Archibull Prize Entries are in and wow wow

The Archibull Prize 2011 entries are in and Art4Agriculture is very excited. After months of a process that involves planning, teamwork, learning about sustainability, agriculture and the local environment 21 schools in Western Sydney have finished their artwork.

“The Challenge” was to create an artwork that incorporated each school’s
allocated food or fibre industry (wool, cotton, beef, sheep, dairy and grains)
and why it is important to Sydney families and the community. The students through
their artworks were asked to explore and communicate stories about the
importance of a sustainable approach to feeding Sydney.

Each school was provided with a life size fibreglass cow or calf on which the
students created an artwork about their allocated food or fibre industry, the
farmers who produce it and how this food or fibre is being produced

The types of issues the schools were asked to reflect on include:

  1. The role of your commodity in feeding and clothing Sydney sustainably
  2. Understanding the challenges our farmers face to feed people sustainably in a world with a declining natural resource base
  3. The disconnect between consumers and farmers – how do we find common ground.
  4. Understanding the disconnect between the food we buy and the impact that it has on the environment when we throw it away.

And just to wet your palette here are some of the entries

Model Farms "Bessie"
Alice Betteridge RIDBC
Rouse Hill Anglican College "Mootilda"
Quakers Hill "Bessie" Bet you can wait to see what she looks from the other 3 sides

This just a taster – watch this space

We will be sharing more of the inspirational artworks of Next Gen during the week

Eureka! Australia’s Oscars for science (and industry leadership)

The ‘Oscars of science’—this is how the prestigious Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are viewed by scientists and media.

This year a group of farmers proudly filled one of the tables (how good was the food) at this A list event attended by 900 people at Fox Studios

Congratulations to our 34 farmers!

The Climate Champion program was a runner up for the 2011 Eureka Prize for
Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge.

5 of the Climate Champions and the team from Econnect all frocked up at the Eureka Prize

This program is a perfect example of what happens when industry shows leadership and invests in farmers (levy payers) and works to together for the greater good of our food and fibre industries.

This three year program is collaboration between the following organisations and I salute them

In fact Art4Agriculture was so inspired by the success of the Climate Champions program we started the Young Farming Champions program using the Climate Champions “TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD” ethos and the training components as a model.

The Climate Champions program is a cross industry partnership of farmers across Australia and I love it. It has exposed me to the bright minds from other industries and there is nothing more rewarding for your personal development than surrounding yourself with innovative thinkers you can learn from.

The Climate Champions program is managed by the fabulous team from Econnect who not only deliver the workshops they support each of the 34 farmers 365 days 24/7

Using my involvement as an example Econnect have mentored me, written press releases and help prep me for Big Ideas ABC and numerous conference presentations and radio interviews. I have gained so much confidence
and self-belief since I joined the program in 2010.

The Climate Champions program mentors and supports 33 other farmers across Australia like me. In all 34 Australian farmers who can now confidently get out there in their communities and share their stories and not only inspire other farmers but spread the word that Australian farmers are part of an innovative, dynamic and vibrant industry that has a strong ethical and social conscience

As the debate around long term food availability and affordability intensifies, Art4Agriculture believes it is vital for all organisations involved in the food supply chain to adopt a leadership position and work together side by side with their farmers to help safeguard Australia’s future food security.

Climate Champion program – what is it?

34 Australian farmers have been recruited by the national Climate Champion program to help improve communication between scientists and farmers about managing climate risk.

What do they have in common?

  • They are all interested in managing risks associated with climate and weather to improve productivity on their farms.
  • They are keen to share their knowledge with other farmers.

2-way communication with farmers and researchers

The program aims to:

  • get climate-related research information out to wider farming community – research about new technologies and practices for dealing with climate variability and climate change
  • feed information from farmers back to researchers about what you need to better manage climate risk on your property

The team @art4ag HQ are waiting expectantly for Next Gen to blow us away

This year 21 schools in Western Sydney are competing for the 2011 Archibull Prize.

Next year the program will go National with a minimum of 80 schools across Australia competing for the ultimate prize. The winning overall entry
from each state will then travel to the AYOF expo in Melbourne at the end of
the year for the announcement of the National Archibull Prize winner.

This year each school was given a life size fibreglass cow, and an allocated
food or fibre industry to showcase on their cow. Each school was also paired
with a young farming champion whose area of expertise was the school’s food or
fibre industry.

Find more about Young farming Champions program here

On the other hand Young Farming Champions Melissa Henry and Erin Lake are absolute stars in this vid

and lets not forget the amazing videos the Young Farming  Champions created for their in school presentations here

Each school has to complete 4 tasks to be in the running for the  Archibull Prize 2011.

The Tasks…

  1. The Archibull

Use the blank fibreglass cow to inspire or
create the artwork ……..

2. The blog

Produce a weekly web blog which documents the
journey of your artwork.

3. The video

a short video to raise the profile of your allocated commodity, to be published
on the LandLearn NSW Youtube channel.

4. The PowerPoint

Produce a PowerPoint for web publishing on the LandLearn NSW website reflecting your sustainability learnings

The Archibull Prize 2011 is being judged by experts in their field including Wendy Taylor designer of Australian Year of the Farmer launch display

Agvocates extraordinaire the fabulous Alison Fairleigh of Bringing Sexy Back and Farming is the New Black (to name but a few) and Marion McDonald of Milk Maid Marion fame

We look forward to sharing pictures of the Archibull Prize 2011 entrants with you next week

See pix of last year’s winners and highly commended here

The Archibull Prize program is a new way and innovative way of connecting urban
consumers with the people who produce their food and fibre and is proudly
supported by Woolworths, AWI, MLA, RIRDC, Cotton Australia and Landlearn NSW
and other supporting partners

Next Gen images and perceptions about farming and farmers

As part of 2011 the Archibull Prize entry surveys were promoted to teachers of each school participating. Teachers were asked to select at least 30 students to complete the entry survey (with a vision that the same students would also complete the exit survey).

We will be releasing the full results of the survey in January 2012. In the meantime in light of the discussion about careers in agriculture I would like to share a few interesting survey insights with you.

Knowledge about farming in Australia

In general, students from both primary and secondary schools demonstrated reasonably good knowledge about farmers and farming; however, there is some scope for improvement.

Some feedback

  •  Interestingly most primary (90%) and secondary (82%) school students incorrectly said that farmers were between the ages of 30 and 50 years old.
  • A higher percentage of secondary school students (50%), compared to primary school students (35%), correctly identified 60 million as the number of people that Australian farmers feed.
  • Only 7% correctly identified “93%” as the percentage of how much food eaten in Australia comes from Australia (44% of respondents said “45%”, which was the most popular answer)
  • Most primary (94%) and secondary (74%) school students said they wanted to know more about farming.

Attitudes and perceptions of farmers and farming in Australia

Primary and secondary school students demonstrated a generally positive
view of farmers and farming.

  • Most primary (89%) and most secondary (75%) students said that farmers are important to them.
  • Most (75%) of both primary and secondary school students said that the food made in Australia is “better than food from other countries
  • More than 80% of both primary and secondary school students said that the statements “It is important to know where your food comes from” and “It is best to buy Australian made products” are true  and the statement “People in cities don’t need farmers” is FALSE.

More than 80% of primary school students said the following statements are also TRUE:

  • “Farmers look after the environment”
  • “Farming is a good job for a young person”

More than 80% of secondary school students said that the following statements are also TRUE:

  • “Farmers contribute to Australia’s economy”
  • “Farmers use science and technology to help them produce food”

More than 80% of secondary school students said that the following statements are also FALSE:

  • “People in cities don’t need farmers”
  • “To work in agriculture you need to live in the country”
  • “A drought does not affect people living in cities”

Perceptions about farming as a career

In response to the statement “Farming is a good career choice for a young person”, more secondary than primary school students responded “unsure” (33% for secondary school, 14% for primary  school)

On the other hand more primary than secondary school students responded “true” (45%  for secondary school, 81% for primary school).

These are very important insights and provide a great platform for primary industries, agribusiness and the government and education sectors to take a collaborative approach and partner to build on the postives and address the negatives and debunk the myth conceptions. We have 7 billion people to feed, house and clothe and we need farmers to do this.

Are you passionate about the future of farming?

Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion Hollie Baillieu has recently been engaged by the Australian Year of the Farmer team to coordinate
the Roadshow component and she is looking for potential recruits to travel
around Australia to showcase the industry.

“The ‘Australian Year of the Farmer’ is really starting to
come together and is an exciting event to be a part of”. Says Hollie

If you or someone you know would like to become part of the Roashow team here is some background information. Hollie’s contact details can be found at the bottom of the post

Are you passionate about the future of farming?

Do you have a story to tell about your own career in agriculture?

What are your ambitions for agribusiness?

We know that you belong to a group of people already proactively networking in
rural Australia.

We want to talk to you…

Australian Year of the Farmer is looking for talented committed communicators to help raise awareness of the contribution agriculture makes to the lives of all Australians.

The National Roadshow

The National Roadshow is one of the critical components of the ‘Australian
Year of the Farmer’. A team of eight (8) Toyota vehicles  and one main
‘Royale unit’ will be leading the way for our fun, interactive, educational
trailers laden with various forms of tactile, visual and audio style elements.
The year long Roadshow will travel throughout the country to showcase our
Agricultural Industry to rural, regional and urban Australia.

We are looking for resourceful, entrepreneurial, organised teams who have a passion for agriculture. We want to engage and enthuse members of the public about the Australian Year of the Farmer at a wide range of agricultural, sporting
and cultural events, and we want you to help us bring ‘the Greatest Story Never
Told’ to Australia

How it will work:

– We are looking for either individuals and/or people in pairs.

– Those from a certain state are encouraged to travel within that state
unless otherwise highly knowledgeable about another state(s).

– Employed on a roster based system; Roadshow co-ordinators will have a
four to six week rotation “on the road” or otherwise based at head office in
the nearest main city or possibly from your home office.

– All “on-road” travelling expenses included with a generous remuneration

– Employment opportunities on a full-time or on a casual basis

The Roadshow will involve:

– Managing a Roadshow vehicle and exhibition on an event circuit over
a set period of rotation

– Merchandise and showbag sales

– Managing the “Mini-Archibull” children’s competition

– Liaising with AYOF ambassadors and local champions for “meet and

– Engaging with the public about the educational display elements


Training end of December, first or second weekend in January (either/or)

Roadshow start: 19th January 2012

Roadshow end: 12th December 2012 (48 weeks)


– Strong Agricultural background is highly regarded

– Excellent communication skills, including writing, proof reading, and

– Excellent interpersonal skills both in person and by phone, with high

– Fantastic customer service ethic and high expectations for quality

– Some experience in assisting with children’s activities is desirable

– Proficient in general computer skills

– Ability to travel is required

– Must hold current full drivers licence

Please email us through a copy of your current resume

For more information please contact:

Alex Hunter;

Hollie Baillieu;

Contact us on (02) 9818 4044

Hollie is also the star of one of the AYOF 2012 promotional videos see it here

The noblest profession?

It was predicted that by October 31st 2011 there would be 7 billion people
living on the planet and they were right.

In fact you can watch them being born here

That’s 7 billion plus people who need feeding and clothing and housing.

Can there be anything nobler than waking up every day committed to growing and supplying these basic needs in the most affordable, nutritious and ethically produced way

Yet agriculture struggles to attract and retain talented young people into the agrifood sector See

Why do we struggle?

Well there has been a lot of talking about the problem, a lot of writing about the problem and a lot of suggestions put forward.

Recently the RASV undertook a study and came up with four recommendations which included

  • Involve young leaders in the planning and delivery of initiatives
  • Consider the need for imagery and promotion of opportunities to help young people make connection between themselves (skills, personality, interests) and career opportunities in the agriculture sector (given the disconnect between urban and rural).

Art4Agriculture is very proud to say we have been walking the talk with our Young Farming Champions program

Quick overview of the program here

Young Farming Champions on YouTube

Young Farming Champions on SlideShare

The RASV report also drew attention once again to the fragmented industry culture that is undermining agriculture’s efforts to get on the front foot with respect to attraction and retainment  strategies

“To date, the attempts in the agricultural sector to increase the participation of young people in the agricultural workforce have been without substantial success and have been too  fragmented, local and small scale. This is not to undermine the fantastic work that has been achieved, but highlights the need for large scale and well
researched interventions.”

 “A collaborative industry approach, comprising contribution from all commodity groups with the support of government and education, is essential to engaging young people on a large enough scale to remedy existing shortfalls.”

I sound like as broken record but it has to be said and said and said again. When will industry recognise silo thinking is destroying agriculture’s future? We cannot
do this alone.

This year Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions worked side by side with Australian Wool Innovation, Meat and Livestock Australia and Cotton Australia to deliver their food and fibre industry education resources to schools and didn’t we kick goals

The RASV also highlighted the need for a “one stop “portal” to understanding the opportunities that exist for a diverse range of people and skills. Information is too
scattered, job-search focused and not specifically targeted at young people and
early career workers.

It is difficult for urban people who are disconnected from rural and regional (Australia) .. to access information and understand the incentives of taking up careers in agriculture. For young people who are already connected to agriculture, there is a similar lack of assistance to help them discover the appeal and support
for them entering tertiary study or tailored career pathways”.

Well this has changed and excitingly the Australian Council of Agricultural Deans has addressed this with their newly launched awesome website.

Career Harvest – job choices in agriculture, fisheries & forestry found here

We are also thrilled to announce a number of the Art4Agriculture Young Farming
Champions will be speaking and conducting workshops at the Careers Advisors Australia Annual Conference this month. The conference theme is The
Great Divide – City and Country. 
Working the Land – Careers in Agriculture.

Highly concerning however is the fact the conference coordinator tells me city school conference registration numbers are down.  When she asked Careers Advisors why they said “careers in agriculture aren’t relevant to my students”.

Frightening for the world in general especially the 1 billion people who go to bed hungry every night when city based careers advisers don’t think careers in agriculture are relevant.

This is a big problem and the need is now to address it.  The onus is on primary industry, agribusiness and the government and education sectors to initiate a culture of change in this area by taking a collaborative approach and partnering to address this issue and achieve the necessary outcomes. The health wealth and happiness of
the nation depends on it

Paint is drying on the 2011 Archibull Prize bovine masterpieces

Exciting times.

Paint is drying on the bovine masterpieces who will shortly be submitted for consideration for the 2011 Archibull Prize.

This year students in 21 schools in Western Sydney are reflecting on the theme “The Rural – Urban Divide – What does it take to feed Sydney for a day sustainably?”

See the statistics on this web page created by Glenfield High School’s superstar Alexander Rafferty who won our “What can you creATE competition”

Each school has been allocated a food or fibre industry and has been provided with a blank fibreglass cow that students will decorate to highlight what they’ve learned about the challenges of feeding, clothing and housing the world with a declining natural resource base.

Each school was also paired with a Young Farming Champion who visited and supported the schools during the project. The young farmers provided the fresh young face of modern farming which we hope will inspire the students to consider career pathways that will see them be part of what we believe is the noblest profession – farming

Our farming champions created a series of social media tools to share their farming stories with teachers, students and the World Wide Web

See their video stories here

Hollie Baillieu – Cotton Farmer

Naomi Marks – Dairy Farmer

Melissa Henry – Sheep Farmer

Erin Lake – Natural Resource Management

Emma Visser – Dairy Farmer

Siannon Parice – Art4Agriculture Photographer

Stephanie Tarlinton

Art4Agriculture would like to thank Deborah Leake from Meat and Livestock Australia, Brooke Summers from Cotton Australia and Claudia Wythes from Australian Wool Innovation for their support of the Young Farming Champions in school visits. Great team work and great outcomes.

Celebrating the regional produce and the hands that grow it

South Coast wins the 100 Mile Challenge at first attempt.

Before we start we want to be upfront and say unashamedly this post is in the main a compilation of highlights written by Amy Willesee for the South Coast 100 mile challenge blog found here

Amy is the author of the fabulous Locavore: A Foodies’ Journey through the Shoalhaven (sadly now out of print) so it goes without saying that when you work with the best don’t even think about reinventing the wheel

Art4Agriculuture Young Farming Champion Siannon Parice and photographer extraordinaire was there to capture all the highlights and spirit of the event through the lens of her camera.  

Rosie Cupitt ( Cupitts Winery) and Amy Willesee ( right) share a light hearted moment before the guests arrive

The South Coast’s win is testament to the words of Eve Sawyer when she said  “never underestimate the power of passion.”

South Coast 100mile Challenge team Winners are grinners

Our team organiser Cathy Law is possibly the most passionate amongst our region’s locavores, so it was no surprise that she was the first to jump into the ring when Crave threw down the regional challenge. Our hat goes off to Cathy. In the beginning there were many obstacles to climb and naysayers to block out but there is none more committed and passionate about promoting the region’s produce and the farmers who grow it than Cathy. Cathy was determined to use the Crave 100 mile challenge to shout it from the rooftops and indeed she did. In the words of South Coast A team member Perri Croshaw What a Food Destination we have!!! We all knew how great it was – now the whole state knows!”

How does the 100 mile challenge work you may ask?

Well each of the five regions selected the highest quality produce and best of the best chefs from their region and created a delicious and sumptuous three course feast and served it to 100 guests.

South Coast table decorated by Wendy O'Mally and guests ready, willing and able to tuck into our regional delights

The winning region was determined by a panel of esteemed judges including Joanna Savill, Crave Sydney International Food Festival Director.

Each region was also allocated a high profile celebrity “mentor” chef and the South Coast was lucky enough to have Lucio Galletto OAM from Lucios Italian Restaurant join us with wife Sally.

Great lifelong friends Elise Pascoe and Lucio Galletto catch up

We also had the simply fabulous Adam Spencer of 702 ABC Sydney Breakfast show and Sleek Geeks fame on our table. By the time Adam was finished organising our table cheer leading squad our table made the Balmy Army look like wimps.

Adam Spencer 702 ABC with South Coast A team

After picking vegies, catching fish and milking cows – the South Coast team headed north yesterday for the BIG LUNCH lunch.

The produce - dispaly by Wendy O'Malley

Twenty of us hit Sydney including team leader Cathy Law, the fabulous Lynne Strong – award-winning dairy farmer and agriculture champion (and Art4Agriculture Chair) – to our very own food and wine matriarch Elise Pascoe and the indefatigable Slow Food leader and boutique tea grower Kirsten McHugh and our effervescent team leader, sommelier to the stars Toby Evans. As for our chefs, we were blessed to have some of the top chefs of the region – nay, the country! – on our team including Alex Dawkins senior sous chef at Rick Stein’s restaurant Bannisters and John Evans from the acclaimed Berry Sourdough. Read all about the A team here

And what did our 100 lucky guests eat?

On table

Bread from the Sourdough Bakery, Berry
with Glen Lee Extra virgin olive oil (from Menangle Park)

Green Kalamata Olives from Kangaroo
Valley Olives and Black Kalamata Olives from Contadinos Farm at Falls Creek,
marinated in Contadino extra virgin olive oil, garlic and local herbs


Oysters au Naturale


Sydney Rock from Bed Rock Oysters,
Shoalhaven River and Ulladulla Oysters, Clyde River

Lime-cured Kingfish with Broad Beans, Fresh Herbs, Breakfast Radish and Lemon Dressing


Kingfish freshly caught off the Shoalhaven Coast

Herbs from Greengold Veggies, Terara

Broad beans from Berry Mountain Farm

Radish from Merry Maiden’s Veggies, Milton

Limes and lemons from Yarrawa Estate, Kangaroo Valley

Chives from Dapto Community Farm, Dapto


Warm Salad of Eastern Rock Lobster, with Potatoes, Jamon and a Lobster Vinaigrette

THE LOBSTER - dont you just wish you were there


Eastern Rock Lobster from off Greenwell Point, Jervis Bay

Potatoes from Berry Mountain Farm

Herbs from Favgro in Batemans Bay

Celery from the Alex Dawkin’s garden, Mollymook

Jamon which is cured and dried under the supervision of Oscar at his
Spanish Deli in Warrawong

Lemons from Kangaroo Valley

Olive oil from Menangle Park


Basil and Honey infused Panna Cotta with Strawberry Jelly, Baked Rhubarb and Fresh Strawberries

The dessert a masterpiece by John Evans from the acclaimed Berry Sourdough.


Cream and milk from South Coast Dairy, Berry

Basil from John Evans’ garden, Vincentia

Strawberries from Sam and Josephine,Sussex Inlet

Rhubarb from Greengold Veggies, Terara

Honey from Pointer Mountain Honey, Yatta Yattah

100 Mile Challenge – Judging Criteria

This was not your usual culinary competition.

Each team was judged on how authentically they created a sense of people/place and product during and in the lead up to the lunch.

Showcasing the produce and the people who make it and grow was a really important part of  the challenge. The aim was to give the 100 guests the feeling they had visited our regional home.

The Region 15%

• How is the region represented in the development of the menu?

• How well have producers been represented?

• How has the team worked to promote the region and the challenge?

The Lunch 85%

The Food 60% – 20% for each course

• Presentation

• Use of your 100 mile regional produce

• Quality of ingredients used

• Kitchen skills and technique

• Taste, flavour and variety

• Use of seasonal produce

The Wine (& other Beverages) 15% – 5% for each

Ben Wallace from Coolangatta Estate and Toby Evans from Bannisters pour the wine

• Appropriateness

• Match to food

• Wine knowledge by serving team

The Table 10%

The table decorated by Kiama based artist Wendy O'Malley

• Presentation (style, creativity, mood)

• How well does it represent the region

• Physical presentation of menu

• Service

• Atmosphere

The award categories are:

Best Apprentice/Student

Best Entrée

Best Main

Best Dessert

Extra Mile Award

100MC Winner

Prizes are courtesy of Trenton International

The South Coast won Best Main, Best Dessert and was
the 100MC Winner

Our aim was to showcase the best of the South Coast’s beautiful fresh produce and bring a taste of our rolling green hills and famous beaches to Sydney and we certainly did that.


For a list of our local produce and providores visit

 See great story in South Coast Register here

Not to mention this quirky vid found here



Castle Hill High School helping make agriculture visible

Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions Siannon Parice and Erin Lake visited Castle Hill High School this week to share their stories with the students involved in the
Archibull Prize.

Siannon (Art4Agriculture photographer) and Erin (Natural resource management and bush regeneration expert) tagged teamed with Art4Agriculture chair and dairy farmer Lynne Strong to show the students how three very different people from very different
backgrounds who have travelled very different career pathways work side by side
to bring food to your plate sustainably.

For the students Lynne’s connection was obvious as she told them whilst she wears
many hats she is first and foremost a farmer.

Lynne explained to the students that whilst the majority of Australian farms are still family owned and operated successful farm businesses have the same business structure as large corporates and needed to access an extensive range of proven professionals for their businesses to remain healthy.

She explained that in order for Clover Hill Dairies to continue to provide milk for
50,000 Australians everyday they needed a team of people doing a lot of very
different jobs to achieve the same outcome and that was best practice sustainable

It takes a proven team of professional to run a successful family farm

At Clover Hill Dairies Lynne is the marketing manager as well as the
sustainability manager. Lynne explained that part of her role as marketing manager was to raise the profile of the Clover Hill Dairies brand and one of the ways that she has done this is to set up a website which tells people who they are, what they do and how they think.

In order for her marketing materials to have the WOW factor her business needs a
great photographer and this is how her partnership with Siannon began.

Lynne explained that it was through her role as sustainability manager for Clover
Hill Dairies that she met Erin. Lynne explained that both her dairy farms are
in highly sensitive environmental areas. In fact the home farm was 50%
rainforest and managing the rainforest was well outside the farm business team
expertise and it was imperative that the farm engage experts to care for the

Erin and Siannon presented to visual art students from year 7 to year 11. Both Young
Farming Champions created a video and a PowerPoint specifically for their
school presentations. It was obvious from both the students and teachers
reactions that they were overwhelmed with how much creativity had gone into
making Erin and Siannon’s school resources.

Never one to miss an opportunity to use her skills Siannon created a short vox pop featuring visual arts student Yvonne. Hear what Yvonne had to say here

Erin explained that she too needed Siannon’s expertise to help share her story through pictures. Through her PowerPoint and using Lynne’s farm as a working example Erin showed the students that farmers usually have two very different landscapes to manage The first one being the one that is their area of expertise the land they produce food  and on and secondly the vast areas of Australia’s natural landscape that are also  their farms.

Erin Lake sharing her career partnership with farmers with the students

In fact farmers manage over 60% of Australia’s landscape and Erin explained it is impossible for farmers to have the time to gain the expertise to deal with the often highly complex balancing act of productive farm land coexisting in harmony with
native vegetation and susccessfully achiving this requires working with weed warriors of Erin’s ilk.

You can find Erin’s video here

You can find Siannon’s video here

Young Farmers Grasping the Nettle of Power

Art4Agriculture headquarters always enjoy our daily dose of BushBelles an often witty,
sometimes off the wall and always inspiring place and source of information for rural

Today Bushbelles gave us serious food for thought with this “deeply powerful trailer about the media and its representation of women”.

After viewing the trailer we gave some serious thought to the media and its representation of women in agriculture and agriculture in general.

The trailer opens with this quote from Alice Walker “the most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any”.  Looking at the dictionary definition of power as “the ability or capacity to perform or act effectively” Art4Agriculture would like
to follow up Alice by saying once you have grasped the nettle of power it’s
what you do with it that counts

If indeed “The media is the message and the messenger and increasingly the most powerful one” why is agriculture afraid of telling our story, the real story?

Why are we such poor marketers? Why isn’t agriculture seeing the media as high priority, a great opportunity and marketing tool?

Agriculture has great stories to tell.  Farmers should be very proud of their
profession. After all what’s is more noble than feeding and clothing and housing
the world?

So let’s get our priorities right because in the world in which we all now farm image is everything and image needs to be created and it needs to be actively managed.

So what image does agriculture want the people who buy our food and fibre to see?

So many questions???

Who are our role models?  Who do we admire? Who inspires us?

What qualities, attitudes and abilities must they have to advocate for ourselves and our goals and take leadership on the issues that we believe in and debunk the myth conceptions about agriculture and farmers?

Well Art4Agriculture thought long and hard about this and we decided that the image we wanted our communities to see was young farmers who could promote positive
images and perceptions of farming.  Young farmers who would demonstrate passion for their industry while providing real life examples to young people who may have never considered a career in agriculture. Young people who can relate to students and are adept at breaking down stereotypes of farming and agricultural careers.

So the quest was on

Where are these people? Do they grow on trees or do they have to be identified, engaged, nurtured and trained.

Well we can assure they don’t grow on trees but they are out there and they do need to be identified and they need to be nurtured.

Our 2011 Young Farming Champions have been visiting schools across Sydney and now they are in the media telling agriculture’s story.

Today we throw the spotlight on Young Farming Champion Stephanie Tarlinton

About Stephanie Tarlinton
Stephanie Tarlinton grew up on the family dairy farm just 15km north/west of
Cobargo with two sisters, Bridget and Megan and parents Richard and June.

She is a 6th generation decent of W. D Tarlinton who discovered the Cobargo
area on the far south coast of NSW.

She completed her primary education at Cobargo Public School and then went to
high school in Bega before moving away from home to attend agricultural

Following this she worked on a sheep/beef property at Goulburn then moved home
to assist on the farm. Since 2008 she has have travelled to New Zealand, United
States of America, Canada, Papua New Guinea, Ghana, and China primarily to
study the different agricultural systems in these nations.

In late 2011 she will travel to Argentina, Singapore and India all on study
tours focused on gaining an understanding of agricultural production and what
it contributes to their daily life.

Stephanie enjoys the challenge of travelling to developing nations while
gaining a greater respect and appreciation for the opportunities she has had
available to her.

In 2009 she started university and is now currently studying her third year of
a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management at Charles Sturt University in
Orange, NSW. She undertook this degree with the aim of completing further
studies in the form of masters. Growing up in the dairy industry has inspired
her to continue in this sector although in the business area, for example
working to develop a company’s export sector. She wishes to play a role in
building the global name of Australian dairy products and increasing the value
of the domestic industry.

Some of Stephanie’s latest achievements include; 2011 Runner Up Showgirl for
the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Charles Sturt University Dean’s Award for
Academic Excellence 2011, RAS Foundation Rural Scholarship for 2011 and Royal
Agricultural Society of NSW Rural Achiever 2007.

See Stephanie’s story here

Here is a great example of print media press Young Farming Champion Stephanie Tarlinton is garnering across the country


Growing up on the family’s dairy farm in Wandella instilled Stephanie Tarlinton
with values and knowledge she is now sharing with students in Sydney as one of
Art4Agriculture’s Young Farming Champions.

Young Farming Champions provide information to students about the commodity
they’ve been allocated to study as part of Art4Agriculture’s Archibull Prize.

The Archibull Prize invites students in suburban high schools to learn through
hands on experience about the challenges of housing and feeding the world with
a declining natural resource base.

This year, 21 schools in Sydney are participating in the Archibull Prize,
exploring the theme “The Rural/Urban Divide-What does it take to feed
Sydney for a day?” This theme celebrates the role Australian farmers’ play
in feeding Australian families and many other families around the world.

Each school is provided with a life size fibreglass cow on which the students
create an artwork about, their allocated commodity, the farmers who produce it
and how this commodity is being produced sustainably.

By providing a “human face” of farming, Young Farming Champions like Stephanie
are helping to bridge the rural-urban divide at the same time sharing their
knowledge of farming with city students.

“I am passionate about Australian agriculture as I have grown up as part of a
family whom have a long association with farming and in particular the dairy
industry. Farming to me is the provider for my family and a way of life,” says
Stephanie, who is currently in her third year of a Bachelor of Agricultural
Business Management at Charles Sturt University in Orange with the aim of
working in the dairy industry when she graduates.

Stephanie recently presented at Schofields Primary School and Rouse Hill
Anglican College in Sydney sharing with almost 100 students stories about
growing up on her farm and the importance of farmers in supporting our cities.

“I would love to be able to develop a greater understanding of the true value
of agricultural products. If people valued, understood and appreciated the
quality of the produce available to them in Australia perhaps our local
agricultural industries would be more strongly supported. Participating in
Young Farming Champions has given me the opportunity to contribute to this
process,” said Stephanie.

“Having been a cattle exhibitor at the Sydney Royal Easter Show I have seen and
spoken first hand with people of all ages who did not realise where milk came
from. I also have cousins from the city with little understanding of the
process of farming until they visit.”

Young Farming Champions prepare a video and PowerPoint presentation for use at
the schools and answer questions from the students broadening their
understanding about agriculture while helping them prepare for the Archibull

Students had so many questions!” said Stephanie. “The primary school children
asked:  How many babies can one cow have?  How old do cows get?
How do they make the different types of milk?  How much milk
do you make?  How do cows turn grass into milk?  How does beef get
from a cow to the supermarket?”

“The high school I visited didn’t offer agriculture as a subject, so I was
talking to visual arts students and it was fantastic to spread the messages
about farming to a group of students who may not have been exposed to
agriculture before. Their questions were more technical and based around
production and the agronomics of dairy farming, as well as the educational
requirements to farm. “

The aim of the program is not to lecture the students about agriculture, but to
share perspectives between farmers and metropolitan consumers.

“It was great to meet the students,” said Stephanie.  “In fact, I probably
learned as much as they did from the experience!”

Art4Agriculture run training sessions for Young Farming Champions to prepare
them for their school visits.

“I have learned so much through my involvement in Young Farming Champions.
Visiting the schools has proved to be a real highlight of my farming journey,
and I’ve been provided with training in public speaking, presentation skills
and video production which I’ll be able to draw upon in the future.  I
would encourage any young farmers who are interested in sharing their story to
get involved!”

The Archibull Prize and Young Farming Champions programs are sponsored by
Woolworths Ltd and the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.

More information about Art4Agriculture initiatives and how to get involved in
Young Farming Champions is available at

or contact

Lynne Strong, National Program Director Art4Agriculture

Phone 02 42 360 309 or 0412 428 334