The world needs creative, innovative and courageous young people who can connect, collaborate and act. We know that youth may only be 20% of the population but they are 100% of the future. The time is now to let them share their dreams and design the future they want to see.
Following on from our chat to new AWI YFCs Matt Cumming and Tom Squires we now find out what the new UNE YFCs thought of their first year of the Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program.
Rebecca George and Emily May are both studying at the University of New England and have completed the first year of the YFC program where, like Matt and Tom, they gained media training and skills in how to present their story and networked with other young people in agriculture.
“The opportunity to do personal and professional development and to meet other passionate aggies was my motivation for joining the program. I was keen to learn how to spread positive messages about agriculture in everyday life.” says Rebecca
For Rebecca and Emily, the power of presenting a positive story was a revelation as they became aware of the connotations of reinforcing negative stereotypes.
“I learnt the power of having a positive vision to inspire people to join a common cause. The personal story I have chosen to share with school students has changed and I now place a greater focus on sharing more of the positive impacts of my journey.
I live and work on farms in Western Sydney and urban expansion is replacing our fertile farmland all around me. I want everyone to be as passionate as me about getting the right balance between land for housing people in Western Sydney and land for feeding people.
Did you know the vegetables produced in the Sydney region account for 22% of all vegetables supplied in NSW? At times of the year, the Sydney region is the source of 90% of NSW’s vegetable products.
Not only this, agriculture on the edge of Sydney provides ecological benefits that are known as ‘ecosystem services’ – the types of values that we enjoy from having green space and biodiversity. Other examples include improved water and waste management, reduced urban heat effects and improved air quality, reduced carbon emissions, conservation of biodiversity, and improved nutrient recycling. Farms also provide mutually beneficial partnerships for job creation and renewable energy generation” says Emily
Emily and Rebecca’s first Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders workshop coincided with a professional development day for teachers delivering Kreative Koalas into primary schools and the chance to network was another highlight for the girls.
“My major highlight from the program was the formal dinner we attended during the first workshop. During this night we met people from various backgrounds including new and alumni YFC, teachers and our YFC ‘tutors’. This was a great experience as it made me come out of my shell and talk to people.”
“The other YFC motivate and inspire me so much. This was my highlight of the program. It is a very special thing to have a large group of people who are all passionate and incredibly knowledgeable to work with, and I learnt something every time I spoke with a YFC.”
Recognising the power of learning from others and having opportunities to practice what you learn are pivotal to success the Picture You in Agriculture team work closely with our supporting partners to ensure success.Developing their personal stories, learning about the media and networking with others has led Rebecca and Emily to become more involved with ag-week at UNE and to spread their agricultural knowledge beyond their own circle of friends and family.
“Through connections made with YFC I was put in contact with the Hawkesbury Harvest Trail who offered me the opportunity to be one of their voices for their segment on ABC radio. I have applied what I have learnt by reducing the amount of jargon I use in my speech and ensuring the message I portray is of positive nature. Making sure to not reinforce the negative has also been important in developing my messages to be aired on ABC.” Emily May
Listen to Emily on the ABC on the radio
With both girls keen for their second year of the Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program they realise the importance of being proactive in their training.
“I think this program is unique in that the more you put in the more you get out. I am now confident I can use my voice to advocate for agricultural change.” Rebecca George
Shoutout to our supporting partners who are empowering young people to collaborate and solve tomorrow’s problems today
This week’s top stories from our Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the country and globe.
In the field
First stop on our round the globe tour this week is with YFC Sam Coggins who has touched down in SE Asia for the next stage of his work with Rise Harvest. Sam is the co-founder of the Rise Harvest smartphone app that provides site-specific fertilizer recommendations for smallholder rice growers in Myanmar.
“I just had a day in the field during an intensive rice course at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, where I tried unsuccessfully to plough rice field with Gertrude the carribou (native water buffalo),” Sam says. ” I will be here for the next three weeks and then I’m going to straight to Myanmar to put learnings into practice developing digital fertilizer knowledge tool with smallholder rice growers.”
On Aussie soil, Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) vice-chair and agronomist Emma Ayliffe sent us this update from her farm near Lake Cargelligo, central NSW:
“The 2019 winter cropping season has seen a much better start compared to last with rains earlier to get crops out of the ground. Small rain events every couple of weeks are helping to sustain our crop but we need a substantial rain event in the next couple of months to get closer to average yields. Compared to last year we are in a much more exciting position as can be seen this this picture,” Emma says.
Friend of the YFC program, National Farmers Federation 2030 Leader Matt Chapness is in Laos and sent us an update while “passing the time on a two hour drive to the village.”
“Yesterday I demonstrated a modified whipper snipper we made to control weeds in direct seeded rice in Laos. This picture (below) shows the results. Field overrun by weeds (left), weed cut (right). I’m off to demo to three other villages today and give them our design.”
Out of the field
Climate YFC and InStyle Magazine Farmer for Change/Klorane Changemaker Anika Molesworth is a triple threat this week with appearances on both television and radio, as well as articles published online!
Anika joined the panel on ABC’s The Drum to talk about climate change, examining the impacts of higher temperatures and lower rainfall, dissecting Australia’s current climate and energy policy, and looking forward to where the country could go from here.
She spoke about how the agricultural industry is being challenged by rapidly changing conditions, why current policy is out of line with the science, and gave examples of the great potential in rural Australia as we move to a low-carbon economy.
Anika also spoke with Triple J’s Hack about drought and the Future Drought Fund which provides relief for some farmers experiencing the word drought in recorded history and the need for emissions to be reduced in order to prevent worse future droughts. Take a listen here.
“In failing to act on human-induced climate change, our political leaders are neglecting the rights of the next generation.
“You just need to turn on your television to know this drought is tough. Every evening, Australian families are being bombarded with footage of struggling farmers, dust-bowl paddocks and hungry animals…”Read more here.
A two time Charles Sturt University graduate, Anika this week starred on the CSU “Insight: explore news, careers and study with CSU” website in the stroy, ‘Women in agriculture- let’s push things forward.’ Read more here. And what a woman she is! Keep up the great work Anika!
If you don’t follow Anika on Twitter, you can find her at @AnikaMolesworth She has been named one of the most influential people in Australian agriculture on Twitter and this week alone her tweeted video on a national drought strategy has been viewed 17,800 times and counting…
What are we learning from the #drought and how should we respond?
Also hitting the radio waves this week was Eggs YFC and YVLT communication creative team member Jasmine Whitten who spoke to ABC New England for the NSW Country Hour. “I spoke about my passion for agriculture and the education activities I have done as a Young Farming Champion and a Landcare coordinator,” Jas says. It’s absolutely worth a listen:
Jas also headed back to her old stomping ground of the University of New England (UNE) last week for the uni’s huge Ag Week event. We spotted Jas in this video from Agmentation (a two-day sprint and pitch grassroots problem-solving event):
Ag Week was the perfect opportunity for our new UNE YFC to introduce themselves over on PYIA. Well done to our Ruby Canning, Emily May, Haylee Murrell, Forbes Corby & Rebecca George for a brilliant week of guest hosting our social media channels. Pop over to PYIA now to take a look back over the week, which included Becca George and Forbes Corby speaking on the Rural Focus Symposium Q & A panel, alongside speakers Andrew Roberts, David Brownhill & Jock Whittle.
“The theme of the day was ‘corporate vs family farming: learning from each other.’ On the panel we discussed challenges for young people entering farming & what we think the future of farming looks like for our generation,” Becca says.
As chair of the Farming Futures committee, YFC Forbes Corby was spotted in this story about the symposium in the Armidale Express
YFC Becca George was showcased on the UNE Agriculture Facebook page as part of the Farming Futures UNE Careers Fair, which is an opportunity for both high school and university students to meet industry representatives and consider careers in agriculture. What excites Bec about the future of careers in agriculture?
Heading west to Narromine, YFC and 2018 Narromine Showgirl Keiley O’Brien recently MC’d the 2019 Showgirl competition, which consisted of interviews, a luncheon and a ball.
YFC Keiley O’Brien, third from the right.
“We had five entrants in the competition, each who were a deserving winner, with Annabelle Powell, an embedding nurse, being named the 2019 Narromine Showgirl.
“I was honoured to MC the night as our outgoing Showgirl and had an absolute blast in doing so. It was great to see so many people within our district come together to celebrate our town, our show, and our people. We had a record number of 176 people in attendance, with two fellow YFC Bec George and Lucy Collingridge amongst the crowd.
“Big thanks to our judges: Spike Orr, Vice President of the Parkes Show Society, Effie Ferguson, The 2019 Land Sydney Royal Easter Show Girl Runner Up, and Lydia Herbert, ASC Next Gen Vice President.”
YFC Lucy Collingridge, Keiley O’Brien and Becca George caught up at the Narromine Showgirl Ball last weekend. Keiley was the 2018 Narromine showgirl and did an awesome job as the MC for the 2019 Narromine Showgirl Ball.
Last week also saw Keiley attend the Grain Growers Innovation Generation conference in Ballarat, Victoria with her employer RuralBiz Training. “Innovation Generation brings together award-winning speakers, innovators and industry professionals from across the sector, to inspire and challenge young people within the grains industry. I had a fabulous time networking and endorsing the flexible training programs offered through my work,” Keiley says.
Not far away in Bendigo it was all action at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show, where UNE YFC Ruby Canning was busy photographing for the Stock and Land Newspaper.
“The Sheep and Wool Show is the largest of its type in the Southern Hemisphere,” Ruby says. “It was a great experience meeting and networking with other individuals within agriculture. Competitors traveled from all over the country, including as far as Western Australian, to showcase their top stock.”
“While I was there I worked closely with Joely Mitchell, the Acting Editor of the Stock and Land. Along with photographing most of the champions, I had the privilege of photographing the industry dinner Lambition, which included meeting and photographing MLA corporate chef Sam Burke, as well as Jason Strong the newly appointed Managing Director of MLA.
“To top the event off one of my photos made the front page of the Stock and Land Newspaper for the second time, and I was shortlisted for the BBM Global Industry Scholarship.”
Congratulations Ruby! Fingers crossed for you with the scholarship winners announced in early October. If she wins, Ruby plans to travel to Canada and America to study the feedlot industry and meat grading and quality systems in comparison to Australia.
Ruby Canning with Joely Mitchell the Acting Stock and Land Editor at Lambition.
We were excited to see Ruby also spotted fellow wool lovers Rice YFC Erika Heffer and Dairy YFC and YVLT Chair Jo Newton in the crowd at the Sheep and Wool Show!
Over to Wagga Wagga, NSW, where YVLT mentor leader and Local Land Services (LLS) district veterinarian Dione Howard has been as busy as… well… an LLS district veterinarian!
Last Friday Dione attended the Graham Centre Livestock Forum with Riverina LLS, where livestock researchers, producers and market experts shared their latest insights.
Later in the week Dione spoke to the Charles Sturt University (CSU) Vet Science Class of 2020 about all things district vetting before the students head out on their final year of placements. The following day CSU had its Ag Careers Fair where students come together to hear from organisations in the agriculture sector who they might consider working for when they finish their agriculture, animal, vet or business degrees – lots of opportunities!
This Friday the Riverina LLS hosted a Lamb Post Mortem Workshop, in conjunction with Elders Wagga Wagga, where Dione shared with producers common causes of lamb mortalities and how they can identify what has happened to lambs so that they can make improvements for next year. Wow – what a week!
This week also saw Dione present at NFF House, Canberra, to a Lunch ‘n’ Learn group about her experience as WoolProducers Youth Ambassador for 2018-19. This was the last of her commitments for this program, now it’s over to Woolly YFC Samantha Wan for the 2019-20 Youth Ambassador role!
Speaking of Sam… If you’re heading to Sheepvention in Hamilton, Victoria, this week keep your eyes peeled for Samantha Wan. Sam is presenting the Elders Southern Clip of the Year awards. Looking forward to hearing more about this Sam!
We’re also staying tuned for news from YFC Steph Fowler who flew to Germany this week for the International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) which starts this Sunday. Steph is presenting three papers on the meat science research she has been doing at Department of Primary Industries, and Steph’s PhD student will be presenting another two papers. Break a leg, Steph!
Coming up this week in Sydney is the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) of NSW’s leading Agricultural and Agribusiness careers expo, AgVision2019. YFC Lucy Collingridge and Dee George, and friend of the program and NFF 2030 Leader Aimee Snowdown are all heading AgVision’s way – say hi if you see them!
UNE YFC Becca George is gracing the RAS of NSW Facebook Page and website this week as one of the 2019 RAS Foundation Rural Scholarship winners. 22-year-old Becca is a fourth year Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Agriculture UNE student in Arimdale, originally from the small central NSW town of Nevertire. The RAS Foundation Rural Scholarships support students from rural areas who have to relocate to study. Applications are now open for 2020 RAS Foundation Rural Scholarships: Apply here
And did you catch Becca George’s photo on the Ten News Daily Bailey segment? Congrats Becca and we hope it’s pouring with rain out there soon.
YFC and YVLT communication creative team volunteer extraordinaire Marlee Langfield was the face of the recent Rural Women’s Network Hidden Treasures Honour Roll campaign, which recognizes fabulous volunteering efforts of rural women. As a 2017 Hidden Treasures nominee, Marlee was asked to talk about why she loves being involved with her local community and how she hopes the Morongla Show will continue for another 100 years. “They came to the Country Women’s Association/Red Cross meeting to film, which meant they could see me in volunteer action,” Marlee says. Nominations for the 2019 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll have now closed.
Congratulations to Wool YFC Samantha Wan who has been selected as one of three finalists in the 2019 National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia Wool Broker Award! Read all about it on Sheep Central here. Well done and good luck Sam! The prize sounds right up your alley…
“The winner of the 2019 award will win an all-expenses paid trip to attend the 2020 Congress of the International Wool Textile Organisation in Tongxiang, China in May 2020. Arrangements will also be made for the 2020 award winner to visit the wool textile industry in China.
NCWSBA executive director Chris Wilcox said the winner will be announced at the AWIS Wool Week dinner in the evening of Thursday, 22 August.”
Double YFC whammy for the NSW Young Farmers – with two YFC elected at the recent Annual General Meeting. Mega congrats to Meg Rice who was re-elected as a NSW Young Farmer Councillor, and Martin Murray who was elected as NSW Young Farmer deputy chair and onto the grains committee. Well done Meg and Martin!
And a huge warm welcome to the latest amazing talent to join the YFC team, Sally Downie. Sally has been awarded the 2019 Picture You in Agriculture Scholarship. Read Sally’s blog here to discover what makes her so incredible and a deserving winner of this scholarship. Sally’s heading to Beaudesert State School as part of the 2019 Archibull Prize and they’re already as excited as we are!
2019 Archibull Prize school visits are well under way and this week YFC Lucy Collingridge visited Greystanes High School and St Johns Park High School, where she spoke with 50 secondary students. At Greystanes High School, Lucy met with a range of students from years 7-12 who elected to participate in The Archibull Prize this year with their art teacher. Here, Lucy skyped with YFC Emma Ayliffe to give the students an insight in to the cotton industry. At St Johns Park High School Lucy spoke with the year 9 elective arts class who are participating in The Archibull Prize with their art teacher. Lucy also had the pleasure of speaking with the year 10 elective agriculture class who joined the session.
“I loved my time at the schools and I am looking forward to some follow up Google Hangouts with the students and tracking the progress of their Archibulls for 2019!” Lucy says. “Big thanks to teachers Donna Draper, Max Labal and Leah Bonus!”
How special is this…! YFC and Cowra grain grower Marlee Langfield was recently doing some family research when she came across a 1979 newspaper clipping with her grandad Clem Capps on the front cover of The Land newspaper. We love the headline, “Everything Old is new again” because 39 years later, Marlee and her partner Andrew made the cover! Read and enjoy the stories below…
It gives us great pleasure to introduce you to our third University of New England Young Farming Champion Haylee Murrell. We first met Haylee when she won the senior section of our inugural National Agriculture Day Careers Competition in 2017.
Haylee Murrell with her dad and Young Farming Champions Ambassador Costa Georgiadis
We are very excited she chose to study her tertiary education at UNE and officially join the Young Farming Champions team
Welcome Haylee ……
Hello! My name is Haylee Murrell and I am a born and bred Gunnedah girl. Living in an area with 80% of its town invested in agriculture, I was always surrounded by diversity and vibrancy of the industry and I am confident this is what sparked my interest in a career in Agriculture.
From an early age I was determined I was going to work in Agriculture, and everyday I am more and more determined and passionate about it. This has been fostered by making the most of every opportunity during my primary and secondary school education and the many, many extra activities I grabbed with both hands to learn from and immerse myself in the industry.
There have been many highlights have helped to cement my decision to pursue a career in Agriculture.
The first one being the people I have met. People have not only been encouraging, they are enthusiastic and excited about the fact that youth are involved in agriculture and that they want to know about the industry. I have learnt more from people in the industry then I have learnt from studying and reading. These people have inspired me and helped pave my way in the agricultural sector. I am in the agricultural sector because I want to meet and learn more off these people and I want to be like them.
For me, educating young individuals about agriculture is such an important area that must occur for agriculture to remain ongoing and for people to understand how vital it is for Australia’s future as well as a huge interest for me. So when I first entered The Archibull Prize National Agriculture Day Careers Competition I had no idea it would lead to me being introduced to a bunch of young individuals doing exactly that, educating the next generation of agriculturalists. I was honoured to be asked after the Archibull Prize awards to come to the Sydney Easter Show as their intern to help teach young students from the Sydney area about where fruit and vegetables come from and how they can grow their own food at home. I took so much away from this experience, especially the joy and satisfaction I felt after helping the kindergartens learn the importance of eating a rainbow of fruit and vegetables everyday. This experience encouraged me to educate other young people and older people about agriculture.
Another highlight on my career journey into agriculture was a recent work placement at the North Coast Local Land Services, which showed me the diversity of careers in agriculture. It allowed me to see the diversity of the landscape and how each region has different problems, pests, crops and farming methods. It was clear to me you can never stop learning about Australian agriculture.
Without the people and experiences in agriculture that I have been involved in my love and passion for agriculture would have not flourished and these are the reasons I want to pursue a career, future and life in Australian agriculture.
I want to encourage all young people to be interested in where their food and clothes come from. I want every young person to have the opportunity to have farming experiences and like me be inspired to follow a career in agriculture
Introducing our second University of New England Young Farming Champion for 2019.
Meet Forbes Corby
This is Forbes’ story ……..
One of the greatest things about the agricultural industry is its broad scale of diverse opportunities. As a 21-year-old completing a fourth year of study in a Bachelor of Agriculture/ Bachelor of Business (Major: International Business) at the University of New England (UNE) my agricultural journey began a long time ago. Living and working on my small family sheep property in rural NSW saw me eager to learn more about the industry.
I studied agriculture and primary industries at school and thoroughly enjoyed it; in part because of the very enthusiastic and visionary teacher I had to guide me. During high school I gained experience working with agricultural traders such as CRT and Ray White where I learnt how to auctioneer. I completed high school and knew that I loved agriculture and business so decided to undertake my undergraduate degree in the two disciplines. At this time, I had little understanding of what more opportunities existed in the industry apart from being a farmer or working in the local Landmark store as a merchant or agronomist.
Forbes has enjoyed participating in shows and is pictured here at the NSW State Sheep Junior Judging at Sydney Royal Easter Show.
Since being at university I have developed an extensive network through extracurricular activities and social interaction. Whilst studying at UNE I have lived at Robb college and been on their Rural Focus executive committee as the marketing coordinator and I was a residential tutor there in 2018. In 2018 I was also one of the careers fair coordinators for UNE Farming Futures and in 2019 I am Chairperson of the executive team. Additionally, whilst being at UNE I have travelled twice internationally with my degree, to China and Argentina. Separate from my degree, in January 2019 I undertook an internship with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission in Myanmar, working on identifying high potential growth areas for business cooperation between Myanmar and Australian companies in the Agri-Food industry.
There are many scholarships to support young people from rural and regional Australia to attend tertiary education. Forbes was one of the recipients of the RAS of NSW Foundation Scholarships in 2016
I have begun to understand the broadness of the agricultural industry and particularly I have found a realization for the importance of international trade and the role it plays in the economy. I looking forward to initiating a career creating trade links in Asian markets which will generate new revenue streams for Australian primary producers.
The Young Farming Champions program has equipped these early-career professionals with skills to share their agricultural journeys and, in doing so, enhance their career ambitions and take their place amongst the leaders of Australian agriculture.
So why does a partnership between PYiA and tertiary institutions make such good sense?
From the student’s perspective:
Connects them with early career professionals and emerging leaders and opens their eyes to the plethora of jobs available in the agricultural sector,
Builds networking opportunities,
Installs and builds student confidence,
Provides exposure to industry partners,
Allows students to stand out from the crowd
Provides targeted holistic leadership development opportunities
Join a movement of like-minded people who can amplify each others voices
From the tertiary institution’s perspective:
Increases feelings of engagement and belonging in the university community,
Grows communication, collaboration and leadership skills,
Improves progression, retention and aspirations of promising students,
Showcases support for current students
Exposure on national and international stages as a supporter of emerging leaders
From an employer perspective:
Identification of the best and brightest young agricultural minds,
Improved attitudes and curiosity for a broad spectrum of careers in agriculture,
Increased ambitions for young talent to see leadership roles & pathways for development within the agriculture industry,
Opportunities to collaborate with research institutions, industry & young leaders striving to make positive change.
By partnering with tertiary institutions PYiA draws Young Farming Champions directly from a pool of keen agriculturists; students who have agriculture at their heart and who are willing to put their hands up to develop skills outside of their curriculum. Students accepted into the new YFC program partnership will undergo professional development to become the voice and next-generation leaders of Australian agriculture.
Watch this space for the announcement of our 2019 UNE Young Farming Champions
Find out more about the world of work in agriculture Visit our website here