Celebrating Partnerships with Jane Lloyd-Jones from Hunter Local Land Services

At Picture You in Agriculture we identify emerging leaders in the agriculture sector who want to share their story and pride in the sector they have chosen for their career journey far and wide.

We provide them access to a cohort of experts who give them  communication and presentation skills training and consumer insights

The key to all training success is applying what you learn.  What a powerful experience it is for them to facilitate our  inschool programs The  Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas that have collectively reached 400 schools and 300,000 students in the last 10 years.

This innovative and impactful program model also surrounds them and the teachers and students with intergenerational community expertise

During the last few years (and continuing during 2020’s challenging times) the Kreative Koalas program has been blessed to work with organisations who support each other and the people we work with to be part of life changing opportunities for their communities. An organisation that shares this ethos is Hunter Local Land Services and driving our partnerhsip with them and the Kreative Koalas schools is school engagement officer Jane Lloyd-Jones. Jane has made many visits to schools, coordinated excursions and starred in videos and today we sit down to discover how Jane came into this role.

Jane Lloyd Jones with students at Kreative Koalas Awards

“My appreciation for the environment started at a young age when I spent many weekends going for walks through the local bushland with my family. This love for the environment led me to complete a Bachelor of Science majoring in Resource and Environmental Management at Macquarie University.”  Jane says.

Upon graduating Jane went to work with Sydney Water where she was involved with the preparation of Reviews of Environmental Factors and Environmental Impact Statements. It was also where she got her first taste for working with schools when she developed presentations for young students about saving water.

“This was really my favourite part of my role, as I was out in the community interacting with school students and I really felt like I was making a difference,” she says.

With a fire for working with young people and the community lit, Jane moved onto Gosford Council. In this role she was responsible for the writing and implementation of the Stormwater Quality Management Plan.

“Implementation of this plan included many very successful community education and engagement programs, including starting up the Waterwatch program in the Gosford area,” she says.

Jane continued to build and consolidate her experience in community engagement when she worked as Coastcare Facilitator for the Mid North Region, assisting local groups to gain grant funding for coastal environmental rehabilitation projects. Then is was time to start a family.

At PYiA we realise and value the importance of finding a work-life balance. It is not all about career but being able to be flexible in our professional lives. As YFC Bessie Thomas once told us: “I can have it all but I might not be able to have it all at the same time!” So, Jane took a break to raise her children and when the time was right she returned to the career pathway she had cultivated.

“I decided to return to work and I started the part time role of Waterwatch assistant at the Hunter Central Rivers CMA,” she says. “This role has developed and broadened over the years, particularly when the CMA became LLS and our business outcomes broadened.

As school engagement officer, I really enjoy interacting with and helping school students to learn in a fun, engaging way.  I enjoy the close working relationship I have with a number of our partners, including local and state government, Landcare and not for profit organisations such as Picture You in Agriculture.”

In 2019 Jane and Hunter Local Land Services worked closely with Medowie Christian School in Kreative Koalas to develop a project around clean water and sanitation. This led the school to being named Grand Champion Community Project for Change. Catch a video of Jane and Medowie teacher Martha Atkins here.

It is partnerships like this that make PYiA’s in-school programs so successful and ensures that vital community good messages are shared far and wide

We  look forward to many more years working with Jane and Hunter Local Land Services to build resilient communities in productive and healthy landscapes..

 

 

 

Keeping it in the (NSW Farmers) Family – Turning up can take you a lot of places

The Howard family carrying on a proud advocacy tradition 

Here at Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) we believe in fostering partnerships with others who share our values to promote Australian Agriculture. Many of our Young Farming Champions alumniare proud advocates who readily volunteer to amplify the voices of these organisations.  A perfect example is NSW Farmers which in it’s various incarnations has supported the agricultural industry in NSW since the 1800s, advocating for rural industries and country people in times of both peace and war.

Dione Howard is a veterinarian with Local Land Services in Wagga Wagga and has been a Young Farming Champion since 2015. She is particularly interested in agricultural policy development and was the inaugural WoolProducers Youth Ambassador, which saw her attend WoolProducers board meetings.

“I had very little experience with policy prior to the Youth Ambassador role. 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.” say Dione

Dione is now a graduation of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, is on the PYiA board and is the Vice-Chair for the Youth Voices Leadership Team. She is also  Secretary/Treasurer for her local NSW Farmer’s branch, following in the footsteps of her father Graeme who was a branch and district chairman for 15 years from the late 1980s.

Graham Howard and Dione share a love of sheep and advocacy 

“My family has always shown me what being part of a community is about, whether it is volunteering for local sporting clubs, P&C committees or being a member of the local show society.  When we’d take Dad to the plane to head to Sydney for the NSW Farmers annual conference I had an understanding, even from an early age, that he was off to help make decisions that were for the benefit of farmers. We’d stand there at the airport in our flannelette pyjamas and dressing gowns in the middle of July waving him off to the big smoke. It takes a lot to leave the family and the farm. It was a family ritual that left a last impression. ”

In his years with NSW Farmers Graeme was involved with the big issues of the day, namely water rights, native vegetation management and Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD).

“It’s important for farmers to have a voice and seat of power about the issues that affect them and they look to NSW Farmers to address these concerns. Being a part of NSW Farmers also allowed me to understand a range of issues beyond my own industry, to build networks and to see the key players in the agri-political arena in action.” Graham says

Graeme’s grandfather was involved with early farming advocacy organisations in the 1950s and 60s, which has instilled a legacy in Dione and her siblings.

“I’ve always told them the world is run by those who turn up, and to take advantage of any opportunity. Turning up can take you a lot of places.” says Graham

Dione sees her role with NSW Farmers as the next step in her own advocacy journey, being a voice for primary producers and the rural communities they live and work in.

“I felt that becoming a member of my local NSW Young Farmers branch is a way to give back to my local community. Rural and regional Australia has been hit with drought, bushfires and now COVID-19, and Eastern Riverina (where our Young Farmer branch extends) has unfortunately felt the force of each. In the ‘old’ days (aka pre COVID) the face to face branch meetings provided a forum for young motivated agriculturalists to catch up over a beverage and discuss issues they face. We might not be meeting face to face at the moment, but we are tackling the challenges of late head-on. This includes making the most of being ‘tech natives’, providing virtual support to agriculturalists in our region through online meetings – as well as making sure valued positions in our community (eg Farm Counsellors) are here to stay.”

We applaud the Howard family for their contribution to agricultural policy development and their commitment to NSW Farmers and we look forward to watching Dione’s career flourish as she follows her father’s advice to grab any opportunity.

 

Investing in young people has an extraordinary multiplier effect – Welcome to Yacker

As the founder of Picture You in Agriculture with a life long goal of seeing young people thrive in business and life this week has been highly rewarding.

Young people can find themselves in life threatening situations overnight. Having the strength, courage and confidence to move forward optimistically is more probable if they are surrounded by a tribe of people lifting them up.  Kudos to Dr Jo Newton OAM who has faced so much and given so much back in her short life.

Another Young Farming Champion dedicated to supporting people in rural and regional Australia to thrive is our YVLT Chair Emma Ayliffe who has an extraodinary capacity to identify and fill unmet needs for farmers everywhere. Today we are excited to share with you Emma’s latest offering. Join us in downloading YACKER  a new app created by Emma and her business partner Heath McWhirter to encourages conversations, not keyboard wars

The concept allows farmers to bypass the often impersonal world of social media and texting and connect to others in the sector via the good old fashioned telephone – at a time that suits them.

Developed by Emma and Heath from Summit Ag in Griffith, Yacker is an app that allows farmers to utilise their free time, ask questions and chat to those in the know.

“There’s nothing worse than calling people at inconvenient times and playing phone tag, or relying on texting, which doesn’t always suit farmers.

We know often one of our clients has knowledge that would benefit another, and we’ve developed Yacker to establish that connection. With Yacker you can communicate over the phone to people that you know in your network or search the Yacker community for a topic of discussion and reach out to someone new.”
Joining Yacker is as simple as downloading the free app onto either an iPhone or Android phone, setting up a profile, asking a question and setting your status as “Free for a Yack.” Time spent in the tractor or on the road can now be spent catching up and connecting with your agricultural community, getting answers to your questions or even organising a farm tour as part of your next holiday.
Yacker is all about identifying when people have free time for a chat, It uses visual cues such as online functionality to indicate when people have time for a meaningful conversation, a flagging function that allows you to be notified when people come online, and a discussion point you can use to generate conversation with other users you may not know so well or ask a question of your wider community.” says Emma and Heath


Yacker was released on June 8 and is attracting a growing number of subscribers including Scott Leslie, a grazier and farmer from “Gulthul Station” at Euston NSW. “Yacker allows me to connect with people when I know they are free to talk. I’m often driving long distances and it’s good to be able to talk with others doing the same,” he says. “Yacker has also helped me connect with another grower in Carrathool and discuss my question of how to bury barely and store it in the ground for tight seasons.”

Download Yacker today for free and start creating conversations.

The Picture You in Agriculture team want to thank Yacker’s supporting partners for investing in capacity building for people in rural and regional Australia.

Contact: Summit Ag

Emma Ayliffe M: 0458 307 347  E: emma.ayliffe@summitag.com.au

Heath McWhirter M: 0428 386 393 E: heath.mcwhirter@summitag.com.au

Yacker website

 

Proud to be shining the light on Heywire ensuring talented young people have equal opportunity

Picture You in Agriculture’s (PYiA) mission is to put young people in agriculture at the centre of the learning and doing experience and provide genuines opportunities for their voices to be heard and cinsidered. We support others who share our values to to achieve our joint goals. In November 2019 school students from Lake Cargelligo Central School and Wee Waa High School travelled to Sydney as part of The Archibull Prize. Along with attending the awards ceremony and visiting Western Sydney University, the students joined Young Farming Champions (YFC) in a Heywire workshop.

Like our YFC program ABC’s Heywire is a conduit for young people in rural and remote Australia to share and promote their stories and, for the second year running, YFC Meg Rice represented us at the Heywire Gala Dinner.

Heywire puts young Australians at the centre of the conversations that shape their communities and the ABC has been running the program, in partnership with the Australian Government, since 1998.

“The annual Heywire cycle begins with a storytelling competition – open to people aged 16-22, living in regional or rural Australia. Heywire encourages young people to tell stories about their life outside the major cities in text, photo, video or audio format and every ABC regional station selects a winning Heywire Competition entry to represent their part of Australia. The young winners work with ABC staff to produce their story to be featured on ABC Radio and abc.net.au. Heywire stories are renowned for their honesty and for giving us a window on the lives of young people in regional Australia.” says Meg

Regional competition winners attend the Heywire Summit in Canberra where they undertake leadership workshops and meet with members of parliament, government departments and community leaders. The ‘Heywirers’ work together in teams to develop ideas aimed at improving the lives of young people in regional Australia and present their ideas to a panel at Parliament House. The Summit culminates in the Gala Dinner.

“Attending the dinner is a wonderful opportunity to learn about what young people are passionate about, their trials and triumphs and what has made them into the inspiring young leaders they are today,” Meg says.

ABC Chair Ita Buttrose spoke at the Gala Dinner

ABC Heywire at Parliament House, Canberra on 9/12/13th February 2020. PHOTO: MARK GRAHAM

“Stories have been told in Australia from time immemorial. From the Dreamtime to today, they reflect and shape our culture and identity, they allow us to survive and prosper, they bind our communities together, they attempt to explain the world around us, they express our pain and our joy…Thank you Heywirers for sharing the stories of your life in regional and rural Australia. What we have seen and heard tonight and read and watched on the Heywire site are moving, inspiring, informative stories told from the heart.”

“Ita also spoke about people from the bush being renowned for being stoic and just getting on with the job but how in noisy times like these you sometimes have to grab the microphone when you see the opportunity,” Meg says.

“I think this highlights the synergies between Heywire and YFC. It demonstrates the power of story-telling and the importance of rural and regional Australia.” Meg Rice

37 Heywire winners were chosen from across Australia, describing their worlds from anything to adjusting to a new country to the healing power of the bush. Two stories, in particular, touched Meg. Renae Kretschmer, from Wirrabara, SA described the grief and pain of losing her mother to a heart attack at age 60.

“Mum once asked me “what inspires you?” At the time I probably said some noncommittal comment, but really it was her. My strong, capable mother inspired me in all she did….It took losing Mum to make me realise how special family and a country community is. How they help pull you through your absolute darkest days.”

Tim Martin spoke proudly about being from a fourth generation farming family and the battles against a long drought:

“But I know that if we can stick together we can face any challenge thrown at us. Because as a family we are full of love and laughter — whether it be sharing a story around the dinner table and having a good laugh, or watching one of our favourite TV shows together. I want to follow in Dad’s footsteps and keep the farming legacy going in our family, because I love being the son of a farmer. Maybe one day I’ll be a farmer myself and I’ll keep the farm in the family for a fifth generation.”

ABC Heywire at Parliament House, Canberra on 9/12/13th February 2020. PHOTO: MARK GRAHAM

Tim Martin  and Renae Kretschmer 

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2020 ABC Heywire competition.

 

United Nations Leaders and Teen Stars Invite Young People to Reimagine the World. 

We are very excited to be supporting The World’s Largest Lesson to promote the World’s Largest Lesson Live,

Save the date: 16th June

Why are they holding this event and why young people should get involved?

The world is facing enormous challenges right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown so many of our lives up in the air while many people continue to experience overwhelming inequality and injustice.

That’s why we’ve partnered with UNICEF to produce World’s Largest Lesson Live,

This 35 minute educational show for teenagers features United Nations leaders including Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the UN. They are joined by teen stars Millie Bobby Brown and Sofia Carson as well as students from across the world. It premieres on YouTube at 11am EST/4pm UK/1AM AEST Sydney on the 16th June and will be available on demand afterwards (French and Spanish subtitles).

We’re asking young people everywhere to help reimagine our societies so they are more fair, just and inclusive for everyone.

Can you ask your students and their families to watch the show and spread the word throughout your networks?  Then use these supporting resources to get everyone talking about the questions it raises:

  • What do we all want education to be like?
  • How can we create a world where everyone is healthy?
  • How can young people help shape what happens next?

Sign up here to be sent a reminder and look out for our social media campaign launching on Wednesday 10th June.

Young Farming Champion Dr Jo Newton awarded OAM in Queens Birthday Honours

At Picture You in Agriculture our greatest joy comes from watching others grow and develop. We are particularly proud of our Young Farming Champions; the dedication they show to agriculture, their willingness to share their stories and inspire the next generation, the heights they have achieved in their fledgling careers and the committment they show to ensuring other young people have the same opportunities to grow and learn and pay it forward

Today we are thrilled to share the news that Dr Jo Newton has been awarded one of the country’s top acknowledgments – a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her contribution to agriculture through her advocacy and support of young people, volunteering and contribution to dairy science.

The Order of Australia recognises Australians who have demonstrated outstanding service or exceptional achievement and the OAM is awarded for service worthy of particular recognition.

The OAM comes on top of a raft of awards for Jo in recent years including being named on the 2018 Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence List, winning the Dairy Research Foundation’s Emerging Scientists Award in 2017, winning the Leadership category of the 2018 Victorian Young Achiever Awards and the Royal Agriculture Society of Victoria’s Emerging Leaders in Victorian Agriculture Award.

We invited Jo to blog how she felt to have achieved so much in such a short time and how it felt to know so many people where supporting her shine

This is what she had to say…….

From today I can add the letters OAM after my name if I wish.

A fair bit of time has been spent in a speechless daze trying to sort through my thoughts on this unexpected and overwhelming honour. It still feels surreal. When PYiA approached me for a story I thought it was the ideal place to share some thoughts I’ve collected in the last few weeks.

Two months ago an OAM was something I viewed as an acknowledgement for people with many decades more experience than I – but granted I knew little about the award.

As a female who’s just turned 31, I don’t resemble many past OAM awardees which has led to a few moments of imposter syndrome. However, letting self-doubt takeover would be a disservice to those who deemed me worthy of nomination and invested their time in writing applications and referee reports. With awards like this I think there is a certain element of right place/right time to being nominated – there are worthy people whose names are never put forward. I am indebted to those who put forth and supported my nomination. I feel truly overwhelmed, humbled and honoured, to be an OAM recipient.

To me, leadership is a journey of lifelong learning and I will continue to strive to be worthy of the honour I have been granted. I am incredibly grateful to the agricultural sector who has invested in me through providing access to professional and personal development opportunities. I will pay it forward through continued advocacy and support of young people.

Every interaction I have with the volunteer team at Picture You in Agriculture reinforces the breadth and depth of talent, skills, and capacity for innovation young people can bring to the table. I will use the platform afforded to me to shine a light on innovative young people whose stories and ideas deserve to be heard.

“Hidden Treasures” like Bessie, Dione and Lucy who give enormously to their communities – many since they were teenagers.

Young women like Emma and Marlee who balance running agricultural businesses with community leadership roles.

Inspiring women like Sam, Anika and Casey who are being recognised within and outside of agricultural circles for the contributions they are making.

I hope my recognition on this years Queen’s Birthday Honours List encourages organisational leaders to seriously consider the impact that young people are having and think about meaningful ways to give young people a voice within their organisations, boardrooms and conferences. Those seeking inspiration may like to look at AgriFutures Ignite Advisory Council.

Congratulations to all the recipients on the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honour List.

To the coaches, mentors, champions, colleagues, family and friends that have helped shaped me into the person I am today thank-you.

 

Congratulations Jo. We are honoured to call you one of us. A young person in agriculture who is proud of what they do, sharing the great stories of agriculture far and wide, grateful for the opportunities, the support networks and the doors that have been opened for them and paying it forward in bucketloads.

and paraphrasing the words of Charlene Li

There may have been times when the way forward was illuminated by what felt like a penlight in the dark night. There may have been times  when you doubted the course you had chosen. And there were times when it might have felt like the entire world was aligned against you. You used these setbacks as opportunities to learn. Your vision of the future will provide you with the solace, inspiration, and strength to continue.

Putting people first and building bridges together

At Picture You in Agriculture we love it when people ask us

“What are you most proud of?”

Our response

 We believe people are our greatest resource. We are proud to be a people centric organisation. We bring people doing great stuff together so they can do more great stuff together.

In our work with schools, we advise them to consider the following questions.

  • What does community mean to you?
  • What resources are there in your school community you could tap into?
  • What are you doing already?
  • What new partnerships could you build?
  • What can you do to build the capacity of your local community?

And our program evaluations are consistently showing the capcity building model is working

We are supporting teachers to empower their students to drive behavoiral change

“This project has been life changing for our school, families and staff! I am now a town coordinator for Kids4Kids! I have changed my recycling habits at home and have helped many staff and family members to do the same. When it’s explained to most people, they are happy to get on board. Kreative Koalas has been a good conversation starter to introduce people who might think it’s all too hard…it’s not! It’s been wonderful working with our local council and schools. It was just what we needed to get the ball rolling. We look forward to our 2020 projects!”

Teacher quotes:

“Knowing that it is possible for a community to change their habits through education we were able to engage our community hub (multicultural group of women) to implement ways of upcycling old clothing. Kreative Koalas also allowed us to value and take advantage of our community stakeholders who hold wonderful expertise .”

“Although we are very close to our other local schools, we don’t tend to associate with them. If we hadn’t participated in the Kreative Koalas project it probably wouldn’t have crossed our mind to include other members of our community. We are glad KK has opened our eyes to including others in our projects!”

 

Teacher comments indicate students were actively changing themselves, their families, and communities:

 

 

“Students were actively talking about the problem and their solutions at home. I had many parents express to me how engaged their children were at home about this project. “

Over 50% of the schools reported partnering with Aboriginal Land Councils resulting in comments like this

Just like our young Aboriginal Girl’s Group, this koala is a young female in an uncertain world. The Worimi girls are traditional custodians and they feel connected to their lands. Mother Earth has always provided for First Nation people a feeling of connection, a sense of belonging to the Earth, to all living things – the animals, the trees, the stars, one another.”

and this 

” Our students were talking about connection to country and development of their understanding as future custodians of Worimi lands. What this responsibility may look like and what they can do to shape the future in positive and caring ways…sustainable ways to ensure the success and care of future custodians like themselves and also of all creatures themselves and importantly, the land to which they inherently belong.”

and this

“Vacy is a country village in the Dungog Shire.  My class 3/4 along with the Aboriginal students from 5/6 looked at how our use of the land in Vacy has changed over time. What do farmers (our families) grow/raise here now? Why? What are we eating for morning tea?( lots of packet food!) Is this good for the land? What did the Wonorua people eat for food? How did they survive and thrive for millions of years sustainably? …..The black shadows [on our koala] are the spirits of the Wonorua people guiding us to live in harmony with the land as they once did”                                                                                                                     

It goes without saying young people are our legacy.

When we give them ownership of the problem, support their teachers with professional learning and surround them with community experts they believe anything is possible and they prove it is

Special shoutout to our funding partners for sharing our ethos of putting people first and investing in their growth and wellbeing

 

How young people in rural Australia are coping with COVID19

Young Farming Champion Chloe Dutschke is a contract musterer. 

Our Young Farming Champions are seizing COVID19 opportunities to learn how to transform in a hibernating economy and are finding innovative ways to  re-align our relationships to one another, and to nature.

Young Farming Champion Chloe Dutschke is a contract musterer.  COVID19 has meant she currently bunkered down on a 280,000 acre merino station with 10 staff all isolated together in the Western Riverina NSW.

Working on a sheep station means Chloe role is an essential service. This is her story of how she has been coping with COVID-19 in the bush.

…….

In mid-march, before the pandemic really hit, my partner Joe and I moved from the Flinders Ranges SA to the Western Riverina NSW.

Who knew that only weeks later we would be faced with an ever growing global pandemic and a list of restrictions limiting us from heading back to SA any time soon. On arrival to the station we hit the ground running heading straight into mustering for shearing the following week.

Shearing is one of the highlights of working on merino properties. As musterers we bring the sheep into the shed, and take them away again and I love watching the shearers work and seeing fleeces fly. But this year that novelty was lost. With the restrictions that industry put on shearing teams, and the restrictions we imposed on station staff for safety, we were unable to mix with the shearing team or even enter the shed to watch our ewes being shorn. It was a somber reality.

Other than industry restrictions we felt the same pressures every household has faced with the dreaded toilet paper and essential food war. We worried for weeks where we would source enough toilet paper for an extra 25 shearing staff let alone food for the cook to feed the hungry workers. Added pressures included the continual fall in the wool market and the constant fear of shearing being cancelled. Although the virus has made shearing difficult it did not make it impossible. We worked within our restrictions to produce 500 bales of wool with no major dramas and we even received a bonus 40mm of rain.

Of the 10 station staff, four of us are new to the Riverina. We don’t know anyone in town and were really looking forward to being a part of a new community. In most country towns the best way to meet people is joining a sporting team or club but the virus this has completely cut us off. Our station staff have all together to make the best of the situation. Like many people we have got the board games and cards out and are hosting games night, and even hosted a pub night where we made schnitzels and chips and pretended they were just as good as a pub parmy.

The virus and moving to a new state meant that I could not go back to SA for Easter. Usually I would travel to see my family and we would spend Easter Sunday together; instead, this year my family had a zoom hookup and I spent two hours talking to my family from SA, NSW, NT and VIC. At the station we tried to make Easter Sunday special. We found a beautiful wooden table saved from the old shearers quarters in a falling down shed and restored it for the occasion, we cooked a roast lunch and played hours of trivia. As the afternoon drew on, 10 of us sat in the sunshine and toasted the end of shearing and to a prosperous year ahead.

Like many station workers, distance from the closest town makes it hard to attend a dawn service for Anzac Day and with the restrictions it meant it was impossible anyway. To show our respects we decided to host our own dawn service. We resurrected and restored the old flagpole and made wreaths and poppies to lay at the bottom.

We paid tribute to the people who served from the station in years gone by and we also remembered the family members of station staff by reading their names at the service. We listened to the last post echo through the trees and the birds sing during the minutes silence.

Although the COVID-19 virus has had a profound negative effect for many, I am thankful for the end of a stressful shearing and for the moments I have shared with my new station family over Easter and Anzac Day. We have found positives in this ever-changing world, and for that I am grateful.

COVID19 has given us all a chance to reflect on what matter most. It’s been a wonderful reminder of  the importance of taking care of yourself and those around you – in your community, your family, your workplace.

Some wise tips for Coping with Covid from the experts

  1. Coping during Corononavirus
  2. This Way Up Online Tools 

This story first appeared on Australian Farmer here

Young Farming Champions Muster May 2020

Headline Act

This week is National Volunteer Week with the theme of “Changing Communities. Changing Lives” and  we’d like to give a huge shout-out and thank you to over one hundred Young Farming Champions who volunteer, in some capacity, 365 days a year.

Our YFC have exciting and rewarding careers in agriculture and on top of this give their time to anyone from the local fire brigade to state show societies, but most importantly they volunteer to inspire young people to follow them into agriculture. Even in a COVID world our YFC are integral parts of The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas creating a new world of collaboration, community and connection.

Read on for examples of our wonderful YFC in action.

 In The Field

The coronavirus crisis continues to dominate our lives but our Young Farming Champions have come up with novel ways to approximate ‘business as usual’.

Local Land Services Biodiversity Officer Lucy Collingridge has set-up a drive-through bait collection point for farmers wishing to participate in fox control. “Foxes don’t social distance, so we needed a program that worked for landholders,” Lucy says. Read all about her initiative in The Land.

Also innovating during the coronavirus is wool broker Sam Wan. With buyers unable to attend the usual weekly sales the industry has had to change to an online medium – and Sam was leading the change. Read more about the online wool auctions on Sheep Central.

Before the wool can get to Sam it needs to come off the sheep and YFC Tom Squires has spent the corona crisis shearing rams. On a property in central Tasmania Tom was a part of a 5-person crew, whipping the wool off 5,000 sheep. However, this time around there was a few additional rules and guidelines with every worker keeping 1.5 metres apart and following strong hygiene practices. “Essentially, the same rules which apply in Woolworths apply to the shearing sheds” Tom says. “It has certainly made some shearing times on farms longer than usual, but everyone’s health is a priority and we are grateful the industry can continue to operate”.

On a lighter note, home isolation has meant some of our YFC are returning to familial roots. Katherine Bain took the chance to continue Easter traditions despite isolation and made a year’s supply of quince paste for everyone!

Planting season has also been in full swing for our YFC croppers as they take advantage of good rain received earlier in the year and get out the big toys. Check out this blog post to see what Marlee Langfield, Emma Ayliffe and Dan Fox are planting, and check out Marlee’s superb images below.

Congratulations to Alana Black who is celebrating twelve months in Scotland working for Jane Craigie Marketing and Rural Youth Project, eating haggis and milking coos. Alana has a Bachelor of Communication – Public Relations from Charles Sturt University and in 2018 was announced as an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Trailblazer for her work on communication and succession planning in family farming businesses. Alana’s Scottish employers are so happy with her they made her an anniversary video. Way to go Alana!

Our YFCs are also working in research laboratories and offices and sharing their technical knowledge with the world. Check out this paper forming part of Calum Watt’s continuing ambition to breed better barley for your beer, this one from meat scientist Stephanie Fowler on fat content of the lamb chop to go with Calum’s beer, and this one from Jo Newton on big data in the dairy industry.

Sharna Holman has been sharing her cotton knowledge on social media – spamming Facebook and Twitter en masse. When confronted on why she has been filling our newsfeed with cotton spam here is what she had to defend her actions: “I think it’s important to showcase agriculture and often our day-to-day jobs and, in my case the trials I’m involved in, to different audiences to highlight the variety in agriculture and agricultural careers. For me, sharing my ‘work life’ on Facebook often allows my city friends to get an insight into what I mean when I say ‘I’ve been in the field’ especially being a born and bred Sydney-sider. Sharing on twitter allows cotton growers and agronomists to get an insight into our trial work, what we are doing and our results and it allows conversations to start with people that we may not have been able to reach traditionally due to distance or time. So sorry, not sorry, for all that spam….”

 Out of the Field

World Earth Day was held on April 22 and magazine Marie Clarie asked three scientists about their personal perspective on how these climate events are affecting the wild spaces where they live and work. One of these was our Young Farming Champion Anika Molesworth who is a farmer at Broken Hill. She inspired the heart and minds of many with a single quote, “I only have to look out the window of my home to see the impacts of climate change,” she says. “It breaks my heart to see the land suffering this way. However, with this sadness for what has already been lost, and the anger for the lack of action taken to address a problem we have been warned about for so long – comes hope.” Anika is continually creating a better future by being a part of the conversation. We are always wondering where we will see Anika feature next. Keep watching this space!

Not to be out done YFCs Tom Squires and Lucy Collingridge celebrated World Earth Day by sharing their love of nature and adventure on our social media channels. Lucy summed up perfectly why we should all celebrate World Earth day, “the earth is such a fragile yet beautiful wonder, and I am lucky to be alive at a time when you can jump in a plane, train, boat or car and see so much of what it has to offer. From watching whales breech only metres from our zodiac in the depths of Antarctica to kayaking next to glaciers that are thousands of years old. What an absolute privilege it is to be able to experience so many of nature’s wonders – not only when we travel abroad but also at home.”

And all of our YFCs are stars on the revamped Archibull Prize website. Tayla Field, Jasmine Whitten, Jessica Fearnley and Casey Onus talk sustainable communities, Lucy talks biosecurity and there are over 30 career profiles on the amazing lives of YFCs. Also on the website is the first project from the newly formed YVLT Innovation team, which showcases Anika and provides a structured way for the general public to engage with her. Read more on the Innovation team in this blog and keep an eye out for exciting developments in the near future.

Still on Anika and during lockdown she has taken the time to connect with farmers from around the world via Zoom. “I have organised or facilitated seven online events over the past few weeks – which has been such a fantastic and energising experience! We can learn a lot from our global farming family and we can be there to support one another during these challenging times.”

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Also innovating during lockdown is Dione Howard who has been judging agricultural essays. “The South Coast and Tablelands Youth in Ag Movement created an online show and fellow 2020 RAS Rural Achievers Ryan McParland and Kory Graham have invited the rest of our group to take part in the show as judges,” she says. “I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s entries and feeling inspired about the year ahead for shows and community events across Australia.” Make sure you join ‘Online Show 2020’ Facebook group for updates and results.

Usually during April Lucy would also be doing her bit for agricultural shows at Sydney Royal and even though she couldn’t be there in person this year, she gave her time for an interview with show ring announcer Lyndsey Douglas. Read the full interview here.

In more exciting out of the field news UNE students Ruby Fanning and Becca George have been selected as part of the Angus Youth Consultative Committee. The Committee provides consultation and representation on behalf of Angus Youth members, and will be a wonderful opportunity for them to explore their leadership potential. Read more on their selection here. Congratulations girls.

 

Lifetime Achievements

Our YVLT Chair Emma Ayliffe, continues to kick amazing goals and after six years of study has completed her Master of Science in Agriculture. This is alongside running her business Summit Ag, farming her own land with partner Craig and donating endless hours as a volunteer. Congratulations Emma – you are an inspiration to us all.

Emma also inspires us with her work/life balance and here she and Craig enjoy a beer and a sunset snap to celebrate two years of farm ownership. Let’s cross our fingers they get wetter years for the next two and keep the farming dream alive!

and the best news you can join the team

Thanks to Corteva Agriscience two scholarships are available to join our Growing Young Leaders program

You can find the EOI brochure here 

If you would like a Young Farming Champion to visit your school Expressions of Interest are also open for The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas

Find out how to get involved here

#YouthinAction #YouthVoices #YouthinAg #Agriculture #Farming #GlobalGoals

Its COVID19 cut through time – Inviting teachers and students to Connect, Collaborate, Communicate and Celebrate their creativity in these challenging times  

Exciting News

Do we have the perfect COVID19 cut through programs for you and your students?

It is time to combine learning with fun and post COVID career readiness

Expressions of interest are now open for The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas- Design a Bright Future Challenge investigating sustainability through an agricultural lens.

We know we are working in unusual times and our schools may feel like they are in chaos and teachers and students are feeling overwhelmed.

Our programs are an opportunity to engage students in an exciting, authentic learning experience supported by industry and educational experts.

Students will learn how to manage projects more efficiently and can take full ownership of their work, reflecting on and celebrating their progress and accomplishments. The model encourages students to find their voice and learn to take pride in their work, boosting their agency and purpose.

To bring some added Koala Karma to your lives our team has gathered all the bright minds in education together to create a portfolio of support materials for your learning journey

How does it work

The  Archibull Prize 2020 sees secondary schools tasked with identifying a local agricultural area of investigation and exploring its challenges and opportunities. The students will be assigned a Young Farming Champion and encouraged to identify specialist educational settings, tertiary, business, and government organisations with whom they can partner in their quest to take ownership of the challenge and share their findings and recommendations.

The Archibull Prize Expressions of Interest brochure can be found here

Secondary schools will also be encouraged to build a partnership with their feeder primary schools for Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future Challenge with the opportunity for the secondary school to offer student mentoring, facilitation and specialist support.

Kreative Koalas design a bright future challenge taps into creative minds to connect and inspire young people and the community to work together to act on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on a local level

Kreative Koalas expression of interest brochure can be found here

Based on the concept of ‘communities of practice’ these partnered learning opportunities between primary, secondary, specialist educational settings and tertiary institutions will enhance the transition of students through their education journey and provide post-school opportunities through other partnerships with industry and government.

The new model is tailored to support schools to encourage teacher and student collaboration using cross curricula learning.  In addition, it will incorporate the development of intergenerational knowledge and skills transfer while continuing to be an exemplary example of student-driven project-based learning.

Extra support will be available for students in rural and regional NSW through our new partnership with the STEM Industry School program

The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas provide young people with future focused learning linked to real world issues at both a society and agricultural industry level and fosters the top four skills 21st century employers want: collaborative team players, creative thinking, critical analysis and problem solving and influential communication.

Places are limited we currently have opportunities for 10 secondary schools and 20 partner primary schools to participate in 2020.

Visit our website to chose the progam that matches your school