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

 

 

 

Join Tayla Field at the Sydney Royal Easter Show and find out why you should Eat a Rainbow

As promised,  this week we will be profiling our Young Farming Champions running workshops at the Sydney Royal Easter Show Primary School Preview Day. Students will participate in hands on workshops for the Cotton, Wool, Horticulture and Egg Industries.

Tayla Field

Young Farming Champion Tayla Field who works for OneHarvest (recently featured in AGWomen Global ) will partner with our intern Haylee Murrell to deliver the Seed to Salad workshop. Students will learn how to plant salad vegetables, then they will dress up in aprons, hairnets and gloves and pack boxes of salad in a fun race to demonstrate the processing side of the supply chain, then they will need to identify the components of a pre made salad and match them with descriptive cards that have a fact about that vegetable.

Why is it important for young people to recognise veggies. Scarily 95% of young people aged between 2 and 18 DON’T eat enough vegetables

To be healthy, kids need to eat a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables every day. If you use a rainbow as a guide, you can ensure you get a wide range of vitamins and minerals. No single fruit or vegetable provides all the nutrients you need.Veggies are nutritious and delicious. The colour makes all the difference. Within each colour are disease fighting good guys (vitamins and minerals), that fight to keep you strong and healthy.

Tayla and Jessica will teach the students we all should be Eating A Rainbow everyday.

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Eat A Rainbow Every Day!

  • Blue is Beautiful. 
  • Red is Rockin’.
  •  Green is Groovy. 
  • Yellow is yummy. 
  • Orange is Outrageous.

A balanced diet should always have a range of colours on the one plate.

  • Dark green vegetables – broccoli, cabbages, leafy greens like spinach, bok choy, lettuce, kale and silverbeet.
  • Orange and deep yellow vegetables – carrots, pumpkin, sweetpotatoes and squash.
  • Starchy vegetables – potatoes, sweet corn and sweetpotatoes
  • Non-starchy vegetables – zucchini, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, beans, peas, okra, capsicum, cauliflower
  • Salad vegetables – capsicums, cucumbers, lettuce, spring onions and tomatoes
  • Legumes – beans and peas

We are looking forward to a whole new generation of kids leaving the show telling their parents we have to eat a rainbow

Read Tayla’s story in AGWomen Global HERE 

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An invitation for Primary School students to meet the Young Farming Champions at the Sydney Royal Easter Show

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A passion to link consumers with producers … to promote public understanding of farming, and the interconnectedness of health and well-being and the agricultural sector … is the driving force behind the role of the Young Farming Champions (YFC)

Our YFC help agriculture to build its fan base and encourage young people from all walks of life to join them and follow their career pathway into the agriculture sector. Since 2010 they have being doing this very successfully through The Archibull Prize.See our 2017 Annual Report here. The Archibull Prize is a world first. A competition that uses art and multimedia to engage school students in genuine farm experiences, and gain knowledge and skills about the production of the food they eat, the fibres they use and the environment they live in. Young Farming Champions (YFC) participate in The Archibull Prize by visiting and mentoring schools, sharing their stories and insights into contemporary farming practices and inspiring students to consider careers in agriculture.

Over the past three years the YFC have been spreading the agriculture love far and wide as keynote speakers at conferences, delivering TED talks and running events and workshops across the country.

In 2018 our YFC will be participating in a smorgasbord of events to hone their skills and deliver their unique style of engaging and inspiring future generations of agriculture ambassadors and the best and brightest to join the sector

I cant think of a better way to kickstart 2018 than a partnership with the agriculture education team at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. In the lead up to the show we will be inviting  Primary School students to sign up to meet the YFC team on Primary School Preview Day in The Food Farm. Students meeting the YFC will participate in hands on workshops for the Cotton, Wool, Horticulture and Egg Industries. They can also chat to YFC and farmer Tim Eyes who will be the star attraction at the Thank a Customer workshop.

Get a taste of Primary School Preview Day here

Secondary students will also get the opportunity to hear from  and meet the YFC at the Careers in Ag  workshop in Cattle and Horse Experience Arena

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We look forward to profiling our Event Activation Team over the next 10 days. Get a sneak peak and meet them here

#youthvoices18 #youthinag

_2017 Supporting partners Capture

War on Waste – Gerringong Public School catapults Captain Koala onto the national stage

“With the amount of waste increasing in Australia by nearly 8% a year, it’s time for us, as a nation, to seriously re-examine the ways we consume and dispose of consumer items?’ 

GERRINGONG PUBLIC SCHOOL IS BUILDING ON THE SUCCESS OF THEIR GRAND CHAMPION KREATIVE KOALA COMMUNITY PROJECT AND TAKING THEIR LEARNINGS NATIONALLY WITH AN INVITATION TO BE A MODEL SCHOOL IN SERIES TWO OF ABC TV ‘WAR ON WASTE’

Gerringong Public School and science teacher Sue Hassler catapulted themselves into the pilot program of Kreative Koalas with an unmatched enthusiasm to learn more about recycling and waste management, and in doing so won the award for best community project.

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Their creation combined their artwork, Captain Koala, with a TerraCycle Drop-off point. “Our project is unique because we have combined our koala into our community project,” the school said. “We have turned this object into a purposeful and decorative addition to our school. We hope to inspire better knowledge of and involvement in recycling, especially through the provision of this collection point for hard to recycle items such as toothbrushes, Nescafe coffee pods and pump dispensers.” Last year we collected over 60,000 Terracycle items which the school receives 1 cent per item for, this money comes back into the school to help with our sustainability work.

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Gerringong Public School won $500 for their efforts but the longer-term applications of their learnings are what makes this such as successful project.

Gerringong Public School was supported by legends local artist Penny Sadubin and Sustainability Ambassador Jaime Lovell through their Kreative Koala journey

During the Kreative Koalas journey the school participated in a plastics audit and was astounded to collect 822 pieces of plastic including chip packets, snap lock bags, clingwrap, foil and muesli bar wrappers. A second audit found an additional 494 pieces of plastic in the school’s water easement. These plastics became the focus of the school’s war on waste.

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“I realized that every syllabus or curriculum had an underpinning in sustainability and nearly every topic had some direct content related to the environment,” Mrs Hassler said.  “I showed the students Mission Blue with Sylvia Earle, and then we talked about plastics; their break-down periods, where they come from and why they are a problem. Then we looked at their lunchboxes and how we could minimise plastics in them. We saw a huge change in lunchboxes and there is now a lot less clingwrap, for example, coming into the school.”

Gerringong Public School then overhauled their bin system. Now waste is separated into paper, foil and hard plastics, Terracycle (chip and muesli bar packets)and landfill. “With a school of 430 kids we’ve gone from filling 21 landfill bins each week to four and they are usually only a quarter full,” Mrs Hassler said.

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In addition, the students made beeswax wraps as an alternative to cling wrap and Ziploc plastic bags, which can take five hundred years to break down. So successful was this part of their war on waste that parents began asking for after-school workshops to make their own. The school canteen also came on board with eco-cups, metal spoons and a reduction in the use of foil, and recycling bins were put in the staff room and library.

The school has been very successful in educating and engaging their local community using Facebook, school newsletters and their local newspaper The Bugle with Captain Koala now becoming a community teracycle facility

“It’s an ongoing process of watching what the waste is and it takes a long time for people to understand that what you’re doing is important,” Mrs Hassler said. “There’s no point in teaching literacy and numeracy if we’ve wrecked our environment in the meantime. It becomes about starting independent action with nine and ten-year olds and that’s just gold for me. I’ve got kids who’ll come to me and say, ‘On the weekend, we picked up all these plastics on the beach’ and I feel like they do get it and they’re implementing it in their own lives and making a difference.”

Gerringong Public School is a shining example of the power of collaboration to take courageous steps to create change. Though driving of change may start with one champion, it is the movement, and in this case the students who are everyone’s future, who will make it a reality.

Kreative Koalas focus of collaborating with thought leaders who back the next generation of young people who are going to rethink the world and create a better future is something we can all be involved in and be proud of.

See what all our Courageous Kreative Koala schools are doing here 

Watch this space for more on the adventures of Captain Koala.

News Flash

The Kreative Koalas program welcomes Sue Hassler as our  2018 Kreative Koalas Ambassador. In this role Sue will be supporting schools in the Southern Highlands of NSW to help Australians meet our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Sue Hassler shares the highlights of Gerringong Public Schools Kreative Koalas expereince 

Giving agriculture a fresh young face and a new opportunity to be heard and celebrated.

When we first began our journey with Art4Agriculture the aim was to use innovative vehicles and build partnerships to give agriculture a fresh young face and a new opportunity to be heard and celebrated.

This year has proved to be a highlight. Our partnerships with industry and the media have allowed our schools and students participating in the Archibull Prize and our Young Farming Champions to get mind blowing opportunities we didn’t even  know existed

A yearly highlight is our Sydney Royal Easter Show partnership with the Agricultural Development and Agricultural Education team at the RAS of NSW.

This year there is a huge buzz around the Archies and the finalist in the Archibull Prize which can be found partnering with their food and fibre industries all over the showground

A spotlight on Archies the Food Farm

Firstly looking at our Cattle and Sheep Industries and our partnership with MLA through their Target 100 and Bettertarian campaigns

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Brandon from Menai High School showcasing the delicious cuts of meat 

Fast Fact

Did you know that 99% of the cow is consumed by humans and only 65% of that is as meat in your diet

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Lim from St Brigids Catholic Parish Primary School

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Winmeatlee from Winmalee High School

Fast Fact

If you want to eat with understanding, make better choices and feel better for it then we suggest you eat 3-4 palm sized serves of beef and lamb per week

Our partnership with Cotton Australia see Archies on display in both the Food Farm and the Food and Fibre Pavilion

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Check out our flying surfboard Archie Jasper ( Chifley Primary School) and Miss Sophie ( Matraville Sports High School)

Lets not forget the Grand Champion

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Thanks to our partnership with Pauls we give you Udder Brilliance welcoming visitors to the Food Farm

And this from Jenny Hughes whose team pull this magnificent pavilion together

Congratulations go to the students and teachers who have again done a fantastic job to provide me with props that talk for themselves in the Food Farm, Natural Fibre Showcase, The Lounge and Tech Pavilion. Even the Sheep Pavilion will see an Archie during Week Two of the Sydney Royal Easter Show

I will do a separate post on the Archies in the Food and Fibre pavilion, the Sheep and Wool Pavilion and the Tech Arena

For the first time we had the opportunity to work with the The Land Showgirl Finalists through our Picture You in Agriculture “Speaking with Confidence” workshop

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Picture You in Agriculture presenter Ann Burbrook with the 2014 The Land Showgirl Finalists – photo Toby Peet

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Speaking with confidence as ambassadors for rural and regional Australia – photo Toby Peet

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Ann working on one with the showgirls – photo Toby Peet

Careers in Ag day

Some of our team are also on the RAS Youth Group committee which runs the highly successful Careers in Ag day at the show. Archie played a key role in this event as well ( as you would have come to expect)

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RAS Youth Group with Archie

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Archie says ‘There are Careers In Agriculture from A to Z’IMG_5168

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Young Farming Champion Steph Fowler made sure Archie was given lots of hugs and kisses to ally his nerves from being the centre of attention

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Our event director Kirsty Blades making sure everything runs to clockwork 

And we have only got to the end of Day 1

Lots more to follow with the Art4Ag Young Farming Champions coordinating the Livestock in the Round event

Our program director judging the Junior District Exhibits

Our art judge designing the Rice Growers and Cotton Australia display as well as this masterpiece

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Pick the winner of the 2013 Archibull Prize

The big day is tomorrow for all our finalists involved in the 2013 Archibull Prize.

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14 Schools have been selected based on their artwork to send their cows the Awards and Exhibition ceremony

Now its time for the Peoples Pick.

Who will you chose to win the 2013 Archibull Prize

Click on the pictures to see the cows in full glory 

 

Archibull Prize Judging Day 3 Menai to Matraville

Day 3 saw us visiting 4 Sydney schools from Menai in South West Sydney  to Matraville and Chifley on the east coast

We are feeling very confident and happy, after two beautiful days in Berry where everything worked like clockwork. I am sure we can manage to keep to our schedule today (mostly!)

School 11 saw us visit Menai High School

Brandon takes a very different look at the beef industry. He looks at it from the consumer perspective, rather than from the production side.

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He is wrapped, quite literally, in discarded brown paper bags which have been branded with a variety of recognisable beef related brands. These brands include both traditionally styled brands and product related brands.

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A coil of connected receipts spiral around Brandon from head to tail, and convey consumer loyalty to repurchase quality Australian beef. They show the time, love and money that the Australian consumer spends on beef each week.

Brandon is simple and concise with a sophisticated message.

School Twelve was  De La Salle Catholic College

Where would our Archibull Prize competition be without a Hipster Cow? We haven’t had one in the past, but now we do!

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De La Salle Caringbah 

The concept is centred around urban youth culture. The cow has been painted to resemble a graffiti wall with cement rendering chipping away to reveal the brickwork below. Graffiti tags adorn the wall making links to the digital world of youth culture with QR codes to lead the audience to online information on wool through posts, tweets and Instagram photos. The handle @hipstercow13 and hash tag (#hipstercow13) that has been used in our social media will continue to grow as people snap it, tag it, post it and re-post it, increasing the online profile of the cow. Stencil art on the wall depicts a sheep blowing up piles of yarn to depict yarn-bombing. While the hipsters discuss their use of wool, the cow takes on the appearance of a hipster itself.

He is wearing a school sock (the most common item of woollen clothing owned by students according to their survey) and a scarf in the colours of the school uniform.

A very well dressed hipster cow!

School Thirteen was Chifley Primary School (feeder school for Matraville Sports High School)

Jasper Co Co is the second of our very cool surfie cows, but tells a very different story.

Jasper is channelling Christo (the artist who wrapped nearby Little Bay).

Christo Little BaY

He is packaged up to represent the fact that over 50% of Australian cotton is being exported overseas to be made into products.

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He is wrapped and tied and has enough stamps on him to travel anywhere he wants to around the world –maybe a couple of times! Each stamp is an individual little piece of art showcasing the cotton industry, farmers and relevant environmental factors for growing cotton. (Jasper even manages to feature on a few himself!)

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Jasper is riding a carefully woven denim surfboard, which symbolises the finished products journey back across the ocean (as well as his local community in the Eastern Suburbs).

School Fourteen was  Matraville Sports High School

Miss Sophie reflects….. the multiculturalism of the school.

Miss Sophie reflects….. the cotton industry.

Miss Sophie reflects….. Antonio Gaudi.

Miss Sophie reflects!

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Miss Sophie employs two very different stylistic approaches (indigenous artwork and the mosaics of Gaudi) and combines them together beautifully.

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The Aboriginal motifs tell the story of the local community and the school, the city, as well as the process of growing cotton. These are then overlaid with the striking mirror mosaic representing the flowing lines of water and the irrigation systems needed for cotton. The fountain flowing from the mosaics also links beautifully to the irrigation of cotton.

She is bold, sophisticated, vibrant and truly unique.

What was particularly poignant about this school was its close relationship with its adjoining primary school Chifley and the rapport between the Matraville students who mentored the students at Chifley involved in the painting of Jasper