Young Farming Champions Muster December 2018 1st Edition

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions around the country (and globe!)

In the Field

Grains YFC and farmer Dan Fox has been busy, along with a lot of the dryland farmers, getting crops harvested. Yields are down but generally the quality of crops this year has been really good!

Dan Fox Grain storage

Beef YFC Felicity Taylor has been in a field of a different kind for the past two months, working with Rabobank Food, Agri Mergers and Acquisitions in the Netherlands.

“It was mainly European and North American coverage but had a couple of Aussie companies in the mix also,” Felicity says. “It was very interesting working in a cross-cultural team, especially with people with a lifetime of corporate finance experience learnt across the globe. Overall it was very cool to be working in long term strategic moves for well known consumer food brands and important agriculture supply chain links.”

“It was a great opportunity to confirm where my passions lie, though for now I am keen to get back home and out with farmers again,” Felicity says.

Felicity Taylor Rabobank Office
Felicity’s view on her way to work each day in the Netherlands.

Casey Onus and her fellow Cotton YFC are in the process of completing their audits on cotton producers farms. The aims of the audits are to ensure that growers are complying with the rules and regulations of growing cotton as well as adhering to the resistance management strategies that protect the amazing genetics that are bred into the plants.

Cotton Crop

A number of YFC have been celebrating National Ag Day with a snapshot from their lives. This beautiful message on the GrainCorp Facebook page from Grains YFC Jessica Kirkpatrick sparked a great response on social media:

Great shot from Kristy McCormack who’s currently working in Canada:

Kirsty McCormack.jpg

…and this from friend of the YFC program Melissa Neal at #RedMeat2018 forum:

Melissa Neal Red Meat.jpg

Out of the Field

YVLT Chair and Dairy YFC Jo Newton has traded Melbourne’s summer for life in the village of Fermoy, Ireland. She’s there for 6 months as part of the Endeavour Research Fellowship Program. As part of her training she’s heading to a Genetics Conference hosted by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation & Sheep Ireland next week. She’ll be sharing all the action on twitter this Wednesday & Thursday.

Jo Newton Ireland Tweet.jpg

YFC Tayla Field spent three days in Tasmania this week finishing the ‘Masterclass of Horticultural Business’ with University of Tasmania, along with a great bunch of growers and business owners from across the country. The trip included a celebration dinner with the Governor of Tasmania as well as two days of touring farms from all areas of the industry. Watch Tayla share her thoughts on the Masterclass here

Tayla Field.jpg

Tayla is also celebrating big time that three of the schools she visited in 2018 were announced in the winners circle at The Archibull Prize Awards 

Wool YFC and veterinarian Dione Howard put her interview skills – following last month’s YFC workshop with Greg Mills – to good use last week and got a run on ABC Riverina talking dust storms and animal health on the radio. Listen here.

Wool YFC Samantha Wan ventured to Goulburn to share the positive story that is her career the Australian #wool industry at the city’s Regional Development Australia Southern Inland’s Ag Day barbeque.

Sam Wan Goulburn Post.jpg

Sam’s story was featured in the Goulburn Post. Read it here.

YFC Steph Fowler is back on Aussie soil after crossing the Pacific for the Royal Agricultural Societies of the Commonwealth conference in Canada, thanks to a scholarship from RAS NSW. Steph posted this moving testimony about her trip:

“Starting the trip home and despite everyone else from the conference posting about it I still can’t find the words. Perhaps it is because the opportunity to be involved with the RASC has only just begun or maybe it is because I still struggle to put together how the girl from the suburbs who loved animals as a kid has gone this far.

“If you had told 14 year old me, nervous as hell at my first ag show in Newcastle, that all these years later I would head across the world to be part of this I would have said you were on something.

“Massive thank you to the Agricultural Societies Council for the scholarship but more importantly thank you to Cowra Show, particularly our secretary Christie. I would not have been here without your support. Now looking forward to seeing where this journey will take me. Fingers crossed for Norfolk in two years, at least!”

Steph Fowler RAS Conference

Picture Yourself In Agriculture YFC Alana Black spoke on ABC Country Hour last week. Take a listen to the last five minutes of the November 20th podcast and you’ll hear Alana speak about her project Fledgling Farmers,  succession on family farms and the need for education of young farmers on communications competence. Listen here.

YFC Anika Molesworth presented at the Brave New World conference on climate and by all reports gave a fabulous, from the heart speech about the future and risks to Australia agriculture. The feedback from those lucky enough to be there has been outstanding. Well done Anika!

Last week YFC Meg Rice and Jasmine Whitten travelled to the nation’s capital for the 2018 Country to Canberra Power Trip conference.

Jasmine C2c.jpg

Jasmine had the privilege of being a panel speaker at the Country to Canberra Power Trip with Alpha Cheng, Nip Wijewickrema and Lousie Burrows speaking on “Personal Perspectives: Navigating the Road to Equality.”

She shared her life experiences of being a woman working in agriculture and how people have told her she could not be something because she was young or female. A testament to her positivity, Jasmine sees these barriers as redirections because they push her to find different pathways or to create her own pathway to achieve her goals. Her experiences resonated with many women in the room and let them know they are not alone on their journey. Jasmine believes in the adage,  “We share our stories not for ourselves but to help other who are on the same journey.”

Meg attended Monday night’s panel session, saying, “ The evening was a wonderful opportunity to meet the brave young women from rural and remote communities who had put their hands up to be leaders as well as listen to the inspiring stories of those that are already leaders within our communities. I was very proud to listen to fellow YFC and friend, Jasmine Whitten, share her struggles and triumphs within the agricultural industry.”

The University of New England has featured a few of our wonderful YFC (and UNE alumni) on their blog this week. Congratulations to Casey Onus who recently graduated from UNE with her MBA, no mean feat while working full time: Read her story here.

Jo Newton, our YVLT chair has also been featured at UNE for all of her fabulous work both in and out of the field, championing young women’s careers and proving that there is no such thing as too smart for agriculture. Read her story here.

Cotton YFC Emma Ayliffe also began the first half of her adventure are in ADAMA’s Young Agronomist of the Year competition. Emma jetted to Sydney to join the winners and runners up of the competition, as well as the Cotton Industries Young Achievers winners and nominees for the last three years. It was an opportunity for networking, with a strong focus on Ag Tech and its fit into the future of farming. Emma, along with the winner Kirsty and rising star Michelle, will venture to Israel next year on a two week study tour.

Emma ADAMA.jpg

Prime Cuts

Congratulations to YFC Sam Coggins whose startup Rise Harvest has been selected for a Singapore based accelerator to develop and scale a smartphone app that will deliver site-specific fertiliser recommendations to smallholder rice growers in Myanmar using leaf photos and the farmer’s knowledge. Brilliant news Sam, well done!

Sam Coggins Pic 3

Sam Coggins Pic 1

Well done to Cotton YFC Alexandria Galea who was recently nominated for the Ministers Emerging Leaders Award at the AgFutures Investment and Innovation Forum in Brisbane.

Alexandria Galea

#YouthVoices18 #YouthinAg #YoungFarmingChampions

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