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


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

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

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

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

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

Get a taste of Primary School Preview Day here

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

Ag Career Arvo Flyer.jpg

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

#youthvoices18 #youthinag

_2017 Supporting partners Capture

Meet Emma Turner who knows every day three times a day you need a farmer

Our guest blog today comes from young wool farmer Emma Turner

‘for many farmers their career is a calling,
simultaneously more than a business and more than a lifestyle’  R L Wilkinson

My name is Emma Turner, I am 18 years old and this is my story………..

Emma Turner


I grew up on Stanbridge station, our 100,000 acre Merino sheep station, 100km south of the tiny town of Ivanhoe, in western NSW.


I feel strongly connected and passionate towards agriculture underpinned by my family connection.

I am a sixth generation wool grower – the fifth in the Ivanhoe area – with my family roots to farming going as far back as 1844 when my English relatives moved to Adelaide and took up farming as a profession.

Agriculture has always been part of my life, with many life lessons being learnt from it.


Mustering a mob of ewes and lambs at shearing time, enjoying the fresh grass after drought years.

Wool growing has taught me patience and being involved with our family business, Abbotsford Pastoral Co, has helped me learn many practical farm and life skills and lessons.


Enjoying the mud on the four wheeler after 100mm of rain

It has also inspired my love for the industry and my passion to make a difference in agriculture – all while having fun and enjoying rural life.

I completed my primary years at Clare Public School where I was the only person in my class and the only girl at my school for three years. We never had any more than six students! Going to such a small and remote school taught me to make friends with everyone as sometimes you can’t afford to be choosey! It also taught me to participate in everything and be a team player on sports days and swimming carnivals, as most of the schools we competed against had at least 20 students!


Our school photos had the best background

Having two younger brothers I was never bored or alone and over the years we invented our own forms of entertainment, from riding dad’s sale wethers around the yards and seeing who could stay on the longest before getting yelled at, to practising tricks on our motorbikes. We learnt from a young age how to ‘doctor’ ourselves, covering our cuts in Band-Aids before mum came at us with the dreaded iodine bottle!


My brother and I enjoying a ride on our home made ‘speed boat’

Loving animals is really a given when it comes to agriculture, with my best mate being my dog, as well as a pet lamb to look after. Animals have always played a role in my life, and after watching the suffering they can experience in a drought, they have inspired me to study a Bachelor of Agricultural Science after my gap year. My dream is to study genetics and the role it could play in breeding a hardier, more drought resistant Merino.


Enjoying rides in the ute with my best mate,


and taking my poddy lamb for a walk after the rain

People farm for many different reasons, some for pleasure, some for return on capital, some for social approval, some for financial security, some because of the challenge and some because they can see no other alternative. I believe it is important for the agriculture sector to build relationships with the community to expand knowledge and understanding of the modern day farmer and what motivates him or her. It is important the wider community is able to understand the sacrifices and hardships that Australian farmers make everyday. Farming in Australia is a job and a lifestyle and so much more. It’s also lifestyle that can throw the biggest and hardest challenges, with more often than not no short term solutions. There is no quick fix for a flood or a drought. Farmers need support and targeted and relevant research and development so they can be resilient through these tough times.

My favourite quotation about agricultural is simple,

Every day three times a day you need a farmer

I believe this simple fact is overlooked in today’s modern society. I believe the long term future of the Australian agriculture sector relies on farmers and the community working together. Fresh ideas and innovative solutions are needed to start building these partnerships and I am doing what I have always done and that is putting my hand up to be on the team


Pat Morgan has red dust running through his veins

Hi, my name is Patrick Morgan, a 20 year old university student/farmer from Colbinabbin, in Northern Victoria. Our first family farm “Wanella” is 8 kms out of town. It is a mixed farming enterprise of cereal and oilseed cropping for grain and fodder production & merino sheep for wool and prime lambs.

Wanella includes the original Morgan family farm of Nerada, where our family settled 5 generations ago. clip_image002

Harvesting in the late 1990’s


Harvesting in 2013

At this present day there are 3 generations that are farming in our family, my grandfather, my father with  my 5 brothers and me lending a helping hand .


Marking lambs with the family in 2005

I am currently studying at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga but at any chance I can grasp, I jump straight in my ute to head home; to sow, spray, cut, bale and harvest our crops or to crutch, shear and sell our home grown wool.


At times we use light planes to spread nitrogen on our crops


Good soil and moisture and carefully fertilised crops make great hay 


Its always good to have plenty of hay on hand when pasture is in short supply

Along with a little help from my right hand man Jed (my kelpie pup) in the shearing shed, I am a professional Woolclasser by trade.


Classing the wool


Pressing the wool


Branding the Wool

When the wool comes of the sheep’s back I test it for various characteristics, press it into a bale of over 100kg and then I place my wool classers stamp on the bale to then be sold at an auction. clip_image014

My grandparents, my twin brothers and me with the Elders representative at the Wool Auctions in Lara. The wool on display beside me contains samples of our wool to be auctioned

Jed is 6 months old now and has become the typical ‘man’s best friend’ of mine. Jed will sit on the back of the motorbike, ride in our speed boat and work a very decent day in the sheep yards without hesitation and always wagging that tail of his.


My dog Jed

Most of our family’s wool and lamb production comes from my grandparent’s property which is just out of Heathcote, Victoria. We are running approximately 3000 head of Merino Ewes and Weathers and Prime Lambs.

I have had roughly 15 students in my year level throughout my primary and secondary schooling, in Rushworth Victoria. Even though these communities that I have grown up in are so small, I find it quite interesting that we are only 2 hours by car to the heart of Melbourne. I have loved growing up in our rural community and I will be forever grateful for the place I will always call home.

At the moment I am concentrating on my completing my Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management degree.  It is a wonderful opportunity through my degree to have access to diverse array of experts in Agriculture/Agribusiness. To say that I am thoroughly enjoying this course and the University here at Charles Sturt would be an understatement, and I can’t wait to put all of it into practice in the near future, as a professional in the field myself.

Ever since I was a young boy I had become fond of Lee Kernaghan and his music. To this day a particular verse still sticks with me, a perfect metaphor for my thoughts on farming, what I love.

“It’s planting seed and praying for rain, its Red dust running through your veins, where there’s a corrugated iron shed and work boots on the back doorstep, it’s when my wheels hit the gravel road and it feels like home, it’s a way of life, it’s the life I live, and its right where I want to be, it’s the way it is.” – Lee Kernaghan.

It shows me that we as farmers, have a great underlying passion for what we do for a living, and if the rest of the farming community is anything like me, they take a great deal of satisfaction of succeeding in this occupation.


Can you just imagine what it is like harvesting wheat with a backdrop like this

For me a career in agriculture is the ultimate grow

To plant a seed and watch it grow and be harvested to feed many

To nurture a new born lamb and gather its wool to clothe others  

To have the opportunity to share my story and showcase how good OUR agriculture sector is, I believe a career and a goal second to none.

Wool Young Farming Champions announced

A journalist, a PhD student, a budding auctioneer and a qualified wool classer.

The latest crop of talented Art4Agriculture Wool Young Farming Champions (YFC) prove variety is the key to engaging the next generation.

Sponsored by Australian Wool Innovation, these young people are a living proof that there is nothing boring or conventional about the future of their industry.

Former television news journalist, Victorian-born Bessie Blore has been farming in far west NSW with her husband for two years. Approaching agriculture with fresh eyes, she admits to learning on the run.


Her number one lesson?

“There is really no such thing as a stupid question or action,” she said.
“That’s the only way you can learn about something you know nothing about. Ask, ask, ask. And give a big cheeky grin when you make a mistake, say sorry, and move on.”

“There is room for fresh blood in our farming future, and there are new, inspiring, exciting stories to be started from today,” Bessie said.

A thirst for learning and a passion for sheep took city-girl Jo Newton to Armidale in NSW to study agriculture.

Jo Newton

Photo Matt Cawood

Now studying a PHD focusing on the environmental and genetic factors influencing early reproductive performance in sheep, Jo proves that studying agriculture can lead to a world of opportunities and she shares her story at any opportunity.

“As important a job as farming is, there are many different jobs in our sector,” she said. “That’s something many people don’t fully understand.”

“I am proud of the agricultural sector and my small role in it and am happy to share my story with as many of city friends as I can.”

Rounding out this year’s YFC’s are Cassie Baile, a fifth generation sheep farmer from Bendemeer in the New England region of NSW and Adele Offley from Crookwell in NSW.

Twenty-two-year-old, Cassie now lives and works in Sydney, employed by Elders as a wool technical support officer at Yennora Wool Selling centre.

Cassie Baille

Qualified Wool Classer Adele has a lifelong passion for wool stemming from the fascination of watching the sheep being shorn and the wool sorted in the shearing shed growing up on the family farm.

Dr Jane Littlejohn, Head of On-Farm RD&E at Australian Wool Innovation agreed that the wool industry is in good hands.

“AWI is proud of the achievements of the younger generation and believe that their stories will inspire other young people about the wool industry and its opportunities,” she said.

“The industry needs young advocates who are passionate and can relate to students. AWI is delighted to be involved again in the Young Farming Champion program for 2013.”

Young Farming Champions will start visiting the 42 schools participating in the 2013 “Archibull Prize” in coming days.

Team Wool

The 2013 Wool Young Farming Champions caught up with Wool YFC 2011 Melissa Henry at the recent workshop at NSW Farmers

Want to connect with our Wool Young Farming Champions

Bessie Blogs at

Melissa Blogs at


Adele @AdeleOffley

Jo @JoNewton89

Bessie @BloreBess

Melissa @baalissa

Baa Baa Black Sheep have you any wool

Todays guest post is by 2011 Young Farming Champion Melissa Henry who is crazy about wool and her flock of sheep and living and working in rural and regional Australia 

This is Melissa’s story

I’m Melissa Henry from Boorowa in South West NSW.

I’m a Young Farming Champion representing the sheep and wool industry. I’m not from a farming background, I grew up in the Hawkesbury District of Western Sydney.


My ram “Mr Wright” – Grand Champion Ram Royal Canberra Show 2013

My first introduction to agriculture was at high school showing sheep and beef cattle and I loved it! Agriculture has opened more doors for me than I ever knew existed. I have been very fortunate to travel and look at the diversity of agriculture both in Australia and overseas. I’ve seen farming systems in Canada (Quebec and Alberta), South Africa and New Zealand. 

I completed a Bachelor of Animal Science (Hons) at the University of Western Sydney (Hawkesbury) and a Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Consulting at the University of New England.

At home I have my own flock of naturally coloured Corriedales which is very much a niche market. I established Quebon Coloured Sheep in 2004 which gave me the opportunity to learn first hand what it takes to be a farmer – even if it is at a small scale.



Quebon Coloured Sheep, Boorowa NSW

My fleeces are sold to hand-spinners and textile artists. My wool colours range from light to dark grey, fawn to chocolate. My ram and ewe lambs are sold to other breeders of coloured sheep, and the wether lambs are sold into the meat market.

Melissa Henry

I love my sheep!

I show my sheep as well, which is a great way of benchmarking the flock and to meet other breeders.  I was very excited to recently win the Grand Champion Ram in the Black and Coloured Sheep section at Canberra Royal Show . 

What I have learnt from having my own flock is:

  • You don’t need to own land to own livestock
  • There are so many people out there who are willing to help you learn – joining a breed or show association is a great starting point
  • No matter what size your flock is – the management requirements are the same

I wear another hat and that is Catchment Officer for the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority. My role is to deliver natural resource management projects, such as revegetation, waterway protection and farm planning to farmer and rural landholders in the Boorowa and Upper Lachlan region. I also work with community groups such as Landcare and the local fishing club to run local events and field days. The most rewarding part of the job is to work with farmers to achieve their production and sustainability goals by helping them along the way with matched federal and state funding. This funding assists with on-farm works such as fencing and tree planting as well as formal and in-formal training opportunities.


Best part of the job – Boorowa NSW

As a Young Farming Champion going into Sydney schools for the Archibull Prize and talking with others in the city community, a common question I am asked is “what is it like to like in a country town?”


Melissa with students from St Michael’s Catholic School in Baulkham Hills

I have found there are a lot of negative misconceptions in the city about what life in a rural community is like.

I love the open spaces, the quiet, the birds, seeing wildlife almost daily, recognising people when you walk down the street, watching the weather fronts as they move across the landscape.

I admire the values of country people: genuine, friendly, open, family focussed, dedicated, innovative, passionate about what they do and their communities.

I am inspired by the community spirit, particularly in times of extreme weather events such as floods and fire. Individuals pull together at the drop of a hat to help others in need, from moving stock to making sure that there is food in the fridge.

This year I am again joining the 2013 Wool Young Farming Champions and visiting  schools participating in the Archibull Prize

Melissa Henry and the 2013 Wool Young Farming Champions

Jo Newton, Bessie Blore, Melissa Henry, Adele Offley and Cassie Baile 

This year I am excited to have the opportunity to visit rural schools in both my hometown of Boorowa as well as Junee. You can visit the Boorowa Central School blog here

Junee High School

Meeting with the Junee High Art4Agriculture Archibull team – what a fantastic group that are so keen to share the positive story of sheep and wool.

Our Australian sheep and wool producers hold a special place in my heart. They care for some of our most diverse farming landscapes and our scarce natural resources. They also underpin our wonderful rural communities like Boorowa. It is an honour to be able to utilize my project management and communication skills to support sustainability within rural businesses and ensure our sheep and wool producers have a profitable future.



Melissa and her oldest ewe ‘Baabra’

I am also very grateful for the opportunity to live in a location where I can fulfil my passion – owning a small sheep stud. I am also grateful for the lifestyle that I am now living. I have previously blogged about why I love Life in a country town here

And this winter when you are putting your scarf on, think of me and my girls.

Melissa’s website is

You can follow Melissa @baalissa on Twitter.

How can one COW educate one SCHOOL about the WOOL INDUSTRY?

We all have to eat and that alone means that agriculture is not only important but vital.

Every Australian wants affordable, healthy food produced in an environmentally friendly way.

Every Australian wants their food produced by people who care

A passion to link consumers with producers … to promote public understanding of farming, and the interconnectedness of health and nutrition and the agricultural sector … is the driving force behind Art4Agriculture.

This year our signature program for schools, the Archibull Prize is rolling out in three states and we will be following the journey live via the students’ blogs.

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing you to each of the schools taking part via their blogs and we invite you to follow them and encourage them with your comments and Tweets (hashtag #archibull) and shares on Facebook.

After all this isn’t easy

Could you turn a cow into a sheep?


Well 12 schools like Model Farms High School have this task and they are relishing the challenge

We have initially been challenged by the thought of connecting our cow to the farming commodity of wool.

After all, wool means sheep, and sheep are not cows……………

There will be some serious brainstorming to come to look at this issue.

View album

Follow the Model Farms High School Blog “How can one COW educate one SCHOOL about the WOOL INDUSTRY?” here

See and hear the students introduce Archie to the school here

BTW this is one school who definitely knows Cotton Wool doesn’t come from Sheep