Castle Hill High School helping make agriculture visible

Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions Siannon Parice and Erin Lake visited Castle Hill High School this week to share their stories with the students involved in the
Archibull Prize.

Siannon (Art4Agriculture photographer) and Erin (Natural resource management and bush regeneration expert) tagged teamed with Art4Agriculture chair and dairy farmer Lynne Strong to show the students how three very different people from very different
backgrounds who have travelled very different career pathways work side by side
to bring food to your plate sustainably.

For the students Lynne’s connection was obvious as she told them whilst she wears
many hats she is first and foremost a farmer.

Lynne explained to the students that whilst the majority of Australian farms are still family owned and operated successful farm businesses have the same business structure as large corporates and needed to access an extensive range of proven professionals for their businesses to remain healthy.

She explained that in order for Clover Hill Dairies to continue to provide milk for
50,000 Australians everyday they needed a team of people doing a lot of very
different jobs to achieve the same outcome and that was best practice sustainable
agriculture.

It takes a proven team of professional to run a successful family farm

At Clover Hill Dairies Lynne is the marketing manager as well as the
sustainability manager. Lynne explained that part of her role as marketing manager was to raise the profile of the Clover Hill Dairies brand and one of the ways that she has done this is to set up a website which tells people who they are, what they do and how they think.

In order for her marketing materials to have the WOW factor her business needs a
great photographer and this is how her partnership with Siannon began.

Lynne explained that it was through her role as sustainability manager for Clover
Hill Dairies that she met Erin. Lynne explained that both her dairy farms are
in highly sensitive environmental areas. In fact the home farm was 50%
rainforest and managing the rainforest was well outside the farm business team
expertise and it was imperative that the farm engage experts to care for the
rainforest.

Erin and Siannon presented to visual art students from year 7 to year 11. Both Young
Farming Champions created a video and a PowerPoint specifically for their
school presentations. It was obvious from both the students and teachers
reactions that they were overwhelmed with how much creativity had gone into
making Erin and Siannon’s school resources.

Never one to miss an opportunity to use her skills Siannon created a short vox pop featuring visual arts student Yvonne. Hear what Yvonne had to say here

Erin explained that she too needed Siannon’s expertise to help share her story through pictures. Through her PowerPoint and using Lynne’s farm as a working example Erin showed the students that farmers usually have two very different landscapes to manage The first one being the one that is their area of expertise the land they produce food  and on and secondly the vast areas of Australia’s natural landscape that are also  their farms.

Erin Lake sharing her career partnership with farmers with the students

In fact farmers manage over 60% of Australia’s landscape and Erin explained it is impossible for farmers to have the time to gain the expertise to deal with the often highly complex balancing act of productive farm land coexisting in harmony with
native vegetation and susccessfully achiving this requires working with weed warriors of Erin’s ilk.

You can find Erin’s video here

You can find Siannon’s video here

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