Young Farming Champions Muster June 2018 Week 1

This weeks top stories from Young Farming Champions across the country

In the Field 

Our Young Farming Champions like Wool producer and UNE Honours student Emma Turner are regularly invited to share their research at events like MerinoLink The Hour of Power .  You can never overestimate the value of a great head shot for your bio and we love working with Antony Hands at Chasing Summer Photography who shot Emma’s portfolio this week.  We are confident you will agree we also got the perfect shot for our In the Field segment this week.

Speaking of UNE students big shout out for your first trimester exams this week

From the Field

Young Farming Champions Tayla Field and  Emma Ayliffe will be visiting schools in Sydney and Wollongong as part The Archibull Prize 2018.

Another 1000 students will be talking  all things cotton and veggies, gaining a greater understanding of the challenges to feed and clothe them in the 21st Century and being  inspired to join the next generation of agriculturalists finding solutions to those challenges.

Lucy Collingridge is travelling to Edmonton and Argentina later in the year and has created the Facebook page 1 Agriculturalist 2 Conferences 3 Countries  to share her learnings from her trips.  Lucy is looking forward to bringing home some fresh ideas for both the Australian agricultural sector and the show movement.

Wool Young Farming Champion Sam Wan has organised a special treat for her visit to Picnic Point High School

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Prime Cuts 

UNE students Jasmine Whitten, Lucy Collingridge and Meg Rice have been selected to participate in an agribusiness study tour of Argentina and Uruguay which includes attending the 2018 International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) Annual World Symposium and Forum in Buenos Aires. Lucy and  Jasmine will represent UNE in the (IFAMA) Student Case Competition. UNE won the undergraduate division of the global competition in 2017.

The Study Tour is run as 6 credit point unit and is aligned with the annual IFAMA conference which is held in a different global location each year.

Young Farming Champion Casey Onus shares her tour highlights from 2017 here

_2017 Supporting partners Capture

Young Farming Champions Muster – Week 4 May 2018

Our vision is to promote positive images and perceptions of farming and engage in activities and innovative programs that encourage Australia’s best and brightest to consider a career in agriculture

Our Young Farming Champions are regularly in the field and out and about sharing agriculture’s good news stories.

Our Young Farming Champions also grab every opportunity to learn and grow and pay it forward

This weeks top stories from Young Farming Champions across the country

From the Field:

This week Cowra Grain farmer  Marlee Langfield  is speaking to Paterson Rotary on women in agriculture, alternative career pathways and opportunities for youth in the rural communities.  Marlee is also visiting Vacy Public school as guest speaker talking all things grains with students currently undertaking a science and technology paddock to plate unit

In the Field

Dr Jo Newton is presenting at the AgriBio Site seminar on ImProving Herds

Anika Molesworth is participating in the  Rice Industry Leadership Program 2018 –2020 – the “Foundations of Leadership Course. This eight day program has been developed in conjunction with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

Prime Cuts

People are agriculture’s most important resource. Young people in agriculture have access to a plethora of opportunities to grow as people, and to develop innovative ideas which will continue driving agriculture forward to a bright future

This week we are excited to announce

Sharna Holman has been selected to participate in the Future Cotton Leaders program . Previous YFC participants have been wax lyrical about this program and we look forward to Sharna sharing her  Future Cotton Leaders journey with us and the wider community

Lucy Collingridge and Stephanie Fowler have been successful in receiving a scholarship to attend the Royals of the Commonwealth Conference in Edmonton. This is another experience that has allowed previous YFC scholarship  winners like dynamo Hannah Barber  to contribute at the highest level to the agricultural show movement.

Sam Coggins  has won both the University of Sydney Medal for High Distinction subject average and the prestigious Convocation Medal which honours alumni who have shaped our world

#Youthinag #YouthVoices18

_2017 Supporting partners Capture

 

 

23 year old CEO Marlee Langfield says you have to be fearless

“It can be lonely spending endless hours on the tractor during sowing or on the header at harvest; I just sing along with the radio for company. You have to be fearless, too. You can’t be afraid of much or it’ll hold you back.” Marlee Langfield  

Young Farming Champion Marlee Langfield at just 23 years of age is CEO and manager of her family farm ‘Wallaringa’ in Cowra.  in 2016 women represented 28.1 per cent of Farmers and Farm Managers (39 776 people) in the census but only 2.8% of women are in CEO positions.

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Marlee had 10 years to prepare ( see backstory below) herself to take on the CEO position and with the support of her family and network of wise advisers she has made the most of every minute.  Marlee pours as much energy into her ‘in-field’ activities as her “from the field’ activities.

This week she shares her love of agriculture, its diverse career opportunities  for youth in rural Australia with Paterson Rotary.  She will also be guest speaker at Vacy Public school for students undertaking a science and technology unit paddock to plate.

Marlee is a great example of young people in rural and regional Australia paying it forward and inspiring others to do the same

Below is the backstory reprinted from a Farmonline interview in 2012 when Marlee was just 15 years old.

WHEN Marlee Langfield’s father Thomas died in 2008, he left his daughter with a love of the land, an aptitude for farming and an inner strength that makes her seem more mature than most 15-year-olds.

Mr Langfield ensured the 1000-hectare cereal cropping farm, Wallaringa, near the NSW Central West town of Cowra, would pass directly to Marlee (pictured), allowing her to decide in her own time whether farming was in her future.

In the meantime, the farm is being managed by Mr Langfield’s nephew Rod Wright.

Marlee is actively involved in running the farm, along with Mr Wright’s sons Joshua, 17, and Nathan, 16.

“The boys are like brothers to me as I don’t have any siblings close to my own age,” Marlee said.

“Rod makes all the farming decisions at this point because I’m not in a position to do that at the moment.

“It’s hard when you’re not sure what you’re doing but when Rod’s around he demonstrates and explains what to do so that I’ll know next time.”

Mr Wright is proud of Marlee’s positive attitude and enjoys playing an active role in preparing her for a farming future.

“Marlee’s ability to adapt and adjust is absolutely remarkable,” he said.

“We’ve tried to maintain a family farm atmosphere, which means that Marlee is getting the hands-on training she’ll need if she decides to continue with a career as a farmer.

“She has great practical skills as well as an ability to take on board new techniques and innovations.

“She’s very talented and, operationally, I would say she’s better than most boys her age.”

Marlee doesn’t see her gender as an issue or an obstacle to a future in farming and says the ability to work alone as well as with others is one of the most important character traits for a successful farmer.

“It can be lonely spending endless hours on the tractor during sowing or on the header at harvest; I just sing along with the radio for company,” she said.

“You have to be fearless, too.

“You can’t be afraid of much or it’ll hold you back.

“I’m very outgoing and capable in that way – not much really worries me.

“The best part about farming is the freedom it gives you.

“You’re surrounded by big open spaces and you can just grab the dog and hop on the motorbike or in the ute and go for a drive up the paddock to check the crop, repair a fence or measure the rain.

“I’ve definitely inherited a love of the land from Dad.

“He grew up on Wallaringa and helped farm this land with his parents, brother and sisters and then on his own.

“Now Dad has passed it on to me.

“I never really thought actively about whether I would take over the family farm; it was always just there.”

To help prepare her for adult life, Marlee is now doing part of her high school education in Canada, where she is checking out the Canadian farming scene.

Her mother Wendy said it was important for her daughter to gain as many experiences as possible before deciding to settle into farming.

“And, of course, she may decide not to come back to the farm,” she said.

“Marlee has plenty of opportunities ahead and this experience will definitely benefit her.”

 

Young Farming Champion Dr Jo Newton wins Victorian Changemakers Leadership Award

I have worked with some phenomenal young people in my life-time and I know how well deserved this acknowledgement of Jo Newton’s contribution to the empowerment of young people is.

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Dr Joanna Newton Winner Leadership Winner in Victorian Young Achiever Awards 

Jo was nominated for this award by her employer. When she asked me to be one of her referees, I thought how do you do some-one like Jo justice.

I have never met anyone so selfless and so team focused. Jo is a city girl who discovered agriculture at school and made it her career journey. Her passion is the science, her dedication is partnering with farmers to build the trust necessary to take the science out of lab and onto the farm. She spends every minute ruminating, consulting and planning how to make this happen

In her spare time she gives every minute to agricultural advocacy and supporting youth in agriculture.

If ever there was some-one who epitomised the word champion its Jo Newton.

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Jo said on accepting her award

In Australia less than 1 in 3 leadership positions are held by women. In agriculture its less than 1 in 7 leadership positions held by women so it is an incredible privilege to have my contributions to agriculture recognised here tonight.

Hard work, passion and determination can take you a long way, what I have learnt is the journey is much easier when you are supported by family, friends, colleagues and mentors along the way.    

Whilst young people like Jo may only  be 20% of the population,  they are 100% of the future.  Young people are in a unique position as they face the reality of an uncertain future but potentially they are best-placed to push for and define the long-term societal response to the planet they envision. They are also the most vulnerable to the legacy of decisions made by older generations. Although young adults arguably have the most to gain and the most to lose their voices are not prominent, and too often engagement with this crucial demographic is in many ways limited. How do we work together to break down the barriers to Youth Voices?

To quote from a speech another Young Farming Champion gave at the Australian Farm Institute Conference in 2017

Investing in our youth will secure the future for Australian agriculture.

We can all invest in our youth

As an as an individual, you can identify enthusiastic young members of your industry.

Encourage them to tell their stories, to step up and do a leadership program, to become the voice for the future of their industry.

Invest in them.

Together we can ensure a bright future for Australian agriculture. Dione Howard AWI Young Farming Champion

Yes its that simple. Lets do it together

#YouthVoices18 #Youthinag

_2017 Supporting partners Capture

The Soil you need to Cultivate – and the journey to balancing life, career and family with leadership

 

Young Farming Champion and Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) member Laura Phelps recently grabbed an opportunity to broaden her knowledge and share her insights with the UK Government as part of their BREXIT strategy. This opportunity has taken Laura to London where she will be based for the next six months. Laura’s sojourn has opened to door to appoint Bessie Thomas to the YVLT.

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Bessie as a grazier and young mother brings a further depth and perspective to the group and shows its commitment to supporting young people in leadership as they face the challenges of balancing work and life.

The YVLT recognises young people are going through rapid transitions from study to work and family and part of its aim is to determine how to best support and encourage them to take on leadership roles.

Formerly involved with Art4Agriculture as an AWI wool Young Farming Champion and in media and communications behind the scenes, Bessie stepped away for a time when she had her first child in 2016.

“The Youth Voices committee seems like the perfect way for me to dip my toes in and get involved with agricultural leadership and support roles again without having to move my focus away from home, farm and motherhood,” she says.

Bessie loves her career as a journalist but she also loves her family and her outback property, and although she was quite sure she could combine them all to her usual high standard, life, she has found, has meant prioritising.

“I have a husband I love, a beautiful young child and a farm currently in drought – they all need me and this is the soil I need to cultivate right now.  I can press pause on a career and involvement with external roles, but I can’t press pause on feeding my hungry sheep, supporting my husband, or feeding my hungry child.” Bessie realises she may be able to do it all – but not all at the same time.

The YVLT, now in its infancy, will grow and change as time progresses and how exactly it provides support to its members will also evolve. For now it is enough that one of its goals is to provide a flexible approach to commitment.

“Feeling pressure to over-commit or guilt about potentially letting the team down has stopped me from getting involved with committees in the past,” Bessie says. “With the YVLT I’ve been asked to only give as much of myself as I can. This means I’ll be able to throw my all at projects I’m really keen on when I have the time, or say ‘Sorry guys, I’m shearing/going away/sick and I’m going to be pretty unavailable for the next month’ without feeling guilty about it. Other members are invited to do the same and it means we’ll get the work done as a team without any one person feeling like they have to keep filling in the gaps.  It’s a way for me to get involved, use my skills and help the industries I love, but also know that I’m allowed to press pause for a day/week/month or year if I need to, knowing that I can dip back in when the time is right for me again.”

One of the visions of the YVLT is to let young people share their dreams and design the future they want. By attracting one of Art4Agriculutre’s brightest alumni back to the fold and into a leadership position, the YVLT can already call itself a success.

Welcome Bessie #youthvoices18

Wool Young Farming Champion Katherine Bain gets the Cow Girl experience in Canada

Our Young Farming Champions are finding a career in agriculture offers many opportunities and opens exciting doors.

A number of our Young Farming Champions are travelling overseas and blogging from far flung places

Today we hear from Katherine Bain who is ticking off  her ‘See how the World Farms’ bucket list on a cattle ranch in Canada

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 Katherine Bain with her dog, Pluto, on the family farm near Stockyard Hill in Victoria 

Hi everyone, my name is Katherine Bain, and I am a 2017 wool Young Farming Champion.   At the start of this month, I began an adventure I’ve had on my bucket list for as long as I could remember – to head to Canada and work on a cattle ranch!

The ranch is located in British Columbia, a province on the west side of Canada, in the Chilcoltin region. It’s a beautiful area surrounded by snow-capped mountains and tree-covered hills. So pretty much the opposite to the rolling grasslands I’m used to back home in in Victoria!

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The ranch is called Dane Ranch and is run by Cordy Cox-Ellis. It runs roughly 1000 cows and calves, 160 replacement heifers and 90 breeding bulls. They also produce hay  to feed their cattle in the winter. The ranch runs Angus cross cows which are usually 75% Angus, and 25% either Simmental or Gelbvieh. They cross black or red Gelbvieh or Simmental, or Charolais bulls onto the cows that are more Angus in type, and then Angus, SimAngus, or Gelbvieh Balancer bulls onto the cows that look more exotic in type. The ranch also has a small herd of purebred Angus and Gelbvieh cattle.

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They do a lot of work on horseback. This day we were moving cattle into a new paddock

Currently, we are in the middle of calving! There is lots to be done including checking the pens a couple of times a day to ensure all the calves are healthy, cleaning out the barn where sick or mis-mothered calves are kept, processing newborn calves and feeding cows. Processing is a similar process that we follow with our lambs.  The calves are generally processed a couple hours after being born, as it is important to know who the mother is, so they can trace the genetics and know where they go on the range during the summer months. This is a similar process to how I ran my Coopworth Sheep Stud, to make sure we can follow the genetics and assess which ewes are the best breeders.

Processing allows Dane Ranch to inspect each animal and assess their overall health, vaccinate them and attach identification tags. They get two tags – an RFID tag and a large number tag to link it to its mother. The cross bred bull calves are castrated

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Tagging the calves – they do grow into their tags!!!

Processing can be like doing a puzzle as we have to work out which calf goes with which cow. Often the calves are sleeping while their mums are off eating, so we have to wait until they are back together to be certain we don’t make any mistakes.  Because of all the snow on the ground during winter, the cows are calved down in smaller paddocks and “containment” pens. This is to make it easier to check them throughout calving and for feeding them.

There is no grass yet, so they  get fed hay and have salt licks and mineral tubs to ensure they have a balanced diet. The snow is almost all gone now, so they will soon be put back out to bigger paddocks with fresh grass before going up onto the range!

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Feeding the cows

My jobs at the moment are mostly helping in the barn. My day starts with feeding and watering any cows in the barn and in the small pens. The water has to be refilled with a hose as the pipes freeze! The main troughs have heated pads and insulation to keep them going  throughout the very cold winters. The temperature in the winter can go as low as minus 35 Celsius with an average from December 1st to March 31st around minus 13 Celsius !!!. Thanks goodness we don’t have to worry about this at home

After feeding I help treat any calves that are unwell.  Its very important to watch them closely to ensure they don’t get scours which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration is treated with electrolytes and antibiotics if necessary.

So far working on the ranch has been pretty different to working on my sheep farm back home. Dealing with the freezing weather and snow means that extra care and planning needs to be done well before Winter sets in – mainly ensuring they will have enough hay to see them through! Learning to work with cattle has so far been an awesome experience, but I’ve got a long way to go to become a “cowgirl”!

In the coming month calving will finish and the next big thing will be branding and moving cattle onto the range. So stay tuned for the next instalment!

_2017 Supporting partners Capture

 

 

Young Farming Champions Backing a Future for Agriculture in the fragile Far West of NSW

 

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Young Farming Champion and Climate Wise Agriculture founder Anika Molesworth

The arid zone of western New South Wales is hot and dry and expected to become hotter and drier with a changing climate. Forward planning and community collaboration is key to ensuring the future of farming in the fragile Far West. But what tools are needed?

This question will be addressed at “Outback to the Future” an upcoming free public seminar to be held at the Fowlers Gap Research Station near Broken Hill on Saturday May 12. Organised jointly by the University of New South Wales and Climate Wise Agriculture, the seminar will discuss the future of land management including new technology available now, future technology, how productivity and resilience can be increased, and how the latest research findings can be applied on the ground.

“Land managers of the Far West are no strangers to adversity – it’s a strikingly beautiful place to live out here, but it comes with its challenges,” Anika Molesworth from Climate Wise Agriculture said. “This seminar is about looking to the future, asking the hard questions, and working together to come up with solutions.”

Commencing at 10.00am the line-up of speakers includes: social researcher Emily Berry; animal ecologist Simon Griffith; wool and sheep specialist Gregory Sawyer; soil scientist Susan Orgill; livestock behaviourist Danila Marini; Judge at the NSW Land and Environment Court Simon Molesworth; climate researcher and veterinarian Greg Curran; General Manager of Research, Development and Innovation from MLA Sean Starling; local grazier Angus Whyte; artist Peter Sharp; and members of the local Landcare Youth Network.

“It’s a hugely exciting day – we’re going to be talking drones to move livestock, replenishing soil carbon to access green markets, industry innovations, art movements, and hear the visions from young locals,” Anika said.

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Livestock behaviourist and Young Farming Champion Dr Danila Marini

One particular presentation that is bringing futuristic-tech to the outback is that by Danila Marini. “Virtual fencing is exciting technology, giving farmers the ability to set up a fence line from their computer’” Danila said. “Close to commercialisation for cattle, virtual fencing uses GPS and a smart algorithm to contain animals within a boundary through the use of an audio cue. This technology has great potential for the sheep industry, especially for vast properties where fencing is either impractical or too costly.”

For further details on the seminar visit the website at https://outbacktothefuture.weebly.com/

#youthvoices18

_2017 Supporting partners Capture