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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You have to be fearless, too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Now Dad has passed it on to me.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Youth Voices at LambEx

LambEx is an annual celebration of all things great in the Australian sheep and lamb industries and part of the celebration is the naming of finalists in the Young Guns competition.

The aim of the LambEx Young Guns Competition is to recognise and encourage

young and upcoming industry professionals, producers and scientists to

consider a future or ongoing career in the Australian lamb industry.

 

Deanna Johnston, our shearing YFC currently working in Longreach, was runner-up in this competition in 2014, and in 2018 we are proud to announce that another YFC, Danila Marini, is a finalist. Danila works in the field of animal (and in particular, sheep) welfare research:

To be named a Young Gun is exciting.

 I’m so glad to be given the chance to talk about the opportunities and the bright future

of the Australian Wool and sheepmeat industry. I think Young Guns is important

as it gives young people within the industry the ability to be involved

and learn new skills.

But it’s not only our YFC making waves as finalists. Hannah Haupt from Calvary Christian College in Brisbane was part of the Grand Champion Archibull Team in 2017, when the school studied the wool industry, and she is a finalist in the high school division.

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Here’s what LambEx says about Hannah:

Hannah has qualified for the 2018 Queensland Young Judges State Meat Sheep Finals

and received a Scholarship to Queensland Agricultural Colleges TASTE program.

This was the 2017 EKKA Young Judges (junior) Scholarship. This scholarship covers

many areas of agriculture including sheep and lamb. Hannah plays an active part

in her school’s Junior Ag program, helping out regularly with a variety of sheep

husbandry and paddock maintenance. She is very passionate about the sheep and lamb industry and would gladly consider having a career in the sheep and lamb

industry in the near future.

When we survey our Young Farming Champions one of the key messages they send us is a desire to reach out and connect with someone who has walked in their shoes, to have a conversation with a peer or to be mentored. This is part of the Art4Agriculture vision, so it is very exciting for us to announce that Deanna will mentor Hannah and give her valuable insights into the Young Guns competition.

At LambEx, to be held in Perth from August 5-7, Danila and Hannah will make a four minute presentation to judges discussing their current role and potential future in the sheep and lamb industry. Good luck girls. We wish you both success.

Cheering them on from the sidelines will be Young Farming Champions Adele Offley and Chloe Dutschke travelling to Perth to ensure they are up-to-date with the opportunities for wool producers.

#YouthinAg #YouthVoices18 #LambEx

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_2017 Supporting partners Capture

 

Sending the MOO MOOVERS some love

Yesterday our MOO MOOVERS delivered their 30th Archie for 2018. This means all schools participating in The Archibull Prize 2018 now have their big white canvas for inspiration.

Cartage of these big white canvases is one of the major costs of The Archibull Prize program and one big reason the program is not yet Australia wide.

Our MOO MOOVERS are very special people and moving the Archies is one of their favourite deliveries. This is because the arrival of Archie brings so much joy to the schools.

Archie

This year it was especially tough to decide who would be participating. We had some excellent entries from schools well outside our current funding partner zones and we reached out to potential partners who could support those schools.

Educating our young people is the responsibility of the entire community, not just schools. The Archibull Prize encourages schools, businesses, farming industries and communities to form partnerships to improve outcomes for young people and to recognise that by working together they can achieve far more than working alone. Partnerships can lead to better morale among teachers and the better use of resources within schools, leading to improved education outcomes for young people. Business can also experience improved staff morale, better awareness of their industry and community recognition.

Thank you so much to the organisations who came on board you will be well rewarded with lots of Archie love in your community. For other organisations who would like to support schools in far flung places in rural Australia in 2019, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Here is just one example of what your support can do

“Bovinity has been a focal point of the school community and the
entire town of Murwillumbah. Her staged travels throughout the
town were published on WordPress and then transferred to the
school Facebook account. Our following was very well received
and highly talked about. We have had offers of additional help
to the school farm and the show team from our tours around
Murwillumbah. This school farm and parts of township were
devastated by floods in 2017 and Bovinity has become a local
icon. School cohesion and pride were the most important factors
brought forward from the students. Bovinity is what our school
needed after the floods. A little bit of silliness and tongue and
cheek made the school and town smile. Her story is important to
so many students and their families.”
– Murwillumbah High School Secondary Teachers David Anderson and
Diana Martin

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This year a special shout out to Riverina, Northern Tablelands and Hunter Local Land Services who go above and beyond and University of New England for supporting schools in rural and regional NSW.

And a huge shout out to our MOO MOOVERS. As some of our Archie recipients know they have some hysterical stories they could tell about what happens on the road and in squashed goods lifts in very tall buildings but their lips are sealed.

Our interstate Moo Moovers are DJ Lindsay

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and in NSW its the wonderful Hunter and Co 

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_2017 Supporting partners Capture

Crawford Fund Scholarships Now Open for Application

The Crawford Fund do wonderful things right across the world and attending their conferences via scholarships has been an inspiration for many of our Young Farming Champions to undertake STEM  career pathways and social and environmental justice research. We highly commend their conference to young peopleHere is what you need to know. Source  

Are you passionate about food and nutrition security or have an interest in agricultural research and development? Would you like to explore opportunities for related careers, research, volunteering or employment? Are you under 35yo and in Victoria, Tasmania, WA, SA, ACT or NSW?

We have an opportunity for you! The Crawford Fund has launched its conference scholarships as part of its efforts to encourage young people in their study, careers and volunteering in international agricultural research.

You are strongly encouraged to seek out this opportunity to attend our annual conference in Canberra and experience two half days of activities including mentoring and learning about opportunities in agriculture for development.

Former scholars are overwhelmingly positive about their conference scholarship experience, seeing it as an invaluable mentoring, networking and motivational experience in the field of agricultural development.

In their words

“Mentoring and networking was exemplary, highly enriching and rewarding,” Samuel Ariong, NSW scholar.

“I left Canberra feeling like I had made leaps in my knowledge of research opportunities overseas, agricultural research targeted to development and developed a strong and invaluable network of esteemed researchers,” Maddison Clonan, NT scholar.

“I think the most valuable part of the conference was the scholar days. It was an excellent opportunity to get advice from people in a range of positions with different experiences. We heard everything from broad motivational career advice to specific recommendations on how to network and apply for jobs,” Sarah Sutcliffe, QLD scholar.

“The best thing, and rather quite unique one, in this conference was the idea of mentorship…I liked this idea a lot, as this not only provided a focused and quick learning environment but also the opportunity of networking through your mentor,” Salman Sarwar, QLD scholar.

The positive feedback we received from last year’s Scholars is available here.

About the program

The scholars are involved in two ½ days of activities in addition to the conference; engage with keynote speakers, experienced Australian agricultural researchers and educators, and other passionate young people who have experience overseas in developing countries as researchers, volunteers or mentors.

The scholarships are awarded through our State and Territory programs, with conference registration fees and reasonable transport, food and accommodation costs covered by the award.

Full details on eligibility and the application process are here.

The application process is simple!

Our 2018 conference

Our conference this year runs over 13 and 14 August in Canberra and is titled “Reshaping Agriculture for Better Nutrition – The Agriculture, Food, Nutrition, Health Nexus”.

Currently there are still 815 million people chronically undernourished. Simultaneously, the number of obese people has reached approximately 1 billion. This key national food security event will ask: “how can we feed and nourish the world’s increasing population with a diet that promotes good health and at the same time minimises further environmental impact?

Dr Alessandro Demaio, CEO of the Eat Foundation is perhaps better known in Australia as co-host of the ABC television show Ask the Doctor or for his recent Business for Peace discussion with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. He will be joined by others including Dr Jessica Fanzo, Co-chair of the Global Nutrition Report from John Hopkins; Professor Glenn Denning from the Earth Institute and Colombia University;  Dr Marco Wopereis, Director General, World Vegetable Center; Dr Andrew Campbell, CEO, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, and a range of researchers presenting case studies of impact for nutrition security in PNG, Timor Leste, East Africa and Bangladesh.

To learn more about the program, see:

Applications or questions can be directed to the Crawford Fund Coordinator for your State/Territory.

Young Farming Champion Dr Jo Newton wins Victorian Changemakers Leadership Award

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

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Dr Joanna Newton Winner Leadership Winner in Victorian Young Achiever Awards 

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

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

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

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

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Jo said on accepting her award

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

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

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

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

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

We can all invest in our youth

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

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

Invest in them.

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

Yes its that simple. Lets do it together

#YouthVoices18 #Youthinag

_2017 Supporting partners Capture

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome Bessie #youthvoices18

News from the Moos – #ArchieAction18

Schools across NSW and QLD are celebrating the arrival of Archie with lots of fanfare in the press and in the community

At Hurlstone Agriculture High School Archie was treated to a welcoming party

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Read all about it on their blog here

Following on from their success in 2017

Miller Public School has been sharing their #ArchieAction far and wide via Twitter

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Follow them on Twitter  @MillerPS_Archi

Kinross Wolaroi School are sharing their journey on Facebook

and in the media

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Follow Kinross Wolartoi’s journey  on their blog here

and Beaudesert State High School and their partner Primary School have hit the ground running with a feature in both the Beaudesert Times and Queensland Country Life 

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Calvary Christian School has also taken to Facebook to create a buzz around their Archie journey.

Our team is enjoying the content  – like this little gem

Also very active on Facebook is Croppa Ck who has partnered with other small schools in the Barwon/Moree region to put their schools on the map

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The Henry Lawson High School have grabbed the pig by the tail and got stuck into the research

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we look forward to the next 6 months of #ArchieAction18

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_2017 Supporting partners Capture

 

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