Young Farming Champions Muster July 2018 Week 3

This week’s Young Farming Champions stories from around the country

In the Field

Cotton Young Farming Champion Alexander Stephens takes out this year’s award for the most fields visited having covered over 6000km from Dalby, QLD, to Hay, NSW, and up to Kununurra, WA, to pick the world’s strongest and whitest cotton.

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What a way to see Australia, driving very big toys! We can’t wait to hear more about cotton picking on the Ord River, Alexander.

Wool Young Farming Champion Emma Turner spent last week home on the station collecting data for her honours thesis looking at the differences between 6 monthly and 12 monthly shearing. It involved lots of colour:

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Out of the Field

Youth Voices Leadership Team Chair Jo Newton will be hosting our social media pages this week. Head on over to our Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page to follow along and enjoy Jo’s insights from the Dairy Research Foundation Symposium and  Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo 

YFC Anika Molesworth jetted off to Argentina this morning. By invitation from the Argentine Agriculture Minister, Anika will be visiting farms, running workshops with young farmers and presenting on global agricultural challenges and opportunities.

This program coincides with the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, and part of her brief is to collaborate with young South American farmers to prepare a report for the Ministers on the vision of strong and resilient farming sectors, enabling young farmers, and promoting future industry leaders. Anika will be working with Australian Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud and visiting farmer groups to discuss collaborative relationships between countries and tackling the industry’s big challenges.

YFC Sam Coggins has just returned from Myanmar where he reviewed three Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) projects looking at pulses, soil mapping and nitrogen fertiliser efficiency. The three projects aim to improve food security and farmer livelihoods. Read more about what ACIAR is doing in Myanmar here

Sam Coggins in Rice Field

Prime Cuts

We are very excited to announce the Rice industry has joined the Art4Agriculture team and our very first Rice Young Farming Champion is Erika Heffer. Welcome Erika and thank you the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia. We’re really looking forward to working together. Read the story here

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Following us on Facebook here and Twitter here

#YouthVoices18 #ArchieAction #YouthinAg

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Art4Agriculture at the MerinoLink Conference

The 2018 MerinoLink Conference  and Field Day will be held in Goulburn this week on 20th and 21st June and Art4Agriculture will be flying the flag for young people in agriculture.

The purpose of the MerinoLink Annual Conference is to provide an opportunity for sheep producers and service providers to network, learn about research outcomes and management programs and also to have a positive influence on the future direction of the sheep industry in Australia. 

A highlight of the conference will be the Hour of Power, sponsored by T.A.Field Estates, which will give an opportunity to nine young professionals to speak about their work and passions within the wool industry. During this session Art4Agriculture will be represented by Young Farming Champions Dione Howard and Emma Turner.

Dione will elaborate on concepts she delivered last year at the Australian Farm Institute’s Roundtable Conference where she encouraged industry to invest in and support young professionals. See her inspirational speech here.

Dione AFI RoundTable (2)

Dione, who will be appealing to both new and experienced members at MerinoLink, says these are her take-home messages:

There are many opportunities that exist for young people to get involved in the wool industry.

Programs such as Art4Agriculture’s Young Farming Champions exist so that our industry can invest in us as young people in wool. 

I urge members of our industry to get behind young people with an interest in wool and support them to step up and take on available opportunities.

 Emma, who is set to graduate from the University of New England in October, will use her time at the Hour of Power to present her honours project to industry.

Emma Turner (39)

My honours project, on the implementation of shorter shearing intervals at Ivanhoe comparing six and twelve month shearings, is highly relevant to the industry and I am hoping the Hour of Power will give my research exposure and provide networking opportunities as I job hunt for the future.

 Rounding out Art4Agriculture’s involvement in MerinoLink will be National Program Director Lynne Strong who will be the speaker at the conference dinner. Lynne will use her life journey from a pharmacist to a farmer to illustrate how the wool industry will benefit from the investment in youth and how working together makes innovation fast and easy.

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It is wonderful to see the 2018 MerinoLimk Conference following our vision to help young people stand up and be confident to share their own stories

#LoveWool #WearWool #WOOLisCOOL #YouthVoices18 #YouthinAg

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Young Farming Champions taking the farm to the city

Last week our Young Farming Champions took the fresh young face of agriculture into schools  participating in The Archibull Prize in Sydney and Wollongong

Cotton Young Farming Champion Emma Ayliffe shared her career journey  with students and teachers at Granville South Creative and Performing Arts High School, Parramatta Public School and Kurring-gai High School.

Emma had great success with her Name the Good Bugs/Bad Bugs game turning students with no previous experience into experts in 20 mins.

She found it very rewarding to hear from the teachers of  the Power of the Cow in Archibull Prize schools.

She took her hat off to the team at Parramatta Public School who have formed a partnership and are working directly with 90 students to complete the program

Horticulture Young Farming Champion Tayla Field supported by the Aussie Farmers Foundation took the story of fruit and veg into schools in the Eastern Suburbs and to Gywnneville Public School

With strong messages about eating fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy diet

LBCoS

Students at Little Bay Community of Schools and Gwynneville Public School (below) embrace the concept of Eating a Rainbow of fruit and vegetables every day Gwynneville Public School

and the importance of traceability and biosecurity Tayla was a hit with the students

Tayla was thrilled to see the students eyes light up when she showed the level of technology available to farmers in the horticulture industry she loves

Wool Young Farming Champion Sam Wan had Wooley Dooley time with students at Picnic Point High School. Read all the fun here.

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Sheep Producers Australia is seeking applications from people in the sheep industry aged 25 to 40 for the 2018 Sheep Industry Ambassadors Award.

 

The Sheep Industry Ambassadors Award is an initiative of the Building leadership capability for the sheep industry project offered by Sheep Producers Australia and Meat and Livestock Australia.

It acknowledges the contributions of two outstanding young sheep producers as well as their future potential as industry leaders.

The award includes an all-expenses paid, week-long study tour from 1-5 August 2018. It features visits showcasing the industry supply chain across Victoria and South Australia with leaders of the United States sheep industry.

Ambassadors will then travel to Perth to attend the SPA Leadersheep Forum and Australia’s premier sheep industry conference LambEx 2018, from 5-7 August 2018.

A range of other opportunities and professional development are also included as part of the award, totalling $4500 value.

Do you know someone working in the sheep industry who could be a future leader and would benefit from networking with Australian and international industry leaders?

Sheep Producers Australia is seeking applications from people in the sheep industry aged 25 to 40 for the 2018 Sheep Industry Ambassadors Award.

The award recognises the contributions of two outstanding sheep industry people and their potential as industry leaders as part of the SPA and Meat & Livestock Australia joint initiative, ‘Building Leadership Capability for the Sheep Industry’.

The initiative’s objective is to ensure the Australian sheep industry attracts and retains people with leadership skills to contribute to the long-term viability of the industry by developing industry capability and capacity.

The Ambassador Award includes an all-expenses paid, week-long study tour from 1-8 August 2018 including attending Australia’s premier sheepmeat industry event, LambEx 2018 and the SPA Leadersheep Forum in Perth. It features visits showcasing the industry supply chain across Victoria and South Australia with leaders of the United States sheep industry.

There is also the potential to be part of other professional development and industry representation opportunities with SPA. The award is valued at more than $4500, a significant investment in developing each future leader.

Interested future leaders must submit an application form and a two-minute video clip to be considered for the award. In the video, applicants must demonstrate their role in the industry and their vision for its future.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate their industry involvement including work and education history, their capacity to be a current sheep industry ambassador, their understanding of the industry’s importance and articulate a vision for its future. They must also have the potential to be a future leader within the industry and SPA and be willing to work with SPA on industry initiatives.

Ben Munzberg, Victoria, was one of the 2016 ambassador award winners. He says the award provided him with a deeper understanding of the entire sheep industry and how all segments of the industry work together.

“I feel I am now better equipped to have input to producer groups and take on leadership roles, both at the workplace and within the industry,” he said. “Since starting the program, it has driven and encouraged me to join and be more active in producer groups, which has improved my networking and provided a great place to learn from other people.

“I would certainly recommend the Ambassador Award to others. It has been a fantastic experience which has allowed me to meet some great people involved in the sheep industry, build international networks, gain a better understand of all aspects of the industry and develop as a person.”

Applications close at 9am on Monday 25 June 2018. The application form and video guidelines are available at www.sheepproducers.com.au/ambassadors

 

Wool Young Farming Champion Lucy Collingridge shares her international travels through social media

 

We love it when our Young Farming Champions share their agricultural stories and with a big year of adventure ahead of her, Lucy Collingridge is doing just that through the creation of the Facebook page 1Agriculturist, 2 Conferences, 3 Countries.

 “I’m heading away for two trips this year and have created this page as a way of sharing my learnings. Hopefully I will get to see some fresh ideas for both the Australian        agricultural sector and the show movement.”

Lucy currently works as a biosecurity officer for NSW Local Land Services in Narrabri and is concurrently studying a Graduate Certificate in Agriculture (Animal Science) through the University of New England.

As part of her studies she will travel to Argentina and Uruguay in June to attend the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) world conference and participate in a study tour of the Argentinian and Uruguayan agricultural sectors. She will be accompanied by two other Young Farming Champions: Jasmine Whitton and Meg Rice.

Lucy’s love of agriculture also extends to a strong involvement with the show movement. She was the 2015 Cootamundra Showgirl, a state finalist in the showgirl competition in 2016, has joined the Narrabri Show Society and is a member of the RAS Youth Group, which oversees activities at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Her commitment to agricultural shows was rewarded recently when she was granted a scholarship from the Agricultural Societies Council of NSW.

The ASC scholarship will form the second part of Lucy’s international adventures when she flies to Edmonton, Canada in October to attend the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth Agriculture Conference. Fellow Young Farming Champion Steph Fowler will also be at the conference.

Lucy is well known for her extraordinary photography (see some amazing pictures at Rust & Dust Photography  so her Facebook page on her travels is bound to be well illustrated.

“My plan is to share my experiences as far and wide as possible, to hopefully benefit our agricultural industry (no matter how small) and the show movement in Australia. Be sure to keep an eye out for guest postings from any of the young agriculturalists I’m heading overseas with.”

South and North American travel, awesome photography, agricultural insights and guest blogs – we can’t wait to see what Lucy will share.

Youth Voices at LambEx

LambEx is an annual celebration of all things great in the Australian sheep and lamb industries and part of the celebration is the naming of finalists in the Young Guns competition.

The aim of the LambEx Young Guns Competition is to recognise and encourage

young and upcoming industry professionals, producers and scientists to

consider a future or ongoing career in the Australian lamb industry.

 

Deanna Johnston, our shearing YFC currently working in Longreach, was runner-up in this competition in 2014, and in 2018 we are proud to announce that another YFC, Danila Marini, is a finalist. Danila works in the field of animal (and in particular, sheep) welfare research:

To be named a Young Gun is exciting.

 I’m so glad to be given the chance to talk about the opportunities and the bright future

of the Australian Wool and sheepmeat industry. I think Young Guns is important

as it gives young people within the industry the ability to be involved

and learn new skills.

But it’s not only our YFC making waves as finalists. Hannah Haupt from Calvary Christian College in Brisbane was part of the Grand Champion Archibull Team in 2017, when the school studied the wool industry, and she is a finalist in the high school division.

Calvary Christian College (1)

But it’s not only our YFC making waves as finalists. Hannah Haupt from Calvary Christian College in Brisbane was part of the Grand Champion Archibull Team in 2017, when the school studied the wool industry, and she is a finalist in the high school division. Here’s what her teacher Lisa Bullas says about Hannah’s journey:

Hannah is a passionate agriculturalist and is highly involved with sheep in our

College show team (Suffolk Sheep). Her knowledge and understanding in one so

young is inspiring to those around her. 

 

Lisa also had this to say about The Archibull Prize:

As a part of show team, we work with the many contacts and actively involve our alumni students, who mentor our youngsters and open up opportunities/share knowledge that we simply can’t with our limited resources.  Being a part of The Archibull Prize has further enhanced some of these connections, providing opportunities that we could otherwise have missed. The capacity of the program to make connections between industry and education is a huge advantage.

When we survey our Young Farming Champions one of the key messages they send us is a desire to reach out and connect with someone who has walked in their shoes, to have a conversation with a peer or to be mentored. This is part of the Art4Agriculture vision, so it is very exciting for us to announce that Deanna will mentor Hannah and give her valuable insights into the Young Guns competition.

At LambEx, to be held in Perth from August 5-7, Danila and Hannah will make a four minute presentation to judges discussing their current role and potential future in the sheep and lamb industry. Good luck girls. We wish you both success.

Cheering them on from the sidelines will be Young Farming Champions Adele Offley and Chloe Dutschke travelling to Perth to ensure they are up-to-date with the opportunities for wool producers.

#YouthinAg #YouthVoices18 #LambEx

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_2017 Supporting partners Capture

 

The Soil you need to Cultivate – and the journey to balancing life, career and family with leadership

 

Young Farming Champion and Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) member Laura Phelps recently grabbed an opportunity to broaden her knowledge and share her insights with the UK Government as part of their BREXIT strategy. This opportunity has taken Laura to London where she will be based for the next six months. Laura’s sojourn has opened to door to appoint Bessie Thomas to the YVLT.

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Bessie as a grazier and young mother brings a further depth and perspective to the group and shows its commitment to supporting young people in leadership as they face the challenges of balancing work and life.

The YVLT recognises young people are going through rapid transitions from study to work and family and part of its aim is to determine how to best support and encourage them to take on leadership roles.

Formerly involved with Art4Agriculture as an AWI wool Young Farming Champion and in media and communications behind the scenes, Bessie stepped away for a time when she had her first child in 2016.

“The Youth Voices committee seems like the perfect way for me to dip my toes in and get involved with agricultural leadership and support roles again without having to move my focus away from home, farm and motherhood,” she says.

Bessie loves her career as a journalist but she also loves her family and her outback property, and although she was quite sure she could combine them all to her usual high standard, life, she has found, has meant prioritising.

“I have a husband I love, a beautiful young child and a farm currently in drought – they all need me and this is the soil I need to cultivate right now.  I can press pause on a career and involvement with external roles, but I can’t press pause on feeding my hungry sheep, supporting my husband, or feeding my hungry child.” Bessie realises she may be able to do it all – but not all at the same time.

The YVLT, now in its infancy, will grow and change as time progresses and how exactly it provides support to its members will also evolve. For now it is enough that one of its goals is to provide a flexible approach to commitment.

“Feeling pressure to over-commit or guilt about potentially letting the team down has stopped me from getting involved with committees in the past,” Bessie says. “With the YVLT I’ve been asked to only give as much of myself as I can. This means I’ll be able to throw my all at projects I’m really keen on when I have the time, or say ‘Sorry guys, I’m shearing/going away/sick and I’m going to be pretty unavailable for the next month’ without feeling guilty about it. Other members are invited to do the same and it means we’ll get the work done as a team without any one person feeling like they have to keep filling in the gaps.  It’s a way for me to get involved, use my skills and help the industries I love, but also know that I’m allowed to press pause for a day/week/month or year if I need to, knowing that I can dip back in when the time is right for me again.”

One of the visions of the YVLT is to let young people share their dreams and design the future they want. By attracting one of Art4Agriculutre’s brightest alumni back to the fold and into a leadership position, the YVLT can already call itself a success.

Welcome Bessie #youthvoices18