Meet Alana Black the 2018 Picture You in Agriculture Young Farming Champion scholarship winner

Picture You in Agriculture is thrilled to announce that Alana Black has been awarded a one year scholarship to our flagship program the Young Farming Champions

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Alana has been chosen from a stellar list of nominations to participate in a series of Sydney based workshops, under the mentorship of some of Australia’s finest communication, marketing and professional development experts.

The program’s focus is developing confident, independent, reflective thinkers who can share their story and their personal experiences, while voicing their own opinions about agricultural issues in their industry and more broadly.

The program equips and prepares the participants for that often very daunting experience: of standing up to be counted, even in difficult circumstances. The YFC leadership development model is providing the rock-solid foundation and pivotal stepping stones as part of a journey to lead agriculture’s next generation.

Through these workshops and the program’s lifetime mentorship opportunities, the YFC are also equipped with unique insights into all aspects of the agricultural supply chain as well as consumer attitudes and trends.

Read about our Alumni here 

This is Alana’s story

Rydal is a village of rolling hills, daffodil dotted fields and freezing winters; but for me it will always be home.

I’m the fifth generation of my family to live atop the Great Dividing Range. The Applebees, my ancestors, migrated to Australia from Yorkshire in the 1860’s and settled on a farm in Mt Lambie and we never left.

My childhood was spent on horseback with my next-door neighbour, Julie, exploring all that hidden delights that Rydal had to offer. And although I’ve always had an affinity for living in a regional community, a traditional career in agriculture was something I never considered when leaving high school.

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In 2014 I graduated from Charles Sturt University in Bathurst with a Bachelor of Communication – Public Relations and frankly, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!

I started studying my post-graduate degree in organisational communication in 2016. Examining the communication structures in organisations made me consider how family owned businesses, such as family farms, communicate when all major stakeholders are related – it can make for some very messy situations! This led me to begin researching succession in multi-generational farming families.

But trying to bring up succession in my family brought nothing but silence and a quick comment on the weather to change the topic. But after a bit of prodding, my mother told me a story regarding succession in my family that kicked-started my involvement in agriculture.

My grandfather Jack wore oil stained trousers with suspenders, a button down shirt and the same hat every day. A shearer, farmer and family man – Jack has always been a large part of my life. Jack was one of 9 children – 6 girls and 3 boys – and when his father died suddenly, the farm and assets were only left to two of the boys. Jack was devastated and I think many farmers can relate to the fact that my grandfather lost an important part of his identity that day.

We’re really lucky that we had a strong family unit that could get past this. All brothers remained close until their deaths, and cousin sold some of the farm back to my brother as he wanted to write a past wrong.

But there are still repercussions from this that are affecting me and my family generations later.

When you’re a farmer you’re beholden to so many different external influences – market prices, government, trade, and the environment – and because of this farmers have developed a stoicism that is helping feed a communication crisis in Australia.

I started Fledgling Farmers as an online platform to help take back the conversation on succession. I’ve travel all across regional New South Wales, and recently to the UK, to talk to young farmers about the importance of communications competence, and educate them on how to start open and transparent conversations in their family.

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In 2017, I was announced as an ABC Heywire Trailblazer and it completely changed the trajectory of my life and Fledgling Farmers.  Trailblazers is a branch of the ABC Heywire competition that provides young regional change makers, who are working on projects to make regional Australia a better place, the opportunity to tell their story on the ABC. Since being announced as a winner, I’ve been a guest on Triple J’s Hack program during their Bush Week Segment (you can listen here), featured on the Life Matters Podcast and presented at conferences such as Grain Growers Innovation Generation Conference to talk about regional youth and succession.

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Being a Trailblazer means I had the opportunity to go to Canberra for a week for the Heywire Summit. Between the Segway rides and speed-networking events, we were involved in professional development and storytelling workshops. We were afforded the opportunity and environment to truly examine our projects; the failures and successes that have shaped what they are today, and discussed how we move forward to future goals.

From pitching our projects in Parliament House to appearing on ABC News Breakfast with fellow Trailblazer Prudence; Heywire has been a truly life-changing experience. I came back from the Summit with a head full of ideas and a heart full of appreciation for Heywire and all that they do.

Rural Youth Ideas Festival, Kinross, Scotland, 2nd & 3rd August 2018.

Like every good millennial,  I love social media and I started following the Rural Youth Project on Facebook and Instagram in February. I reached out to the team behind the project to see what data they had – if any – on succession. After a few emails back-and-forth RYP invited me to come over to Scotland and attend the Ideas Festival to present on growing up in regional Australia and Fledgling Farmers. Rural Youth Project follows the lives of 15 youth across the globe through vlogs. My videos don’t have the usual witty repartee you would usually find on YouTube; and as apprehensive as I was to start filming myself rattling off into a camera, I’ve realised that it’s an important platform to educate people on the barriers rural youth face across the globe. You can view my vlogs here.

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From these experiences, I’ve realised the value of mentors in my career and I would recommend any young farmer or young agribusiness professional to seek out people – inside and outside their industry – to mentor them. I have three mentors, each who provide valuable advice and a different perspective when it comes to Fledgling Farmers and I can’t thank Michael Inwood, Laura Phelps and Jillian Kilby enough for all their help and guidence.

Working in communications is not your typical career in Ag – but I believe it is an important, and often overlooked, aspect of the agricultural industry. My teachers always said that if talking was a subject, I’d get a Band 6!

Through Fledgling Farmers, I’m finally putting the skill of “chewing the fat” to use and get to see the best parts of New South Wales (and the world) while doing it.

Congratulations Alana It is clear you are going to bring new connections and insights to the team and we are looking forward to meeting you in person.

 

 

Courage and Connectivity – Artwork for Auction

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Students from the Youth Off the Streets program are paying it forward by raising money for drought affected farmers by auctioning a mural they have created as part of The Archibull Prize. The students are from The Lakes College, an alternative high school on the central coast of NSW, and in conjunction with Losty and Mercy College, have chosen to support the rural initiatives of Aussie Farmers Foundation.

“The kids have been really impacted by their learning across all the topics to do with the Archie – healthy communities, climate change, food security etc. – and they’ve started seeing the connections between each of those different areas,” The Lakes College teacher Amy Gill said. “They felt a profound sense of empathy with some of the struggles farmers experience but they also saw the farmers as being really courageous and they wanted to help by acknowledging that courage.”

By working with an artist who uses spray art, or graffiti walls, to help and assist the community rather than harm, the students created a 2.4m high mural depicting an Akubra-clad farmer standing on the red soils of his farm.  The mural is currently up for auction with generous support from allbids.com.au, and bids can be placed here, until 8pm on October 3. Above the farmer is a blank thought bubble, allowing the potential owner to add their own unique stamp to the design. The students have also created a video to accompany the artwork, describing how they feel about farmers and why it is important to support them. The video can be viewed here.

“The kids see a lot in the media about the drought at the moment but being a charity ourselves we realised that sometimes people want to give but they don’t ask us what we need,” Amy said. “Aussie Farmers Foundation supports the community through grants, which means that the community itself has a voice in where the money goes and what programs would best support them. Aussie Farmers supports education and mental health programs and my kids they saw that as something that aligned with our values.”

The Archibull Prize is a project based learning (PBL) competition that uses creative arts and multimedia to engage students and their communities with Australian farmers and agriculture.  This method of teaching has been a resounding success at The Lakes College. “We can do maths and we can do science but at the end of the day it doesn’t have that real-world connection or value that education should,” Amy said.  “A project like this has that real-world and human connection and is an opportunity for the kids to have a voice and an audience; and that’s why I think it has been so meaningful. They’ve never had their work hung on a wall anywhere before and they take such an absolute pride in this.”

 

 

 

2018 ARCHIBULL PRIZE ARTWORKS – Meet our Woolly Bulls

Seven schools across New South Wales and Queensland studied the story of wool for their 2018 Archibull Prize journey.

How do you turn a cow into a sheep? Come and meet our woolly bulls.

Beginning our journey in NSW heartland the students at the Kinross Wolaroi School in Orange created ‘Spinning a Yarn’ to illustrate the history and uses of wool.

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Our Young Farming Champions (Peta Bradley and Catlin Heppner) visit inspired the students to consider how wool can be used in many modern materials and also to think on, and consider, its proud history as a commodity that has played a huge part in the Australian success story.

A spinning wheel, a wool pack, and ugg boots were just some of the elements of this Archie with every Year 8 student knitting part of the thread that winds over the body. Students also made felted garments for the figures at the base of their brightly coloured Archie.

The bright colours of our Archibull are drawn from the student’s experiences of Pop Art. In Year 8 they study Pop Art and have made works that reflects the bold colour and imagery of that time. A number of features on the Bull have been painted in this style.

The Archibull entry also features more traditional approaches to painting and includes lots of colourful woollen and handmade elements. The rustic elements of the work, especially the wool shed inspired base, draw their style from an earlier time in our colonial and recent past where woolsheds were iconic images used in paintings by artists such as Tom Roberts.

Bombala High School were also first time entrants in The Archibull Prize and they drew heavily on the wool industry in their area to come up with the very unique ‘Shorn No-bull’.

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In our first team meeting, we knew we wanted to make our Archie unique and we knew we wanted to incorporate our small rural town into our project. Throughout the entire making of Shorn, we have come to understand how important the wool industry is, especially in our town. We soon came up with our main theme ‘Shearing hasn’t changed very much through the ages, in that the process still relies on a skilled person to remove the wool’, this is what we want every person who looks at him to think about.

Another addition to Shorn we wanted was the property names from around Bombala that make up our wool industry. Our first look for this idea was to connect the farms like puzzle pieces. After talking this idea through with our Young Farming Champion, Dione Howard, we soon realised that this design would not have that stand out appeal we were hoping for. So we decided the next best look would be actual property outlines which still interlock like puzzle pieces however they will give our Archibull a whole new look.

Dione Howard was also the YFC guiding Moss Vale High School through their Archibull Prize and the creation of ‘Lizzie’.

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Using patterns to elaborate on the theme that the production of wool is a shared responsibility, Lizzie shows how many people are involved with the story of wool:

The shared responsibility is expressed by moving through the process from growing the wool involving the producer, then to the shearers who harvest the wool and the roustabouts who fill the bales. The bales need to be transported by road and rail. More people share in the production as the fibre is processed and manufactured into yarn, cloth and garments

Lizzie also shared concepts on the importance of the environment in wool production:

The inclusion of a wind turbine in the paddock and water tank next to the shearing shed signify the responsibility to conserve natural resources and protect the environment that provides the materials that create wool. The cattle egret, woollen bird and bee represent the importance of biodiversity in maintaining a healthy ecosystem that supports the growth of plants and animals that we need for our food and fibre.

 

Taking the theme literally are first time Archibull entrants: the combined primary schools of the Moree district in northern NSW who put in a mighty effort with their schools spread across 150km!

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Under guidance from YFC Emma Turner students from Croppa Creek Public School, Bullarah Public School, Bellata Public School and Pallamallawa Public School created ‘Woolly Bully’. Complete with woolly face and ram’s horns the theme of their Archibull was From Paddock to Prada as they researched the journey of wool from the sheep’s back to clothing.

Here is some of that journey:

The students’ discovery that Australia is the largest producer of premium quality fine wool, bringing in $2.96 billion every year, had them hooked and caught their attention. The agreement on the idea for this artwork was finalised after the students visited a shearing shed and became intrigued about where the fleece goes next.

Local produce is a key feature of our Archie. The wool attached to Woolly Bully’s head and body were sourced from our excursion to the farm owned by one of the students. This wool was shorn in front of the students and collected from the classing table. This provided students with an authentic sense of understanding and ownership of the artworks elements.

 Also adorning their Archie with wool were the students of Barraba Central School who created ‘Shcow’ with the help of YFC Lucy Collingridge.

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Showcasing world hunger and the wool industry, Shcow comes complete with a barbeque! And why else do the students think Shcow is unique?

Shcow is 100% hand drawn and it’s got art on all faces of the bull. We used previous Barraba Central School’s metal ideas and projects to make main points on our Archie. We think these help pull together our Archie and give it a real BCS vibe and helps people understand how kids in the Barraba region grew up living on farms and how these concepts are true to us.

 Picnic Point High School also explored environmental sustainability with a cheeky Archie called ‘Moolcolm Turnwool’.

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With guidance from their YFC Sam Wan, the students in the Year 7 Extension Class incorporated several different elements to highlight the effects of climate change:

The eyes display contrast between the opposite sides to do with climate change. We have painted one side of the head dark and red to showcase the life for farmers in our drought. The second side shows your typical green and bright sun. It is meant to replicate what it would look like without climate change.

There is a tree painted on Archie’s front left leg. This is reflecting climate change and biodiversity. It represents an article we read about the planting of trees in Sheep Farms in Northern NSW, Armidale and Tamworth area. It is just one of the science research studies that has been happening to support our agriculture industry. It is a Target 100 project. We also have the Target 100 logo here.

The last school to study the wool industry was the ever-inventive Beaudesert State High School from Queensland who enlisted students and KLAs from the entire school to create ‘Woolinda’.

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Supported by YFC Deanna Johnston, and following on from their entry in last year’s Archibull, the Beaudesert students have made Woolinda an interactive Archie and she is even solar powered!

The music notes and words to “Click go the Shears” are wrapped and entwined around the front legs of Woolinda. When you press the button near the music, you are able to hear our school choir sing this iconic Australian song.

The little sheep dog (Alex is his name) next to the pond is there to muster a wayward ram that has not yet been penned up. At the press of a button, the little dog barks; he then chases the sheep

Woolinda, is able to chew. Woolinda’s teeth are also real.

The shearing shed that is featured inside of Woolinda is operational. We wanted to make a miniature shed inside of her where the little shearers shore their little sheep. The shearing starts at the press of a button.

Woolinda has one ear that twitches. Her ear twitches when the blowfly sound gets closer.

Watch this space. Cotton, Grains and Sheep and Cattle Archies still to come

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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2018 Archibull Prize Artworks – Check out our Archies showcasing everything fruit, veggies and flowers

The Archibull Prize is a world renowned competition for Australian school students aged between 9 and 18 that uses the 21st century teaching methodology Project Based Learning (PBL).

PBL invites students to investigate and respond to a challenge, task or project and  pursue deep real-world investigations where they:

  • Design real and complex projects for learning;
  • Think and create in digital and non-digital environments to develop unique and useful solutions by both adapting and improving on current designs as well as the innovation of new possibilities;
  • Think analytically and communicate using multi-media formats and engage in authentic assessment; and
  • Present their learning via exhibitions.

The Archibull Prize does this by combining Art, Computer Information Technologies and Agriculture.

Students are given a lifesize fibreglass cow, a farming industry, a young farming champion and the theme Feeding Clothing and Powering a Hungry Nation is a Shared Responsibility.

Their Archie artwork is just one of three major challenges the students have to complete to compete for Grand Champion

Thanks to Aussie Farmers Foundation schools were able to study Horticulture for the first time.  Lets see what the student studying horticulture did with their Archies

First cab of the rank is Little Bay of Community Schools – who are four primary schools that feed into Matravillle Sports High School who mentor the students. Meet Veggie Patch 

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Here is a little of the back story.

Our design offers a celebration of the innovative, creative and educational components of the horticultural industry.

The first side of our Archibull features a shipping container farm located in the middle of a busy city centre. This innovation provides a perfect answer to Australia’s continual growth of population and the big challenges of feeding a hungry nation. The shipping container farm is able to provide farmers an additional way to allow the nation to receive fresh, nutritious and local produce.

On the flip side of our Archibull, side 2 highlights the importance of biosecurity in the horticultural industry and the need to maintain high standards of policy.

We have also featured some renewable energy sources that farmers are now utilising on farms as a way of combating climate change.

As your eyes travel between the legs of the Archibull, we have designed a ‘Farm to table’ conveyor belt adorned with the transformation of a seedling into a lettuce. The felt sculptures have been inspired by artist Claes Oldenburg and his pop art soft sculptures. The conveyor belt celebrates the strong cycle of the ‘farm to table’ social movement. We are promoting our viewers to become part of the direct relationship between themselves and farmers.

The head of our Archibull truly celebrates all things green as he has transformed into an overgrown forest, the beauty of plants inspired this bright and eye-catching design. Additionally, the honeycomb patterns highlight the integral position bee’s play in the industry.

Lastly but not the least the back of our Archibull provides an educational, bright and fun message to our viewers, ‘Eat a rainbow’. Individually cut and glued onto the cow we have created a rainbow out of fruits and vegetables. This allows viewers a visual celebration of the importance of fruits and vegetables in our life. Read the full story here 

Our second primary school is Calvary Christian School Carbrook Jnr Campus. Meet ‘Herb’ the Horticultural Cow

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And here is just a smidgen of Herb’s back story

Herb is designed to highlight the importance of eating fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet. Keeping healthy is a theme throughout the Year 5 cohort and we researched what the daily requirements are for a healthy person and identified many different fruits and vegetables.

Australia’s horticulture industry comprises fruit, vegetables, nuts, flowers, turf and nursery products. Many of the produce grown is seasonal and farms employ people in the picking season to help harvest the crops.

The different fruits and vegetables that we placed onto Herb, are designed to represent Australia’s horticulture industry. We placed Herb’s feet in pots and added ‘grass’ to highlight our growing theme. Fruits were added to the pots to represent the fruit that fall from the trees each season. Herb was painted green to signify the ground that provides the soil and nutrients for the plants to grow in.

The vine was added to signify a growing plant that spreads its leaves and vines in order to produce fruit, vegetables and new plants. This vine also represents  the farmers of our community who spread their produce across our country to keep us all healthy. Without farmers in Australia we would have to purchase food from overseas, this would mean an even higher cost for food, a lack of job opportunities for a lot of people and we would not have as much control over the quality of the food we receive. Learn more about Herb here 

Our next Archie comes from Hurlstone Agricultural High School. Meet Brahman: The Sacred Cow

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The full backstory of Brahman: The Sacred Cow can be found here . This is what the Hurlstone team said that makes her unique

Our Archie is unique due to the intricacy of design and of its cultural influences. It is more than what it seems on the surface, with each design detailing a story that flows along the body of the cow. Our vision is a strong celebration and honours the enterprise of Horticulture. The nourishment of the population and the fulfilment of health and wealth in our society is central to the piece. Our theme connects culture, religion, art and agriculture. It directly alludes to the multicultural population in our local community and recognises our responsibilities as global citizens.

The material practices employed in the installation Brahman: The Sacred Cow also emphasises the concept of abundance; every aspect from the patterns and symbols to the cornucopia express the wealth of food and the health and happiness it provides. The golden cart holding the beautiful collections and displays of the fruits and flowers further clarifies true beauty of horticulture.

Our artwork augments the true value of the cow by using gold as a symbol of wealth, luxury and decadence. This adds to the artwork’s unique qualities, as it contrasts strongly the traditional notions of a cow. The earthly connotations associated with horticulture and produce is effectively elevated to a spiritual level.

Our third primary school studying Horticulture was Gwynneville Public School. Meet DEM – E – TER the Greek Goddess of Agriculture.

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This is what the students had to say about their goddess

Our sculpture examines the many components of the Horticulture  Industry and the significance of this industry to the Australian population in general. Horticulture represents “Everything that Grows” and comes from the Latin word “Hortus” meaning “garden”. This includes flowers, fruits and vegetables, grasses, nuts and spices.

On the front of our cow we have pictures of different fruits and vegetables, with raindrops and circles representing the importance of rain and sunshine to the growth of all plants. The leg at the front has a picture of a plant showing one of the processes in plant production – germination.

We have added bees to the bee-hind of our cow. The hive joins the front and the back of the cow showing a correlation between the flowers and fruit and vegetables. Bees are the backbone of food production as well as flower and plane reproduction and without these busy little workers pollination of our flowers wouldn’t occur.

The back of our cow has a floral design representing all flowers with grass on the back legs. 

As a result of our Fresh Food Tour of a local supermarket we used the design of a re-usable bag of “Eat a Rainbow Every Day” to outline various fruits and vegetables and then sponge the colour on the cow. 

The vibrant colours of the flowers emphasise how bees are attracted to them to pollinate. Read more about Dem-e-ter here

A truly stunning start. Watch this space to see what students have done with Wool, Cotton,Pork, Egg and Poultry, Sheep and Cattle and Grains

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LEGO®’s Australian Teacher of the Year is excited about National AgDay Careers Competition

Art4Agriculture’s annual National Ag Day Careers Competition is taking a LEGO theme this year and here we catch up with LEGO’s Australian Teacher of the Year Jess Schofield to find out how LEGO and project based learning (PBL) are promoting STEM careers.

Jess Schofield

QUT Bachelor of Education (Secondary) graduate Jessica Schofield was awarded LEGO Education’s Australian Teacher of the Year 2018. Photo source

Jess teaches maths, robotics and technology at Injune State School in central Queensland. With only 80 students the school is miniscule by international standards but this does not deter Jess from taking her students on an annual LEGO-inspired robotic journey. For her efforts in working with students in 2017s Robot Olympics Jess was recently named as the LEGO Australian Teacher of the Year and travelled to Boston USA to talk about her work as a STEM teacher.

Jess attended the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) at a time when STEM was the buzz word and, while studying, worked for three and a half years training local teachers in the Brisbane area to use robotics and technology in the classroom. Her first permanent job was at Injune, where she has now been for three years, and her experience helped convince parents that LEGO was for more than just the playroom. “Each year there is a global robotics competition with a regional tournament held in Brisbane. QUT contacted me and said they were willing to offer sponsorship if I would like to bring a team down, and when I put that to the parents they were pretty keen to give it a go,” she says.

“The kids have little LEGO robotics challenges where they have to program their robots and they also have to do a research project and present that,” Jess says of the robotics competition, which has many similarities to The Archibull Prize with both being a prime example of PBL in schools. “From a teachers point of view PBL is a little bit terrifying,” Jess says. “In ordinary teaching you have a set assessment piece and a set curriculum to teach to, you know exactly where your kids are starting and where you want them to end up at. PBL is daunting because you start a ten week unit with some vague idea of what you want the kids to produce at the end but exactly what you cover in that ten weeks is totally up to the kids.”

She also sees PBL as a way to engage students who are not traditionally academically inclined. “PBL interlinks subjects together without the kids realising,” she says. “For instance if their robot is going too fast they need to work out how to half the speed. They might be studying ratios or fractions in class and struggling to put it on pen and paper and yet they do the same application without realising because they can see the immediate results or the immediate impact of those calculations.”

Injune lies in an agricultural area and in their first year of the robotics competition the students drew from their backgrounds.

“The kids came up with this really crazy idea of training horses to be like guide-dogs so people with vision impairment or age could still go out mustering,” Jess says, but although many of the students can envisage themselves working on the family property at the conclusion of school Jess says they would not think of this as a career. “I am looking forward to engaging the students in the (Art4Agriculture) careers competition to help them explore beyond what they currently know or are involved in.”

National AgDay Careers Competition Lego Characters

Exploring options and pathways is the aim of the Art4Agriculture 2018 National Ag Day Careers Competition and by combining LEGO and PBL it is hoped a new generation will consider agriculture as not just a job but as a fulfilling and rewarding career.

FIND OUT EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO ENTER HERE 

National Ag Day Careers Competition Sponsors