Feeding, Clothing and Powering a Hungry Nation

It is a little known fact that 93% of the food we eat in Australia is grown by Australian farmers.  So we think you will all agree the future of farming in Australia is very important to all of us.

The Hon Niall Blair and Matraville Sports High School Winners of The  2015 Archibull Prize

Expressions of Interest are now open for schools in your community to participate in the  The Archibull Prize . You too can join the movement of teachers and students working together with farmers to ensure everyone in this country has access to safe, affordable, healthy food and quality fibre every day and a brighter future for all.

Agriculture can be used to teach science, geography and maths in context. Did you know it can also be used to teach art and multimedia? In fact the opportunities are endless.

The Archibull Prize is a world renowned program with curriculum-linked teaching resources which explore the role agriculture plays in the health, wealth and happiness of Australians and many other people around the world.

Your students can not only win cash prizes for their creativity, they can put their town on the map by participating in The Archibull Prize!

This year the program has a new theme “Feeding, Clothing and Powering a Hungry Nation” and we are very excited to share with you we opened up new ways for more schools to participate

Visit our 2015 Hall of Fame here to see the masterpieces the students created in 2015 and watch the higlights from The 2015 Archibull Prize Awards Ceremony here


If you would like to learn more please contact me by email  E: archibull@art4agriculture.com.au

Saluting Airlie Trescowthick the creator of Farm Table

There are many people in agriculture who manage to combine a job that pays, career development and promoting agriculture for the greater good pro bono

A great example of this  is AIRLIE TRESCOWTHICK the founder and creator of phenomenal initiative  The Farm Table.

Farm Table

Image Source

If you want to be inspired I strong suggest you read Airlie’s story  found here on Claire Dunn’s ( the founder of Graziher magazine) blog

If you would like to read more inspiring stories about Women In Agriculture then a perfect way is to subscribe to Graziher magazine and you can do that here 

Barnaby Joyce wins the Communications Coup Wizard Award for 2015

Johnny Depp might up picked up the Black Stump awards: Dill of the Year Award but I am giving Barnaby Joyce our genius “weird sweaty big-gutted man“ ( Johnny’s words not mine) the Communications Coup Wizard Award for 2015 for how he handled the Boo and Pistol smuggling case.

Barnaby Joyce Wizard.

Such is the NSW Department of Primary Industries focus on biosecurity risks and concern it had fallen under the radar for most Australians they partnered with The Archibull Prize in 2015 to roll out a Biosecurity Competition in NSW Schools participating in the program

And just to show you how right they were to be concerned that “biosecurity” was a foreign concept for both adults and young people between 12 and 18 the following is an extract from the schools ‘entry and exit surveys evaluation

When they began The Archibull Prize only 38% of high school students (i.e. 123 of 327) had heard about biosecurity. Most of the Primary and High School teachers had (i.e. 86%, 30 of 35 teachers). Whilst 265 of the high school students offered an explanation for biosecurity, only 23 of these were acceptable; with 18 (of 35 teachers) explanations also being acceptable.

Awareness of biosecurity amongst High Schools students and their teachers on beginning The Archibull Prize, 2015

  High School Students Primary Teachers High School Teachers Total teachers
Answer Options % Number % Number % Number % Number
Yes 38% 123 77% 10 91% 20 86% 30
No 62% 204 23% 3 9% 2 14% 5
answered question 327 13 22 35
skipped question 12 1 0 1
Attempted an explanation 81% 265 13 22 35
Acceptable explanation given 23 4 14 18

At the end of their projects the majority of high school students (94%, 197) reported having heard about biosecurity. All the students (100%, 207) chose the correct answer for the definition of biosecurity i.e. the protection of the economy, environment and community from the negative impacts of pests, diseases, weeds and contaminants. A majority of students (72%, 150) correctly identified biosecurity practices; and considered that biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility (85%, 178). A further 191 students offered their understandings of what ‘biosecurity is a shared responsibility’ means. These results are a significant shift in awareness of biosecurity as a result of participation in The Archibull Prize.

 Whilst the primary school students were not involved in the biosecurity competition and were not asked the question in the program entry and exit survey it was obvious from their artworks and the blogs  they too had a phenomenal understanding of risks and their role in mitigating them as a result of participating in The Archibull Prize

Barnaby Joyce’s style and language and no-nonsense reaction to Johnny Depp’s wife bypassing the quarantine process when she ‘smuggled’  their dogs into Australia earlier in the year put Australia’s tough stance on biosecurity sent a very strong message globally

When Barnaby ordered his dog’s out and charged him with smuggling offences Johnny Depp continued to give biosecurity considerable oxygen and kept it front and centre by treating it as a joke by saying he had eaten his dogs. The court case will continue the good fight 

Well done Barnaby confident you were happy to take the “weird sweaty big-gutted man“  comment on the chin for team Australia and the “biosecurity is a shared responsibility” cause

Loving this tweet by Kerry Anderson with some reverse kudos for Johnny

Kerry Anderson

BTW Hurlstone Agricultural High School took out both best class entry and best student entry in The Archibull Prize 2015. Going forward Hurlstone is putting biosecurity on the curriculum and making it an assessment task ensuring ‘Biosecurity” is a foreign concept no longer

Below are the winning entries

Secondary School Best Student Entry HAHS

Best Class Entry

Secondary School Best Class Winning entry HAHS

Best Student Entry


Archies in Parliament

It is with great pleasure that we share with you the winners  of The Archibull Prize 2015 

The Hon Niall Blair and Matraville Sports High School Winners of The  2015 Archibull Prize

The Hon Niall Blair MP with students and teacher Sarah Robinson from Matraville Sports High School  

Not only was the Hon Niall Blair Minister Minister for NSW Primary Industries, Land and Water on hand to congratulate the students and teachers he also spoke about the The Archibull Prize Awards  and Exhibition Day in his speech to parliament on 17th November 2015.

You can read the full text in Hansard here  

The Minister said of the Grand Champion

I am pleased to announce the 2015 winner of the prestigious Grand Champion Archibull award was Matraville Sports High School, from Chifley in the State’s east. Students should be proud of the work they achieved in their design of a fiberglass cow as a “cow-ch”, which is artistic and informative but acts as a functional seat. I will enjoy seeing this work in my office reception every day.

and made mention of the impact on visitors to his office of last year’s winner

Recently I had the pleasure of having morning tea with last year’s winners and have hosted their award-winning bull in my foyer. I look forward to the opportunity to do the same for the 2015 winners. I recently hosted a parliamentary delegation from France. They took many photos of the bull and are aiming to roll out a similar program in France.

Please visit The 2015 Archibull Prize Awards Hall of Fame here 


Wool – natural fibre showcase from the sheeps back to yours.



Beef – celebrating our regions food and fibre and the farmers and animals that produce it.



Cotton – Natural Fibre Showcase – field to fibre.




















2015 Archibull Prize Awards  (73)



2015 Archibull Prize Awards  (72)




Tenille Sarah and Dan

Tenille Dowe, Sarah Robinson and Dan Rytmeister







Make it Real – Time for Action

Young Farming Champion’s Josh Gilbert  and Anika Molesworth are blogging from ParisCOP21 and they are ‘learning by doing’  These are Josh’s reflections from  Day 3…………

Josh and Anika say thank you for your support

Paris Day 3 of the COY11 conference has reinforced a number of things for Anika and me

Front and centre our agricultural sector has what it takes to be highly competitive but despite huge potential and the rapidly growing demand for our products, agriculture overall has been losing market share to international competitors. It’s widely acknowledged within agriculture that it is being held back by a lack of strong leadership.

Young people in agriculture like Anika and I  know that if Australian agriculture is to reach its true potential then it’s going to need a generation of passionate and energetic future influencers with a different set of skills beyond agricultural expertise, who can recognise new business opportunities and make them happen.

To help develop these vital skill sets Anika and I applied and were accepted into the Young Farming Champions program.

We joined the program because we are excited about the future of agriculture and its opportunities .We joined the program because we are aware of the challenges and we wanted to join the conversation on the solutions. We joined the program because we wanted to get involved and take action. We joined the program because we  know it provides access to some of the brightest minds in the country committed to exceptional talent development and importantly we knew we would be nurtured  and able to hone our skills in a safe environment.

An integral component of the Young Farming Champions program is “learning by doing” and this is why  we decided to crowd fund our way to Paris. We see Paris as a perfect opportunity to meet lateral thinkers from around the world who are passionate about the same things we are

Bringing the stories of passionate young Australian agriculturalists to Paris could not have come at a better time. Its is the perfect opportunity to work with others across the globe to determine our future by acting on climate change

Like us every single one of the 3000 young people attending the Conference of Youth (COY11) know that whilst

Climate change creates elevated levels of uncertainty about our future and amid this uncertainty, one thing is certain. We will leave the Earth to our children, young people and future generations.

When Anika and I arrived at Parc des Expositions Conference Centre at 8 o’clock this morning, we were greeted by 8 security guards and 6 soldiers holding machine guns.

This environment was sobering but it was overwhelmingly inspiring to see so many young people determined to make a unified statement and say together that Paris has to achieve much more than emissions targets and  a transition to a green economy, it also a time to stand up for social justice

The COY11 event has been set up as an open space. We have a choice of attending sessions on issues that like-minded people feel particularly strongly about. To help encourage further communication and innovation we can workshop our ideas in private or in public. It’s really free flowing and entirely dependent on the individual as to what they want to get out.

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With such a diverse group of people the language barrier can be a bit confusing at times. There are translators in each room and headsets available for the bigger sessions. The innovation stream is good for this and we have a full time translator as a facilitator for our group.

I was fortunate to be selected as one of 200 young people from around the world for a Make it Real Innovation Lab stream

Naturally I joined the agriculture group where young farmers from Kenya and South Africa, shared with us that climate change is a significant threat to the welfare of millions of the rural poor and opened my eyes to the need for a worldwide rethink on the way we produce food and the way we farm.  It’s pretty scary when you think that 30% of the fertile land in the world has vanished in the past 30 years.


Like us climate change is emerging as a major challenge to agricultural development in their countries. The increasingly unpredictable and erratic nature of weather systems on the African continent have placed an extra burden on food security and rural livelihoods. On top of this there is poor infrastructure and governance and extreme poverty

World Bank forecasts show that Sub Saharan Africa will surpass Asia as the most food insecure region inhabiting 40-50% of undernourished people globally in 2080 compared with 24% today.

Unlike us these young people come from farming communities with no opportunity to share agricultural knowledge and little or no access to training on sustainable farming systems methods. They live in hope that they can continue feeding their communities, but uncertainty as to who will farm in the future and where they will get the knowledge.

Anika has spent the last 12 month in Laos forging an agricultural career spanning continents and cultural divides and the last 3 days has driven home to me just how important the work she is going is.

It has become even clearer to me that the need for action on Climate Change is NOW  because when the era of cheap food ends, the world will face the daunting challenges of food production and providing immediate relief for the poor affected by drought, natural disasters and conflict.

You can follow their journey on their #Paris COP21 blog here

Supporting our future influencers

Young people today value transparency, flexibility and the opportunity to make a difference to society—and they want to work in an environment that shares these values. If agriculture is committed to finding answers to the most pressing challenges of our time we can do this only if we are able to attract, engage, and retain and support the brightest minds and the young talent of today.

Young Farming Champions Josh Gilbert and Anika Molesworth are part of team seeking a world view and looking for the solutions that are responsive to the challenges of Australia’s farming communities

These young people want to move from aspiration to action. To do this Josh and Anika  have gone to Paris and COP21 on a fact-finding mission and bringing back what they find to share with young farmers like themselves and anyone else who cares to listen.

What is so exciting here is that they care enough, and others care enough to support them, to go and learn whatever COP21 has to offer?

The support from government and the community has been phenomenal

Josh and Anika recently had an audience with both the NSW Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Primary Industries who reiterated the important role agriculture plays in NSW

Minister Blair also recently met with Josh and Anika and 15 of their peers.

He feels strongly that investment in the new generation of agricultural leaders can do so much more than securing the production of food.

It can provide jobs, grow wealth and create vibrant and resilient rural and regional communities.

And the perfect way to create world class leaders is to create the right environment and give them the skills to thrive

To quote part of the Minister’s speech in Hansard

‘These Young Farmers are some of agriculture’s youngest advocates, representing all different aspects of primary industries and providing a link between life on the farm and the classroom. I was delighted to meet with this year’s champions who have now joined alumni of 50 members. These young farmers are the future of our primary industries—they are passionate and engaged, and will be the driving force to our industries by being innovative, progressive and pushing the envelope to ensure this State’s sector is the envy of every other State.” The Hon Niall Blair NSW Minister for Primary Industries Land and Water

2015 Archibull Prize Awards  (111)

Minister Blair meets with the Young Farming Champions 

And Paris is a great opportunity to help them develop those skills and knowledge. And excitingly bring that knowledge back and help Australian farmers drive the transition to clean energy technologies

Farming communities have a great opportunity to champion renewable energy

As Anika so eloquently says “We are blessed with open skies and vast horizons, we have boundless solar and wind resources”

“Importantly farm-supplied green energy has the potential to provide Australian farmers with a new and steady income stream. This will help reduce the physical, emotional and financial stress on our farmers and help ensure we have resilient and prosperous rural and remote communities.”

They and many young farmers like them are committed to Australians having the bright future that we all deserve

Tomorrow Josh and Anika will attend the Conference of Youth where Josh will be 1 of 200 young people participating in the Make it Real workshops

These young people from diverse demographics across the world a looking for a ” different story on how to make our model of society sustainable and desirable?”

They will team up and tackle the big  question of how we change the world. During 3 days, Josh and Anika will build the networks that hold a “unique vision and are committed to building tomorrow’s world, altogether.”

We look forward to people who share our values joining our team


Follow Josh and Anika’s trip to Paris on their blog here and on Facebook here 



Impact 25 – Vote for Young Farming Champion Josh Gilbert

The accolades keep coming for Young Farming Champion Josh Gilbert

Currently on the journey of a lifetime to ParisCOP21 Josh has just been named in the top 200 people in the running for the Pro Bono Australia Impact 25 list

From CEOs of some of Australia’s largest charities and the Prime Minister, to one-person teams, the Not for Profit sector has spoken and nominated a wide range of people for the second Pro Bono Australia Impact 25.

Almost 200 people from across Australia and almost every aspect of the for-good sector have been recognised for being the most influential.

You can vote for Josh here and excitingly another legend in agriculture has also made the list.  Make Alexandra Gartmann one of your three votes

It is the second time Pro Bono Australia has called on those within the sector to nominate its champions.

After two weeks of voting, the top 25 influencers will be unveiled, acknowledging them for being leaders in a sector that accounts for 4.3 per cent of Australia’s GDP and employs over one million people.

With hundreds of people taking part in the nomination process, CEOs dominate the list of nominees, with 63 being chosen.

There were also former and current prime ministers, 2015’s Australian of the Year, and an author.

A large number of nominees also came from the executive level of Not for Profit organisations.

Last year’s Impact 25 was made up of a wide selection of household names, including World Vision CEO, Tim Costello, and domestic violence campaigner, Rosie Batty, both of whom have been nominated again this year.

Voting is now open and will close on Thursday 3 December.

Everyone who votes can go into the draw to win one of two free tickets to the Fundraising Institute of Australia’s 2016 conference valued at $1,750.

Click here to see the full list of nominees and to vote for Impact 25.

– See more at: http://www.probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2015/11/impact-25-nominees-unveiled#sthash.Wnc2hmP8.dpuf