing Wool Workshops at Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day

Lucy is a self confessed townie finding her way into agriculture after spending January school holidays visiting family on their farm in the Central West of NSW when she was 15. Lucy now works as a biosecurity officer with Local Land Services.

Deanna grew up on her family farm 6.5 hours west of Sydney. Her earliest memories are of the shearing shed and she had already completed her Certificate IV in Woolclassing and Certificate II in Shearing by the time she was 16.  Deanna loves sharing her love of wool with everyone who will listen and found the perfect job doing shearing demonstrations at Nogo Station as part of the Outback Pioneers tourism experience

Lucy and Deanna will offer the students plenty of opportunities to learn about wool, play with wool and even learn how to class wool.

If your want to be a wool classer like Deanna this is what she will share with you

  • Wool has to be a certain length, between 60mm and 100mm. if the wool is shorter or longer than that farmers are charged a penalty when they sell their wool. The reason for this is wool processors have set their machines up to process wool between 60 and 100mm long. If the wool is longer or shorter then they have to recalibrate their machines to process the wool.
  • To measure the wool, wool classers use their finger as a ruler. Each wool classer will know how long his/her finger is. This is so you don’t have to carry a ruler around with you in your pocket and measuring the wool against your finger is quick and easy. Do you know how long your finger is? Well you might need to know when you become a wool classer!
  • Another test the wool classer will do to ensure the quality of wool is high is a strength test. You hold the top of the staple (a clump of wool fibres) and hold the bottom of the staple and pull it. If it doesn’t break the quality is high. If the wool breaks it means that the animal may have undergone some sort of stress and put more energy into recovering from the stress than growing wool.
  • The wool classer feels the wool by running the wool between their fingers. This is to feel how soft the wool is. Softness of the wool is an indicator of how fine the wool is. The finer the wool the more suitable the wool is for clothing. If the wool feels less soft, the wool will be better suited to jackets, and maybe even carpets and curtains. Have you ever worn an itchy woollen garment? Well that’s probably because that garment wasn’t made from fine Merino wool, it was made out of broader wool.
  • The last thing a wool classer does is look at the colour of the wool. The wool should be a bright white colour. The small discolouration is just dirt and can be washed out. We want to eliminate is wool that is black and brown. Wool can only be dyed darker than the colour it is and there is no colour darker than black so black wool cannot be used in commercial processing. The way the black fibres are formed they don’t soak up as much dye so that’s another reason why we want white wool. White wool can be dyed to whatever colour.

Deanna and Lucy are looking forward to the students telling everybody how much fun they had learning about Amazing Wool

   Its clear that Deanna thinks the wool industry is a great place to be

 

Sharna Holman is crazy about Cotton.

Meet Young Farming Champion Sharna Holman. She is crazy about cotton. Have a 10 minute conversation with her and you will be crazy about cotton too.

Read Sharna’s story in AGWomenGlobal here

Sharna will be presenting the Cotton or Not workshop at the Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day.  Sharna’s hands on workshop will share with the students  how Cotton plays a big part in our everyday lives. We sleep in it, dry ourselves with it, wrap our bodies in it and we even cook with its oil. And it’s produced by Aussie cotton growers right here under the Australian sun.

In fact right down Eastern Seaboard from Clermont in Queensland to just over the Victorian border. You can even find Cotton at the back of Bourke

Sharna is a city kid, introduced to agriculture at school. She fell in love with the cotton industry and is super keen for young people to follow her into the industry. In fact there are careers in Cotton from A to Z

We can all be very proud of our Cotton industry and Australian Cotton farmers

Some interesting facts for you

  • In an average year, Australia’s cotton growers produce enough cotton to clothe 500 million people.
  • Australia is the most water efficient cotton producing country in the world. Source
  • Australia and Egypt produce the best quality cotton in the world. Our cotton is the whitest and strongest. Source 
  • The Australian Cotton industry attracts young people like Sharna. Even their farmers are young. The average age of Cotton farmers is 39 and 40% of cotton farmers are female
  • And its good for the planet. Net on-farm emissions of greenhouse gases on cotton farms are negative because cotton plants store more carbon than is released from production inputs used during growth.

Primary School students can meet Sharna at Stand No 13 on 22nd March 2018

Secondary Students can hear from and chat to Sharna at the Careers Workshop below 

#youthvoices18 #youthinag #welovecotton #wearnatural

 

Join Tayla Field at the Sydney Royal Easter Show and find out why you should Eat a Rainbow

As promised,  this week we will be profiling our Young Farming Champions running workshops at the Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day. Students will participate in hands on workshops for the Cotton, Wool, Horticulture and Egg Industries.

Young Farming Champion Tayla Field who works for OneHarvest (recently featured in AGWomen Global ) will partner with our intern Haylee Murrell to deliver the Seed to Salad workshop. Students will learn how to plant salad vegetables, then they will dress up in aprons, hairnets and gloves and pack boxes of salad in a fun race to demonstrate the processing side of the supply chain, then they will need to identify the components of a pre made salad and match them with descriptive cards that have a fact about that vegetable.

Why is it important for young people to recognise veggies. Scarily 95% of young people aged between 2 and 18 DON’T eat enough vegetables

To be healthy, kids need to eat a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables every day. If you use a rainbow as a guide, you can ensure you get a wide range of vitamins and minerals. No single fruit or vegetable provides all the nutrients you need.Veggies are nutritious and delicious. The colour makes all the difference. Within each colour are disease fighting good guys (vitamins and minerals), that fight to keep you strong and healthy.

Tayla and Jessica will teach the students we all should be Eating A Rainbow everyday.

Eat A Rainbow Every Day!

  • Blue is Beautiful. 
  • Red is Rockin’.
  •  Green is Groovy. 
  • Yellow is yummy. 
  • Orange is Outrageous.

A balanced diet should always have a range of colours on the one plate.

  • Dark green vegetables – broccoli, cabbages, leafy greens like spinach, bok choy, lettuce, kale and silverbeet.
  • Orange and deep yellow vegetables – carrots, pumpkin, sweetpotatoes and squash.
  • Starchy vegetables – potatoes, sweet corn and sweetpotatoes
  • Non-starchy vegetables – zucchini, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, beans, peas, okra, capsicum, cauliflower
  • Salad vegetables – capsicums, cucumbers, lettuce, spring onions and tomatoes
  • Legumes – beans and peas

We are looking forward to a whole new generation of kids leaving the show telling their parents we have to eat a rainbow

Read Tayla’s story in AGWomen Global HERE