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.
We are all pretty chuffed at Art4AgricultureChat HQ with two of our leadership team been identified as superstar influencers
Young Farming Champion and research geneticist Jo Newton has been named in the 2018 The Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence. The awards, sponsored by Qantas, recognise women bringing about change in their spheres of influence, and this year received a record 850 entries.
The 100 Women of Influence is divided into ten categories and Jo was nominated, by fellow Young Farming Champions on the Youth Voices Leadership Team, in the local and regional section, which recognises women making a difference in the community at a local, rural or regional level. She joins women representing the arts, health, environment and community development.
“I was humbled to find out I had been nominated for the 100 Women of Influence by my peers on the Youth Voices Leadership Team,” Jo said, “and then to find out I was on the list was an overwhelming experience. I hope to use this opportunity to shine a light on the causes that I am passionate about, translating science into real benefits for farms, and advocating, supporting and mentoring young people, particularly women, in agriculture.”
Jo currently works as a research scientist in dairy genetics for Agriculture Victoria with the ImProving Herds Project and donates much of her time to ensure the next generation of scientists are aware of the opportunities in agriculture – regularly attending school-based events to share her own experiences. Jo is also Chair of the recently formed Youth Voices Leadership Team, an initiative of Art4Agriculture.
Lynne Strong, Art4Agriculture Program Director, has known and mentored Jo for many years and believes she is a highly worthy inclusion in the Women of Influence list.
“Jo displays tenacity and commitment to the causes she is passionate about,” Lynne said. “Her passion is the science, her commitment 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.”
Jo’s contributions to agriculture have also been recognised at the 2018 Victorian Young Achiever Awards where she won the Leadership category. More recently she was awarded the Royal Agriculture Society of Victoria’s Emerging Leaders in Victorian Agriculture Award.
The winners of each of the 10 categories in the 2018 The Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence and the overall winner will be announced at a gala dinner in Sydney on October 17
Joely Mitchell from The Stock and Land has covered the announcement superbly here
Also being recognised for wielding considerable influence in the wider community is Anika Molesworth who has been announced as a finalist in the NSW Government Green Globe Awards
Anika is a passionate advocate for sustainable farming, environmental conservation and climate change action. She helped found Farmers for Climate Action, and connects land managers to researchers through her platform Climate Wise Agriculture, helping build resilience into farming communities.
She is also keenly interested in the conservation of natural and cultural heritage and manages the International National Trusts Organisation’s Sustainable Farms program.
Recognition has come through awards including 2015 Young Farmer of the Year, 2017 NSW Finalist for Young Australian of the Year, and most recently the NSW Young Achiever Award for Environment and Sustainability.
Her leadership, communication skills and commitment to taking information out of lofty institutions to share where it’s needed is highly commendable.
It is so exciting to see young women in agriculture making a difference embraced and lauded at such venerable levels.
With the oppressive drought continuing to grip the country three of our Young Farming Champions are taking steps to fortify the health and wellbeing of their own communities. Meet Emma Turner, Bessie Thomas and Naomi Hobson who are taking high tea, bowling and wagging throughout September.
Emma Turner has about one month to go to finish her Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree from the University of New England, but her heart has never strayed far from the wide open plains of Ivanhoe where she is a sixth generation wool producer. The love for the land and her people runs strong and on Friday September 7th Emma and a team of willing workers will host a Ladies High Tea at the Ivanhoe CWA Hall.
Coinciding with Women’s Health Week the get-together will share information about health and wellbeing, make-up and essential oils and is sure to provide welcome respite from the continuing dry.
Emma Turner passionate advocate for remote rural communities
Respite and relaxation are also the aims of a barefoot bowls and bocce day to be held just up the road from Emma when Bessie Thomas invites local people to her home near Emmdale on Saturday September 8th. As well as being 140km from Ivanhoe, Emmdale is also 170km west of Cobar and 100km east of Wilcannia making it a remote region of western NSW. “Due to our geographical location and current drought conditions I believed residents of the Emmdale area needed a specifically targeted event to cater for their social and mental health needs, particularly in these times of drought when feeding stock and fixing water problems already take up so much time,” Bessie says. “Some families in this region, ourselves included, have now been hand feeding livestock for more than 12 months.
Bessie’s sheep are looking forward to the day the rains return
The stress and exhaustion of this drought has made it even harder for anyone to focus on getting away from their farms to recharge their mental and physical batteries.” The event will give locals a chance to take off their work boots, feel the (brown) grass beneath their feet and reconnect with each other over some friendly competitive lawn bowls and bocce.
After a week of dust storms at Burragan Station Bessie and her family are looking forward to a clear day to connect with the locals
Bessie is enlisting assistance from her regional area to make this day a success. Marie Kelly, Rural Adversity Mental Health Coordinator from Ivanhoe, will give a talk on mental health resilience techniques, Kate and Abe Damen at Dubbo Kitchen Concepts will supply dessert, The Salvation Army Rural Chaplains David and Robin Pullen from Broken Hill will be bringing their all-important coffee machine and the Cobar Bowling and Golf Club have kindly loaned three sets of lawn bowls. Have a fantastic day Bessie!
Naomi (centre) and her A Team of WAG coordinators Kate and Sal
Rounding out the community events are the North West Women in Ag (WAG) days organised, in part, by YFC Naomi Hobson who works with North West Local Land Services in Narrabri. “The aim of the WAGs program is to engage women who are either directly, or indirectly, involved in agricultural industries across the North West region and who want to develop their understanding, or improve their skills in various aspects of agricultural production,” Naomi says. There are currently four WAG groups across the northwest with another due to launch in the Mullaley/Tambar Springs area in October, and with meetings run bi-monthly it looks as though these new participants are in for an exciting ride. “Each group provides direction on the topics they would like to cover,” Naomi says, “and training to date has covered ruminant nutrition and feeding, practical stock handling and working dog training, NLIS database training, understanding EBV’s and welding classes.” The WAG program has engaged more than 200 women since its inception in July 2017.
Congratulations to Emma, Bessie and Naomi. Rather than joining the pity-party that is so often the only commentary on drought, these inspiring young women are taking practical steps to address the health and wellbeing of their local communities.
Our Young Farming Champions have chosen diverse careers in the agriculture sector. They are working together to mobilise a movement to create a bright future for our farmers and our communities. They are excited to share their stories of hope.
As part of our careers in agriculture snapshots series on The Archibull Prize website it gives us great please to introduce you to Calum Watt who is helping to breed better barley and his research attracts millions of dollars in funding.
Calum Watt grew up on a small farm in Western Australia where he quickly learnt that he didn’t like sheep. He did however like plants and so he embarked on a botany degree at university in Perth. This in turn led to a Masters in Agricultural Science and now a PhD at Murdoch University where he is researching barley.
For Calum, studying the genetics of plants has gifted him a meaningful way to improve agriculture for Australia and the rest of the world. Calum starts his day in the laboratory trying to find differences in 1500 potential barley varieties using DNA markers that are invisible to the naked eye. To do this he uses fancy bits of equipment that are smaller than a fridge but can cost as much as $600,000. His assistant today is Lee-anne, an undergraduate student. He teaches her the ropes of laboratory genetics and although their work may take many hours Calum finds great satisfaction in advancing the progress of scientific knowledge. His work will help future-proof barley from stresses that will be imposed by climate change.
Later in the morning Calum and Tefera, a plant physiologist, drive two hours to a research crop in the wheat belt. They note patchy germination in one trial and
herbicide damage in another and, as these sites are very important for data
collection, they must decide how to overcome these problems. There is a lot of
interest in improving barley productivity – so much so that Calum’s research
funding equates to millions of dollars.
Returning to Perth in the evening Calum settles down to read some scientific
articles to support his research. Although at times it feels like his work is never
done he is writing articles that the whole world will read – and that puts him on
the cutting edge of international agriculture.
Calum is also part of the team of superstars behind AgriEducate . Another tribe of #youthinag doing exciting things
This is Calum’s career in agriculture. What will yours be?
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.
Partnering with Country to Canberra to promote their Power Trip Competition is a natural alignment of values for the Youth Voices Leadership Team. As an all female team, many of whom grew up in regional and rural areas we know how important it is for young females to have access to opportunities like those offered by Country to Canberra. The Power Trip Competition is an exciting opportunity for young females to gain confidence and skills and be inspired by female leaders in Canberra. If you know female students who are in Years 10-12 (or are one yourself!) please consider applying.
Jo Newton Youth Voices Leadership Chair
Country to Canberra has officially launched their inspiring, 5th annual Leadership Competition for young rural women.
At least 15 students will win an all-expenses paid ‘Power Trip’ to Canberra to meet incredible female CEOs and politicians, undertake leadership and public speaking training, tour parliament, connect with other young trailblazers and much more! To enter, girls just need to create a short video or written entry on the 2018 competition question.
“Life is a roadtrip with twists and turns. How can we support one another to navigate the road to gender equality?”
The competition opens on 24 July 2018 and closes at 11.00 pm AEST 1 September 2018.
Who can enter?
To win the Power Trip prize, entrants must be:
Female/female identifying students who are attending school in grades 10, 11 or 12 in 2018.
Be 15 years of age by 20 November 2018.
Attend a school that is located at least 50 kms away from a town with a population 80,000 persons or more.
For example, if you attend school in Alice Springs, NT (population 28,000) you’re eligible to enter. If you attend school 30 kilometres out of Newcastle, NSW (population 300,000) then you are ineligible to enter.
Please share far and wide through your networks and invite young women to apply using this link: https://bit.ly/2tdQj3v.
Wool Young Farming Champion Sam Wan credits her YFC training for taking her career to new levels and wow, isn’t she kicking some goals! Here are some of the things Sam has been up to in recent months:
In May Sam was accepted into the International Wool Textile Organisation’s (IWTO) Young Professionals Program and she attended her first overseas conference in Kowloon, Hong Kong – her Mum’s hometown! “The opportunity was invaluable in increasing my awareness and understanding of all aspects of the wool pipeline, international networking, current projects and innovations within the industry. Fascinating topics included synthetic contribution to micro-plastics in the ocean, wool’s position in fibre ratings, wellness benefits with bedding and clothing backed by solid science, and green buildings.” Sam also found Hong Kong’s weather – 35oC and 80% humidity – just made for wool with its properties of moisture wicking and quick drying.
Sam recently spoke at an Elders South Australian growers function where feedback on her presentation and her enthusiasm for wool was extremely positive.
She will be presenting the Elders/Southern Clip of the Year awards at Sheepvention in Hamilton later in the year.
Sam is speaking at the Soils Make Sense careers forums at the Careers & Technology Hub at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo this week; and is also attending forums and stewarding for the show.
All Sam’s hard work is paying off and this month she was recognised with the One Elders Operational Performance Award. She has also just been announced as one of three finalists in the National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia’s Annual Wool Broker Award.
“The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia’s Annual Wool Broker Award recognises and rewards excellence in wool broking in Australia. The Award recognises 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 and who is working for a NCWSBA member.” Source
Read about Sam’s journey in the Stock and Land here
Watch here share it here
Congratulations Sam. It is wonderful to see our Young Farming Champions take the skills they have learnt in the program and apply them so successfully to the wider world.