Young Farming Champions Muster September 2018 Week 1 

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions across the country ( and the globe). 

In the Field

No farm nearby? No worries! Cotton Young Farming Champion Emma Ayliffe has taken her paddocks to Parramatta, skyping with students participating in The Archibull Prize. Parramatta Public School teacher Esra Smerdon feels that Emma’s presentation from the paddock – covering all things from moisture probes to weeds – helped to give the students a different perspective. Parramatta Public School have wrapped up their skype sessions with Emma and are sharing the journey of their Archie aptly named ‘Moona Lisa’ on their blog – check it out here.

1. Emma Ayliffie Paddock to Classroom

From the paddock to the classroom … snaps from Parramatta Public School’s blog as they skype Cotton YFC Emma Ayliffe

As the first official week of spring rolls around again, canola producers in drought-affected regions of Australia are having to make tough decisions about their crops. Grains Young Farming Champion Marlee Langfield spoke to 9 News Central West about how her canola crops look to be hanging on following some timely rainfall near Cowra, NSW.

For those farmers who are deciding whether to salvage their canola crops for fodder, grain or grazing, resources to aid decision making can be found at NSW DPI’s Drought Hub.

Out of the Field

All roads certainly lead to Narromine the first weekend in September for the annual agricultural show! Grains Young Farming Champion and 2018 Narromine Showgirl Keiley O’Brien had a busy weekend of Showgirl duties, including everything from judging the junior quest to the scarecrow competition. Keiley will be a guest host on the Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page this week, taking us behind the scenes of the show and her role as Showgirl. Head over to the feed to catch up on all that she’s been up to!

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From shows in NSW over to SA, the Royal Adelaide Show kicked off on 31st August and runs until 9th September. Young Farming Champions Meg Rice and Erika Heffer are also 2018 Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) of NSW Rural Achievers and are visiting Adelaide show as part of an exchange program with RAS NSW and Agricultural Societies Council (ASC) of NSW. We look forward to following their experiences at Adelaide!

2. Erika Heffer

Erika Heffer, Young Farming Champion and RAS Rural Achiever, tweets from her visit to the Royal Adelaide show.

Young Farming Champion school visits as part of The Archibull Prize continue for 2018, with Cotton Young Farming Champion Laura Bennett visiting Miller Public School last week. Miller Public School’s team are well underway designing their cotton-themed Archie and received further inspiration during Laura’s visit.

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Cotton YFC Laura Bennett sharing her story with students from Miller Public School as part of The Archibull Prize

We are also excited to follow Wool Young Farming Champion Lucy Collingridge’s journey as she is heads to Barraba High School this week as part of The Archibull Prize.

Speaking of schools and agriculture on the curriculum. Congratulations to our Youth Voices Leadership TeamChair Dr Jo Newton on phenomenal feedback on her presentation at the Geography Teachers of Victoria conference last Sunday.  Jo told the teachers in the room that she was just one of 80 exciting YFC who could influence conversations and curriculum connections for teachers and students in Victoria. Shoutout to PIEFA CEO Ben Stockwin for facilitating the collaboration

8.Jo Newton

Wool Young Farming Champion and Inaugural WoolProducers Australia (WPA) Youth Ambassador Dione Howard commenced her WPA Ambassador role last week. Dione attended the Animal Health and Welfare Advisory Committee Meeting and Board Meeting in Canberra, learning much about strategy and policy over the two days.

4. Dione Howard

Wool YFC Dione Howard attended the WoolProducers Australia (WPA) Animal Health and Welfare Advisory Committee Meeting in Canberra last week as part of her WPA Youth Ambassador role.

 Grains Young Farming Champion Sam Coggins is in India for the next couple of weeks attending the Geography of Food Summer School. The Summer School brings together agricultural students from 12 countries to study millet supply chains and work towards restructuring these chains to achieve a sustainable food system. Sam’s Summer School experience in India will include presentations from invited speakers, discussions, workshops and excursions.

Good luck to Wool YFCs Emma Turner and Bessie Thomas who are this week hosting health mental health social events in far-western NSW.

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The Ivanhoe Ladies High Tea will be held at the Ivanhoe CWA Hall this Friday, to coincide with Women’s Health Week, with information about health and wellbeing, make-up and essential oils. Emma and her team will be busy baking and prepping info packs this week ahead of Friday’s big day. Keep an eye on our Picture You In Agriculture Facebook page on Friday to see all the action.

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And at Burragan Station, Wilcannia, Bessie Thomas and her team of grounds people have been working round-the-clock on pitch preparations ahead of Saturday’s Barefoot Bowls and Bocce event. Bessie’s husband Shannan voiced concerns over the slightly undulating lay of the land and length of the grass, but Bessie says, “It’ll all add to the atmosphere and that’s the skill of the game – bowlers will have to adapt to the conditions.” Bessie says the “bowling brown” will be mowed on Friday and final pitch inspections will happen Saturday morning.

Both Bessie and Emma will be posting live from their events on the Picture You In Agriculture facebook page so keep your eyes peeled.

Prime Cuts

Mega congratulations are in order for Cotton YFC Emma Ayliffe who last week was announced as runner-up in the 2017/18 Adama Young Agronomist of the Year Awards. Emma will take part in an overseas study tour alongside Winner Kirsty Smith and Rising Star Michelle Egan as part of her award accolades.

7. Emma A

Cotton YFC Emma Ayliffe has been announced as runner-up in the 2017/18 Adama Young Agronomist of the Year Awards

Cotton YFC Anika Molesworth has been announced as a finalist in the 2018 Green Globe Awards. This award recognises young sustainability champions who have developed practical solutions and helped communities to improve their environmental issues. Good luck for the final selection process Anika and congratulations on being named as a finalist!

And to wrap up another huge week for the YFC team, we would like to congratulate cattle and sheep YFC Casey Dahl on her recent engagement!

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#YouthVoices18 #ArchieAction #YouthInAg

Meet Alexandria Galea who doesn’t mind a cotton tale or two or three

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Alexandria Galea doesn’t mind a yarn. She grew up on a cotton property in central Queensland and while she admits she didn’t have an instinct for farm work, she did develop a love of sharing stories from her farming background.

This love of sharing and storytelling led her to a degree in secondary school education.

“I was half way through my teaching degree when I realised I also wanted to study agriculture, and it greatly excited me to think of all the pathways I could take. Upon graduation I turned to the field to gain more experience and exposure to agriculture and was fortunate to be offered a role as a sales agronomist with Cotton Growers Services.”

Today we introduce you to the second of our 2018 Cotton Young Farming Champions Alexandria Galea

This is Alexandria’s story

For generations my family have been working on the land. The family tree has gotten its hands dirty in many fields starting in horticulture on the Mediterranean island Malta and dry land cropping in South Australia. Today some are growing sugar cane or rearing cattle. In the mix I have grown up in the Central Highlands of Queensland on my parent’s irrigation property where we grow cotton, grains and pulses.

Despite coming from these blood lines I never quite inherited the nature of the typical country girl. I blissfully ignored practicality and sun safety to rock getups that only the Spice Girls could pull off around irrigation ditches or cattle yards (at least I was easy to spot). Although I was never hard to find as you could hear me a mile away yelling for help when bogged or caught in such a good yarn with the calves that I’d walk straight into the backside of a cow.

Enough said farm work was not quite my strong point but I loved it. As I grew up I realised I had a passion for collaborating, sharing and learning with others, in particular youth, or what others would call an interest in talking the ears off somebody. With this in mind I set out to become a teacher.

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A passion for teaching and sharing a story led to an invitation to join the Young Farming Champions program 

Following high school I spent my time split between studying a Bachelor of Secondary Education and working in agricultural businesses. Working in agriculture started as a necessity to pay for the hefty bills of text books and late night educational excursions at university to become a real joy which I looked forward to. I got to experience a range of jobs from working with agronomists bug checking, accounting and supplying growers with products. Most importantly I got to have a good yarn with a diverse range of people within the industry.

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 Never a dull day in my office especially when you get stuck in the mud

I found this work very interesting and rewarding, it opened my eyes to the magnitude of careers in agriculture which are not locked within the boundary fence of a farm. For the first time I could see how I (the not so intuitive farm girl) could be involved in an industry so close to my heart. I enjoyed liaising with farmers, the mix of working in the field and in the office, understanding the science behind growing plants and the ability to see a range of crops across a vast area. I was half way through my teaching degree when I realised that I also wanted to be studying agriculture. This greatly excited me to think of all the pathways I could take. Upon graduation of university I had the opportunity to work in the classroom however I turned to the field to gain more experience and exposure to agriculture. I was fortunate to be able to take on a role as a sales agronomist with Cotton Growers Services.

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Working in agriculture is full of challenges to overcome in particular managing climate constraints.

In this role I had the pleasure of facilitating educational workshops at the Emerald Agricultural College to give students exposure to and broaden their knowledge of different types of crops, roles within farming and a range of technologies. In this space I am the most excited, it is a feeling of its own to open the eyes of another especially about farming.

My path in agriculture has only just began and I am very excited to see where my sparkling boots take me and for the yarns to be had! All are welcome to join.

Alex joined 2018 Cotton Young Farming Champions Sally Poole and Anika Molesworth at our first YFC workshop for 2018 in Tocal this month and it is clear she well make a great storyteller for cotton. Welcome Alex

#YouthinAg #YouthVoices18 #ArchieAction #StrongerTogether

 

Young Farming Champions Muster June 2018 Week 3

This weeks top stories from our Young Farming Champions across the country

In the Field 

Wool Young Farming Champion Katherine Bain currently getting the Cow Girl Experience in Canada will take up her new role as a Production Analyst with Paraway Pastoral in their head office in Orange in August.

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Beef Young Farming Champion Tim Eyes is hosting his Archibull Prize School The Lakes College at his farm on 21st June 2018. Wow are they in for a treat

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Out of the Field.

Wool Young Farming Champions Peta Bradley and Caitlin Heppner caught up with Young Farmer Business Program  Team of Alex MacDonald and newly appointed Adele Henry whilst visiting Orange last week for The Archibull Prize.  Its was widely agreed that the Young Farmer Champions will be invaluable in promoting the opportunities available as part of the YFBP.  Megs Dunford from the DPI Schools Program also attended and gave an overview of how they support primary and secondary schools.

Aussie Farmers Foundation supported Young Farming Champion Jasmine Whitten stars in the latest Art4Agriculture video showing young people how they can become Eggsperts

Shoutout to #YouthVoices18 Dione Howard and Emma Turner who will be participating in Hour of Power at MerinoLink Conference in Goulburn. Awesome opportunity for young professionals to speak about their work and passions within the wool industry.  Read more here

#WearWool #LoveWool #WOOLisCOOL #YouthinAg

Wool Young Farming Champion Dione Howard will be visiting Moss Vale High School participating in The Archibull Prize 2018 to share her story and inspire next wool ambassadors

Young Farming Champions Jasmine Whitten, Lucy Collingridge and Meg Rice fly out to Argentina today for IFAMA conference. Find out more here and you can follow their journey on Facebook.

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Lucy Collingridge
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Jasmine Whitten

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Following in the footsteps of Young Farming Champion Bronwyn Roberts in 2013 Youth Voices Leadership Team member Anika Molesworth is the key note speaker tonight at the Marcus Oldham Leadership Course Dinner. Anika will be sharing her leadership journey through the 7 Forks in the Road that have led her to where she is today.

  1. Finding your fight
  2. Believing in yourself
  3. Backing yourself
  4. Finding your wolf pack
  5. Jump in to learn how to swim
  6. Never stop learning
  7. Having the courage of your convictions

Huge congratulations to Young Farming Champions Liz Lobsey and Emma Ayliffe who have recently been announced as finalists in the Adama Young Agronomist of the Year

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till next time share your stories with us using the hashtags #YouthVoices #Youthinag

_2017 Supporting partners Capture

 

 

 

 

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

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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

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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

Young Farming Champion Jo Newton in the running for 2018 Victorian Young Achiever Awards

Congratulations to the Chair of our Youth Voices Leadership Team Dr Jo Newton who has just been announced as a finalist for the First National Real Estate Leadership Award, part of the 2018 Victorian Young Achiever Awards. This is an absolutely amazing achievement and one to be extremely proud of – well done Jo !

The First National Real Estate Leadership Award acknowledges young people who set an example through their leadership and drive, paving the way for others to follow.

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Jo is a young research geneticist working with the dairy industry who selflessly inspires others to pursue careers in agriculture. Eight years ago she founded the Farming Futures Project at the University of New England – a careers fair showcasing agricultural opportunities, and today she mentors young scientists and visits schools to encourage students to realise their own agricultural journey. She has been recognised with the 2017 Dairy Research Foundation Symposium’s Emerging Scientists Award and the 2018 Endeavour Research Fellowship. Jo is regularly invited to speak about her passion and through her leadership and drive is paving the way for others. See Jo’s story in AGWomen Global here

Agriculture is cheering for you Jo #strongwomen #youthinag

Follow Jo’s awards journey on Social Media

Facebook: @VICAYAA

Instagram: @vicyoungachiever

Twitter: @VIC_YAAwards

#VICYAA

Dr Steph says the path of research is not an easy one to walk but it is paved with passion.

Art4Agriculture has partnered with the dynamic Steph Coombes to contribute content to her phenomenal resource Ausagventures for all things YouthInAg and those thinking about venturing into the exciting world of a career in Agriculture.

Each month along with 10 agricultural youth groups and organisations we will be writing a blog exclusively for Ausagventures. You can find their profiles below and scroll down to read their blogs and to see what #ausagventures they have been getting up to around the country and how you can join in here.

In our first three blog we are going to feature our three Young Farming Champions who are currently daring to conduct very different and innovative research as part of their PhD thesis.

‘Whoever said a career in agriculture was all mud and flies obviously had no idea what they were talking about’ 

Steph Fowler and fellow Young Farming Champions

Our guest blogger today is Steph Fowler in the middle with fellow young farming champions

First up we have Dr Steph ( in waiting) Fowler who is currently sitting in one the troughs in the roller coaster ride that is the journey to a PhD and a scientific legacy in the world of agriculture R&D 

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Dr Steph with her beloved carcasses

The path of research is not an easy one to walk but it is paved with passion.

My current research project is looking at objectively measuring meat quality. I am working towards being able to identify which lamb carcases will eat well and those that won’t. I am using a laser technology called the Raman spectroscopic hand held probe because it’s rapid, quantitative and non-destructive. Developing this technology for use commercially is a huge benefit to industry because you can measure the actual piece of meat that people are going to eat without destroying it and lamb producers can be paid for the quality of meat they are producing not just the weight.

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The fantastic team at DPI at Cowra (Matt Kerr, Tracy Lamb, David (my supervisor) and Heinar (the probe’s inventor).

Over the last month I have been working on trials that take the prototype probe into lamb processing plants to figure out whether we can use it to determine how tender the meat will be early on in processing. While the work is exciting and new because there’s only two of these probes in the world (one here with me for a few months and another in Germany at the institute in Bayreuth where they are made), the work can be frustrating and deflating because every so often we come across a challenge we can’t see how to solve when we need to so we can continue working. Sometimes it’s something small like an electricity supply adapter that shorts out and then causes a bigger issue or an electric plug that’s lost a wire and sometimes it’s something a bit bigger like the equipment we need not liking the cold chillers. Because I work in smaller rural towns often these problems end in me driving somewhere to get a part or find someone who can help me. Makes for some long days when you start at 5am to be ready for the first carcases to come down to pack up, drive 2 hours, find the people or the part, and get in the car and drive back to be ready to start at 5am the next day. Add onto that some tough working conditions and you have yourself a somewhat difficult working week.

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Me in the lab

It’s not all doom and gloom though, as Ken Jr. Keyes said “to be upset over what you don’t have is to waste what do you do have”. With a little love, help, and support from those I work with at the plant, at DPI, at uni and in my own team, the industry as a whole, and the towns and communities I work in as well as my friends and fellow PhD-ers near and far I have been able to salvage my trial and continue. Sometimes it’s been the technical help, sometimes it’s having the part in stock or knowing who does, sometimes it’s helping me make a decision or cooking a home cooked meal or offering me a bed but mostly it’s just being there, and listening and trying to understand.

Research is a rollercoaster ride the ups and downs can come minutes apart and sometimes 20 seconds can change everything. Because each project is unique it can be isolating. We each face issues and challenges that are also unique and that can feel isolating. Relationships with friends, family and significant others don’t always get off the PhD rollercoaster in the same condition that they got on either and that can feel isolating too. Combine that with the stresses of just getting ourselves through the ups and downs and that’s why I value and truly appreciate the phenomenal backing I have received over the last 2 years. I wouldn’t be still standing without it and without being reminded that it is always there.

The backing of the industry and the communities I work in, the people I work with and those who believe in me and my work inspire my passion. They keep me striving at what I do to help move the industry forward. For that I am truly grateful.

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Me and my Italian friends Gianluca and Marco. Gianluca has become one of my biggest cheerleaders ever both professionally and personally.

But no mistaking there have been plenty of highlights in my journey including last year being  awarded a travel grant to attend the graduate program at the 59th International Conference of Meat Science and Technology in Turkey, where I presented two papers; I  was selected as a Crawford Scholar, and elected to the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Youth Group. I also have lifelong memories from my opportunity as a Young Farming Champion  to share my journey in agriculture with four NSW schools as part of their journey to win the 2013 Archibull Prize.  Recently I my manuscript was selected for the Journal of Meat Science

For those who love the science here are all the details you need to read my paper

Predicting tenderness of fresh ovine semimembranosus using Raman spectroscopy
Stephanie M. Fowler, Heinar Schmidt, Remy van de Ven, Peter Wynn,
David L. Hopkins
PII: S0309-1740(14)00064-3
DOI: doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2014.02.018
Reference: MESC 6378
To appear in: Meat Science
URL Link http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0309174014000643

You can read Steph’s blog she wrote for her YFC application process here

Follow Steph on twitter @steph_bourke

How does one become a butterfly