A passionate love affair with social media

The world has fallen in love with social media and so have farmers. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Blogs and SlideShare (just some examples of the diversity of social media opportunities) have provided a new and exciting information freeway for farmers to share their stories and help build trust and understanding within the community of modern farming practices as well the challenges farmers face in providing affordable and nutritious food for families all around the world.

This is so important as modern practices are moving so much faster than education resources. On top of this the current value change model is moving farmers further and further away from their customers.

“A blog can bring readers together on a regular basis, regardless of geographical distance and the site becomes more than a noticeboard. It becomes a forum where communities are developed.” says Sally Davison from the Australian Farm Institute.

 A good example of using a mix of mediums to spread a message is the Inspire Foundation’ initiative “A Perfect Gift for a Man.” In 2009 the Inspire Foundation launched a campaign to raise awareness of the issue of suicide amongst young men in Australia. The campaign started with a # tag topic on Twitter. This was followed by a blog where people shared their experiences. Eventually a book was created of these heartfelt and inspiring stories www.theperfectgiftforaman.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/The-Perfect-Gift-for-a-Man-online.pdf

Another local example of a similar Twitter initiative is Alison Farleigh’s fortnightly Twitter discussion forum called Rural Mental Health to raise awareness of the issue and engage with people in rural communities. By using the #RuralMH anyone can see the discussion and take part if they wish to.  

#Agchatoz offers a weekly forum for people to post tweets on a wide range of agriculture topics. Agchatoz now has over 1200 followers.

 A Youtube example of product promotion is Yeo Valley who have used this very clever video which has attracted close to 2 million hits www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOHAUvbuV4o to drive sales of their organic dairy products. Would be interesting to know what has been the increase in sales of their products from this catchy promotion

 Art4Agriculture was inspired by Marian McDonald a dairy farmer from Jack River, Victoria to start our blog. Read Simone Smith’s story on Marian in The Weekly Times here   www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2011/07/29/361771_dairy.html and join her blog http://milkmaidmarian.wordpress.com/ and follow Milk Maid Marian on Twitter here http://twitter.com/#!/milkmaidmarian

 Art4Agriculture have now been using SlideShare for two years to successfully share the Jet and Emma Dairy Education Series for K to 12 www.slideshare.net/LandLearnNSW/presentations?order=popular

 Art4Agriculture’s Jet and Emma are undertaking a dairy traineeship as part of their HSC. They work at dairies in the beautiful Jamberoo Valley on the NSW South Coast and they share what they are learning everyday with their ever increasing fan base.

Together with the finalist presentations from the Cream of the Crop Competition www.art4agriculture.com.au/ we are very proud to say we have attracted over 50,000 hits on the web.

 Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/Art4ag and Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/56982631@N03/

Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion begins the journey

Emma Visser has been identified by the dairy industry to participate in Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions program

Emma and Calf at Clover Hill

Emma begins her Young Farming Champions journey today as a mentor for the Cows Create Careers program.

This project creates awareness among secondary school students of the career opportunities in the dairy industry and connects them ‘first hand’ with further education and training links, such as the National Centre for Dairy Education Australia. The six-week project includes rearing heifer calves on the school campus, completing the set curriculum, the involvement of a farmer mentor and an industry mentor, and a presentation day. Its legacy for students is a positive experience and greater awareness of dairying.

Emma’s Role

In her role as a mentor Emma will introduce the project to students in school and assist both the students and teachers throughout the term of the project. The mentor explains to students about their career in the dairy industry and informs students about the education and training required for their career pathway.

Emma was introduced to the program 4 years ago when her school participated in Cows Create Careers and is now operation manger at Clover Hill Dairies.

 Emma will share her dairy industry career pathway with students from Illawarra Christian School and Albion Park High School who are taking part in the Cows Create Careers program in the Illawarra region in NSW  

See Emma on farm here

Team Art4Agriculture selected to sell careers in agriculture through advocacy

Identified as dynamic leaders in the agrifood industry two of Art4Agriculture’s team members have been invited to be AgriFood’s Skills Ambassadors. Their role involves actively promoting innovation and professionalism in the industry, and the benefits of education and skill development leading to attractive career pathways and opportunities.

The program will provide Ambassadors with an opportunity to broaden and enhance their industry profile, confidence and influence at a national level through access to AgriFood’s diverse industry stakeholders. Ambassadors have been appointed for 12 months and will undertake specialised training, including media and public speaking, to enhance their personal and professional effectiveness.

Well done Lynne and Hollie

Hollie Ballieu selected as one of eight AgriFood Skills Ambassadors

Young Farmers Champions – the next steps

BRIDGING THE RURAL – URBAN DIVIDE 

The next steps 

Our first The Bridging the Rural–Urban Divide workshop for our Young Farming  Champions began the young farming champions journey to create multimedia products, training them for what they can expect going into schools, getting them to think about what messages they want to convey, and how, to their different audiences.

The workshop provided learning opportunities for the young farming champions that were tailored to their requirements as advocates for agriculture, as well as enhancing opportunities for these farmers to network amongst other young dairy farmers from different primary industries. They got to see their similarities, they found common ground, they realised each has issues that are just as challenging, and they learnt how they can help each other.

The workshop also provided access to information and advisors on priority issues of concern to the community and enabled participants to learn from experienced mentors.

Next steps 

The Young Farming Champions’ intentions are not to “educate” people about agriculture, but rather create opportunities for an exchange of information and ideas between young people from both our cities and rural areas.

 

Throughout the year, the Young Farming Champions will visit schools to bridge the divide by providing a young face of farming that students will be able to relate to and supporting those students participating in the Archibull Prize with information and ideas.

The farmers are also developing short films, which will tell their story and give everyone a chance to look around their farms.  Using multimedia to tell their stories is an important way to engage with a larger group of students from around Australia (and the world!).

Check out what Emma has to say to next gen urban http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qXFtm6eDFI Sure to inspire other young people to follow her journey

Always learning, the Young Farming Champions will meet again in November to share their experiences with each other.   This will be an opportunity to evaluate the partnerships they are forging with city-based students and consider how to increase the levels of understanding they are developing.

In 2012 the program aims to expand to include a greater number of industries and young farmers.  The work the Young Farming Champions are doing now will underpin the growth of the program to benefit our whole community.

Archibull Prize 2011 Schools Selected

Archibull Prize 2011

Congratulations to the 20 schools in Western Sydney who have been selected to participate in 2011 Archibull Prize.  

6 PRIMARY SCHOOLS  including Maraylya Public School, Macarthur Anglican School ,Windsor Public School, Schofield Primary School, St Michael’s Catholic Primary School and RIDBC Alice Betteridge School

AND

14 SECONDARY SCHOOLS including Richmond High School, Caroline Chisholm College, Colo High School. Rouse Hill Anglican College, Muirfield High School,  Northholm Grammar School, Model Farms High School. Terra Sancta College, Crestwood High School, Cranebrook High School, Hurlstone Agricultural High School, Quakers Hill High School, Castle Hill High School and St Ignatius College will be eyeing off the ultimate reward

 

This year builds on the successful 2010 Archibull Prize pilot that started with an anticipated five schools program and grew to fourteen schools due to demand for the program from schools and supporting sponsors.

HOW IT WORKS

Each successful high school will be provided free of charge with a life size fibreglass cow on which the students create an artwork about the selected theme. 

Each successful primary school will be provided with a life-size fibreglass calf on which the students create an artwork about the selected theme. 

To ensure students and teachers are well equipped and briefed on the program each school will be assigned a Young Farming Champion.  The Young Farming Champion will come to your school to present the program to your students and provide a personal insight into their farming experiences.  In addition, schools will have access to a kaleidoscope of paddock to plate professionals.  The school is also provided with paint materials and a resource kit at no cost.

This year we are asking the students to

•               create an ‘Archibull Artwork’ that embraces the theme:-

‘Bridging the Rural – Urban Divide – What does it take to feed Sydney for a day sustainably.”

•               Produce a weekly web blog which documents the journey of the artwork. .

•               Produce a short video to raise the profile of Australian farmers.

•               Produce a ‘PowerPoint’ for publishing via the LandLearn NSW website which communicates the importance and relevance of student sustainability learnings with a focus on a whole systems’ ( i.e. “cradle to grave” from “A to Z” from “start to finish”) approach. Research how these whole systems work and why are they so important for sustainability.

OUTCOMES

The student groups will enter their project work to win the ‘Archibull Prize’ – which uses creative arts to engage the students and the wider community in discussions about agricultural sustainability and natural resource management. The result will see our next generation of consumers, decision makers and leaders having a deeper understanding of the future challenges that face our primary industries and the community more widely.

“When planning for a year, plant corn; for a decade, plant a tree; for a lifetime, educate people”~Chinese Proverbs

 

 

Young Farming Champions leading the way for young people

What inspires you about farming? I think it’s an easy question to answer in the minds of enthusiastic, young farmers—but if it’s the first time you’ve tried to put it into words, there’s often a lot to say.

Our ten young farmers from NSW recently gathered for a workshop centred on Bridging the Rural–Urban Divide. They answered questions like the above, and talked about why and how they could help inspire students and urban people about agriculture.

The Young Farming Champions learned about their audience, of ‘city people’, through listening exercises; they learned about tricky issues in agriculture and the future and perceptions of those issues; and they learned about themselves as leaders, speakers, and inspiring young people.

Jenni Metcalfe and Sarah Cole (Econnect Communication)  helped facilitate the workshop along with the fantastic organisational skills of Kirsty John and Loran Blades from Event Directors.

As a rural-but-not-agriculture kid myself, I certainly learned a lot from the workshop too.  said Sarah

So what’s the next step for these Young Farming Champions? Well, they’re in the middle of making videos and presentations for the kids they’ll speak to in schools, and then will head into those schools to talk about Art4Agriculture’s Archibull Prize. We can’t wait to hear about their successes and their experiences with the Archibulls.

 

Art4Agriculture

 

 

 Art4Agriculture’s vision is to design and deliver community events that are a true celebration of the diversity, sustainability, creativity and progress of primary industries, their people, place and produce.

Never underestimate the power of passion.
– Eve Sawyer

 

 WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO
Art4Agriculture is a network of young people who share a passion to tell others about the pivotal role Australian farmers play in feeding the world.
Art4Agriculture is committed to developing within the broader Australian population a deeper understanding of and greater respect for, the essential role played by Australian farmers in producing food and supporting the nation’s economy, community and rural amenity.
To achieve this goal Art4Agriculture deliver self managed events and activities which focus on youth, career opportunities, the arts and community – all linked with agriculture.Recognising primary industries share common ground, we have tailored our new programs to both enhance the image of agriculture and encourage young people to consider agribusiness as a future.
Our school programs are education and awareness focused and use creative arts and multimedia to engage urban and rural students in the challenges of primary production, such as the land degradation, dwindling water supplies and climate change.Our 2011 Art4Agriculuture initiatives partner with Landlearn NSW and other sponsors and include:
1. The Cream of the Crop Competition invites students involved in primary industry and natural resource management studies to create a PowerPoint about a unit of their studies with the chance to win cash prizes for their efforts. The winning entries will be loaded on the web providing contemporary authentic, positive and popular stories about agriculture and the environment written by young people for young people. This initiative is vital as the changes to the way farmers manage their properties have moved much faster than educational resource development.
2. The Archibull Prize – The 2011 program will see students reflect on the theme ” The Rural/ Urban Divide- What does it take to feed Sydney for a day?”This theme celebrates the role Australian farmers’ play in feeding Australian families and many other families around the world. The average person doesn’t consider the resources required to keep a city well fed let alone the world! We intend on telling this story.


The Archibull Prize program builds a bridge for farmers and communities to reach out to each other, share stories and improve understanding and work through potential solutions together. The project helps build the capability of young rural people to farm with resilience and confidence. Equally the student participants involved benefit as improving their knowledge of primary production will help them make better decisions as consumers and policy and decision makers.

The Archibull Prize was developed with the support of the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, Industry and Investment NSW, LandLearn NSW, Hawkesbury Harvest and the University of Western Sydney.
The program is a new way and innovative way of connecting urban consumers with the people who produce their food and fibre and is proudly supported by Woolworths and other funding partners

Opportunities are available for other organisations who share the same passion and vision as we do to be part of the Archibull Prize 2011

3. Bridging the Rural Urban Divide. This project will pilot a program for secondary schools which brings agricultural producers and the next generation of Australian consumers together to explore and understand the challenge of producing food and fibre sustainably. The objective is to bridge the rural urban divide – giving rural producers a better understanding of their urban customers and in turn, the urban communities gaining an insight into modern agricultural production and the efforts that rural producers undertake to protect the natural resource base. Farming champions will be trained to become local faces of sustainable primary production. Urban audiences, consumers and students will get to know them, enhancing their knowledge of sustainable food and fibre production and natural resource management.


Our programs are a true celebration of the people and the places behind the food we eat. They deliver strong rural sustainability messages – not just to the students involved, but also to the wider community. They showcase the positive things farmers are doing and empower them to share their stories. Our activities are genuine, contemporary, engaging, fun and full of hope for a sustainable future.

4. What can you CreATE Competition?  The ‘What can you creATE’ competition provides a new and exciting opportunity for students to design a webpage. The competition involves good design skills and a lot of creativity and flair. The competition is open to all students in NSW secondary education. The winning entry will receive $500 and have their page published on www.art4agriculture.com.au

Our Confidence to Grow Initiative is supported by Caring for our Country funding and other supporting partners

This program harnesses the energy and leadership drive of youth to forge cross-community partnerships to improve economic, environmental and social sustainability. It focuses on increasing the adoption of sustainable farm management practices, including conserving and extending green corridors, while improving food security to meet the needs of a growing nation and world demand. It fosters the confidence to grow.