Young Farming Champions Muster August 2020

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Covid continues to affect how we live and work and our thoughts this month are especially with our Victorian Young Farming Champions once again in lockdown. Yet even under these conditions they continue to shine.

Covid has challenged us to re-think the delivery of The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas and in this we took a proactive approach by developing a new model earlier in the year; and how to incorporate our YFC, whose travel restrictions change on a daily basis, was also an area in which we had to adapt.

Picture You in Agriculture is an organisation driven by agile and determined youth and we have been able to use virtual classroom options to expose young people to the diversity of careers in agriculture using our Paddock Pen Pals model. Carlingford West Public School in western Sydney recently participated in a Paddock Pen Pals session where six YFC – Lucy Collingridge, Chloe Dutschke, Danila Marini, Katherine Bain, Samantha Wan and Dione Howard – were thrilled to torpedo the stereotypical expectations of what a farmer looked like. It was a brilliant opportunity to show young people who they can be.

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And remember we said Victoria was in lockdown? Well the organisers of PPP thought it might be a good idea to give Melbourne-based wool-broker Sam Wan a rest from school participation. Sam got wind of this and was straight on the phone wanting passionately to be involved.

“I grew up only half an hour from Carlingford West – these students were me – and I had no idea about wool at their age.

I was excited to talk to the next generation of wool consumers about the benefits of wool and wool’s importance in Australia and of the career opportunities available.” Seems you can’t keep a good YFC down!” Sam says

In The Field

In the field our cropping YFCs are revelling in a good season and are in awe of the difference twelve months and a bit of rain can make!

Down at Lake Cargelligo, as she scans her now lush paddocks, agronomist Emma Ayliffe believes she has the best job in the world coming into spring. Emma has also been out-standing in her field (pun intended), talking to ABC Radio about Yacker. She had a yarn with Kia Handley about Covid and how Yacker is getting people talking again.

The canola crops around Cowra in Central West NSW are coming along a treat. Frequent in-crop rainfall and slightly warmer temperatures are bringing in brilliant yellow flowers across Marlee Langfield’s paddocks. “We have been blessed with substantial rain throughout the season, which is saturating our soils and causing our machinery to bog, so we called in the local ag pilot for our recent fungicide spray to get the job done,” Marlee said.

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In other Cowra-based news YFC and meat scientist Dr Stephanie Fowler has taken on more responsibility in her role with NSW DPI’s Centre for Sheep and Red Meat Innovation. With the retirement of her “great supervisor, mentor and boss” Dr David Hopkins, Steph will continue his work in collaboration with colleague Dr Benjamin Holman.

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Shoutout to Cowra Guardian for the photo

Calum Watt continues with his research to breed better barley for our beer and recently published his latest findings. Read all about “Harnessing Transcription Factors as Potential Tools to Enhance Grain Size Under Stressful Abiotic Conditions in Cereal Crops” here. We love your work Calum!

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Out of the Field

Out of the field and into the wider world and it has been podcast central for our YFCs this month as they share their stories across multiple platforms.

The successful YFC conversation series Leadership is Language has continued with YFC filling both the interviewer and interviewee roles.

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Hannah Hawker opened the current round of proceedings when she sat down with ARLF’s Graham Smith on July 23, Dr Anika Molesworth spoke with Francesca Earp and got insights into international agriculture on July 30, Dione Howard interviewed Coaching for Leaders podcast creator Dave Stachowiak on August 6 and Mandy McKeesick (writer and keeper of the YFC stories) stepped up to talk to Emma Ayliffe about her new app Yacker on August 13.

Following on from the launch of the Farms Advice podcasts, which last month featured Martin Murray and Emma Ayliffe, woolly YFC Emma Turner joined the party during August to speak about her life as an independent wool broker with the Australian Wool Network. Check out the full conversation here.

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Dr Jo Newton also joined the podcast party when she was interviewed by Mark Ferguson from neXtgen Agri. Mark generally focusses on the sheep and beef industries in Australia and New Zealand but spoke with Jo to get her take on the dairy industry and its contrasts to his usual world. Listen to the Head Shepherd podcast “From the City to the Cows” here.

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Never one to be left behind Martin Murray has joined the podcast party by creating his very own! Agronomist Martin takes a weekly look at agriculture and farming in Australia and around the world, covering a range of topics including soil health, ag tech, farm innovation, weed management, herbicide usage, livestock management, profitability and sustainability. Join Martin’s party here.

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Genetics and feedlot overseer Chloe Dutschke shared her thoughts on farm safety and mental health during a conversation with Alex Thomas and #Plantaseedforsafety. Through this project Alex is empowering women to take a lead role in farm safety: “that’s why I created the #PlantASeedForSafety Project. It’s about celebrating rural women and amplifying industry-driven, practical solutions that inspire rural men to save a life, by listening to their wife. Silence and safety paperwork doesn’t save lives, but rural women who are prepared to #PlantASeedForSafety – do.” Congratulations Chloe for sharing your stories.

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In other news several friends of the YFC – Matt Champness, Nicole McDonald, Franny Earp and Aimee Snowden – have been involved in putting together the AgriEducate 2020 Essay Competition. Tertiary students can contribute to overcoming issues in food production and agriculture here in Australia and globally by entering the essay competition in one of four categories: Science (e.g. agriculture, medicine, life sciences, nutrition),Engineering/IT/Maths, Law/Arts/Social Sciences/Extension/Education and Economics/Commerce/Business.

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Prime Cuts

Hot on the heels of being named a doctor after the acceptance of her PhD, Anika Molesworth is penning her first book! “A few months ago, I signed a contract with one of the big international publishing houses and now I have two months left to submit my manuscript! Over the past few weeks I’ve been listening to the stories of amazing people around the world on how climate change is impacting their region, what it means for food security, and how we can fix a broken food system in a climate challenged world. From farmers, scientists, nutritionists, chefs and more, the book will explore how everyone can help tackle climate change through the meal on their plate.”

Anika has made a short video on her book-writing experience – watch it hereand when she is looking for a break you can find her chatting to 2GB’S National Rural News about National Science Week. The girl really is everywhere!

 

Lifetime Achievements

Congratulations to YFC Tom Tourle and his wife Courtney who welcomed a baby girl to the world on July 7. Cute-as-a-button Quinn Emily Tourle arrived at 9.30pm weighing 3.36kg and stretching out to 50cm long.

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Congratulations also to Deanna Johnstone who has moved into home ownership with the purchase of this sweet little house in Henty. “Project-time,” she says!

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Students from Carlingford West Public School find out what a farmer in the 21st century looks like

In 2019 when Zoe Stephens, science teacher at Carlingford West Public School, realised she had to teach her students about wool and sustainable fibres, she knew she needed to find an expert who could share real life experiences. So she trawled the internet looking for real-life farmers who may want to connect with her students. After plenty of maybes and half promises she came across Lynne Strong from Picture You in Agriculture and the Young Farming Champions, and Paddock Pen Pals was born.

Paddock Pen Pals beams Young Farming Champions from the paddock directly into classrooms using zoom, and this year six farmers joined the conversation at Carlingford West: Lucy Collingridge, Samantha Wan, Dione Howard, Katherine Bain, Danila Marini and Chloe Dutschke.

“Before we started I sat down with the Year 6 cohort [over 180 students] and asked them what they thought of when they pictured a farmer. You can imagine the comments – someone out in a field sucking on a bit of straw, big hat on and always a male. So then I said ‘next week you’ll actually get to chat with some farmers and they’re all young women’ and their mouths just hung open. It was amazing to have six young women to talk with us, particularly incredible because we are really breaking that stereotype of who is a farmer.”  Zoe says.

With 82% of careers in agriculture supporting farmers to produce food and fibre the stereotype is certainly changing.

All Young Farming Champions work in different parts of the wool industry: Chloe is a contract musterer, Lucy a biosecurity officer, Dione a veterinarian, Katherine a business analyst, Sam a wool broker and Danila a researcher, and all were paired with a separate Year 6 class for a half hour presentation.

“All our farmers had something different to offer and this broadened the students’ understanding of the industry beyond sheep growing wool. Our big question was how are our farming industries implementing sustainable practices and having a dedicated Young Farming Champion for each class meant the students got a very one-on-one conversation with these farmers and I think that gave them more connection with who they were talking with.” Zoe says

Big Question

“The kids were great,” Lucy says. “They had so many exciting questions and we had a great discussion about the sustainability of the wool industry with the kids who all knew about renewable resources and the unsustainable process to make man-made fibres.”

Sam showed the students a range of woollen products.

PPP Sam Refelction

Dione spoke about animal health

PPP Dione Student refelction

Danila described her research into virtual fences

Danila 2

Danila 1

There were lots of questions for Danila

Chloe amazed them with the size of her property (“She had 18,000 sheep,” was one student’s comment. “I thought there would be only around 20 and they would be kept in a big red barn with a little fence!”)

Katherine Bain 1

Katherine “introduced them to my sheepdog Zip and got to show them a video of sheep being moved in the yards which caused a lot of excitement!”

“One of my favourite quotes from the students, which I heard over and over again, was ‘she answered my questions. Afterwards I asked them to reflect and write down what they had learnt and I love the fact not one of them were the same. Everyone has taken away their own understanding from their own perspective.”  Zoe says. 

The students have now created a wool wall in their classroom

Wool Wall

The students will use their new-found perspectives as they create a project around waterway sustainability, and have strengthened their connection with their Young Farming Champions by promising to share with them the final products. Paddock Pen Pals has been an exceptionally effective way of connecting with real-life farmers and diving deep into the Australian wool industry. It will also hold the students in good stead as they tackle the 2020 Kreative Koala challenge.

For the Young Farming Champions, Paddock Pen Pals was another way to give back to the wool industry.

“I grew up only half an hour from Carlingford West – these students were me – and I had no idea about wool at their age,” Sam says. “I was excited to talk to the next generation of wool consumers about the benefits of wool and wool’s importance in Australia and of the career opportunities available. I even got a message from AWTA (the largest wool testing organisation) managing director, Michael Jackson, reminding me he went to Carlingford West, and then had a successful career in the wool industry!”

For Zoe, this was the second year she had participated in Paddock Pen Pals and although she feels she now has a strong understanding of the world of wool,

“there is no comparison between me standing up in front of the students and telling them what I know about wool to having an actual farmer, standing in a field, talk with them.”

For the students, they have had their queries answered by an expert and they now know what a farmer looks like.

 

 

Leadership is Language – Picking your fight “The ally fight” – who we are helping

Dave and Dione

Todays Leaderrship is Language offering sees Young Farming Champion Dione Howard interview global leadership guru Dave Stachowiak

Dave is the host and founder of the internationally acclaimed podcast Coaching for Leaders, which has been downloaded 15 million times. Here he sits down with Dione Howard to discuss how to build ally relationships between consumers and farmers.

Key Messages

  • Identify the big picture; the nobler motive
  • Find your allies – start from a place of looking to serve the other party and build mutually beneficial relationships. Use these relationships in your “ally fights”.
  • Find what’s important to a potential ally and where you may have common alignment. Be curious, ask questions, learn where an ally invests time and resources.
  • For leaders developing an ally relationship – get to know members of your own team and find out what’s important to them to bring them on the journey
  • When inevitable disagreements arise position the conversation in the context of the nobler motive.

“…..we can come back at look at ourselves and say, “Okay, now that we’ve figured out what’s important, or at least some indicators of what may be important, where do we have some common alignment?” That’s a great starting point then for that relationship.”

About Dave

Dave Stachowiak has led training programs for top organizations like the Northrop Grumman Corporation, the United States Air Force, the Boeing Company, and the University of California. He has served as Senior Vice President with Dale Carnegie of Southern Los Angeles and in 2011 launched Coaching for Leaders.

His credentials include a doctoral degree in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University, certificated facilitator with Dale Carnegie, and a Coach U graduate. He serves on the board of the Global Center for Women & Justice and co-hosts the Ending Human Trafficking podcast with Sandie Morgan.

Dave helps leaders discover practical wisdom, build meaningful relationships, and create movement for genuine results.

Connect with Dave:

LinkedIn

Twitter 

About Dione

Dione is a District Veterinarian with Riverina Local Land Services based in Wagga Wagga, NSW. She has been an active member of the Youth Voices Leadership Team(YVLT) since its inception in 2018; holding the position of Mentor Leader and Innovation Leader. 2020 has seen Dione step into the role of YVLT Vice Chair.

Dione’s seat on the YVLT Executive and the Picture You in Agriculture Board is enhanced by her completion of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Company Directors Course, which she undertook in conjunction with her role as Wool Producer’s Youth Ambassador in 2019.

Connect with Dione:

LinkedIn 

Twitter 

About Coaching for Leaders

Leaders aren’t born. They’re made. Coaching for Leaders has attracted 15 million downloads of conversations with bestselling authors, expert researchers, and everyday leaders — and is the #1 search result for coaching on Apple Podcasts.

 Want to know more?

www.coachingforleaders.com

Coaching for Leaders Episode 481: How Great Teams Find Purpose with David Burkus 

Coaching for Leaders Episode 192: How To Create Team Guidelines witb Susan Gerke

 

 

 

ONE YEAR ON … WHAT STUDENTS AT JAMES ERSKINE PUBLIC SCHOOL LEARNT FROM KREATIVE KOALAS

Prior to joining the Kreative Koalas program in 2019, students from western Sydney’s James Erskine Public School (JEPS) were already on a sustainability trajectory. They had been involved in Clean Up Australia Day and National Tree Day, had established a vegetable garden, a sensory garden and a bee garden, and recycled paper and cardboard weekly.

Then a giant white fibreglass koala landed on their doorstep and sent their environmental awareness into overdrive. They spoke with YFC Anika Molesworth about climate change and its effects on farmers, implemented composting and became part of the Return and Earn scheme by collecting recyclable containers.

“When we looked at what we could see and feel for ourselves – hotter days, longer drought, water restrictions, extreme weather, bags and bags of garbage headed to landfill, rubbish blowing across the playground, abandoned chicken coops and overgrown gardens… It was easy to see the changes that we needed to make. Our concept inspired the individual pictures on our koala and each day she grew. As we learned new things, we added them, it was a work in progress,” the students said in their Kreative Koalas artwork analysis.

But did JEPS maintain this enthusiasm once the project ended for the year?

“Kreative Koalas had a snowball effect on us. Since September last year we have continued the container recycling and returned over 7900 containers, earning the school $790. This has been used to purchase native bee hotels and a worm farm, and to sponsor a koala through World Wildlife Fund. This year we will also look at soft plastic recycling and possibly get chickens for the school.” teacher Taryn Pears says.

Their fibreglass koala, named Climb It, now holds pride of place in a purpose-built garden at the school.

“She’s surrounded by native plants and all the students are excited to see her on display,” Taryn says

And although Covid-19 has meant JEPS will not be taking part in the 2020 Kreative Koalas, the school continues to feed off the KK momentum.

“I was so glad we had the opportunity last year and we’ve had amazing feedback from the parents and the kids and even other schools who have called me up asking for advice. We have joined forces with Cassandra Lindsay [from Oxley Park Public School] and established a Kid’s Kitchen and Garden where the kids can grow edible plants and cook them. It has been wonderful to show the kids that small changes can make big differences.” ” Taryn says.

In 2020 the Kreative Koalas program, in conjunction with The Archibull Prize for secondary schools, has been adapted so it continues to reach students and teachers, even in a global pandemic! The importance of these programs is not lost on those in the wider community and extends to the political realm.

“I was so impressed with the student and school projects that were showcased at last year’s presentation. The children were outstanding in their delivery and the koalas, of course, are both an item of beauty and knowledge.” says Pauline Dunne Team Leader from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment says.

JEPS exemplifies the ethos of Picture You in Agriculture. Programs such as Kreative Koalas, and The Archibull Prize, are not one off events but rather paths to a sustainable future where our young people can be part of the solution and drivers of the change our world needs.

Taryn and the students from James Erskine Public School with Costa Georgiadis at the Kreative Koalas Awards

 

 

 

 

Vale Carmel Mills

 

On Friday, July 17, the world said goodbye to Carmel Mills, and the PYiA family is among those in mourning.

Carmel was the “other half” of Go Ahead Business Solutions, with whom PYiA has a long term relationship. Many of our Young Farming Champions and our teachers know her husband Greg as our social license expert and teacher professional learning facilitator.

We know that Carmel was a key part of his visionary work.

“Greg and Carmel faced their share of challenges. Carmel was the epitome of kindness and courage. Both Greg and Carmel lived for their children and the four of them exemplify the ultimate family partnership in always being there for each other.” says PYiA founder Lynne Strong

Young Farming Champions who studied at the University of New England found their mentors in Greg and Carmel.

“Once upon a time, this beautiful woman Carmel Mills came into my life. She touched my life in ways I could never have imagined and showed me what true compassion, strength, and courage looks like. Carmel will be forever missed by everyone she met.” Say Jasmine Whitten

Another Young Farming Champion, Samantha Wan, was also touched by Carmel and, earlier this year, connected the Mills with the Michael Manion Wool Foundation, who provided the family with a holiday to remember.

Throughout her illness Carmel was always available to others, whether that was sharing cancer research, connecting through support groups or sharing her personal story. For those who wish to now be available for Carmel’s family, donations can be made (through this fundraising page) in her memory to the Armidale Public Hospital Oncology Unit.

In time PYiA will establish a school-based award in Carmel’s name, an award to be developed and driven by her biggest supporters – Greg and their two daughters, Destiny and Annabelle.

Young Farming Champions Muster July 2020

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Our Young Farming Champions are known as innovators, and during isolation they have certainly lived up to this title! In June we launched the Leadership is Language series, where our team sit down (virtually) with some of Australia’s foremost thought leaders to discuss how leadership can be influenced by the language and communication styles we use.

​The first interview in our series was hosted by Lucy Collingridge, who chatted to social science researcher Dr Nicole McDonald, and Nicole followed up this debut with a workshop specifically for Young Farming Champions. Next in the series saw friends of the YFC Kirsty White from Bald Blair Angus Stud sit down with human agronomist Rebel Black. Then it was Emma Ayliffe’s turn to chat to agri-specialist Sally Murfet, who also hosted an interactive workshop for the team.

Keep an eye on the website for more interviews in the Leadership is Language series – you’ll never know who might pop up!

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In The Field

Here in Australia we may be shivering through winter but YFC Kirsty McCormack is enjoying a Canadian summer. Kirsty has been working for genetics company “Quantum Genetix” as their Technical Sales Manager since Dec 2019. She lives on the ranch where her partner works, right next door to the Rocky Mountains and while July usually means it’s time for the Calgary Stampede, coronavirus has cancelled it this year. Instead of riding rodeo Kirsty is taking the time to enjoy the beautiful Rockies. We recently asked Kirsty what she loves about the world of agriculture

The people!! … how passionate they are. How much innovation and pride they take in making it better! …. the connection to the land the way they manage the soils

Follow Kirsty on Instagram  to see and feel how she shares her love of what she does through beautiful words and magificent images.

CowNerd Girl

Also working in North America is Kylie Schuller who is the sales manager for Andrews Meat Industries in Atlanta, Georgia. Kylie was one of the earliest YFCs, graduating in 2013 and, even though she admits she wasn’t thrilled with agriculture growing up (she grew up on a feedlot), she now has plenty to say on how the industry has provided a world of opportunity for her. See what advice she has for new YFC here.

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And while we’re chatting about northern summers YFC Alana Black, who is now based in Scotland, works with the Rural Youth Project. This “research-based project aims to develop feasible strategies to facilitate the involvement of young people in agricultural and rural activity by better understanding their current situation, aspirations, opportunities and challenges.” One of Alana’s recent initiatives was to coordinate the Road Ahead seminar, which brought together six agriculturists from across the globe (including our very own Emma Ayliffe) to talk about farming and food-supply post Covid-19. “It was a chance to discuss the future of farming through our eyes and it was followed by the opportunity for journalists from around the world to hit us with their burning questions,” Emma says. If you didn’t manage to stay awake for the 11pm to 1am live broadcast on July 10, you can catch the replay here.

Back on Australian soil and two of our YFC – Emma Turner and Cassie Baile – have been busy providing wool reports for the Australian Wool Network. Watch their most recent video here. And also having a yack about agriculture have been Emma Ayliffe and Martin Murray who recently contributed podcasts to the newly formed Farms Advice website. Catch Emma’s podcast here and Martin’s here.

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Combining his interest for plants, agriculture and a newfound love for genetics, Young Farming Champion Calum Watt will be submitting his PhD thesis in September. Calum’s thesis looks at how  genetic research improved the productivity, sustainability and profitability of grain production by enabling plants to utilise their resources more efficiently and withstand seasonal stresses. Read the story in FarmOnline here 

Calum Watt

Out of the Field

We reported last month that Emma and Jo Newton would be featuring on Well-Being Wednesday; a free webinar hosted by Cynthia Mahoney and Louise Thomson discussing the wisdom and stories of rural woman. Well, now you can catch their videos!

Here is Emma and

Here is Jo.

In July we also caught up with YFC Dione Howard and her dad Graeme. The Howards have long been associated with NSW Farmers, with Dione’s great-grandfather being involved with early farming advocacy organisations in the 1950s and 60s. Check out the blog to see the cutest photo of Dione and her Dad, and learn why agricultural advocacy is important to them.

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The Howard Family a wonderful example of the culture of volunteering and advocacy in rural and regional OZ 

YFC Jasmine Whitten is a business analyst with Agripath in Tamworth and this month she spoke with evokeAg about how we are currently using farm data and the potential for where farm data can take us in the future. Discover what she had to say about farm data here.

Last year four of our YFC – Bessie Thomas, Lucy Collingridge, Dione Howard and Emma Ayliffe – were honoured in the annual NSW Department of Primary Industries Hidden Treasures list. This year Lucy is returning the love; taking part in a video to promote the 2020 Hidden Treasures about her extensive range of volunteering.

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And while she’s at it Lucy is also going dry in July. This is why: “I’m healthy, I’m happy, I’ve got it pretty easy in life. Some people don’t. We all know someone impacted by cancer, or we have lost someone from the dreaded disease. This July, I’m joining in on #DryJuly to help support cancer patients.” As we go to press Lucy has already raised over $1200 and the month is not over yet. Throw your support behind Lucy by donating here.

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Prime Cuts

In our Prime Cuts this month it’s a huge congratulations to YFC Melissa Henry and her Quebon Coloured Sheep. Melissa is passionate about supporting small-scale producers like herself and hand-crafters that want to grow their livestock enterprise and make the best use of their wool and lamb products. She regularly exhibits Quebon’s coloured wool and recently won Champion Lamb Fleece at the 23rd National Fleece Competition of the Black and Coloured Sheep Breeders Association (NSW) Inc. She also took out prizes for weaner and lamb fleece at the event held in Canberra. Find out more about Melissa’s coloured sheep by visiting the website.

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Lifetime Achievements

There is now a doctor in the (YFC) house. Congratulations to Anika Molesworth who had her PhD accepted during July – an amazing achievement and very well deserved. We’re all proud of you!

8.Anika

Photo credit Klorane Changemakers  

And on the subject of houses, congratulations to Jasmine Whitten who has put the sold sticker on a home in Tamworth

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and to Laura Phelps who has bought a flat in London. And suddenly they’re all grown up! Watch this space for a blog from Laura on what she is doing in the UK – its pretty exciting stuff

Callum and Laura

R.M.Williams Outback Magazine showing young people Who they Can Be in the world of agriculture.

R.M.Williams – the name is a siren call to regional, rural and remote Australia; the company is grounded in the outback; the man was a legend. Twenty-two years ago R.M.Williams OUTBACK magazine was launched with the aim of showcasing the positive stories of those beyond our city limits. OUTBACK has become a celebration of our people and places and is cherished not only by those living in the bush, but by Australians from all walks of life; a vital and living connection bridging the oft-called urban-rural divide.

The ethos of R.M.Williams OUTBACK mirrors that of Picture You in Agriculture. We identify brilliant young agriculturists, equip them with skills and confidence, and send them into the broader world to share their own positive stories. Through The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas these stories reach thousands of students and teachers, their families and their communities.

PYiA believes in the power of partnerships and of shouting-out to those who share our values so we are proud to announce some stories from R.M.Williams OUTBACK now appear on The Archibull Prize website, where teachers and students can easily access real-life examples of careers and sustainable communities.

One of these stories is about Bald Blair Angus, owned and operated by Sam and Kirsty White. If Kirsty’s name seems familiar it is because she has recently hosted one of our Youth Voices Leadership Team’s Leadership is Language sessions. You see, our stories are interconnected.

Best practice agriculture, role models in agriculture and the diversity and breadth of exciting careers in our sector are celebrated by both PYiA and Australia’s premier magazine, R.M.Williams OUTBACK. Telling stories has never felt so good.

Leadership is Language – meet rural women Rebel Black and Kirsty White

At Picture You in Agriculture we are big fans of project based learning and are putting it into action. We work with young people in agriculture and young people in schools supporting them to be partners in their learning through co-leading change with their peers, leaders, students  and teachers. We are supporting them to have the capacity to set goals, reflect and act responsibly to effect change. We are supporting them to take others on a journey that sees leadership is about:

  • acting rather than being acted upon;
  • shaping rather than being shaped; and
  • making responsible decisions and choices rather than accepting those determined by others.

We are piloting this model within our organisation through the Youth Voices Leadership team 

As an example of the creativity and leadership within the team the Youth Voices Leadership Team  sub commitee the Innovation Hub kick-started a new initiative in June with the launch of Leadership is Language

 

In the Leadership is Language webinar series our Young Farming Champions have the opportunity to host a webinar and interview some of the world’s foremost thought leaders on communicating how we can show leadership by the language and communication styles we use. 

Our guests challenge us to change the way we talk as leaders by learning the language of creativity, collaboration and commitment. They  illustrate the powerful intersection of communication and leadership and offer simple steps to transform your thinking, your influence and the lives in your span of care and how we can reinvent our leadership style to meet the evolving demands of the new marketplace.

We are not promising an easier, shorter path to leadership, but we are offering one that leaves everyone feeling capable and confident, empowered, and eager to dive back in the next day

The series opened with YFC Lucy Collingridge sitting down for a chat with Dr Nicole McDonald, a social science researcher using vocational psychology to investigate the future workforce requirements of the Australian cotton industry. Lucy and Nicole discussed the difference between “we need to talk” and “let’s talk”. If you missed out on the live show, you can view a recording here. Nicole followed her presentation with an online webinar for YFCs asking them to take a reflective look at their communication, through both their own lens and through the lens of their audience.

Nicole invited the interactive webinar participants to:

Next up in the series will be Kirsty White interviewing Rebel Black .

Rebel is a successful global business woman operating from her home at Lightning Ridge in Outback NSW. In 2015 she founded THE Rural Woman, an online community for rural woman around the world encouraging them to #thrive, #heal and #evolve. Rebel describes herself as a human agronomist and syntropic entrepreneur.

Kirsty lives and works on a family farm called Bald Blair on the Northern Tablelands of NSW with her husband Sam and two sons Abbott and Arthur. Together their vision is to build a happy and healthy family business, which includes running an angus stud, Kelly’s Cottage farm stay and farm tours.  Kirsty regularly participates in the Ladies in Livestock program run by the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services and is a lifetime member of THE Rural Woman. You can read more about Kirsty in this blog post from Lynne Strong.

During their discussion for Leadership is Language Kirsty and Rebel will share insights such as:

  • lifelong learning and leadership development and prioritising your personal growth
  • take every opportunity, even when it scares you
  • great leadership is not a position or authority, it is a mindset
  • your work matters and it has a ripple effect, so nurture and grow yourself as a matter of priority
  • ‘you don’t even have to climb, you just have to stop holding onto the bottom’ A. Hicks – you will lead if you learn how to be fully realised as you

and as a speical treat we are shaing Kirsty and Rebel’s interview with you

Excting times for our Young Farming Champions – what a wonderful opportunity to see and hear from thought leaders, coaches and mentors in our not-to-missed Leadership is Language series. and

Speaking of  inspirational people catch this episode of Wellbeing Wednesday with host Cynthia Mahoney and Louise Thomson and special guest our very own Dr  Jo Newton OAM.

Australian Agriculture beams live into New York City

Through The Archibull Prize we shine a spotlight on the wondrous range of careers available within Australia agriculture. We do this by pairing schools with Young Farming Champions, facilitating career competitions which teach young people how to hone their employability skills and wirte a resume that helps them stand out from the crowd

We also identify others doing great stuff highlighting the diversity of careers in agriculture and the diversity of people chosing those careers.

One of these partners is the Visible Farmer Project, a series of short-films telling the stories of women working in agriculture and promoting the fact that 49% of all food in Australia is produced by women. So successful has this project been that yesterday it was selected to feature at World Webfest Mania, an innovative film festival right in the heart of New York City!

Gisela and Carsten

Gisela Kaufmann and Carsten Orlt the dynamic duo behind Visible Farmer 

Check out this Facebook feed to find out more about the live streaming event and the Q&A session.

Our extensive monitoring and evaluation programs tell us it is absolutely pivotal for agriculture to show people who they can be.

We know that when young people first consider the idea of a career in agriculture their thoughts run to farmers, shearers and old blokes with dogs but after participating in The Archibull Prize, where they learn from our partners such as Visible Farmer, they expand this vision to include scientists, agronomists, biosecurity officers and veterinarians.  In fact they learn that in agriculture is the place they want to be.

Careers In Agriculture

We are proud to showcase Visible Farmer on the Archie website and in doing so, beleive the message reaches even more young minds in rural and urban Australia.

 

Kylie Schuller – the journey so far which includes a move to America in March 2020!!!!

Kylie Schuller Photo Source RAS of NSW

March 2020. Coronavirus is reaching its tentacles around the world, spreading fear and causing unrest and uncertainty. Does this sound like the time to take on a new role in North America? Heck, yeah! Give Kylie Schuller a challenge and sit back and watch her meet it.

Kylie Schuller is one of our earliest Young Farming Champions, having joined the program seven years ago in 2013.

“The Young Farming Champions program taught me so much about how to communicate and get your messaging right, skills which apply every day in my job,” she says.

With her recent move to Atlanta, Georgia, USA we thought it was an ideal time to catch up with her journey so far and find out what advice she can give to current YFC and the new cohort embarking on the Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program.

Kylie grew up on a beef feedlot in rural NSW and her family established a Shorthorn stud in 2001 but she is the first to admit she was not enamoured with agriculture growing up.

“I won’t lie to you, when I was younger living on the farm wasn’t something I was proud of or even enjoyed,” she says. “There was lots of hard work to be done and it seemed to always need to be done when it was 40°C or bucketing down raining. I wish that I could tell you that there was a moment that changed my life, that made me realise how important beef production and agriculture is to our society, but there wasn’t! Somewhere between being obsessed with “Home and Away” in year 7 and travelling across America looking at cows on my “gap” year I found a passion for beef production, second to none!”

Kylie completed a Bachelor of Livestock Science at UNE in 2011 and soon after took a role with domestic foodservice supplier Andrews Meat Industries. Her role was initially involved with administration and support and over the years has grown as the company, too, has grown and expanded. She has been exposed to all aspects of premium beef brand supply chain management and in March accepted a new position with Andrews Meat Industries as their North American Sales Manager. Her role entails introducing high quality Australian Wagyu beef to distributors, chefs and restaurants.


Jacinta Geddes and Kylie Schuller (right) celebrate Andrew Meats winning the Dick Stone Perpetual Trophy in 2014. Photo source . Listen to Kylie on the Country Hour  here 

In today’s world young people may move through many different organisations in the quest for the perfect job but Kylie has remained loyal to the one company and is now seeing a myriad of benefits from this association. What are her key messages?

  • Invest in Lifelong Learning: “I find that the more I learn, the more I have to learn. I think this is important to consider in every aspect of life, but particularly when it comes to profession. You will always benefit from a new perspective.”
  • Give Back: “If there are organisations and opportunities from who you have benefited then a great way to support them is by giving back. I am very grateful for many of the opportunities I have been given over the years and aim to support those organisations with my time and energy wherever possible to ensure that the next generation gets the same opportunities.”
  • Be Customer Focussed: “For me relationships are everything. I find that the best way to achieve anything is through long term engagement and genuinely caring about the different stakeholders of your operation. In sales it’s really important to build that connection, but I think it is just as important to have those relationships across the entire supply chain so we are all engaged and working for the common goal.”
  • Value Networks: “The world becomes a much smaller place when we connect with people. Whether that be in person or online, I think, especially now, people want genuine connection and building up our networks and how we engage with them is a big benefit to us all.”
  • Loyalty: “Some people are so eager to climb the ladder, get the next achievement or accomplishment that they end up jumping around between positions and never really dig into a role. I think if you find a company that fits your mission and values, then you should stick it out, because yes opportunities take time to develop, but there is a lot to be learned in the process.”

Kylie recently shared these key messages and learnings with the UNE Agriculture Industry Connect podcast series, and spoke about the challenges of being in America one week before lockdown.

Her role with Andrews Meat also involves the screening of applicants for some roles and she looks for people with multiple interests and dedication to the agricultural industry, whether that be by attending conferences, listening to webinars or participating in programs such as Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders.

“There is so much information available that there is no excuse not to be engaging with industry and we want someone who goes beyond clocking in and clocking out.”

With that in mind what advice would Kylie give to our new cohort of Young Farming Champions?

“Be open minded – taking in the experiences and perspective of the people around you is so valuable and an incredible opportunity,” she says. “And use it – actually get out there and do the work. It’s all well and good to talk about something in the room, but it is getting out and doing the work of connecting with people about their food and fibre that is the most rewarding.”