Young Farming Champion Sam Wan anounced as top wool broker for 2019

We are sooooooo proud of this fabulous young woman – Mega congratulations Sam.

The content for this blog was sourced from story by Terry Sim at Sheep Central

A YOUNG Australian wool broker who has made the industry her life by innovating to provide the best experience for service company staff and grower clients has won her sector’s most prestigious award.

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Elders wool technical co-ordinator and auctioneer Samantha Wan, 31, last night was announced the winner of the 2019 National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia Broker Award at the Wool Week Dinner in Melbourne.

In a hard-fought contest of live presentations, resumes and quizzing on industry issues, Sam was judged the award winner against Australian Wool Network wool and sheep specialist Russell Macgugan from Victoria and Western Australian Landmark broker Matthew Chambers.

Sam said she appreciated being part of the award alumni, especially among the several Elders brokers who have won the award and who she now looks up to.

“This is very much, as with anything I’ve ever done, a testament to all the people who have helped me get to where I am.

“Those who have given me a chance and supported some of the strange things I’ve decided to do and been prepared to give it a go and see how it flies.”

Although not born into the sheep and wool industry, after starting with Elders about seven years as a trainee, Sam said she has built her life around wool through her support role, advocacy, community work and involvement in industry programs.

“It’s all been because of wool, all the opportunities have been because of wool.

“So it’s not just a wool family, but it’s building a life around it,” she said.

“But it is very much a family and (tonight) I’ve been able to see some faces I don’t see very often and to have that support network — I know they are all there.”

The award’s prize includes an economy airfare, accommodation and Congress fees to attend the IWTO Congress in Tongxiang, China in May 2020 and a tour of the Chinese wool textile industry. The Award recipient will be exposed to the wider wool industry beyond greasy wool auctions and the international trading rules system for wool.

Sam’s passion persisted from the first interview

Elders National Wool Selling Centre manager Simon Hogan said it was so satisfying to see Sam win the award, whose passion first stood out in a telephone interview for a wool technical support officer role.

“It was her passion and enthusiasm for agriculture and wool, and her desire to get into the industry.

“She had researched the role, she had researched Elders and it is still showing through now,” he said.

“Sam is so passionate, and her dedicated and her willingness to dot the i’s and cross the t’s to make sure everything is done has followed through from day one.

“Wool is Sam’s life, she wears wool, she knows all about the product…Sam is wool 24 hours. She is up against it not coming from a farming background with so many challenges to overcome.

But what she brings to our team is a point of difference, she brings a different skillset.

This included her IT, social media and marketing skills.  Sam’s role at Brooklyn includes completing all weekly sale operations, providing technical advice to clients, district wool managers and the branch network. She auctioneers weekly in Melbourne and as required in Sydney and she is an excellent auctioneer,” Mr Hogan said.

Sam also created an internal weekly wool market report podcast and is always looking for ways to expand the Elders Wool digital and social media footprint. Her IT skills helped develop, implement and support of Elders’ new wool-valuing system across all three wool selling centres. She is also studying a certificate on Blockchain technologies.

Mr Hogan said examples of innovations introduced at Elders by Sam included livestreaming of the wool catalogue.

“Without Sam we wouldn’t have thought of that and now the whole industry is doing it.

Sam brings a different dimension to our team — she breaks the mould.

Sam brings that diversity and that’s what makes a good team – she’s a brilliant asset and we all love her.”

Mr Hogan said every district wool manager has their grower clients.

“But Sam’s clients are everybody’s clients, she supports the whole lot and makes the district wool managers look good.

“Her attention to details and perfectionist manner makes it all comes together.”

Keep looking outside and to the future

Despite her achievements, Sam said there is still work to be done. The broker award and the Elders ‘Thomas Elder’ Employee of the Year award she won last year for improving end-to-end service to wool growers, helped set the bar for her.

“You just need to keep looking to the future.

“It’s a traditional industry which is what I love about it, but there are still things being used in different industries that we can bring in to make more money for the growers.”

Next week as part of her ongoing work in advocacy and educational work with youth as an Archibull Prize  Australian Wool Innovation Young Farming Champion she will talk about her wool career at three high schools in Sydney.

“There a whole bunch of us Young Farming Champions in different fields of agriculture out there sharing our stories.”

Calibre of broker award finalists was excellent

On behalf of fellow judges WoolProducers president Ed Storey and Sheep Central correspondent Murray Arnel, AWTA raw wool general manager Ian Ashman said the calibre of all three presentations was excellent.

He said the complexity of modern day wool broking and the detailed skill set needed to do the job effectively was clear from the finalists’ presentations.

“In a close run race, the panel believes that Samantha best met the assessment criteria.

“In particular, Sam impressed with her strong focus on communication, education and engagement, both within the wool industry and to the wider community in general.”

“Her innovative approach and ability to introduce new tools and techniques to assist both broker staff and clients to get the best possible financial returns is extremely impressive.”

Mr Ashman said it was extremely difficult to separate the finalists and all would be very worthy winners.

All finalists impressed the judges with their passion and dedication to the wool industry, commitment to providing outstanding service to grower clients, their work in educating the next generation of brokers and the extremely high quality of their written submissions and face-to-face presentations.

The judging panel this year gave equal weighting and consideration to applicants who were office or field-based, within criteria that including innovation, service delivery, business outcomes, performance standards, ethics, presentation, dedication, business relations and industry awareness.

The content for this blog was sourced from story by Terry Sim at Sheep Central

#youthinag #youthvoices19 #wool #wearwool #lovewool

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ANNOUNCING OUR 2019 NATIONAL AGDAY CAREERS COMPETITION

Imagine your dream career in agriculture !!!!!!

In conjunction with Sydney Science Park we are launching our third “Imagine Your Dream Career in Agriculture” competition to coincide with National Agriculture Day on November 21. The competition encourages students in Years 5-12 to envisage their own career in STEM based agriculture.

Aimee Snowden from Little Brick Pastoral has created ten STEM agricultural photographs showcasing LEGO® minifigures to represent science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. The careers are an agribusiness banker, an agriculture teacher, an agronomist, a biosecurity officer, an engineer, a geneticist, a GIS specialist, a mechanic, a scientist and a stock and station agent.

Lego Characters

Students may choose one of Aimee’s characters on which to base their entry or alternatively may build and photograph their own LEGO® character. They are then asked to identify their interests and the subjects they excel at, research pathways they might take to achieve their agricultural career dream and to write a day-in-the-life story on their chosen career.

Entries will take the form of an infographic and a $2000 prize pool is on offer.

FIND OUT EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW HERE  

For Teachers

The Where Might a Career in Agriculture Take You unit of inquiry has been created for students and teachers participating in The Archibull Prize.    It  can easily be adapted by teachers to meet the brief of the National AGDay Careers Competition. If your school would like to hear from a Young Farming Champion please contact us here 

#YouthinAg #YouthVoices #STEMCareers

Competition Details

Closing the gender gap in agriculture to promote STEM careers

Young Farming Champion Emma Ayliffe is presenting at the PIEFA Conference in Canberra today.  As a young person working in Agriculture Emma knows how exciting it is and loves to spread the word to all the young people she meets in schools. Emma’s presentation looks at the elephant in the room –  industry image.

This is what Emma will share with the audience ………….

The future of our world starts off in the classroom today.

Teachers have a major impact on student learning and career choices.

We have all heard stories about teachers discouraging students from following career pathways in agriculture. Why is that?

Industry image plays a key role in the ability to attract young people into agriculture

Sadly Agriculture has a reputation as the King of Gender Inequality.

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With statistics like these we can see why

  • For 100 years Australia’s agricultural secondary and tertiary colleges were MEN ONLY
  • It wasn’t till the 1970’s that they opened the door to women
  • It took until 2003 for the ratio of men to women studying agriculture at university to become 1:1
  • Whilst women now generate 49% of on-farm income they earn 8% less than men

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  • Women only hold 13% of industry leadership roles (compared to 28% across other industries) .
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  • In fact farming decision-making bodies have been described as “closed social networks” with men over 35 years still the most likely to be elected to boards, despite 40 per cent of Australian farmers being women, with an average incidence of tertiary education that is double that of men. An industry with a men’s club mindset.
  • Agriculture STILL has the least gender diverse board rooms with only 2.3% of women in CEO positions compared to 17% in other industries.

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  • It wasn’t till 1994 the Australian Law Reform Commission reviewed farm women’s legal status and finally defined them as “farmers” instead of
    • Domestics
    • Helpmates or
    • Farmer’s wives

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My name is Emma Ayliffe and I am 26 years old

I am VERY proud to say I am a member of a group of young people changing the face, image and gender diversity of agriculture

As you will have noticed I am female

What you might not know is I am

  • a farmer,
  • an agronomist,
  • a business owner and
  • a Young Farming Champion

I also sit on

  • The Southern Valley Cotton Growers Association Committee
  • Australian Cotton Conference Youth Committee
  • The Irrigation Research and Extension Leadership Group
  • And I am the Vice-Chair of the Youth Voices Leadership Team

As a Young Farming Champion, I go into schools as part of the project-based learning program The Archibull Prize. The Archibull Prize has gained the awesome reputation as being the Queen of Gender Equality

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My role as a Young Farming Champion in schools is to share my career journey in agriculture and inspire others (both men and women) to follow in my footsteps

Like me, many of our Young Farming Champions have STEM based careers.

As part of my agronomy business I am involved in crop research trials and conduct research myself. We test new and evolving farm technology including automation and advanced crop managements and many other areas of agricultural STEM.

AGRICULTURE HAS A LOT OF WORK TO DO TO CHANGE THE IMAGE OF CAREERS IN OUR SECTOR

As you can see from this word cloud from The Archibull Prize entry survey at the beginning of the program young people in schools struggle to identify careers in the sector beyond farming related activities. This is despite 82% of careers in agriculture supporting farmers both behind and beyond the farm gate.

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Talking about agricultural careers to teenagers in conjunction with The Archibull Prize comes at an opportune time as students make crucial decisions on their educational future.

Year on year The Archibull Prize evaluation shows us the key to success is exposing teachers and students to exciting young professionals working in diverse roles in agriculture.

To have young farming professionals share their experiences only makes the decisions better informed and raises excitement about STEM-based careers.

A key hook for both teachers and students is the innovation, science and technology that drives 21st century farming.

The Archibull Prize exit survey highlights the success of this approach

By the end of the competition students have a specific and varied repertoire related to actual career classifications rather than jobs around the farm. This is evident with more technical words being used like agronomist, vet, engineer, scientist, geneticist.

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With a large cohort of our Young Farming Champions being scientists and agronomists, their impact is evident through the high numbers of students who listed ‘Agronomist’ or ‘Scientist’ role. This is further confirmed as students listed their top three choices of careers in agriculture that THEY would consider.

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The full extent as to the endless opportunities and career options cannot be described in the short 5 minutes that I have here today but working with students participating in the Archibull Prize for SEVEN months in schools allows them to immerse themselves in every aspect of the farming industry as they study and explore ALL of the exciting career options.

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Women (like me) are key agents of change and innovation and offer significant leadership in sustainability, food security, rural communities, natural disasters and policymaking.

If we are going to have a profitable, productive, resilient and sustainable agriculture industry into the future the sector must been viewed as a career of first choice that promotes gender equality.

Young people are doing amazing things in agriculture – both young men and young women – we have a chance to model gender equity to the next generation when going into schools

The Archibull Prize model shows how far we have come.

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We invite you all to join us in The Archibull Prize to create a future where men and women work together as partners on farms and on boards and where the conversation is no longer about gender, but how we are building a better agricultural future for Australia.

Watch Emma talk about her career journey

 

 

 

Australian dairy industry cheering on researcher Dr Jo Newton in the Victorian Young Achiever Awards

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Dairy research scientist Dr Jo Newton has been named as a finalist in the 2018 Young Achiever Awards for her work fostering change in the Australian dairy industry through the adoption of genetic tools and technologies.
Dr Newton is one of three finalists out of 60 young people nominated under the Leadership Award category for the 2018 awards, with the winner to be announced at a gala dinner on May 18.
Dr Newton currently works for Agriculture Victoria Research on the ImProving Herds Project, which aims to determine the contribution of herd improvement to the Australian dairy industry.

“I grew up in suburban Melbourne and was introduced to agriculture through my experiences at Tintern Grammar’s on campus farm,” she said.
“Work experience in high school helped me set my sights on an agricultural degree and I moved interstate to study for a Bachelor of Rural Science.”

Dr Newton also completed her PhD in animal breeding and genetics before taking on her role with the Victorian Government.

“I saw the position advertised and the chance to work on an applied multi-disciplinary project in livestock genetics with direct engagement with industry was exactly what I was looking for,” she said.
“Working in agriculture means we are in a fast-growing sector; couple that with the digital revolution and a strong demand for graduates – it all makes for an exciting future in agriculture.”

She believes Australia has a strong track record when it comes to delivering cutting edge research, but there is room for improvement with its transfer of knowledge.
Dr Newton encouraged other young people to get into agriculture, particularly young women.

“Agriculture is still a male dominated industry, and being mentored by strong female role models early in my career, including my manager and PhD supervisor, has certainly played an important role in my development.
“I feel honoured to have been selected as a finalist; young people may only be 20 per cent of our current population but we are the future. I really hope to use this spotlight to promote the diverse career pathways and wonderful opportunities in the agricultural sector.”

ImProving Herds is a three-year, $1.8million project that has gathered evidence from real farms to determine the contribution of herd improvement to Australian dairy businesses. Funded by the Gardiner Dairy Foundation and Dairy Australia, ImProving Herds is a collaboration involving the Victorian Government, DataGene, Dairy Australia, Holstein Australia, and the National Herd Improvement Association of Australia (NHIA).

Media Article
Monday, April 30, 2018 | Media contact: Mel Curtis (03) 5561 9938
http://www.agriculture.vic.gov.au

Footnote

Jo has a big fan base across agriculture and we are all cheering her on. You can vote for Jo in the People’s Choice Awards here 

#GoGirlfriend #YouthVoices18 #Youthinag

Growing excitement about STEM careers in agriculture

One of the things that excites us about careers in agriculture is the opportunities available for young people to learn and grow and travel and travel to help others learn and grow

A great example is Young Farming Champion and Youth Voices Leadership Team member Laura Phelps who is currently a policy officer with the Department of Agriculture in Canberra has landed herself a job working with the British government on their BREXIT strategy. We look forward to Laura sharing her UK sojourn highlights with us.

Laura’s departure to the other end of the globe meant an early visit to her Archibull Prize school and she was wax lyrical about her visit to The Henry Lawson High School who are studying the pork industry in 2018

You don’t need to have an agricultural science degree to be excited about agriculture – that was the message Young Farming Champion Laura Phelps took to Years 9 and 10 students at Grenfell’s Henry Lawson High School recently. Laura was at the school as part of the 2018 Archibull Prize, where she introduced students and staff to the pork industry and the plethora of STEM careers available in agriculture.

“There are so many opportunities for STEM-based careers within the pork industry,” Laura said. “Ag-engineering, mechanical engineering, nutrition, biology, medicine etc. and it was great to see the kids already had a good appreciation of this. But what they were really interested in was bacteria and antibiotics and the role farmers play as antibiotic stewards and how pigs can create new antibiotics for us.”

Laura was “blown away” by the teachers at Henry Lawson High School and their approach to The Archibull Prize, incorporating high-level biology and chemical technology. As the school is in an agricultural zone many of the students already had a good understanding of agriculture and how this technology can be applied, but Laura found most students thought a career in agriculture involved doing an ag-science degree.

“Agriculture is reliant on a cross-pollination of degrees using a diverse set of skills and knowledge,” Laura said. “I was able to show the students that many other degrees have applications in agriculture, for example, engineering and chemistry. You don’t need an agricultural science degree to get excited about agriculture.”

Many of the students had strong ideas about their future careers with some wishing to be agronomists and one hoping to develop agricultural apps. “He can see all the smart-farm technology that is happening in the United States and he wants to be able to build it himself,” Laura said.

Talking about agricultural careers to teenagers in conjunction with The Archibull Prize comes at an opportune time as students make crucial decisions on their educational future. To have a young farming professional such as Laura Phelps share her experiences only makes the decisions better informed, and raises excitement about STEM-based careers.

_2017 Supporting partners Capture

Youth Voices Matter

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Young people are in a unique position as they face the reality of an uncertain future but potentially they are bestplaced to push for and define the long-term societal response to the planet they envision. They are also the most vulnerable to the legacy of decisions made by older generations. Although young adults arguably have the most to gain and the most to lose their voices are not prominent, and too often engagement with this crucial demographic is in many ways limited. The Archibull Prize seeks to enable and empower students to make decisions and take actions that contribute to creating a sustainable future. To assist the students on their journey we pair them with young professionals (Young Farming Champions) from the agriculture sector.

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Young Farming Champion and keynote speaker Anika Molesworth  explains why Youth Voices Matter is this excellent post  “Restless Development”  from her Climate Wise Agriculture blog

Around half the world is under 30 and nine in ten of these young people live in developing countries.

Some are calling it Peak Youth – never before have there been so many young people in this world.

Due to this, their voices are going to be heard, and their actions are going to be felt. Their presence in global to local issues will be known. Why do I think this? Because the young generation are now more educated, tech-savvy and connected than ever before. And they care about their future.

This is why youth coalitions are growing and hashtags like #YouthVoices18 matter.
Young people restless for change are striving for fair, just and ecologically-sustainable development.

The youth today are going to face challenges like never felt before in history.
Climate change, forced migration and ecological degradation to name a few.
When natural environments cease to function as they should, and communities fracture and disperse, young people are caught in the wave of consequences from past actions and inactions.

But the youth also play an important role in overcoming these challenges.

Youth voices are particularly powerful.
Their smart-phone megaphones and global cyber-networks mean ideas and information are shared instantaneously. They see the injustices, they hear of the biological-plundering, and they are motivated to speak up, knuckle down and swipe-left on the status-quo.
For instance, young people in many parts of the world are calling on their governments to do more to prevent harmful climate change impacts. They say the failure to protect their future by slow or inadequate action violates the rights of young people to life, liberty and property enjoyed by previous generations. The idleness to set in place policies and structures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions exacerbates the risk and intensity of droughts, bushfires and floods – severely impacting those setting out on a career in agriculture.

Young people pursuing farming have no small task on their hands. Striving for high quality produce and global food security whilst reducing our environmental footprint is one of the most significant challenges of our time. Many experts predict that by 2050, population demands from nearly 10 billion people will require a 60% increase in global food production or a significant change to the global distribution, storage, consumption and access to food. Education and empowerment of young people in agriculture is critical.

When planning a brighter future, we need to be guided by young people, drawing upon their energy, creativity and skills for positive change. There are so many exciting young people working in genetics, soil science, irrigation engineering, carbon capture research, etc. – powering ahead in research, technology development and sharing their stories. Our leaders must not only acknowledge their interest, but seek the input of the youth, to implement measures that effectively protect young citizens from the foreseeable impacts of the ‘mega-challenges’ like climate change, and provide the platforms for young people to rewrite the narrative.

Young people in agriculture are taking a seat at the solutions dining table.
Their restless desire to change the trajectory should serve us all food for thought.
As the people who will be most greatly impacted by climate change, social upheaval and ecological unravelling, they need to be armed with the skills and knowledge to face these head-on, and they need to be part of developing the global redesign.

When given the capacity, support and trust – these restless young people push the boundaries and become a force for ambitious positive change.

 

_2017 Supporting partners Capture