Archibull Prize Launch @ Woolworths @ Bella Vista

Woolworths played host to the launch of the 2011 Archibull Prize yesterday at their head office at Bella Vista.

Community Investment Manager Virginia Tomlinson said “Woolworths is proud to be a supporting partner of Art4Agriculture and the 2011 Archibull Prize.  It’s an exciting program with a fresh approach to talking to future generations about the importance of sustainable food production.  The Archibull is a very smart way to build agricultural and environmental awareness through art, creativity and teamwork.”

Photo (L – R) Virginia Tomlinson - Woolworths with teacher Helen Glover and students from the Macarthur Anglican School, Cobbity with David Thomason – Primary Industries Education Foundation

Students from 21 schools have begun their quest to learn what it takes to feed Sydney for a day.

The students are participating in the Archibull Prize, an Art4Agriculture initiative that uses art and multimedia to promote the important role agriculture plays in our lives.

Art4Agriculture is a network of young farming champions who deliver events and activities that focus on youth, career opportunities, the environment and the arts, all with a link back to agriculture.

This year, the Archibull Prize asks students reflect on the theme “The Rural – Urban Divide – What does it take to feed Sydney for a day?”  Schools are provided with a blank fibreglass cow that students will decorate to highlight what they’ve learned about the challenges of housing and feeding the world with a declining natural resource base.

“The average person doesn’t consider the resources required to keep a city well fed, let alone the world!” says Jamberoo dairy farmer Lynne Strong, who Chairs Art4Agriculture.

“It’s staggering enough to discover you need 90,000 cows to produce 1.3 million litres of milk that Sydney consumes every day, but then how much land do you need for those cows? How many people to run the farm? How much feed for the stock?  These are the questions we hope the students will consider along the way.”

Participating schools have received their blank cows and have been randomly allocated an agricultural commodity that they are to feature in their artwork. These include beef, grains, sheep (wool & meat), dairy, chickens (eggs and meat) and cotton.   They then use the blank fibreglass cow to inspire or create an artwork or design.  They can paint it, film it, project onto it, create an animation with it, drape it with things, photograph it, or create an installation or a sculpture.  Students are also required to make a video, keep a blog and design a PowerPoint presentation tracking their journey from blank cow to masterpiece.

The completed “Archibulls” are judged by an independent panel to determine the winner.  They then go on display at various locations around Sydney allowing the general public to vote for the People’s Choice award. The “Archibulls” are also exhibited at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, providing a total audience of around 1 million people for the students to share what they’ve learned.

“This year we are excited that a group Young Farming Champions will visit and support the schools during the project” said Lynne Strong. “These young farmers will provide information about their industry, assist the students with the development of their ideas but most importantly, provide a young face of modern farming which we hope will inspire the students.”

David Thomason and Young Farming Champions Heidi Cheney, Grains Young Farming Champion; Hollie Baillieu, Cotton Young Farming Champion; Stephanie Tarlinton, Dairy Young Farming Champion

The Archibull Prize builds a bridge for farmers and communities to reach out to each other, share stories and improve understanding and work through potential solutions together.

“It’s so important that farmers and consumers reconnect.  This will help our young rural people farm with confidence that they’re responding to consumer needs, while the city students will learn about agricultural production and be able make better decisions as consumers.” said Lynne

In addition to Woolworths, the program is also supported by RIRDC, Meat & Livestock Australia, LandLearn NSW, Kondinin Group and Primary Industries Education Foundation.

The “Archibulls” will be completed by 11th November with the winners announced early December,

List of Schools Participating in the 2011 Archibull Prize

Maraylya Public School
Macarthur Anglican School
Windsor Public School
Schofield Primary School
St Michael’s Catholic Primary School

Alice Betteridge RIDBC School

Mt Druitt Tutorial


St Ignatius College

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

Photos of the Launch can be found on our Flickr page

Lynne Strong named as finalist in the Rabobank Farm Industry Leader of the Year award

Art4agricultue Chair Lynne Strong celebrates 2nd feather in cap this week. Not only is she a finalist in the Eureka Prize she has now been selected as a finalist in Rabobank Farm Industry Leader of the Year 2011.

The winers of the Eureka Prize will be anouced in 6 September and the Australian Farmer of the Year awards will be held held in Sydney on 7 September 2011.

A memorable week indeed for Lynne

Hosted by the Kondinin Group and ABC Rural, the Australian Farmer of the Year Awards celebrate the highly professional, innovative, and sustainable approach farmers take to developing the agricultural industry across Australia.

The Rabobank Farm Industry Leader of the Year award recognises farmers who pursue industry development beyond their own farm gate, creating positive change for Australian agriculture.

Lynne recognises central to a great number of issues facing Australian agriculture is
lack of consumer understanding and acceptance of agricultural production and
processes. To address this Lynne has committed hundreds of voluntary hours to
initiatives that encourage two way conversations between rural and urban
communities and introduce young Australians to careers in agriculture

Lynne has championed the delivery of the innovative and engaging Art4Agriculture events and activities that focus on youth, careers the environment and the arts all linked to agriculture.

Art4Agriculture education programs present a unique opportunity for young Australians to use creative arts and multimedia to gain knowledge and develop skills related to the production of the food they consume, the fibres and other natural resources they use and the gardens of their environments. Art4Agriculture web based education resources have now attracted over 50,000 web hits in just over two years.

Some of Lynne’s key achievements that impressed the judges include

At the farmgate

  • Establishing an active and successful farm business which is focussed on sustainability and continuous improvement
  • Adopting new technologies and innovative marketing strategies
  • Lynne is one of 34 farmers involved in the Climate Champions program who are
    advancing climate change knowledge to inspire other farmers to adapt and use
    resources wisely, reduce pollution and mitigate the impact on their business of
    climate change legislation.

The Climate Champions are also engaging with scientists to ensure climate change
research is delivered to farmers in a language they can understand and results
they can use.

Equally, Lynne and her fellow Climate Champions recognise most farmers learn from other farmers and are motivated by seeing the science work in their own backyards. To
facilitate this they are actively engaging with government to ensure funding
for extension is seen as high priority.

Beyond the farmgate

Lynne believes that while farmers in general don’t see the need to build relationships with consumers and decision and policymakers, it is pivotal to agriculture. To help address this and create a culture of change, Lynne has focused on advocacy and telling the positive farming stories in preference to taking on agri-political roles.

To achieve her advocacy objectives, Lynne and her Art4Agriculture
 including the Young Farming Champions design and deliver projects and activities that bring consumers and rural producers together to build trust and confidence in Australian farm production systems.

Some of Lynne’s key achievements beyond the farmgate include:

  • Creating relationships which look beyond the farm-gate
  • Actively increasing the profile of the dairy industry and agriculture generally
  • A champion for connecting the next generation to agriculture and extending this to non-farming children
  • Educating the Australian community about all aspects of the farming sector – including Australian farmers comittment to producing nutritious, affordable and ethical food for consumers
  • Mentoring young people looking to agriculture as a career choice, working with young farming champions, andproviding and encouraging pathways for young people into the industry

Lynne’s vision for the future isn’t too difficult; it just requires a different way of
thinking. She believes a profitable and sustainable healthy future for the
farming sector is achievable – the health and welfare of all Australians and
many people around the world depends on it.

To drive the process of change requires champions and leaders. But to change grass roots perceptions, we need grass roots action. Farmers care about the country, their
livestock and the people they provide with food and fibre. Beyond best farming
practices, farmers have to be out in communities, walking the talk – from
paddock to plate, from cow to consumer – and building trust between rural and
urban communities. Lynne wants farming men and women to go out and sell the
message that feeding and clothing the world is an awesome responsibility and a
noble profession, and that it offers great careers. Just imagine if we could
achieve her vision of an Australia-wide network of trained, passionate farmers
talking directly with the communities they supply!

Lynne Strong and her husband Michael at Clover Hill Dairies

Art4Agriculture Chair celebrating nomination as a finalist in the prestigious Eureka Prize

Climate-savvy farmer Lynne Strong announced as finalist in Eureka awards

Art4Agriculture Chair Lynne Strong is one of a group of 34 Australian farmers who have been announced as a 2011 Australian Museum Eureka Prize finalist for their work in motivating action to reduce the on farm impacts of Australia’s increasing climate
variability .

The EurekaPrize is recognised as Australia’s most prestigious science award

Lynne has been involved for 18 months in the national Climate
Champion program
  which brings researchers and farmers together to
share information

The farmers, who represent most major agricultural commodities from all over Australia, have been selected for successfully adapting their farms to produce more food using
fewer resources whilst generating less on farm waste.

The climate champions are sharing stories with fellow farmers to improve the farming
communities understanding of the impact of Australia’s increasing climate
variability and increase the adoption of practices and tools for managing
climate risk.

“Farmers live and die by the weather. They want to know when it’s going to rain, how much, and what the season promises.  Farmers can’t control the weather but we
can control how we prepare for it,” says dairy farmer Lynne Strong from

The Climate Champions are also working with the scientists to trial early research products and practices, and ensure the research is communicated in a language the
farmers can understand and transfer into on farm action.

We are also working with the government to ensure the research reaches the paddock. Surveys say 9 out of 10 farmers learn from other farmers. They want to see results in
their own backyard.  If we are going to feed the families of the future the government of today must invest heavily in on farm extension”  says Lynne

The Climate Champions program is run by science communication consultancy Econnect Communication on behalf of the national Managing Climate Variability program, the Grains Research & Development Corporation, and Meat & Livestock

Presented annually by the Australian Museum, the Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of research and innovation, leadership and commercialisation, school
science, science journalism and science communication. The Eureka Prize for
Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge, which is worth $10,000, is designed to
highlight work that has achieved outstanding outcomes in three areas:

  • increasing understanding and positively changing attitudes about the cause, process and impacts of climate change and the need for action
  • improving skills to respond to climate change
  • Positively changing behaviour towards helping reduce the impacts of climate change.

The Eureka Prize winners will be announced on 6 September 2011.

For interview:
Lynne Strong, phone: 02 4236 0309,

Media assistance: Sarah Cole, Econnect Communication, phone: 0402 833

Eureka Prizes:

Using Social Media to Get Heard by the Herd

In just two years Art4Agriculture has attracted 50,000 hits to their Cream of the Crop  web based agriculture education resources  written for young people by young people. Lets see if we can double this in 2011.

If you can,

Spin a
yarn about sheep

Chew the
fat about pigs

Or talk
turkey about poultry……

then tell your story and Win a CASH PRIZE!

Check out all the details here