Conference scholarships on offer for young people passionate about international agricultural research

Australian agriculture has a lot to offer.  One of our key strengths is being able to offer research and development expertise to developing countries either through access to agriculture’s bright or on ground international research and development projects

The majority of people in less developed countries live in rural areas and are dependent on the land for employment and their food security. Many of our Young Farming Champions have spent time working side by side with farmers in developing countries and some like Anika Molesworth have made it their life work

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Australian farmer Anika Molesworth working with farmers in Cambodia on sustainable farming practices. Photograph: CARDI (Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute)

The Crawford Fund is an Australian organisation who have acknowledged that support for agricultural research is one of the most effective ways that Australia can assist in  developing countries (their farmers, their environment and their economies) and foster mutual understanding.

As part of the Fund’s efforts to encourage young people in their study, careers and volunteering in international agricultural research, the Crawford Fund offer conference scholarships to young Australians with a genuine interest in international agricultural development, to attend the Crawford Fund conference in Canberra.

“The Crawford Fund Scholars program connected me to world-renowned researchers in international agricultural development, and has challenged and inspired my thinking and my work life. The experience has reinforced to me the meaningful career of agricultural research and development, and has motivated me to find out more about farming in other countries and to push the comfort-zone boundaries.” Anika Molesworth

Like Anika former conference scholars confirm this is a unique learning, networking and mentoring opportunity.  The scholars are involved in two ½ days of activities in addition to the conference; engage with keynote speakers, experienced Australian agricultural researchers and educators, and other passionate young people who have experience overseas in developing countries as researchers, volunteers or mentors.

The conference this year runs over 7 and 8 August in Canberra and is titled Transforming lives and livelihoods – the digital revolution in agriculture.  The aim is to addressing the current and future likely impact of the data revolution for smallholder farmers.

Eligible costs to be met from the scholarships include conference registration fees and related reasonable transport, food and accommodation costs. Full details on eligibility and the application process are here.

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Aussie Farmers Foundation supporting development of young agricultural leaders

We are very excited to officially announce our new partnership with the Aussie Farmers Foundation  

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Aussie Farmers Foundation has partnered with Art4Agriculture to spread the word about the importance of agriculture in Australia and to support young leaders in the industry.

Aussie Farmers Foundation helps rural and regional communities to thrive by backing them during tough times. Set up in 2010, Aussie Farmers Foundation has given over $1.3 million to projects which support farm sustainability, disaster relief, mental health, kid’s health and food relief across country Australia.

The partnership will see four Young Farming Champion alumni visit 10 schools in metropolitan and country areas in Victoria, NSW and Queensland in 2017 and provides a scholarship for a Young Farming Champion to take part in the 2017/18 program.

Executive Officer Julia Hunter said Art4Agriculture is an incredible way for young people to share their passion about the pivotal role Australian farmers play in feeding the world.

“Aussie Farmers Foundation is thrilled to partner with Art4Agriculture to help achieve our aims of supporting the sustainability of Australian farms,” she said.

“Agriculture is the lifeblood of Australia, and it’s in our best interests to nurture the nation’s future farmers, growers and agriculture specialists, and encourage them to consider this as an exciting and viable career option while they’re still in school.”

Excitingly  this new partnership offers Art4Agriculture the opportunity to double the diversity of farming industries students can investigate and reflect on and use as inspiration on how they as part of a community and as individuals can

  • reduce their impact on climate change,
  • reduce bio-security risks
  • contribute to healthy communities
  • can find rewarding and dynamic careers in the agriculture sector

Our YFC future leaders and influencers will have the opportunity to undertake comprehensive workshops to give them skills in public speaking, social licence, marketing, media, facilitation and leading transformational change. All of which enable them to share positive agricultural stories and in doing so raise the profile of the agriculture sector. As part of the program they will expand their personal and professional networks, further develop and refine their communications skills, learn and connect to each other and the wider community.

The YFC program also links with The Archibull Prize. This program provides primary and secondary school students with the opportunity to connect with our inspiring young agriculture ambassadors and future influencers so they can learn about the agriculture sector and co-create the future they want to see.

We would like to welcome Annicka Brosnan as our new YFC supported by Aussie Farmers Foundation. Annicka’s strong background in the horticulture sector will promote the importance of fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy diet and  horticulture’s contribution to healthy communities .

Annicka 2 Welcome Annika Brosnan

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Watershed moments for Power of Youth in Action and the Power of Art

This weekend in partnership with Intrepid Landcare, Picture You in Agriculture launched the Young Sustainability Ambassadors (YSA) and Landcare Legends  program.  Read their stories here

This program is inspired by the success of the Young Farming Champions (YFC) program and a pilot of the program under the banner of the Young Eco Champions in 2012. Read more about the back story here

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I am sitting here in one of the most incredible built spaces I have ever been thinking how excited the founders of Landcare,  Rick Farley and Phillip Coyne would have been to be the room with the YSA and witness a new era of young social and environmental actionists partnering with young farmers to co-create the future they want to see

Like the YFC the Young Sustainability Ambassadors have the opportunity to both hone the skills they learn at the workshops and go into schools as part of the Kreative Koalas program and start a movement of change

I loved this quote from one of the ambassadors

“We are the product of what we have learnt from other people. Surround yourself with the people and the places that inspire you”

One of the highlights of this weekend has been that we delivered both.

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Thanks to the support of the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC) we held the workshop in the most amazing inspirational space

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The SBRC is a 6 Star Green Star- Education Design v1 accredited, multi-disciplinary facility that aimss to research, collaborate, and link with industry to meet the challenge of improving the energy efficiency of our new and existing buildings

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They are pioneering new approaches to retrofitting techniques to create more effective places to live and work. The SBRC is located at the University of Wollongong’s Innovation Campus. Want to know more you can check out their website here 

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Just across the road from the SBRC is another treasure of sustainable built spaces. The Illawarra Flame house is baby of Team UOW Australia who took up the challenge of choosing to demonstrate how to retrofit a ‘fibro’ home, to transform it into a sustainable 21st century net-zero energy home. The aim was to upgrade an existing building to inspire Australian homeowners and the local and national building industry, and to accelerate the development and adoption of advanced building energy technology in new and existing homes.

What a great job they have done – Love it making the ‘fibro’ house trendy

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#newbeginnings #YSA2017 #kreativekoalas17 #YFC17

 

Young Farming Champion Liz Lobsey is a finalist in the prestigious ADAMA Chris Lehmann Trust Young Cotton Achiever of the Year 

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Plant doctors, agros, clod kickers – all nicknames given to those agri-professionals who spend a lot of time in their utes, poke a varied array of instruments into the soil and tell the farmer what to do with his crop. This may be the common perception of agronomists but Young Farming Champion Liz Lobsey is part of the new generation of Plant Doctors showing there is more to agronomy – and agriculture – than first meets the eye.
Liz’s contribution to the cotton industry has been acknowledged through her selection as a finalist in the ADAMA Chris Lehmann Trust Young Cotton Achiever of the Year

“It’s an absolute honour to be nominated for this award let alone be named a finalist so I can honestly say I am extremely humbled to be named a finalist. To be acknowledged by your peers is something that I can’t put words to but I truly appreciate it”

“If I didn’t have the support of my partner my family, my boss and the growers I work for I wouldn’t have taken part in all that I have. I have participated because I love the industry and I wanted to broaden my knowledge of what affects my growers and give something back.” said Liz

The Australian Cotton Industry Awards program now moves into the judging phase, with the panel of judges travelling to the finalists’ originating regions to meet and assess each of the candidates.

Cash prizes are on offer for the winners across all categories, with an additional research bursary for Researcher of the Year.

The Australian Cotton Industry Awards evening will be held in Griffith on July 26th as part of the biennial Australian Cotton Collective. Get the whole story on what makes Liz stand out from the crowd here  

#youthinag #welovecotton #YFC

Sharna Holman recognised as Emerald’s jewel in the crown

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There is a lot more to Sharna Holman that just a beautiful smile and a love of cotton farming. Sharna is a city girl who has embraced living in rural Australia with a burning desire to promote her region and the agriculture sector she loves at every opportunity whether as a Young Farming Champion or volunteering at her local show.

Sharna was recently recognised for her  community dedication by winning the Emerald Show Society’s Rural Ambassador  award. The Emerald Show Society’s Rural Ambassador then goes on a journey to potentially being named “The ‘Marsh Rural Ambassador’

This competition highlights the importance of young people in rural and regional Queensland, in particular those associated with the Agricultural Show movement. The competition identifies young people who are actively involved in the show movement, have a sound knowledge of current rural issues affecting their local areas,

“Queensland and Australia and have a strong affiliation with agriculture. I decided to compete in Emerald’s Show Society’s Rural Ambassador Competition as a way to meet other young people who were also passionate about agriculture and the local region and become more involved with my local show.

I also believed being Emerald’s Rural Ambassador was a fantastic opportunity to share my agricultural story, highlight what a great region we live for those wanting to get involved in the agricultural industry and that having an non-agricultural background isn’t a barrier to getting involved in your local agricultural shows.

It was an honour to be awarded the title of Emerald’s 2017 Rural Ambassador, and represent my town when I head to the Central Highlands Sub-Chamber finals where the winner then competes in the State Final held during the Royal Queensland Show (EKKA) is August.’  said Sharna

The Archibull Prize in Canada

 

Archie Goes to Canada 

Already well regarded within Australian schools as an innovative and thought-provoking way of connecting students and farmers, Art4Agriculture’s, The Archibull Prize will now have international exposure at the 9th World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC) in Vancouver, Canada to be held in September.

WEEC promotes education for environment and sustainable development and attracts teachers, researchers, government agencies, NGOs and private companies from across the globe. Previous congresses have been held in Sweden, Morocco and Brisbane with attendance rates in excess of 2000 people from 105 nations.

The 2017 congress is titled ‘Culturenvironment: Weaving New Connections’ and will address themes such as the use of art in environmental education, social responsibility and environmental communication. Larraine Larri from Art4Agriculture will present ‘The Power of the Cow’ outlining how The Archibull Prize has used art, in particular the painting of a life-sized fibreglass cow, and multi-media in primary and secondary schools to provide a connection to agriculture, biosecurity and climate change.

“This is very exciting news,” Ms Larri said. “The World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC) is the penultimate international gathering for environmental and sustainable development educators. Policy makers, academics, researchers, community and school-based educators come together every two years for international agenda setting and collaboration. Being able to showcase The Archibull Prize on the world stage gives it international credibility and is an important opportunity to benchmark our Australian innovation with other art and/or agriculture programs.”

Thirty schools across NSW, QLD and the ACT have been selected to participate in the 2017 Archibull Prize and will explore the theme why Feeding, Clothing and Powering a Hungry Nation is a shared Responsibility’. Students and teachers will be assisted in their journey by agricultural professionals in the form of Young Farming Champions.

2017 will be the seventh instalment of The Archibull Prize, which is proud to have supporting partners in NSW Department of Primary Industries, Cotton Australia, Aussie Farmers Foundation, Australian Wool Innovation, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Local Land Services and RAS of NSW.

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PigCowso is coming to a school near you

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Two primary schools in NSW will have the opportunity to meet Young Farming Champion Laura Phelps and learn about the pork industry thanks to our new supporting partner the Aussie Farmers Foundation.

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Young Farming Champion Laura Phelps is looking forward to cuddling up to the the Story of Pork at this year’s Archibull Prize Celebration and Awards Day 

We are super excited about sharing how some of our Australian pig farmers are turning pig poo into power. You can read about how pork industry legend Edwina Beveridge is doing it on her farm at Young here

In the meantime here are some fun facts about pigs and the Australian Pork Industry

Fun Facts about Pigs

  • Like humans, pigs are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.

 

  • A pig’s snout is an important tool for finding food in the ground and sensing the world around them.
  • Pigs have an excellent sense of smell.
  • There are around 2 billion pigs in the world.
  • Humans farm pigs for meat such as pork, bacon and ham.
  • Feral pigs that have been introduced into new areas can be a threat to the local ecosystem, environment and human health.
  • Pigs can pass on a variety of diseases to humans.
  • Relative to their body size, pigs have small lungs.
  • Pigs eat anything – which means they are excellent recyclers of food waste, such as dairy and vegetable matter.

Australia Pork Industry Fast Facts

The Pork Industry

  • Australia produces around 367,000 tonnes of pig meat every year. A little over 10% is exported to countries like Singapore, New Zealand and Hong Kong, and 25% is sold through restaurants and other food service outlets in Australia.
  • Each year Australians consume around 24 kg of pork per person—this is made up of 9 kg of fresh pork and 15 kg of processed products such as bacon, ham and smallgoods
  • During 2014-15, pork products accounted for just over 10% of Australia’s total fresh meat retail consumption
  • Australian farmers produce around 4.85 million pigs a year
  • The main source of food for Australian pigs is cereal grains such as wheat, barley and sorghum, resulting in a white fat around the outside of the meat.
  • Pork production has a relatively small footprint and accounts for only 0.4% of the national greenhouse gas emissions
  • Whether housed indoors or outdoors, a pig spends more time resting than any other domestic animal.
  • Pig producers use the manure and effluent of their farms as a fertiliser to improve crops and pasture, or to capture methane gases to convert to energy.
  • Numerous pig producers are now using their manure to generate electricity to power their whole farm.
  • Australia’s pig herd health is one of the best in the world, free from many diseases found in most other pig producing countries.
  • The feed component (mainly grains such as wheat, barley and sorghum) makes up about 60% of the total cost of producing pork.
  • On average, a sow will produce 10–14 piglets per litter.
  • Grower pigs eat the equivalent of about 3% of their body weight and drink about 10% of their body weight, daily.
  • Pigs are considered to be smarter than dogs and are easy to train. This characteristic helps producers develop safe handling routines.
  • Pigs are unable to perspire and they lose heat through their mouths. The ideal growing temperature for older pigs is 20–22˚C. Source: 

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