The world needs creative, innovative and courageous young people who can connect, collaborate and act. We know that youth may only be 20% of the population but they are 100% of the future. The time is now to let them share their dreams and design the future they want to see.
“The group is for young farmers (and farmers young at heart),” Emma says, “and it aims to bring together younger people from around Tullibigeal to discuss what is happening on farm and to act as a conduit for information. As a fledging farmer I have a lot to learn and as an agronomist I feel I have knowledge to share.”
Emma created the group, now 58 members strong, via Facebook, spoke to a few young growers and enticed them to the pub for a chat. With $10,000 funding through the NSW Government’s Young Farmer Business Program, the new group held their first workshop, themed “The Business of Farming: From the Ground Up” on February 3.
“At the workshop we had a number of presenters including Tom Nicholas from Healthy Soils Australia, Tristan Stevenson and Hamish Ross (StevTech and Hutcheon and Pearce) talking around new spraying technology and Geoff Minchin talking about pasture management and investment,” Emma says. “And we also had Young Farming Champion Dan Fox who was a real superstar.”
Dan is very grateful to benefit from have access to three generations of mentors and inspiration
“The ideas of soil health and regenerative agriculture – and the benefits of that system – are becoming more popular around the world and I shared our experience with what we are doing on our farm, what has been working for us and what we’ve learnt on our journey,” Dan says of his presentation. “As farmers we can become isolated and so a group like Tulli Young Farmers is a very valuable thing for getting people together, making sure your mates and neighbours are all right and sharing stories. And it’s especially good to see the next generation excited by agriculture.”
Tulli Young Farmers will hold their second workshop – “The Business of Farming: Books, Bankrolls and Bestowals” on March 16, which will take a look at the “office” side of farming, and are planning a bus tour later in the year.
“My aims for the group are to keep everyone talking,” Emma says. “My ideal is an open and engaged farming community that is extremely supportive of each other and the next generation. It is great to be able to offer a non-judgemental and supportive group that can help to enable all growers in our region to be successful.”
and we love to share what we learn from our Young Farming Champions.
In recent years the initial training of the Young Farming Champions (YFC) has been formalised in a two-year Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program. In this edition of our Lessons Learnt series we talk to the Australian Wool Innovation sponsored YFC who completed the first half of the program in 2019 – Matt Cumming and Tom Squires.
In their first year Matt and Tom, both shearers, undertook media training, immersed themselves in the networking resources of other YFC and learnt how to tell their own stories to the world to promote shearing as an exciting career choice.
“I’ve worked in shearing sheds, on and off, for 6 years. As shearers we strive to do the best job we possibly can, and we do so in a professional manner. It’s an industry that cares about people and cares about sheep and I wanted the opportunity to share that far and I wide. I wanted to tell people about my life growing up on the land and how great it can be. I thought Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders would be a great stepping-stone in allowing me to do that.” Tom Squires
A career in wool lets Tom lead the lifestyle he has always dreamed of
During the workshops Tom and Matt were given an insight to the workings of the media and got the chance to be interviewed by a journalist.
“One of the key skills I learnt from the training was how the media can help you get your message across and how it can get it all wrong if you don’t have the right facts and or haven’t done your research to ensure they receive the correct message,” Matt says.
For Matt shearing is a lifestyle that allows his family to work and play together
“Being able to talk to leading journalist in the media industry was brilliant,” Tom says. “It challenged me to think from another angle. For example, the one-on-one interview I had with the journalist made me realise journalists wouldn’t run a story unless they know it has an interesting angle for their readers. Now, it may seem common sense, but I never sat back and thought about it. From there it made me think about what is it I really care about and how can I communicate that in a way that will inspire other young people to join me in a career in wool”
Tom and Matt also learnt that to able to effectively talk to the media required the polishing of their own stories; to reduce the use of jargon, to talk in descriptive and personal tones, to use real-life examples rather than facts and to tailor their presentations to a particular audience.
“The program has given me an insight into better crafting a presentation for an audience beyond the agricultural industry,” Tom says. “After presenting, the feedback given was focused around me making sure what was on the slides was able to be read and understood by anyone. This prompted me to shape my presentation more around myself and my own life experiences, rather than telling facts and figures about the industry.”
Adding to this story-telling skillset, Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders also delivered training in the often daunting arena of public speaking and introduced Matt and Tom to a network of young agricultural professionals who can support and encourage them in their own careers.
And so, one year into the program, what have been the highlights for these new YFC and how are they employing their new skills? For Tom, seeing other young leaders striving for success in agriculture has become a great driver.
“In some ways its like shearing,” he says. “In the shearing sheds you always want to be as good as the best shearer (referred to as the gun) in team. You look at the gun and think if he can do it why can’t I? This program was the same for me. I looked around at what the others had achieved and what they had done for the industry and it made me want to do the same.”
For Matt the program is providing continuation of his leadership journey.
“I now have the confidence to want to change and to make a difference within my industry by telling my story and achieving my goals,” he says. “The Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program has taught me that I can lead the way in my industry, and it has given me skills to develop myself and help others to achieve any outcome we are striving for.”
Representing the Australian dairy industry Queensland’s Beaudesert State High School has been named Grand Champion Archibull in the 2019 Archibull Prize, edging out previous winner Hurlstone Agricultural High School from New South Wales.
Eighteen secondary schools across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria took part in the annual competition held by Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) designed to connect students with agriculture and give farmers a face and voice. The schools are joined by Young Farming Champions as they research their nominated agricultural industry and present their findings in blogs, infographics and multi-media, however the highlight is the creation of an interpretative artwork on a life-sized fibreglass cow, known as the Archie.
Students from Beaudesert State High School celebrate tbeir win with Costa Georgiadis
“We have come to expect quirky and imaginative Archies from Beaudesert and this year was no exception incorporating real bovine bones, braille, a cut-out Herringbone dairy and a robotic milking arm. But more than that Beaudesert has embraced their local dairy community and taken them on their Archibull journey.”
Thanks to a partnership with Subtropical Dairy, Dairy Fields Cooperative and Dover and Son students at Beaudesert delved deep into the challenges and opportunities facing dairy in Australia to create their Archie named Hope. They explored drought, mental health of farmers and a tightening retail market and posed the question: How much do we value our Australian dairy industry? ““If our cow can make an impact and make people understand perhaps farmers can get more help and assistance through these tough times. Milk needs to be treated like the ‘white gold’ that it is and not something that is considered just a ‘staple’ and in everyone’s fridge,” the school said in their artwork statement.
Reserve Grand Champion Archibull was awarded to Hurlstone Agricultural High School who looked at the wool industry in Western NSW. From discussions with their Young Farming Champion Anika Molesworth students learnt about African breeds of drought tolerant sheep used in Australia. “From this, we decided to delve further into the rich culture of Africa. Witch doctors, in essence, are members of societies who aid others using magic and medicine. This concept of healing felt extremely appropriate as a message of hope in a tough, overwhelming time,” the students said.
The Archibull awards were presented at a ceremony held at Sydney Olympic Park on Tuesday 19th November, attended by sponsors and special guests including celebrity gardener Costa Georgiadis.
The Archibull Prize Awards event photos can be found here
Watch the Archibull Prize Awards Events highlights here
Mega shout out to our 2019 Archibull Prize supporting partners empowering young people to solve tomorrow’s problems today
There are six categories in the Shine Awards: Belief, Courage, Dedication, Grace, Passion and Spirit and Bessie joins fellow finalists – entrepreneur Amanda Griffiths from Long Pocket in QLD and shearer Janine Midgley from Bullsbrook in WA – in the Spirit category, which is for those who the sheer power of personality shines through.
“What a thrill to be honoured alongside Amanda and Janine,” Bessie says. “I could easily name hundreds of women who could take my place as a finalist in the Spirit Category and they are the ones who keep my spirits up! So thank you to all the people in my life, family, friends, and beyond, who fill my cup, push me up hill, let me chuck my toys, make good things happen, check in on me and pick me back up again. I am so lucky to have the best possible people enter my orbit.”
The winner of each category will receive a $2500 voucher from Harvey Norman, and the overall winner will receive a $5000 voucher. Look for the announcement of the winners in the Shine Magazine in The Weekly Times on the newsstands November 20.
Each year the NSW Department of Primary Industries celebrates women volunteers in the Hidden Treasures Honour Roll. Over 900 women have been recognised for their contribution to community since the Honour Roll began in 2010. They have volunteered for sporting groups, for health, for heritage or for environmental conservation. They have given their time to industry, to social justice, to emergency services and to wherever there is need.
In 2019 four of our Young Farming Champions have been added to this illustrious list: Emma Ayliffe, Lucy Collingridge, Dione Howard and Bessie Thomas.
Emma volunteers her time with the Local Cotton Growers Association, Tulli Young Farmers and PYiA programs Young Farming Champions and the Youth Voices Leadership Team. In winter she also donates her time to her local netball club. By paying forward the support and encouragement she has received over the years, Emma hopes to give similar opportunities to the next generation.
Lucy was introduced to agricultural shows while at high school and now, apart from her commitments with PYiA, volunteers everywhere from her local Cootamundra Show to the Sydney Royal. Lucy believes volunteering is a chance to help her community and industry grow and enjoys the rewarding feeling of working with amazing, like-minded people with a common goal – and having fun while doing it.
Representing the wool industry, Dione volunteers with PYiA, WoolProducers and as a mentor in CSU’s Veterinary Science Alumni Network. She does this to ensure the community has an appreciation of where their food and fibre comes from and she believes young people in agriculture have wonderful stories to share and wants to help them tell these stories, make a change and leave their own mark on the world.
Bessie volunteers as the Communication Coordinator for the Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT), which is the youth-led voice of PYiA. As Communication Coordinator she works with over 100 Young Farming Champions to collate their activities and events. Bessie believes we all have an ethical and social responsibility to live by actions that leave communities, people and the world feeling valued, appreciated, supported and better off than we found them.
“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” MARJORIE MOORE
Read about all this year’s remarkable women here in the 2019 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll.
Earlier in year Jasmine, who attended the conference on a scholarship provided by Intrepid Landcare in partnership with the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust, had co-designed an educational program for primary schools through Western Landcare at Cobar called “Healthy Soils, Healthy Farms”. This formed the basis of her presentation at the conference where she illustrated it had inspired young people to take up the Landcare challenge. “I described a healthy farm then shared the belief that the future doesn’t belong to me and it doesn’t belong to you (the audience),” she says. “It belongs to the next generation coming through and who better to teach them then farmers who care for a whopping 61% of this country and work with the soil day in day out.”
“To be acknowledged as the best presentation is the biggest boost,” Jasmine says. “It makes me realise all of my hard work has paid off.” See a video of Jasmine’s in action at Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day here
Erika, too, was rewarded for her work as a young leader in the Landcare arena. The Austcover Young Landcare Leadership Award recognises someone aged between 15 and 35 years who is committed to community engagement.
Erika Heffer accepting the Austcover Young Landcare Leadership Award
“My greatest passion as a Landcarer is to bring people together to deliver real outcomes for the groups they belong to and the local community, Receiving this award is like meeting up with someone to talk about an idea or seeing people show up to a meeting or a workshop – I feel a sense of accomplishment for this first step, as well as excitement for what can come of it. I believe Landcare opens the door, but it’s the community that steps up to the challenge.” said Erika
Both Jasmine and Erika value the time and support of mentors as their careers blossom.
“I have sought out mentors and likeminded people both to help me grow and to achieve projects that couldn’t be achieved without collaboration and I would like to thank Neil Bull (Ricegrowers Association of Australia), John Fowler (Murray Local Land Services), Edwina Hayes (Regional Development Australia Murray), Lynne Strong (Picture you in Agriculture), and Senator Perin Davey for being great mentors and friends.” said Erika
The power of volunteering is also important to the two girls.
“My journey has involved practicing at schools, being a YFC and saying YES to any opportunity,” said Jasmine
“I have loved raising awareness for agriculture, Landcare and the joy of volunteering, whether volunteering for my faith, an Agricultural Show, a Landcare Group, or even the Deni Ute Muster. The best part is that I am not alone, I am surrounded by passionate volunteers and that’s what makes my community a great place to live.” said Erika
Shoutout to our supporting partners working together to empower young people to solve tomorrow’s problems today
This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the country…
In the Field
YFC Tim Eyes from The Food Farm: Central Coast has been busy making hay (while the sun shines)! “When I started farming on the coast I was told you cannot make hay here and I am still told that every week. Yet this is my first season doing small squares and third season in round bales,” Tim says.
“It’s very hard to access information from fellow hay farmers. I think making hay is in people’s blood and they seem to just know how to do it but it’s hard to articulate what they are looking for. In saying that, making hay is one of the best things I get to do on the farm. It’s a lovely process.”
Acting Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) chair and YFC Emma Ayliffe is harvesting wheat at her home near Lake Cargelligo, NSW. Though it’s not a bumper crop, due to drought, she was happy to have the job done before this week’s forecast rain.
As agronomist and business owner of Summit Agriculture, one part of Emma’s current day job has her completing cotton trials. This photo shows the effects of using biodegradable film to increase soil temperature and increase plant growth. You can see the difference for yourself in these 3 week old (4 node) cotton plants:
Elders agronomist and YFC Dee George has been lucky to be working with some lush, green crops in the Western Districts of Victoria. “Where I live is has been a very lucky part of Australia for rainfall,” Dee says.
“Here is a client’s pasture – a mix of cereals, annual ryegrass, balansa clover and shaftal clover – he cut for silage. The windrows were so large I couldn’t get my arms around it!”
Our resident Biosecurity Officer and Wool YFC Lucy Collingridge has been busy with emergency management training recently. This training is aimed at building the skills and knowledge of staff who respond to an emergency response, such as a fire, flood or disease outbreak. This is an essential part of making sure our agricultural industry is ready for anything thrown at it!
Much of eastern Australia has seen its most widespread rain event in six months, but it’s been hit and miss for our YFC across drought affected areas.
Wool YFC and YVLT Communication Creative Team Leader Bessie Thomas is celebrating following an incredible 57mm of rain in 3 hours yesterday. If you’re in the far-west you might have caught Bessie chatting to ABC Broken Hill radio on Monday morning about the lucky break.
Out of the Field
YVLT acting chair Emma Ayliffe had the opportunity to tell her story at Chicks in the Sticks in Moonambel Victoria on Saturday 26th October. Emma says it was a great day, where participants had the opportunity to do workshops with soils a well as a tour of the Moonambel Gap Olive Grove. After a gorgeous grazing platter lunch Emma shared her story with 90 rural and regional women. “The highlight of the afternoon was meeting so many wonderful women from diverse backgrounds that were all meeting for the love of their rural lifestyles and to support the producers in their own backyard,” Emma says.
Wool YFC Peta Bradley attended the AAABG (Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics) conference in Armidale last week. Bringing together the latest research in animal genetics, with extension staff and farmers. “I was also lucky enough to present in a session on the breeders day,” Peta says. And by all accounts she did a fantastic job!
The NSW Landcare & Local Land Services conference in Broken Hill was a hit according to YFC Jasmine Whitten. Earlier in the year Jasmine was selected as one of 16 presenters at the conference.
She had the pleasure of sharing an education program called ‘Healthy Soils, Healthy Farms” which she helped design and deliver with the Buckwaroon Landcare group – a group of farmers from Cobar. The education program aimed to help primary school students in grade 4 understand how farmers care for the soil through the use of QR codes, science experiments and a stream table to understand how water moves through our landscape.
Jasmine’s presentation was a huge hit at the conference, with attendees declaring it was one of the best and many people deciding to use similar ideas in their activities. Jasmine was also one of the five young people who received an Intrepid Landcare Sponsorship to attend the conference which was supported by the Bio Conservation Trust (BCT). This scholarship has seen Jasmine explore the concept of ‘How we can work together to conserve biodiversity on private land?’ which she is busily trying to finalise to share with the world, so stay tuned!
Climate YFC Anika Molesworth, Wool YFC Melissa Henry and Rice YFC Erika Effer also attended the conference and the four superstars took the chance to catch up, which is fabulous to see. Well done team!
University of New England YFC Becca George was invited to guest speak at the Zonta Club of Armidale’s October meeting. “I spoke on my personal experiences with drought as well as at the UNICEF Youth Drought Summit earlier in October,” Becca says. “With Armidale on Level 5 water restrictions & the smaller surrounding towns nearing ‘Day 0’ there were questions from the members about what was discussed at the summit regarding water. Thank you Zonta Club of Armidale!”
Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association (ARCBA) scholarship winners and UNE YFC Becca George and Ruby Canning attended the Young Breed Leaders Workshop.
YFC Becca George and her sister and YFC alumni Dee George are showcased in this month’s NSW Farmers magazine ‘The Farmer.’ Their family has been farming Central West NSW since 1912 and you can read the full story here: Nevertire Women Lead The Way on Family Farm
In an extra busy week for Becca, she also attended the Australian Women in Agriculture (AWiA) national conference in Ballina, NSW. “I recently received one of the student scholarships to attend the 2019 AWiA Conference, awarded by the committee,” Becca says. “The theme of this years conference was ‘Review, Renew, Regenerate’. The sessions included topics on culture in agribusiness, current and emerging risks in the industry, regenerative agriculture, as well as the importance of self care and maintaining physical and mental health. Thank you to the Australian Women in Agriculture Committee for giving me the opportunity to attend this event & network with likeminded women.”
YFC and grain farmer Marlee Langfield and her fiancé Andrew are the new face of “Tang Laysy Import Export Co., Ltd.” Ad for canola oil which has hit the streets of Cambodia!
Marlee’s face also made the cover of the National Farmers Federation (NFF) 2030 Roadmap, which included the national drought policy. You’re changing the face of Aus Ag in the best possible way Marlee!
NFF 2030 Leader and Friend of the YFC Matt Champness was spotted over on the Crawford Fund website. Read this update on his time as part of the Crawford Fund’s Laos-Australia agricultural mentoring program.
As a past Youth Ag Summit delegate, Aimee shared her story on how the Youth Ag Summit helped her journey to becoming Little Brick Pastoral. This year’s delegates will be challenged to create their own project, so Aimee spoke about her love of photography, farming, and improving youth education, and why and how she ventured into photographing LEGO.
It was at the Youth Ag Summit Aimee realised the consumers of 2050 are the youth of today, and therefore sharing knowledge of how food and fibre is produced should start with them – and what better way than LEGO. Well done Aimee!
Friend of the YFC Guy Coleman is an Australian delegate to the 2019 Youth Ag Summit. Good luck Guy!
This week alone our YFC have been acknowledged by the community in some tremendous ways and we couldn’t be more proud!
Climate YFC and InStyle Farmer for Change, Klorane Changemaker and 2019 Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence (AFR WOI) Aumna Anika Molesworth, attended the AFR WOI dinner celebrating the 2019 nominees with Picture You in Agriculture founder Lynne Strong.
Rice YFC Erika Heffer won the 2019 Austcover Young Landcare Leadership Award.
Well done Jasmine Whitten on your outstanding presentation at 2019 NSW Landcare and LLS Conference!
Mega Congratulations to YFC Emma Ayliffe, Lucy Collingridge, Dione Howard and Bessie Thomas who have all been named on the NSW Department of Primary Industries Hidden Treasures Honour Roll 2019. The Hidden Treasures Honour Roll celebrates women volunteers who give so much to their rural communities. We couldn’t agree more that these women are absolute treasures!
And just between us and the fence post, there are a few more exciting awards in the pipeline for our YFC over the next few weeks. We can’t wait to share the news with you. Watch this space!
We are on count down to our 2019 Archibull Prize Awards and it’s time to head over to the Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page to keep up with the action! We’ve asked this year’s YFC to share their favourite blogs from the schools participating in this year’s competition. There’s lots to read and get excited about ahead of awards day onNovember 19th. Check it out!
AND…. Time is running out to vote for the 2019 Archibull Prize People’s Choice Award! It only takes a few minutes to look through he amazing artwork entries this year and pick your favourite. We’ve already counted more than 32,000 votes. Yes, that’s THIRTY TWO THOUSAND votes. Can we beat our all time record of 60,000? Vote now and don’t forget to share the link with your friends!
Join the fabulous Costa Georgiadis our guest of honour at the awards ( immortlaised in Lego by Lego Farmer Aimee Snowden) in celebrating our incredible 2019 Archibull Pirze finalist schools