Archibull Prize Launch @ Woolworths @ Bella Vista

Woolworths played host to the launch of the 2011 Archibull Prize yesterday at their head office at Bella Vista.

Community Investment Manager Virginia Tomlinson said “Woolworths is proud to be a supporting partner of Art4Agriculture and the 2011 Archibull Prize.  It’s an exciting program with a fresh approach to talking to future generations about the importance of sustainable food production.  The Archibull is a very smart way to build agricultural and environmental awareness through art, creativity and teamwork.”

Photo (L – R) Virginia Tomlinson - Woolworths with teacher Helen Glover and students from the Macarthur Anglican School, Cobbity with David Thomason – Primary Industries Education Foundation

Students from 21 schools have begun their quest to learn what it takes to feed Sydney for a day.

The students are participating in the Archibull Prize, an Art4Agriculture initiative that uses art and multimedia to promote the important role agriculture plays in our lives.

Art4Agriculture is a network of young farming champions who deliver events and activities that focus on youth, career opportunities, the environment and the arts, all with a link back to agriculture.

This year, the Archibull Prize asks students reflect on the theme “The Rural – Urban Divide – What does it take to feed Sydney for a day?”  Schools are provided with a blank fibreglass cow that students will decorate to highlight what they’ve learned about the challenges of housing and feeding the world with a declining natural resource base.

“The average person doesn’t consider the resources required to keep a city well fed, let alone the world!” says Jamberoo dairy farmer Lynne Strong, who Chairs Art4Agriculture.

“It’s staggering enough to discover you need 90,000 cows to produce 1.3 million litres of milk that Sydney consumes every day, but then how much land do you need for those cows? How many people to run the farm? How much feed for the stock?  These are the questions we hope the students will consider along the way.”

Participating schools have received their blank cows and have been randomly allocated an agricultural commodity that they are to feature in their artwork. These include beef, grains, sheep (wool & meat), dairy, chickens (eggs and meat) and cotton.   They then use the blank fibreglass cow to inspire or create an artwork or design.  They can paint it, film it, project onto it, create an animation with it, drape it with things, photograph it, or create an installation or a sculpture.  Students are also required to make a video, keep a blog and design a PowerPoint presentation tracking their journey from blank cow to masterpiece.

The completed “Archibulls” are judged by an independent panel to determine the winner.  They then go on display at various locations around Sydney allowing the general public to vote for the People’s Choice award. The “Archibulls” are also exhibited at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, providing a total audience of around 1 million people for the students to share what they’ve learned.

“This year we are excited that a group Young Farming Champions will visit and support the schools during the project” said Lynne Strong. “These young farmers will provide information about their industry, assist the students with the development of their ideas but most importantly, provide a young face of modern farming which we hope will inspire the students.”

David Thomason and Young Farming Champions Heidi Cheney, Grains Young Farming Champion; Hollie Baillieu, Cotton Young Farming Champion; Stephanie Tarlinton, Dairy Young Farming Champion

The Archibull Prize builds a bridge for farmers and communities to reach out to each other, share stories and improve understanding and work through potential solutions together.

“It’s so important that farmers and consumers reconnect.  This will help our young rural people farm with confidence that they’re responding to consumer needs, while the city students will learn about agricultural production and be able make better decisions as consumers.” said Lynne

In addition to Woolworths, the program is also supported by RIRDC, Meat & Livestock Australia, LandLearn NSW, Kondinin Group and Primary Industries Education Foundation.

The “Archibulls” will be completed by 11th November with the winners announced early December,

List of Schools Participating in the 2011 Archibull Prize

Maraylya Public School
Macarthur Anglican School
Windsor Public School
Schofield Primary School
St Michael’s Catholic Primary School

Alice Betteridge RIDBC School

Mt Druitt Tutorial


St Ignatius College

Richmond High School,

Caroline Chisholm College,

Colo High School.

Rouse Hill Anglican College,

Muirfield High School,

Northholm Grammar School,

Model Farms High School.

Terra Sancta College,

Crestwood High School,

Cranebrook High School,

Hurlstone Agricultural High School,

Quakers Hill High School,

Castle Hill High School

Photos of the Launch can be found on our Flickr page

Lynne Strong named as finalist in the Rabobank Farm Industry Leader of the Year award

Art4agricultue Chair Lynne Strong celebrates 2nd feather in cap this week. Not only is she a finalist in the Eureka Prize she has now been selected as a finalist in Rabobank Farm Industry Leader of the Year 2011.

The winers of the Eureka Prize will be anouced in 6 September and the Australian Farmer of the Year awards will be held held in Sydney on 7 September 2011.

A memorable week indeed for Lynne

Hosted by the Kondinin Group and ABC Rural, the Australian Farmer of the Year Awards celebrate the highly professional, innovative, and sustainable approach farmers take to developing the agricultural industry across Australia.

The Rabobank Farm Industry Leader of the Year award recognises farmers who pursue industry development beyond their own farm gate, creating positive change for Australian agriculture.

Lynne recognises central to a great number of issues facing Australian agriculture is
lack of consumer understanding and acceptance of agricultural production and
processes. To address this Lynne has committed hundreds of voluntary hours to
initiatives that encourage two way conversations between rural and urban
communities and introduce young Australians to careers in agriculture

Lynne has championed the delivery of the innovative and engaging Art4Agriculture events and activities that focus on youth, careers the environment and the arts all linked to agriculture.

Art4Agriculture education programs present a unique opportunity for young Australians to use creative arts and multimedia to gain knowledge and develop skills related to the production of the food they consume, the fibres and other natural resources they use and the gardens of their environments. Art4Agriculture web based education resources have now attracted over 50,000 web hits in just over two years.

Some of Lynne’s key achievements that impressed the judges include

At the farmgate

  • Establishing an active and successful farm business which is focussed on sustainability and continuous improvement
  • Adopting new technologies and innovative marketing strategies
  • Lynne is one of 34 farmers involved in the Climate Champions program who are
    advancing climate change knowledge to inspire other farmers to adapt and use
    resources wisely, reduce pollution and mitigate the impact on their business of
    climate change legislation.

The Climate Champions are also engaging with scientists to ensure climate change
research is delivered to farmers in a language they can understand and results
they can use.

Equally, Lynne and her fellow Climate Champions recognise most farmers learn from other farmers and are motivated by seeing the science work in their own backyards. To
facilitate this they are actively engaging with government to ensure funding
for extension is seen as high priority.

Beyond the farmgate

Lynne believes that while farmers in general don’t see the need to build relationships with consumers and decision and policymakers, it is pivotal to agriculture. To help address this and create a culture of change, Lynne has focused on advocacy and telling the positive farming stories in preference to taking on agri-political roles.

To achieve her advocacy objectives, Lynne and her Art4Agriculture
 including the Young Farming Champions design and deliver projects and activities that bring consumers and rural producers together to build trust and confidence in Australian farm production systems.

Some of Lynne’s key achievements beyond the farmgate include:

  • Creating relationships which look beyond the farm-gate
  • Actively increasing the profile of the dairy industry and agriculture generally
  • A champion for connecting the next generation to agriculture and extending this to non-farming children
  • Educating the Australian community about all aspects of the farming sector – including Australian farmers comittment to producing nutritious, affordable and ethical food for consumers
  • Mentoring young people looking to agriculture as a career choice, working with young farming champions, andproviding and encouraging pathways for young people into the industry

Lynne’s vision for the future isn’t too difficult; it just requires a different way of
thinking. She believes a profitable and sustainable healthy future for the
farming sector is achievable – the health and welfare of all Australians and
many people around the world depends on it.

To drive the process of change requires champions and leaders. But to change grass roots perceptions, we need grass roots action. Farmers care about the country, their
livestock and the people they provide with food and fibre. Beyond best farming
practices, farmers have to be out in communities, walking the talk – from
paddock to plate, from cow to consumer – and building trust between rural and
urban communities. Lynne wants farming men and women to go out and sell the
message that feeding and clothing the world is an awesome responsibility and a
noble profession, and that it offers great careers. Just imagine if we could
achieve her vision of an Australia-wide network of trained, passionate farmers
talking directly with the communities they supply!

Lynne Strong and her husband Michael at Clover Hill Dairies

Art4Agriculture Chair celebrating nomination as a finalist in the prestigious Eureka Prize

Climate-savvy farmer Lynne Strong announced as finalist in Eureka awards

Art4Agriculture Chair Lynne Strong is one of a group of 34 Australian farmers who have been announced as a 2011 Australian Museum Eureka Prize finalist for their work in motivating action to reduce the on farm impacts of Australia’s increasing climate
variability .

The EurekaPrize is recognised as Australia’s most prestigious science award

Lynne has been involved for 18 months in the national Climate
Champion program
  which brings researchers and farmers together to
share information

The farmers, who represent most major agricultural commodities from all over Australia, have been selected for successfully adapting their farms to produce more food using
fewer resources whilst generating less on farm waste.

The climate champions are sharing stories with fellow farmers to improve the farming
communities understanding of the impact of Australia’s increasing climate
variability and increase the adoption of practices and tools for managing
climate risk.

“Farmers live and die by the weather. They want to know when it’s going to rain, how much, and what the season promises.  Farmers can’t control the weather but we
can control how we prepare for it,” says dairy farmer Lynne Strong from

The Climate Champions are also working with the scientists to trial early research products and practices, and ensure the research is communicated in a language the
farmers can understand and transfer into on farm action.

We are also working with the government to ensure the research reaches the paddock. Surveys say 9 out of 10 farmers learn from other farmers. They want to see results in
their own backyard.  If we are going to feed the families of the future the government of today must invest heavily in on farm extension”  says Lynne

The Climate Champions program is run by science communication consultancy Econnect Communication on behalf of the national Managing Climate Variability program, the Grains Research & Development Corporation, and Meat & Livestock

Presented annually by the Australian Museum, the Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of research and innovation, leadership and commercialisation, school
science, science journalism and science communication. The Eureka Prize for
Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge, which is worth $10,000, is designed to
highlight work that has achieved outstanding outcomes in three areas:

  • increasing understanding and positively changing attitudes about the cause, process and impacts of climate change and the need for action
  • improving skills to respond to climate change
  • Positively changing behaviour towards helping reduce the impacts of climate change.

The Eureka Prize winners will be announced on 6 September 2011.

For interview:
Lynne Strong, phone: 02 4236 0309,

Media assistance: Sarah Cole, Econnect Communication, phone: 0402 833

Eureka Prizes:

Using Social Media to Get Heard by the Herd

In just two years Art4Agriculture has attracted 50,000 hits to their Cream of the Crop  web based agriculture education resources  written for young people by young people. Lets see if we can double this in 2011.

If you can,

Spin a
yarn about sheep

Chew the
fat about pigs

Or talk
turkey about poultry……

then tell your story and Win a CASH PRIZE!

Check out all the details here

Cream of the Crop Competition 2011 Open for entries

The Cream of the Crop Competition invites students in NSW secondary and tertiary education institutions to create a PowerPoint or a video which can be published on the web and win $500.
The competition invites NSW secondary and tertiary students to promote the importance of agriculture to their peers, to encourage a better understanding of agriculture as well as promote agricultural careers and rural life.

This year students have two categories they can enter
1.      The PowerPoint Category asks students to create a PowerPoint presentation about an aspect of agriculture, whether it’s their studies, their farm, a policy issue, their region’s industries or the career of someone they respect in agriculture.  Previous finalists have covered topics such as the importance of buying Australian produce, sustainable farming, agriculture and technology, climate change, regional towns, the Locavore Movement and most agricultural commodities.
2.    The Video Category is new this year. It asks students to make a short film about an occupation that links to a career in agriculture. This can be as diverse as an agronomist, an accountant, a veterinarian, an auctioneer, a stock agent, or an IT expert – the possibilities are endless, and that’s the important point to remember about agricultural careers, it’s not all mud and flies!

The finalists’ presentations are placed on the LandLearn NSW website. The winners are announced and cash prizes are presented at a function in their honour at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in 2012.

You don’t have to be studying agriculture to enter the Cream of the Crop competition. We encourage all NSW students to consider the importance of agriculture to their daily life and share their ideas and knowledge.

Our social media resources have had 70,000 hits in two years, so it’s a great way for young people to be heard.

Entries close on 1st December 2011 and entry details, as well as copies of last year’s finalists, can be found below.

The Cream of the Crop competition is sponsored by Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, LandLearn NSW and Woolworths.

PowerPoint Presentation

Prizes on offer include:

Secondary School

•  Junior  School (Year 7 & 8) $500 Best Presentation
•  Middle  School (Year 9 &10) $500 Best Presentation
•  Senior  School (Year 11 & 12) $500 Best Presentation
Tertiary Studies
•  Undergraduate and TAFE $500 Best Presentation
•  Postgraduate $500 Best Presentation

Video Competition

Prizes on offer include:


•   Junior School (Years 7 & 8) $500 Best Video
•   Middle School Video ( Years 9 & 10) $500 Best Video
•   Senior School (Years 11 & 12) $500 Best Video

Note: Video competition is only open to students studying in NSW Secondary School

Video examples can be found here

Closing Date:

The competition closes at 5pm (EST) on 1st December 2011.

Visit here to find out everything you need to know and do

A passionate love affair with social media

The world has fallen in love with social media and so have farmers. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Blogs and SlideShare (just some examples of the diversity of social media opportunities) have provided a new and exciting information freeway for farmers to share their stories and help build trust and understanding within the community of modern farming practices as well the challenges farmers face in providing affordable and nutritious food for families all around the world.

This is so important as modern practices are moving so much faster than education resources. On top of this the current value change model is moving farmers further and further away from their customers.

“A blog can bring readers together on a regular basis, regardless of geographical distance and the site becomes more than a noticeboard. It becomes a forum where communities are developed.” says Sally Davison from the Australian Farm Institute.

 A good example of using a mix of mediums to spread a message is the Inspire Foundation’ initiative “A Perfect Gift for a Man.” In 2009 the Inspire Foundation launched a campaign to raise awareness of the issue of suicide amongst young men in Australia. The campaign started with a # tag topic on Twitter. This was followed by a blog where people shared their experiences. Eventually a book was created of these heartfelt and inspiring stories

Another local example of a similar Twitter initiative is Alison Farleigh’s fortnightly Twitter discussion forum called Rural Mental Health to raise awareness of the issue and engage with people in rural communities. By using the #RuralMH anyone can see the discussion and take part if they wish to.  

#Agchatoz offers a weekly forum for people to post tweets on a wide range of agriculture topics. Agchatoz now has over 1200 followers.

 A Youtube example of product promotion is Yeo Valley who have used this very clever video which has attracted close to 2 million hits to drive sales of their organic dairy products. Would be interesting to know what has been the increase in sales of their products from this catchy promotion

 Art4Agriculture was inspired by Marian McDonald a dairy farmer from Jack River, Victoria to start our blog. Read Simone Smith’s story on Marian in The Weekly Times here and join her blog and follow Milk Maid Marian on Twitter here!/milkmaidmarian

 Art4Agriculture have now been using SlideShare for two years to successfully share the Jet and Emma Dairy Education Series for K to 12

 Art4Agriculture’s Jet and Emma are undertaking a dairy traineeship as part of their HSC. They work at dairies in the beautiful Jamberoo Valley on the NSW South Coast and they share what they are learning everyday with their ever increasing fan base.

Together with the finalist presentations from the Cream of the Crop Competition we are very proud to say we have attracted over 50,000 hits on the web.

 Follow us on Twitter!/Art4ag and Flickr

Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion begins the journey

Emma Visser has been identified by the dairy industry to participate in Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions program

Emma and Calf at Clover Hill

Emma begins her Young Farming Champions journey today as a mentor for the Cows Create Careers program.

This project creates awareness among secondary school students of the career opportunities in the dairy industry and connects them ‘first hand’ with further education and training links, such as the National Centre for Dairy Education Australia. The six-week project includes rearing heifer calves on the school campus, completing the set curriculum, the involvement of a farmer mentor and an industry mentor, and a presentation day. Its legacy for students is a positive experience and greater awareness of dairying.

Emma’s Role

In her role as a mentor Emma will introduce the project to students in school and assist both the students and teachers throughout the term of the project. The mentor explains to students about their career in the dairy industry and informs students about the education and training required for their career pathway.

Emma was introduced to the program 4 years ago when her school participated in Cows Create Careers and is now operation manger at Clover Hill Dairies.

 Emma will share her dairy industry career pathway with students from Illawarra Christian School and Albion Park High School who are taking part in the Cows Create Careers program in the Illawarra region in NSW  

See Emma on farm here

Team Art4Agriculture selected to sell careers in agriculture through advocacy

Identified as dynamic leaders in the agrifood industry two of Art4Agriculture’s team members have been invited to be AgriFood’s Skills Ambassadors. Their role involves actively promoting innovation and professionalism in the industry, and the benefits of education and skill development leading to attractive career pathways and opportunities.

The program will provide Ambassadors with an opportunity to broaden and enhance their industry profile, confidence and influence at a national level through access to AgriFood’s diverse industry stakeholders. Ambassadors have been appointed for 12 months and will undertake specialised training, including media and public speaking, to enhance their personal and professional effectiveness.

Well done Lynne and Hollie

Hollie Ballieu selected as one of eight AgriFood Skills Ambassadors

Young Farmers Champions – the next steps


The next steps 

Our first The Bridging the Rural–Urban Divide workshop for our Young Farming  Champions began the young farming champions journey to create multimedia products, training them for what they can expect going into schools, getting them to think about what messages they want to convey, and how, to their different audiences.

The workshop provided learning opportunities for the young farming champions that were tailored to their requirements as advocates for agriculture, as well as enhancing opportunities for these farmers to network amongst other young dairy farmers from different primary industries. They got to see their similarities, they found common ground, they realised each has issues that are just as challenging, and they learnt how they can help each other.

The workshop also provided access to information and advisors on priority issues of concern to the community and enabled participants to learn from experienced mentors.

Next steps 

The Young Farming Champions’ intentions are not to “educate” people about agriculture, but rather create opportunities for an exchange of information and ideas between young people from both our cities and rural areas.


Throughout the year, the Young Farming Champions will visit schools to bridge the divide by providing a young face of farming that students will be able to relate to and supporting those students participating in the Archibull Prize with information and ideas.

The farmers are also developing short films, which will tell their story and give everyone a chance to look around their farms.  Using multimedia to tell their stories is an important way to engage with a larger group of students from around Australia (and the world!).

Check out what Emma has to say to next gen urban Sure to inspire other young people to follow her journey

Always learning, the Young Farming Champions will meet again in November to share their experiences with each other.   This will be an opportunity to evaluate the partnerships they are forging with city-based students and consider how to increase the levels of understanding they are developing.

In 2012 the program aims to expand to include a greater number of industries and young farmers.  The work the Young Farming Champions are doing now will underpin the growth of the program to benefit our whole community.

Archibull Prize 2011 Schools Selected

Archibull Prize 2011

Congratulations to the 20 schools in Western Sydney who have been selected to participate in 2011 Archibull Prize.  

6 PRIMARY SCHOOLS  including Maraylya Public School, Macarthur Anglican School ,Windsor Public School, Schofield Primary School, St Michael’s Catholic Primary School and RIDBC Alice Betteridge School


14 SECONDARY SCHOOLS including Richmond High School, Caroline Chisholm College, Colo High School. Rouse Hill Anglican College, Muirfield High School,  Northholm Grammar School, Model Farms High School. Terra Sancta College, Crestwood High School, Cranebrook High School, Hurlstone Agricultural High School, Quakers Hill High School, Castle Hill High School and St Ignatius College will be eyeing off the ultimate reward


This year builds on the successful 2010 Archibull Prize pilot that started with an anticipated five schools program and grew to fourteen schools due to demand for the program from schools and supporting sponsors.


Each successful high school will be provided free of charge with a life size fibreglass cow on which the students create an artwork about the selected theme. 

Each successful primary school will be provided with a life-size fibreglass calf on which the students create an artwork about the selected theme. 

To ensure students and teachers are well equipped and briefed on the program each school will be assigned a Young Farming Champion.  The Young Farming Champion will come to your school to present the program to your students and provide a personal insight into their farming experiences.  In addition, schools will have access to a kaleidoscope of paddock to plate professionals.  The school is also provided with paint materials and a resource kit at no cost.

This year we are asking the students to

•               create an ‘Archibull Artwork’ that embraces the theme:-

‘Bridging the Rural – Urban Divide – What does it take to feed Sydney for a day sustainably.”

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

•               Produce a short video to raise the profile of Australian farmers.

•               Produce a ‘PowerPoint’ for publishing via the LandLearn NSW website which communicates the importance and relevance of student sustainability learnings with a focus on a whole systems’ ( i.e. “cradle to grave” from “A to Z” from “start to finish”) approach. Research how these whole systems work and why are they so important for sustainability.


The student groups will enter their project work to win the ‘Archibull Prize’ – which uses creative arts to engage the students and the wider community in discussions about agricultural sustainability and natural resource management. The result will see our next generation of consumers, decision makers and leaders having a deeper understanding of the future challenges that face our primary industries and the community more widely.

“When planning for a year, plant corn; for a decade, plant a tree; for a lifetime, educate people”~Chinese Proverbs



Young Farming Champions leading the way for young people

What inspires you about farming? I think it’s an easy question to answer in the minds of enthusiastic, young farmers—but if it’s the first time you’ve tried to put it into words, there’s often a lot to say.

Our ten young farmers from NSW recently gathered for a workshop centred on Bridging the Rural–Urban Divide. They answered questions like the above, and talked about why and how they could help inspire students and urban people about agriculture.

The Young Farming Champions learned about their audience, of ‘city people’, through listening exercises; they learned about tricky issues in agriculture and the future and perceptions of those issues; and they learned about themselves as leaders, speakers, and inspiring young people.

Jenni Metcalfe and Sarah Cole (Econnect Communication)  helped facilitate the workshop along with the fantastic organisational skills of Kirsty John and Loran Blades from Event Directors.

As a rural-but-not-agriculture kid myself, I certainly learned a lot from the workshop too.  said Sarah

So what’s the next step for these Young Farming Champions? Well, they’re in the middle of making videos and presentations for the kids they’ll speak to in schools, and then will head into those schools to talk about Art4Agriculture’s Archibull Prize. We can’t wait to hear about their successes and their experiences with the Archibulls.