Youth Voices at LambEx

LambEx is an annual celebration of all things great in the Australian sheep and lamb industries and part of the celebration is the naming of finalists in the Young Guns competition.

The aim of the LambEx Young Guns Competition is to recognise and encourage

young and upcoming industry professionals, producers and scientists to

consider a future or ongoing career in the Australian lamb industry.


Deanna Johnston, our shearing YFC currently working in Longreach, was runner-up in this competition in 2014, and in 2018 we are proud to announce that another YFC, Danila Marini, is a finalist. Danila works in the field of animal (and in particular, sheep) welfare research:

To be named a Young Gun is exciting.

 I’m so glad to be given the chance to talk about the opportunities and the bright future

of the Australian Wool and sheepmeat industry. I think Young Guns is important

as it gives young people within the industry the ability to be involved

and learn new skills.

But it’s not only our YFC making waves as finalists. Hannah Haupt from Calvary Christian College in Brisbane was part of the Grand Champion Archibull Team in 2017, when the school studied the wool industry, and she is a finalist in the high school division.

Calvary Christian College (1)

But it’s not only our YFC making waves as finalists. Hannah Haupt from Calvary Christian College in Brisbane was part of the Grand Champion Archibull Team in 2017, when the school studied the wool industry, and she is a finalist in the high school division. Here’s what her teacher Lisa Bullas says about Hannah’s journey:

Hannah is a passionate agriculturalist and is highly involved with sheep in our

College show team (Suffolk Sheep). Her knowledge and understanding in one so

young is inspiring to those around her. 


Lisa also had this to say about The Archibull Prize:

As a part of show team, we work with the many contacts and actively involve our alumni students, who mentor our youngsters and open up opportunities/share knowledge that we simply can’t with our limited resources.  Being a part of The Archibull Prize has further enhanced some of these connections, providing opportunities that we could otherwise have missed. The capacity of the program to make connections between industry and education is a huge advantage.

When we survey our Young Farming Champions one of the key messages they send us is a desire to reach out and connect with someone who has walked in their shoes, to have a conversation with a peer or to be mentored. This is part of the Art4Agriculture vision, so it is very exciting for us to announce that Deanna will mentor Hannah and give her valuable insights into the Young Guns competition.

At LambEx, to be held in Perth from August 5-7, Danila and Hannah will make a four minute presentation to judges discussing their current role and potential future in the sheep and lamb industry. Good luck girls. We wish you both success.

Cheering them on from the sidelines will be Young Farming Champions Adele Offley and Chloe Dutschke travelling to Perth to ensure they are up-to-date with the opportunities for wool producers.

#YouthinAg #YouthVoices18 #LambEx


_2017 Supporting partners Capture


Wool Young Farming Champions announced

A journalist, a PhD student, a budding auctioneer and a qualified wool classer.

The latest crop of talented Art4Agriculture Wool Young Farming Champions (YFC) prove variety is the key to engaging the next generation.

Sponsored by Australian Wool Innovation, these young people are a living proof that there is nothing boring or conventional about the future of their industry.

Former television news journalist, Victorian-born Bessie Blore has been farming in far west NSW with her husband for two years. Approaching agriculture with fresh eyes, she admits to learning on the run.


Her number one lesson?

“There is really no such thing as a stupid question or action,” she said.
“That’s the only way you can learn about something you know nothing about. Ask, ask, ask. And give a big cheeky grin when you make a mistake, say sorry, and move on.”

“There is room for fresh blood in our farming future, and there are new, inspiring, exciting stories to be started from today,” Bessie said.

A thirst for learning and a passion for sheep took city-girl Jo Newton to Armidale in NSW to study agriculture.

Jo Newton

Photo Matt Cawood

Now studying a PHD focusing on the environmental and genetic factors influencing early reproductive performance in sheep, Jo proves that studying agriculture can lead to a world of opportunities and she shares her story at any opportunity.

“As important a job as farming is, there are many different jobs in our sector,” she said. “That’s something many people don’t fully understand.”

“I am proud of the agricultural sector and my small role in it and am happy to share my story with as many of city friends as I can.”

Rounding out this year’s YFC’s are Cassie Baile, a fifth generation sheep farmer from Bendemeer in the New England region of NSW and Adele Offley from Crookwell in NSW.

Twenty-two-year-old, Cassie now lives and works in Sydney, employed by Elders as a wool technical support officer at Yennora Wool Selling centre.

Cassie Baille

Qualified Wool Classer Adele has a lifelong passion for wool stemming from the fascination of watching the sheep being shorn and the wool sorted in the shearing shed growing up on the family farm.

Dr Jane Littlejohn, Head of On-Farm RD&E at Australian Wool Innovation agreed that the wool industry is in good hands.

“AWI is proud of the achievements of the younger generation and believe that their stories will inspire other young people about the wool industry and its opportunities,” she said.

“The industry needs young advocates who are passionate and can relate to students. AWI is delighted to be involved again in the Young Farming Champion program for 2013.”

Young Farming Champions will start visiting the 42 schools participating in the 2013 “Archibull Prize” in coming days.

Team Wool

The 2013 Wool Young Farming Champions caught up with Wool YFC 2011 Melissa Henry at the recent workshop at NSW Farmers

Want to connect with our Wool Young Farming Champions

Bessie Blogs at

Melissa Blogs at


Adele @AdeleOffley

Jo @JoNewton89

Bessie @BloreBess

Melissa @baalissa

Four Young Farmers meet Prince Charles

Did you ever dream of meeting a prince???

HRH Prince Charles recently visited Australia and four of our Young Farming Champions met him and had the opportunity to speak with him and share their passion for agriculture 

Today I am reproducing a post from Art4Agriculture Wool Young Farming Champion  Sammi Townsend’s blog Youth in Agtion.  In November last year Sammi was given the opportunity along with three other Art4Agriculture Wool Young Farming Champions to meet and talk to HRH Prince Charles on his recent trip to Australia. One behalf of Art4Agriculture I would like to say a special thanks to Australian Wool Innovation for the amazing opportunities and doors they have opened for their 2012 Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions and we are thrilled they have indicated they are on board again for 2013     


Why I Flocked To Sydney This Weekend… 11th November 2012

I was privileged enough to shake hands and mingle with The Prince of Wales who was on one of the final legs of his Australian Tour last week. HRH, who is the Patron for Campaign for Wool, joined wool growers, designers and even 3 merino wethers at an exclusive event atop of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.


Left to Right: Art4Ag Young Farming Champions Lauren Crothers, Sammi Townsend and Steph Grills

On the day I proudly sported a woollen garment by local designer Michelle Kent, who is the owner of the boutique label “So Stella” based in Orange.


Founded in 2004 the NSW based fashion business, which offers customers handmade as well as tailor made services, has developed from a business model that has kept a social conscience and integrity at its core. I was most certainly proud to be representing my industry with wool and at the same time supporting a lovely local business!


The event was hosted by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) who kindly invited me as a young wool ambassador to the event to represent the education sector as a part of the Art4Agriculture program. Just as HRH has a role as a Patron for Campaign for Wool to educate people about the versatility of wool in fashion, furnishings and everyday life, my role is to inform Australian metropolitan school students about the agricultural industry with a focus on wool.


Not only did I shake hands with Prince Charles, but also took great pleasure in chatting to him about what the Art4Agriculture program is about. It was a wonderful opportunity to sum up our key messages and inform him of the great things happening in our industry at the moment such as the School’s Merino Wether and Fibre of Our Nation competitions.
Amongst the small crowd present were many designers such as Josh Goot, Dion Lee, Kym Ellery, Camilla Freeman-Topper (of Camilla and Marc) as well as Akira Isogawa who proudly showcased their woollen creations.


Above: One of Kym Ellery’s Designs

A lot of attention was also attracted to the three North Ashrose merino wethers who had travelled 18 hours from South Australia to be displayed at the event.


After the event had wrapped up I made my way to the AWI head office where we mingled over lunch with some key AWI staff who then proceeded to give a number of interesting presentations about their strategic framework, research and development and the marketing of wool.

Campaign For Wool showcase for HRH Prince of Wales

I have been privileged as a young wool ambassador with AWI and Art4Agriculture and most certainly have been able to broaden my networks and establish many connections beyond my own agricultural community thanks to their support. They have given me the confidence to share my story in agriculture so far as well as one of the oldest industries Australia has built itself upon, none other than the wool industry.

Archibull Prize Judging Day 2…. and more still!

Hills Adventist College

“Missy Moo” has the weight of the wool industry resting on her shoulders. In fact, it is literally built on this poor cow/sheep’s back.

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The old fashioned stencilling on the bale reinforces this idea even further. “Agriculture Australia” is literally riding on poor Missy Moo.

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The bale shows some of the history, the processes and the products associated with the wool industry in Australia in soft, subtle sepia tones.

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Her body itself, while recognisably bovine, has wonderfully tactile fleece patterning, which, while initially distorted, soon morphs cleverly into distinct,  woolly little Australia maps.

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Hills Adventist College love their Aussie Farmer. Check out their video to see how much