Young Farming Champions Muster September 2018 Week 4

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions around the country.

In the field

In Marrar, NSW, Grains YFC and fifth generation farmer Daniel Fox is trying something daring this week, sowing chickpeas for the first time. Best of luck, Dan

 

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!
Keiley hay making

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!

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“This is a class of Lincoln ewes in the next ring to the one I was looking after. The lambs had a great time frolicking in the ring while their mums where being assessed,” Jo says.

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

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#YouthVoices18 #YouthinAg #Farmersforclimateaction

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.

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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 and Chloe

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!

Prime Cuts

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

Dee at Melb Show

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.

Lifetime Highlights

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!

Felicity Taylor

#YouthinAg #YouthVocies18 #ArchieAction

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Is it a cow no its a pig or maybe even a chicken? Meet our Egg and Pork Archies

Continuing our showcase of the 2018 Archibull Prize artworks entries today we present the Pork and Egg and Poultry Archies. Check out the Horticulture entries HERE

Thanks to support from Aussie Farmers Foundation we were able to offer schools who have been participating in the program for a number of years the PORK and EGG and POULTRY industries to investigate and present their learnings via a lifesize 3D artwork in the form of a cow supported in this case by our Young Farming Champion industry experts Laura Phelps  and Jasmine Whitten 

So how do you turn a cow into a story about pigs and chooks

This is what The Henry Lawson High School did with PORK. Meet POWERBULL 

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You can read the wonderful backstory behind POWERBULL here

In our blog we are sharing with you what the students think makes Powerbull unique

At first glance, it has a generator, It has lashing lights, it has our signature gold hooves, stuffed piglets and a quilt, and is painted like a pig even though it’s a cow! More importantly, everything on the work is authentic student work. It is a reflection of their interests and their areas of learning about the pork industry. The students have brought to this a range of their skills from quilting and sewing to cartooning and sculpting.

From Central NSW we move to Queensland where Calvary Christian School Carbrook Snr Campus and Calvary Christian School Springwood Jnr Campus tackled EGGS and POULTRY in very different ways.

Meet Eggmund The Egg Calfé from Calvary Christian School Springwood Campus

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This is what the students had to say about Eggmund

The concept of our Archie is to showcase the versatility of eggs. Eggs can be used for so many different foods, or eaten alone as a nutritious breakfast/snack. The idea is that the Archie is a café (or calfé in this case) where eggs are often served in a variety of ways. In this art piece, we brainstormed as many different foods as we could that could be represented. We have fried eggs on toast, scrambled eggs on toast, an omelette, cake, meringue, pancakes and so on. The cow itself is designed to look like it is made out of recycled wood in an attempt to subtly represent sustainability and reusability. The legs and body of the Archie have been turned into the table using a dual paint shade, wood grain effect. In the middle of the head is a white patch which represents a single egg. This is to emphasise that the only ingredient involved in every food item on the table is an egg.

The students at Calvary Christian School Carbrook Snr Campus had a realllllly big idea as you can see. Meet Le-EGG-O. We just love all the clever names

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The students message is Feeding, Powering and Clothing a Hungry Nation is child’s play and we can learn these key concepts from childhood. It also brings out the inner child in most adults (who doesn’t want to play with LEGO?)

So why LEGO?

We went with this idea because LEGO, much like chickens and eggs, speaks a universal language.  LEGO is internationally recognised and children from multiple nationalities will demonstrate recognition, be able to read booklets, construct, play, plan and dream. Likewise, poultry & eggs are an internationally recognised food source, with many countries having their own unique take on dishes cooked with chicken or eggs. In formulating our LEGO collection, we have had to purchase LEGO products from many different countries and states, included Germany, France and Holland, adding to our international theme.

We live in a global village with food being sourced from all over our planet as we feed, power and cloth our hungry nations.  And with growing populations, we have to continue building these international trading ‘village’ links.

As with all ecosystems, our story starts with the nature connection, found on the farm.  Our farmer demonstrates the importance of diversity, as he produces pigs, chickens and cropping.  His crucial job is to supply crops that supply the egg and broiler bird production which you will find hidden inside the cow. His love of nature is demonstrated by the animals he keeps and the neat tidy appearance of his farm.  It can also be noted that he provides much needed employment for others (see the tractor driver, who looks less than impressed about something but we’ll leave that to you to figure out!).

Hidden inside the neck and shoulders of the cow you will find commercial egg and chicken production. We hid these production systems just like we find egg production and broiler birds grown behind closed doors.  However, small peep-holes provide opportunities to look in on what is happening and most will be pleasantly surprised to see how much care and consideration our farmers give the  animals in their care.  Over the course of our unit, we have learned from a biosecurity point of view the importance of keeping these valuable food sources clean for human consumption, (hence the closed doors in the real world) but wanted to provide the opportunity for people to have a sneak peek.  The mirrors in these peep-holes do provide some distortion though, so things may not always be as they first appear, much like the real world.

Coming out of the multicoloured brick wall, which is symbolic of the diversity (different shapes, sizes and colours) of chicken and Egg consumers, you will find our first support industry links.  Here we find the domestic transportation industry.  

Moving on from the transportation hub, we will find our supermarket.  (For space saving we had to by-pass the wholesalers).  Supermarkets are where most of us as consumers have our first interactions with eggs and poultry.  However it is important for society to make sure that children are educated in knowing where their food comes from  – and that it doesn’t all come on polystyrene trays, neatly wrapped in plastic. 

From the supermarket, we can move across to our ‘home’ scene, where our lovely retirees are enjoying an enormous roast – a feature of many home cooked family dinners.  Left overs served tomorrow in the form of a pie, a stir fry or being drooled over by the family dog.  

Our Parisian Restaurant is a key feature on the LEGO play table – intricate detail and a huge part of the story of chickens and eggs. Employment here is found in the form of the chefs (there are two – can you spot them?) waiting staff and delivery drivers.  And all because of the humble chicken and egg.  

Down on the runway under the cow you will find more transportation links – these ones are the international links.  For most of our Broiler birds and indeed our layers, eggs are imported from international stocks to keep good breeding lines in Australia. And whilst our plane might be departing, we do also export products from Australia to various international markets.  We also have our airport crewman powering up the side of the runway, symbolic of the employment this export industry also supports.

This international theme is then accentuated with the various languages shown on the shoulder and brisket of the cow – French, German, Dutch, English and Spanish: reflective of our LEGO sources and the language studied in our school.

And on the very top of the cow, having conquered the Archibull, you will find our two resident farmers who have taken us on this learning journey – Farmers Basil and Jessie.

Read the full learning journey here 

Wow and watch this space we still have Sheep and Cattle, Grains and Cotton and Wool to come.

#YouthVoices18 #ArchieAction #YouthinAg

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Meet our Eggsperts Jasmine Whitten and Jessica Fearnley

Young Farming Champion Jasmine Whitten will partner with intern Jessica Fearnley to deliver the Eggscellent workshop at the Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day.

IMG_0798Students will be taken on a journey to become eggsperts discovering how the humble egg is good for both their brain and body. They will be given the chance to become an eggspert starting with dressing for the part (watch this space). Then the real challenge will begin! They will be put to the test as an eggspert. The challenge is for them to determine if the egg should be stamped as consumer quality and put into the egg carton or not.

Jasmine Whitten 5Recognising only the very best eggs reach your fridge students will perform a scientific test using a haugh machine and a yolk colour chart to determine if the inside of the egg is of the highest of quality.

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Eggs provide a number of minerals and nutrients which are good for both the brain and body.

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Let’s discover why they are so good for kids?

  • Eggs contain choline which helps in the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involve in nerve and brain functioning and memory. Without it our bodies and brain just wouldn’t function properly.
  • One serve of eggs provides around a third of the recommended dietary intake of folate for children. Folate is essential for the growth and maintenance of healthy cells. Ideal for those growing bodies!!
  • One serve of eggs provides around half the recommended dietary intake of vitamin A for children. Vitamin A is essential for growth and eye health. That means if we have a eyes or a body we should eat eggs!
  • Eggs contain Zinc which plays a role in cell division, cell growth, and wound healing! Exactly what active and growing bodies need especially if their prone to needing bandaids!

We are looking forward to the newly minted eggsperts going home and educating their friends and family about why eggs are good for the body and brain.

Funny easter eggs

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Only boys can be farmers – Jasmine Whitten is blowing up outdated stereotypes

When I was fifteen my school careers adviser told me “You can’t become a farmer because that’s a boy’s job!”.

It was clear that she didn’t know me very well.  My upbringing has shown me there are no ‘boy jobs’ or ‘girl jobs’, especially in agriculture!  Rather than accepting this outdated notion, it kickstarted my journey to a career in agriculture.

Welcome to Jasmine Whitten’s story ………

The one thing everyone will tell you about me is that I ask ALOT of questions. I was fortunate to grow up on a diverse farm near Tamworth which produced beef cattle, wool and Lucerne hay. Spare a thought for my parents who were bombarded with questions from the day I learnt to talk. Anything from why are we feeding out hay or what does this broken part on the tractor do?

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I can almost guarantee I asked that exact question just before this photo was taken and I was told to go grab the hammer from the ute.

I loved life on the farm. No day was ever the same and I never missed a chance to do things better or faster than my siblings.

My first paid job was helping to unload a truck load of hay at the age of 8. When you live an hour out of town it can be difficult to make it to sporting commitments. So, I always knew it was highly unlikely that I was going to end up being an athlete, unless, they made hay moving a sport?

In high school, I joined the school cattle team to learn more about agriculture and prepare and show cattle. My parents shared my passion and it wasn’t hard to convince them to do the two-hour return trip to pick me up from the after-school training sessions.

I was very surprised to learn that most of my peers on the cattle team were urban kids and I was one  that grew up on a farm. But I had just as much to learn as they did.

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The cattle team taught me so much more than learning to care for animals. It taught me public speaking, team work, the role of a mentor and how to pass my knowledge onto others (which was perhaps the greatest challenge but the most rewarding).

In hindsight the most important discovery is I now know how important is to have role models, mentors and just people that believe in you 100%.  For me, it was people like Kate Lumber. I first met Kate at school where she passed on her cattle showing skills, coached me in meat judging at university and encouraged me to take every opportunity along the way.  She now works as an agronomist in Moree.

Going to country shows are some of the best memories as I have. I have made lifelong friendships, met people from all over Australia and built rural networks I know I can tap into for support and advice on my career journey.

I always set the bar high for myself and I was determined to be the  best I possibly could at cattle showing and judging. After every competition I would go up to the judge and saying “how can I improve?”

They were always so supportive, taking me through what I could tweak better next time. This commitment to continuous improvement paid off. After four years of showing and judging cattle I was awarded first prize at the Sydney Royal Stud Beef Cattle Judging Competition. At 17,  I was the youngest in the class and I was so proud that I had put in the effort to achieve my goal. To this day I still give back to the show movement by volunteering at youth camps and local shows whenever I can.

I am now following my dreams and studying a Bachelor of Rural science at the University of New England. This degree gives me an opportunity to gain experience all over Australia and I take every opportunity I can. I have worked as a Jillaroo on properties near Rockhampton, Hughenden and Kununurra. I have even competed in meat judging competitions, participated in animal welfare research, worked for an agricultural consultancy companies, through to product sales and learning what it takes to be an auctioneer.

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The UNE meat judging team on judging day!

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My day in the office as a part of the auctioneering team at Tamworth sale yards.

The opportunities I have been given have allowed me to find my niche in the egg industry. The technology and innovation in the industry is phenomenal.  Egg farms are continually investing in the application of new technologies which is having huge rewards for both the hens and those who work in the industry. Working on an egg farm requires extensive knowledge in the areas of environmental stewardship, animal nutrition and best practice animal wellbeing just to name a few. It’s a rapidly changing industry which has captivated my interests completely!

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I can’t wait to go back to my school and share with my careers advisor that agriculture isn’t just about being a farmer and you certainly don’t have to be a boy.

You can be a vet, IT technician, agronomist, policy maker, researcher, journalist, accountant and many more with some jobs are not even created yet!

“I still remember in Year 10 being told by the counsellor at my old school that the farm was no place for a woman,” she said

“But we’re not going to be the cooks anymore. We’re going to be industry leaders. We’re going to be the ones telling the boys what to do.” Source

There will always be barriers to stop you achieving your goals. Don’t let stereotypes around what careers women or men should or should not follow blind you…… You can be anything you want to be! Seek out people who have followed the career path you aspire to, ask questions, and learn from those who have gone before you.

Find a way to climb over, push through or blow up your barriers and most importantly never forget to look back to help others climb over and push through their barriers.

Great advice Jasmine and and congratulations

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Jasmine Whitten 2018 Armidale Showgirl

#youthvoices18 #youthinag #strongertogether

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