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.
Our resident YFC “Meat Doctor” Steph Fowler is moving into the next phase of her merino genetics trial, with 600 lambs processed and sampled for meat quality traits. Steph says it will be a while yet before the samples are processed but it’s exciting to have all the samples finally collected for the year! Can’t wait to hear these results, Steph.
Grains YFC Keiley O’Brien has kicked off this years hay making season, giving a canola crop the chop in Narromine, NSW. Fingers crossed for a good season ahead!
Out of the Field
Wool YFC and Youth Voices Leadership Committee chair Dr Jo Newton has spent the weekend at the Royal Melbourne Show, stewarding for the White Suffolk, Suffolk & South Suffolk Judging. Jo says, “Being a steward is a bit like being a secretary for the judge who is in charge of assessing the animals. At the MelbShow we used a tablet to record the results for each class, make sure owners (& judge) know what animals are needed in the judging ring as well as announcing results on the microphone.” If you’re at the Melbourne show this week make sure you pass by the Sheep Shed and say G’day to Jo!
YFC and Green Globe Awards Finalist Anika Molesworth has hit the radio waves again with a great interview on Hit 99.7 Riverina. Anika has been working to make NSW a more eco-friendly place to live, and she joined the show to talk to Claire & Sam about how she feels about being nominated for an Award. Take a listen here
Anika was also featured on the Weekly Times this week, talking about farming in outback NSW, championing for climate action and her PhD work. This is a lovely insight into a wonderful ag champion. Well done Anika! Read it here
The famous Henty Machinery Field Days were on this week and Wool YFC Dione Howard and Rice YFC Erika Heffer were both there. Dione and fellow vets from Riverina and Murray Local Land Services were answering animal health and biosecurity questions over the three days, while Erika was in the Landcare shed.
It was a busy week in the office for Dione who then headed to the Hay Sheep Sale on Wednesday, where approximately 47,000 sheep were sold. Dione says many properties were selling large numbers of sheep due to the ongoing dry conditions.
Dione ran into fellow YFC Chloe Dutschke at the sale who had travelled from Tupra station, where she has been contracting for the last couple of months. Great pic, ladies!
Cotton YFC Sharna Holman is super keen to be heading to “Go Ahead” Greg Mills‘s extension workshop in Townsville next week, as part of the Australasia-Pacific Extension Network 2018 Roadshow. Greg is a consultant on all things agribusiness extension, was the Kondinin Group and ABC Rural 2017 Consultant of the Year, and is a great friend of the Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions program. We have no doubt you’ll have a great day and take home many valuable insights Sharna!
Well done to Grains YFC Dee George (front left) who has been touring the Royal Melbourne Show this week in her role as a Victorian Rural Ambassador State Finalist. #YouthinAg #RoyalMelbourneShow
And congrats to YFCs Sharna Holman and Alexandria Galea #teamcotton who were both recently elected to the Wincott – Women in Cotton committee, Sharna as communications officer and Alexandria as a regional representative for Central Queensland. Check out these great introductions to Sharna and Alexandria on the Wincott facebook page.
Massive milestone moment right now for University of New England students, Poultry YFC Jasmine Whitten and Wool YFC Emma Turner, who both have their honours seminars today.
Jasmine’s honours is investigating the effect of environmental enrichment on fearfulness of pullets (young layer hens). Emma’s honours studies the implementation of shorter shearing intervals. Huge congratulations for all the hard work and time you’ve both put into reaching these milestones. Enjoy this moment!
Exciting times ahead for Cattle and Sheep YFC and Rabobank graduate Felicity Taylor who has just received a promotion as a Rabobank Rural Officer. Felicity will spent the next two months in the Netherlands working in Rabobank’s Global Food and Agriulture Sector, supporting multinational agribusinesses, as part of her current graduate position before moving back to her hometown of Moree, NSW, to begin her new position. Mega congrats Felicity!
Teachers have declared interacting with the the Young Farming Champions the highlight of the workshop. Equally the Young Farming Champions valued been able to partner with teachers to gain a clearer understanding of the curriculum , the perspective of teachers and the role The Archibull Prize plays in empowering teachers to meet the needs of their students. All in all the workshop was declared a huge success and a mutual lovefest
Young Farming Champion Peta Bradley volunteered to be the “talent’ for the Teacher Video interview technique session
Well done to our incredible Rice YFC Erika Heffer who harnessed her enthusiasm from the workshop and put her new skills into practice right away with a great interview on ABC Radio on Tuesday.
If you tuned into Anne Delaney on ABC Riverina Breakfast you might have heard Erika speak on behalf of the Ricegrowers Association of Australia about their “Water for Wildlife and Rice” campaign. Erika was involved in running a Pozible campaign to source funds for the idea, which is a “collaborative farming program that combines regional farming know-how with water supporters and owners of agricultural land to produce food and fibre in conjunction with the provision of ecosystem services.”
The Pozible campaign was unfortunately unsuccessful in raising the necessary funds for it come to fruition, but Erika says the team will continue looking for ways to raise capital this great idea. Good luck and well done, Erika!
In Western NSW our “Woolly” YFCs Emma Turner and Bessie Thomas are working on seperate ideas to boost the spirits and provide social opportunities for locals living through the current drought.
Emma is hosting a Women’s Health Day in Ivanhoe, NSW, with the exact details and date yet to be announced. Looking forward to finding out more Emma!
Bessie is hosting a Barefoot Bowls and Bocce mental health day at her sheep property near Wilcannia, NSW. It’s a opportunity for locals to take an afternoon off from the large workload of feeding stock through dry times, kick off their work boots and relax with some friendly competition on the bowling green (which is currently very brown).
Great work on supporting your local communities and farmers, Emma and Bessie! Good luck!
Steph, who has attended the conference several times overseas, said “it was great to see Down Under so well represented with lecturers and post doc students from all major agricultural universities represented, along with CSIRO, DPI (Vic, WA and NSW) and industry.”
“A highlight for me was definitely the conversations with researchers from different places. I learnt a lot about what’s going on in my area of research in Ireland, New Zealand and Germany and hopefully will get the chance to collaborate formally on some new projects with them,” Steph said.
Jasmine Green enjoyed learning about new and interesting research happening in the meat industry. “There are now new ways to measure eating quality across various meat types, concepts around smart packaging and traceability from farm to consumer, discussion around how to combat food “fraud” and robotics/automation,” Jasmine said. “It was excellent!”
It’s AgQuip time! Australia’s largest agricultural field day is on this week in Gunnedah, NSW, and two of our YFC are heading that way!
“My role is based around helping landholders manage the pest animals on their property and our display at AgQuip will be on best practice to manage feral animal populations to reduce the impact of these burdens on the landholders,” Lucy said.
“We will have a feral pig trap, multiple animal displays [Bowman’s Taxidermy are bringing a mounted pig, fox and two deers], lots of information about best practice pest animal management, and information on the new North West pest animal plan.”
If you’re at AgQuip this week be sure to look out for Marlee and Lucy!
There are lots of good news stories coming out of schools this week as our Art4Agriculture Archibull Prize school visits continue.
Tuesday saw Cotton YFC Sharna Holman visit Dakabin State High School where she spoke to a mix of art and agriculture students participating in the Archibull Prize. “I loved my visit!” Sharna said. “It was fantastic to visit a school that reminded me so much of my own going through high school. They were a great group of students and I especially loved seeing the students get engaged with the biosecurity activity of thinking of biosecurity practices which could help make up their School’s farm biosecurity plan.”
Meg Rice and students from McIntyre High School work shopped the careers from A to Z in the Australian grains industry
On Thursday Northern Tablelands LLS YFC Meg Rice visited McIntyre High School in Inverell, speaking to agriculture students in Years 9. “It was a wonderful opportunity to share all the experiences that I have been offered within the agricultural industry.” Meg said. “The students were particularly interested in my recent to visit Cambodia and Lao, as part of a University of New England study tour, fand how culture has a large impact upon agricultural practices.”
Wool Young Farming Champion and Wool Classer Deanna Johnston visited Beaudesert State High School to share her career journey . Deanna was overjoyed to swamped by students after her talk asking how to get into wool classing. Deanna tells us Beaudesert have taken robotics to the next level with their Archibull Prize entry this year. If the end result is half as exciting as the titbits she shared with us. Wow do they have an Archie people will be talking about across the world
Well done Sharna, Meg and Deanna!
And well done to Alan Eagle Scholarship YFC Emma Longworth for the great work on your AGEX field day at the University of New England Smart Farm this week. A little birdie told us it was a wonderful event!
RAS Foundation Rural Scholarship applications for 2019 are now open, closing on August 31st! Several of our incredible YFC have won these scholarships in the past, which provide a financial support for study and allow many students extra time to engage in extracurricular activities.
If you have a passion for rural and regional New South Wales and are committed to giving back to these areas, scholarships of $6000 for full-time study and $3000 for part-time study are available. Submit your applications here
Featured photo credit: Cotton Young Farming Champion and owner of Summit Ag out in the field checking for bugs with her business partner Heath McWhirter
This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions across the country.
In the Field
Another busy week in the bush! Art4Agriculture media and communications advisor Mandy McKeesick called into Wool YFC Bessie Thomas’s sheep station in outback NSW. Mandy and Bessie have worked with each other over the phone and email for many years but never had the opportunity to meet face to face. It was a wonderful chance to catch up as “old friends!”
YFC assisted teachers in developing strategies to implement the new Science and Technology K-6 and Technology Mandatory Years 7-8 syllabuses in 2019.
This professional learning day helped develop syllabus knowledge in ‘Agriculture’ and ‘food and fibre production’, quality PBL pedagogies, using the successful ‘Solution Fluency’ framework and strategies and resources developed by the presenters.
Workshop presentations from the YFC included Dairy YFC Jo Newton, Wool YFC Peta Bradley, Cotton and Rice YFC Anika Molesworth, Wool YFC Dione Howard, Cotton YFC Casey Onus, and Wool YFC Sam Wan.
Eleven teachers who are currently guiding their students through The Archibull Prize attended the workshops, which were tailored from teacher feedback from the Archibull Prize last year. The first session included the YFC speaking for 10 minutes on sustainable agriculture in their industry. The second session consisted of digital media training including photography, interviewing and video skills. On the second day the teachers put their new skills into practice on the Tocal farms to see and report on, agriculture in action.
On Saturday evening Art4Agriculture hosted a dinner with the YFC, teachers, presenters and representatives from the Hunter Local Land Services and Tocal College. The dinner included a presentation from dinner speaker, YFC Anika Molesworth of her ‘seven lessons of life’
Lindy Hyam, Chair of the Hunter LLS also spoke at the dinner on the importance of having goals and plans, as well as the importance of working in groups, the sharing of knowledge and to have a personal Five Year Plan.
The workshops were supported by Australian Rural Business Consultant of the Year Greg Mills, photographer Linda Faiers, marketing professional Gaye Steel and science communicator and journalist Jenni Metcalfe.
Special shoutout to Tocal College for the use of their great venue and to farm manager Mike Ison for sharing his wealth of knowledge with us on the farm tour on Sunday
Tocal Farm Manager Mike Ison was a great sport providing knowledge and talent
In other news, congratulations to YFC Emma Longworth and team who pulled together the Rural Science Undergraduate Society Ball on Saturday – straight after last week’s Farming Futures events at the University of New England (UNE). Two guest speakers presented on the night, from Costa Tomatoes and NSW Farmers. The event was a great networking opportunity for UNE students as well as another chance to hear from industry professionals and UNE alumni.
Shoutout to YFC’s Sharna Holman who is visiting Dakabin State High School, Meg Rice who is visiting McIntyre High School and Deanna Johnston who is visiting Beaudesert State High School this week for the Archibull Prize. We hope you and the students have a fantastic time together!
Well done to all the YFC who attended the Australian Cotton Conference, LambEx and Sheepvention last week, across the Gold Coast, Perth and Hamilton. Read more about it here.
Finalists for the 2018 Wool Broker of the Year Awards have been announced and two out of three are YFC! Huge congrats to Wool YFC Cassie Baile, from Australian Wool Network, and Wool YFC Samantha Wan, from Elders.
The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia’s Annual Wool Broker Award recognises excellence in wool broking, client servicing, auctioneering and/or innovation by a wool broker staff member who has been in the wool broking industry for 10 years or less. The winner will be announced the Wool Week Dinner in Melbourne on August 23rd.
To make this achievement even more special, the Wool Broker of the Year award have never been won by a woman, and last year the first time a female made the finals. Good luck to Cassie and Sam. You are both superstars!
A mega special mention and congratulations goes to Wool YFC Danila Marini who won the LambEx Young Guns Competition! Danila took out the title in Perth on Monday after developing a poster on a key opportunity in the lamb industry and presenting a four-minute speech and question time in front of judges. She was up against eight other up and coming lamb industry advocates from across Australia. Incredible work, Danila!
Read More about Danila’s win in the Stock and Land here
In Outback NSW, Wool and Dairy YFC Jo Newton and Wool YFC Bessie Thomas, had an exciting reunion. Jo and Bessie both joined the YFC and Archibull Prize programs thanks to Australian Wool Innovation in 2013, and as members of the Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) they see each other via web conference for YVLT committee meetings every fortnight but hadn’t caught up face to face in years. Jo dropped in to help feed sheep for a morning on her drive across the state this week as she made her way to Armidale for the UNE Farming Futures events (more on that later.)
Big things are happening for Women in Ag (WAG) this month and next in the NSW North West, with YFC Naomi Hobson kicking goals through her role with the Local Land Services. Noami is part of an all female ag advisory team running five WAG workshops across the North West region which focus on technical up-skilling and social networking in a relaxed, supportive, safe and child-friendly environment. Topics so far have included ruminant nutrition and feeding, a practical stock handling and working dog workshop, welding and NLIS database training. Upcoming workshops will cover farm safety, being fire prepared, quad bike safety and basic mechanics (cars, large and small machinery). What a fantastic initiative, Naomi!
Menawhile in the Riverina, using Skype, a laptop and an interactive whiteboard YFC Emma Ayliffe, standing in a paddock of cotton stubble, was able to beam directly to Sydney school students sitting in a classroom. Read the full story here Out of the Field
YFC Anika Molesworth has been representing Australia in Argentina and Uruguay this week as part of a parallel program of Agricultural Ministers gathering in Buenos Aires for the G20. Anika met with some incredible agricultural youth groups who she said had a great energy and enthusiasm for farming in South America. “They were so eager to learn about the YFC program – how it helps to upskill and empowering young people in ag and connect urban audiences to food and fibre production,” she said.
“They were in awe of the program and what it achieves. It was also a great opportunity to tour farms with Australia’s Agricultural Minister David Littleproud, who stated his great support for young people as the future of our industry.”
Congratulations to YFC Sam Coggins who has just returned from the Thought For Food (TFF) Summit in Brazil. Sam, with two friends, is further developing RiseHarvest, a smartphone app designed to help rice farmers in Myanmar use fertiliser more effectively. This project was one of ten selected from 800 teams from 160 countries in the Thought for Food Challenge, which aims to find solutions to feeding the world’s estimated population of more than 9 billion people by 2050.
Sam said it was the, “Equal best conference [to Bayer Youth Ag Summit] I’ve ever been to from a networking perspective, mixing with a community of 200 like-minded young people from across the globe – entrepreneurs dedicated to ensuring food security for everyone.” Well done, Sam!
Check out the 10 Thought for Food finalists, including the RiseHarvest team, HERE
Back on Aussie soil, it has been a big weekend of networking for University of New England students and members of the agricultural industry with the annual Farming Futures careers fair and industry dinner. YFC and Farming Futures chairperson Meg Rice helped co-ordinate this year’s event which hosted 38 agricultural companies and industry bodies, 100 secondary school students and and over 500 university students.
Poultry YFC Georgia Clark attended through her role with the Royal Agricultural Society, Cotton YFC Martin Murray was there with AMPS Agricultural, and Grains YFC Rebecca Thistlethwaite attended with the Ag Institute Australia – recruiting 104 new members!
YFCs Jasmine Whitten and Lucy Collingride presented at the UNE Agribusiness Mixer on Friday night, talking about their experience with the IFAMA world conference and agribusiness case study competition where Jasmine’s team placed third in the undergraduate section and Lucy’s team won the intermediate section.
Wool YFCs Adele Smith, Chloe Dutschke, Peta Bradley and Danila Marini have all flown to Perth, WA, for LambEx 2018. And it sounds like an action packed weekend!
Adele and Chloe will be attending the Sheep Producers Australia Leadersheep Forum featuring CEO of The Center for Food Integrity and friend of the YFC program, Charlie Arnot. Adele said she’s looking forward to engaging with a fantastic line-up of speakers, including Clayton South on the practical on farm reality, Nathan Scott talking about the traceability with EID and the Australian Wool Innovation GrandsLand Dinner, to name a few.
“I’ll also be heading off on a tour which includes visiting the University of WA Farm focusing on the Merino Lifetime Productivity Project and a visit to Genstock for a tour of the feed mill, AI Centre, Feedlot. I will also be attending the AWI Research & Development Update in Wagin.” Have fun, Adele!
Make sure you say G’day if you see Adele, Chloe, Peta or Danila out and about at LambEx!
In Hamilton, Victoria, Samantha Wan is hitting up Sheepvention. Sam is presenting the Elders Southern Clip of the Year Awards and will then be enjoying the sights and sounds of being surrounded by wool still on the sheep’s back – rather than in the bale – for once!
Well done on last week’s talk at the Elders South Australia Clip of the Year Awards, on your trip to Hong Kong for the International Wool Textile Organisation congress, too Sam.
To the Gold Coast, where cotton growers are converging this week for the Australian Cotton Conference. If you’re headed that way, keep your eyes peeled for Cotton YFCs Emma Ayliffe, Casey Onus, Anika Molesworth, Jess Lehmann, James Kanaley, Martin Murray, Sharna Holman, Alex Galea and Sally Poole.
On Tuesday afternoon YFC, agronomist and farmer Emma Ayliffe will be part of a panel giving a short presentation on area wide management for the control of Silver Leaf Whitefly. On the Wednesday you can catch her MC-ing the Next Gen breakfast, which includes a workshop on social media and social licence and featurs guest speaker National Farmers Federation President Fiona Simson.
Good luck to Anika Molesworth who will be presenting on soil respiration in cotton fields with different fertilisers.
And look out for YFC Jess Lehmann who’ll be a panelist at the Next Gen Workshop on “Farming in the Age of Twitter.”
Break a leg, Em, Anika and Jess!
And it’s a big week at the Cotton Conference for YFC Sharna Holman who will be busy promoting her new cotton biosecurity campaign:
This is hugely exciting news for Sharna, who developed this concept at a 2017 Young Farming Champions workshop “Enabling Change – Developing your project for change” facilitated by guru changeologist Les Robinson, followed by a “How to Pitch a Project” workshop with 2017 Rural Consultant of the Year Greg Mills and strategic marketing consultant Gaye Steele. Major kudos to you Sharna and goodluck with the rollout of your campaign!
Huge congratulations to Wool YFC Danila Marini who is in Perth today competeing as a finalist in the LambEx Young Guns Competition Today Danila was one of nine finalists to give an four minute presentation in front of judges at Lamb Ex, answering the statement:
“The Australian lamb and sheepmeat industry has a bright future, it is currently worth an estimated $4.38 billion to the national economy and has grown significantly in the past decade. Identify and discuss a key opportunity within the Australian lamb industry and how it will influence the future of the sheep and lamb sector.”
At the time of publishing Danila had completed her talk and was awaiting news from the juding panel. Fingers crossed for you Danila, we are watching this space.
YFC Dr Danila Marini has won the 2018 Lambex Young Guns Competition in the Career Professionals section. Well done Danila
Congratulations to Grains YFC Keiley O’Brien who has just been named winner of the 2018 Narromine Showgirl Competition! Well done Keiley and goodluck with this year’s Narromine Show on the 31st of August and 1st of September.
Mega congrats to YFC Prue McCormack and her husband Shannon who have just welcomed beautiful baby, Jock, into the world. Sending you all well wishes to enjoy this special time together as family of three.