Day Two of the Epic Archibull Judging Tour of 2013

We were back again to the idyllic setting of the Arts and Crafts Pavilion at Berry Showground for day 2 of judging

We thought we were running on time to start, but we didn’t count on the enthusiasm of the students and teachers with two school arriving before us!

At least we aren’t starting late.

First cab of the rank was Kiama Public School

Pablo ……..has worms!

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Actual, living, breathing worms! (This is a first for us!)

Even better……….the worms have been yarn-bombed!

Now, don’t get too excited! The worms were not individually yarn-bombed (too wiggly I assume), but their worm farm was. It is part of Pablo’s story about Permaculture and sustainable agriculture.

Pablo himself was also yarn-bombed. He shows the digestive processes -from eating grass, to digestion, then manure, and then turning the manure and compost back into grass to start the cycle over again (this is where the worm farm comes in!).

Great story shown in a clever way. Well done! Nice use of worms.

Second cab of the rank was Vincentia Public School and still running on time  –Yay!)

They have name their Archie Booderee which is Aboriginal for Bay of Plenty, and that is exactly what this little cow shows- Plenty!

Vincentia Public School  (10)

She is literally covered from nose to tail in a detailed collage of images drawn by the students. The images depict many of the plants and animals which are significant to aboriginal life in their local area. These have then been interspersed with relevant photos. Strong bands divide the images according to type.

Her head shows images of their local area, while her tail shows images of the amazing ‘bush tucker trail’ created by the school.

In the words of Vincentia Public School:

“Booderee” is like no other calf in Australia. He represents the beautiful area we live in with its wonderful cultural, spiritual and traditional significance of the Aboriginal people.”

Well said!

Day 2 continued ………………………

School Seven was Bega Valley Public School

Buttercup is immediately noticeable.

She is distinct and finely detailed. Her buttercup yellow base (a very appropriately named cow!) is overlaid with striking aboriginal motifs, which form a map of the local area. It shows where the main farming communities are and the paths people take to get to each area, as well as important local mountains and landforms.


In the words of the school:

The Aboriginal design elements make this cow unique. The students involved learnt about their culture as a result of the artistic process. We discussed the unique way that aboriginal artists use symbols to tell stories about their land, and used these to represent the beef and dairy communities in our region.

Her consistent styling makes this a very appealing Archibull.

School Eight was up next and that was Shoalhaven High School

I am not sure that this cow was named correctly, because it is not her udder that is brilliant (though it is not bad in the slightest!) It is her unique stomach that expands your mind! (“Stomach Brilliance” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it though!)


She sends a very detailed message to all about the importance of natural resource management in the dairy industry as well as the increasing use of technology and mechanisation in the industry.

The natural resource base that the industry relies upon for sustainable increases in efficiency is the legs and the living pasture foundation. Her body is about mechanisation and innovation in milking technology and the biomechanical processes of milk production.

But…… back to her brilliant stomach now. Anyone who sees it will definitely remember it. Her side opens up and a material model of an actual sized ruminant digestive system can be pulled out. Details about each of the four stomachs roles are written on it.

It is not slimy or real, but simply “Udderly Brilliant”!

School Nine was St Brigid’s Catholic Primary School

For a fresh take on the beef industry, you really must try the food at Lim’s Cafe! It is the place to be seen.

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You see…. there’s this really bright young Archibull called Lim, who has his own little cafe (no long legs allowed!). They serve a wide variety of tasty beef dishes which are all fully explained on the detailed and very informative menu. The decor is bright and colourful with quite a spotted feel to it. The waiters are extremely helpful and informed about the lovely creations of Chef Lim. Even the flooring of this little cafe transports you out into the green countryside!

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If you are particularly lucky, you may even get the chance to have Chef Lim himself come out and tell you about the wonderful creations he has produced. He really was quite fascinating.

Overall, I felt that Lim’s Cafe provided a lovely dining experience for a judge who needed to ‘Spring into Beef’!

School Ten was Gwynneville Public School

Baa Baa Bovine will be extremely cosy this winter. She has her own teddy and her own paddock and is wearing and amazing jumper.

Gwynneville PS  (1)

Her woolly jumper is made from a wonderful patchwork carefully stitched together (with wool of course!) showcasing the differing types of woollen finishes available. She has been crocheted, knitted, felted, appliquéd, recycled, darned and many more. Her legs have been wrapped, and her hair will keep her head warm all through winter.

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She is ready for another “Winter Woollies Day” at Gwynneville Public School, (however I think they must have forgotten to check if they got all of the knitting and sewing needles out before she put her jumper on –very uncomfortable!) She wears many labels and tells a wonderful story.

She is literally ‘Wrapped up in Yarn’.

Gwynneville  (1)

Baa Baa Bovine also wrapped up our time in Berry.

Now it was off to Sydney for Day 3

A big ‘thankyou’ to all schools involved in the Berry Exhibition for their wonderful Archies, their clever students and teachers and their enthusiasm.


I am a champion and your gonna hear me roar

Day One of the Epic Archibull Judging Tour of 2013 revealed many champion school and students who were determined to roar in one way or another  and roar they did

Day 1 began at the Agriculture Pavilion at Berry Showground on the south coast of NSW a town steeped in dairy tradition saw us adding cotton and sheep to the food and fibre mix

Berry Showground Pavilion

With four schools to see today, we were off to a flying start first thing Monday morning. (We actually even started early -probably the only time we will manage to start early during the whole trip!)

First cab off the rank was Avoca Public School

DJ Beef is definitely the rockstar of this year’s herd!

Avoca Public School DJ Beef  (7)

He comes with a red Mohawk, blue skin, a turntable, plenty of bling and the slogan “Aussie beef gives you the energy you need to be the rockstar you really are”.

You are going to recognise him as soon as you see him!

He does however, also have a serious message. The concept “nothing goes to waste” is very clearly demonstrated.

When we were doing our research we were shocked at how much food people wasted. It got us talking about how much things had changed over the years. When our grandparents and great grandparents were growing up they couldn’t just pop down to the grocery store to get what they needed. A lot of them were on the farm and had to kill and butcher their own beasts. Back then they couldn’t afford to just eat the fancy bits of steak, they ate it all! We have brought this concept into our design by naming all the cuts of beef on one side, on the other side we have included recipes that use unusual cuts of meat like the clod.

Great job Avoca Public School! Very eye-catching!

Next up Barrack Heights Public School bought a new generation perspective on dairying to the region. BTW -and we are still running ahead of time! I know this isn’t going to last so it should definitely be applauded!

Brocco is one of the two cool surfie Archies of 2013.

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She is riding into the competition on a wave of recycling. She tells two strong stories: one of the dairy industry and their need to look after our waterways, and the second is a strong message about recycling.

She is quirky and interesting, with a wonderful story and fascinating features!

One of the most extraordinary things about this cow however, was actually the way that the whole school at Barrack Heights embraced the Archibull program, and the very real changes that the students involved brought about. They now have recycling at the school (even having their own recycling committee) and also lobbied for their school community to stop buying the cheap milk sold through large supermarket chains. Their launch, showcasing gorgeous dairy products, looks to have been superb as well.

Check this previous post out just to see how cleverly team Barrack Heights leveraged the program

Truly great ideas and extremely impressive!

Next up was a cow that screamed the man that put their town on the map –  Bowral Public School – Can you believe it!! We are actually still ahead of schedule and feeling very proud of ourselves. I am sure it is due to the schools clever work and efficient speakers not us, but we are feeling efficient anyway!

And Don Bradbull comes to the crease to represent Bowral and wool! All padded up and ready to go, he knocked us all for six!

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He showcases through collage the students’ research, as well as their excursions to the Big Merino and a farm visit to see sheep being shorn. He highlights the idea of ‘Barn to Yarn’, through the greasy wool running down his back, which leads to the finished wool of his scarf. The photo collage is surrounded by a sea of pale tulips which showcase Bowral and its tulip festival.

With his farmers hat and cricketers pads, Don Bradbull is definitely unique.

Did you know that Don Bradbull was created in the very classroom that the legendary Don Bradman was taught in?

Wonderful connection to your local community, your history and to your industry!

School Four Day 1 was Corpus Christi Catholic High School from Oak Flats  – (still sticking to our timetable, so maybe 2013 will be an improvement from the past years in terms of the punctuality of the judging tour! – we hope)

Ms Fillet Mignon of Oak Flats was the first of our High School Archibull entries that we have seen in the flesh.

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She is beautifully painted with expressive imagery appropriated from a variety of sources.  On her side she starts her narrative with the early morning stillness taken from Gruner’s  ”Spring Frost” . This is followed with the bright afternoon sunshine of a compilation of many works, which is followed by the early evening of Heysen’s “Coming Home”. The most recognisable and well known of the images used, is Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night”. They form a beautiful timeline of a day in the life of a farm.

These farming images however, seem to be held up by a fifth appropriated work, this one by Ann Newmarch. The four women, each on a leg, appear to be literally holding up the farm! They show the role women play in agriculture and link nicely with the Devondale logo.

The women featured include ABC Landline’s Pip Courtney who inspired the girls and our very own Young Farming Champions Steph Fowler and Bessie Blore as well as Young Eco Champion Erin Lake

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A well executed Archibull with an interesting concept!



Schools deliver an auditory and visual blast

Yesterday afternoon I attended the most incredible event. The organisation, the style and the superb food  and innovative menu would have done Prince Harry proud

Barrack Heights Public School who are competing in the 2013 Archibull Prize held a launch party to celebrate the finishing of their artwork and the students and teachers involved


The launch was co-ordinated by Julie Debnam and class teacher extraordinaire Natalie Harris (above) the room was decorated in everything black and white to celebrate  Australia’s most popular breed of the dairy cow – the Holstein

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Now a COW on a surfboard is not something you see every day, but it’s part of the Barrack Heights Public School Archibull Club’s grand vision for their fibreglass cow, Brocco. I will let the art judge share with you after judging all the very clever elements of the Cow Art


The 25 students taking part in the Archibull Prize competition this year, decorating their Archie with paint and recyclable materials to showcase their theme, “looking after waterways”.

Their Archie ‘Brocco’ is now covered in colours, a map of Australia’s rivers and indigenous artwork.

Yesterday was a celebration of all things dairy including the menu created by Azarak Experimental Kitchen owner and head chef Shane Debnam


Those who have dined at Azarak  know we are always about surprises, and for the Archibull, we are surprises abound. We will be charging yoghurt with NO2, churning a milk sorbet with dry ice, smoking milk with hay, steeping milk in straw and souring it to make a soft curd, and wrapping beef in pastoral lucerne, and cooking it sous vide for six hours at 53’c. Like I said; Azarak is always about surprises. says Shane

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Inspiration for the Archibull menu was drawn from the local urban and suburban environment. We will utilise localised foraging to enhance the menu items, paired with our unique brand of approaching ingredients in a scientific, and classical manner.

The best part about using dairy is the versatility of the core ingredient. Dairy encompasses milk, cheeses, yoghurts, sorbets, gelatos, and beef itself. We also want to showcase the local rural and urban environment, with sustainable foraging, pairing it with the best in handmade yoghurts, soft curd and sorbet.


Our five course degustation auditory and visual sensation





Cant wait to get permission to show the delight on the students faces to have the opportunity to participate in this experience that saw them create ice-cream through a haze of dry ice



Special thanks to Shane and Parmalat for providing the opportunity for all the students to have access to the perfect nutrient cocktail that is dairy

However I must admit the most rewarding part of the experience for me and the wonderful team behind Art4Agricuture was the feedback from the teachers, parents and students.

This is the best experience the school has ever participated in said headmistress Sarah Rudling

Ms Harris said it is great for the students to see a project come together over such a long period of time. “They really love the involvement and seeing it grow.”

Although the students have loved painting their cow, teacher Natalie Harris says they have been most excited when learning about their assigned industry, dairy.

“The kids love it because, one, they get to be involved in a huge art project with a lot of different aspects to it, but also because they’re involved in something they don’t know a lot about,” she says.

“Ninety per cent of it is working on the cow, but 10 per cent is looking at sustainable farming. I think in a way they’ve loved that part more.”

“Not a lot of our kids have been to farms, I think in the group there was about four that had been to a farm.

“For them to able to get some information about the farming industry . . . they have really enjoyed being able to find out where does milk come from, how they look after animals, what a farmer actually does.”

Ms Harris says many parents have told her that their kids have asked them to buy locally-produced milk rather than cartons from the major supermarket brands after their research into the Illawarra dairy industry.

The Archibull Club has also learnt about recycling and the impact rubbish can have on waterways, which Ms Harris says has led to students making a conscious effort to recycle and pick up rubbish at school.

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They reminded us all the well being of our planet is the responsibility of everyone


The Challenge – WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Last words from Natalie Harris

That was the most parents that have ever attended a school function.

Thanks again 🙂 I have just loved the whole project

Follow Barrack Heights Public School journey through their blog here

If you would like to check out Azarak Experimental Kitchen on Facebook, please follow the link here.   Don’t forget to like their page!

You don’t have to be the Candyman to deliver lollipop moments

Take just six minutes out of your day and watch this wonderful TEDxToronto talk from Drew Dudley called “Leading with Lollipops”

Drew asks

How many of you guys have a lollipop moment? A moment where someone said something or did something that you feel fundamentally made your life better?

We need to redefine leadership as being about lollipop moments, how many of them we create, how many of them we acknowledge, how many of them we pay forward, and how many of them we say thank you for. Because we’ve made leadership about changing the world, and there is no world, there are only six billion understandings of it. And if you change one person’s understanding of it, one person’s understanding of what they’re capable of, one person’s understanding of how much people care about them, one person’s understanding of how powerful an agent of change they can be in this world, you’ve changed the whole thing.

Last weekend Art4Agriculture pulled together a team of truly amazing people of the calibre of the gem that is Ann Burbrook and the incredible Gaye Steel  to inspire and support our very talented Young Farming Champions who are all redefining both the word Champion and Leadership.

Every day they are delivering lollipop moments across the landscape in Australia and being the change that agriculture must have

Ann quotes Judy Garland when she gives them this great advice

always be the best version of yourself not a second rate version of some-one else.

We took the opportunity to share the growth of these wonderful young people with their industry sponsors and supporters and held a showcase dinner which the Young Farming Champions hosted themselves.

As a wife and a mother you spend a great deal of time in the background and the stands sharing the blood, sweat and tears of great moments in your family’s life.

On Saturday night the silent tears poured down my face as I watched each of these young people stand up and be the best version of themselves par excellence and so wished all of their parents could have been there sharing this moment with me.

You can see some of the highlights in pictures on Facebook here 

As part of the presentation we saluted some of the highly diverse accolades of the program’s alumni and what was even more enriching was on Saturday we discovered Dairy Young Farming Champion Tom Pearce who tag line has always been

“I am the dairy farmer who puts the cheese on your cracker”

Has now been immortalized by Bega Cheese as the face of the cheese


Then I had the phone call on Sunday from Megan Rowlatt telling me she had been invited to meet Prince Harry today.  That would make 5 of our team mixing with royalty after four of our Wool Young Farming Champions where given the opportunity by Australian Wool Innovation to meet Prince Charles last year

We have Wool Young Farming Champion Sammi Townsend appearing in Dolly Magazine’s up coming  “Inspiring Teens” feature.


MLA YFC Bronwyn Roberts won the prestigious 2013 Red Meat Industry Emerging Leader and was the key note speaker at the Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program Gala Dinner


MLA leveraged the talents of Kylie Schuller and Stephanie Fowler and Bronwyn Roberts at a number of their community events which saw Kylie and Stephanie and Bronwyn mixing with celebrity chefs and Cotton Australia YFC Liz Lobsey was introduced to Queensland Premier Campbell Newman

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MLA 2012 YFC Stephanie Fowler was invited to present a paper at the 59th International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) 2013 held in Izmir in Turkey


Stephanie’s trip to Europe also saw her invited to visit the iconic Max Rubner-Institut which undertakes research in functional foods for a healthy and tasty diet.

AWI YFC Jo Newton and her UNE team won the Enactus Australian Championships. Jo is currently in Cancan, Mexico representing Australia in the World Cup


Cotton Australia YFC Richie Quigley seen here receiving his NSW Farmers Scholarship from Barry O’Farrell won first overall and the individual prize in the 2013 Australian Universities Crop Competition (AUCC)


This award includes an international ten-day study tour to compete in the Collegiate Crops Contest held in November 2013 in Kansas, USA. Richie’s award includes airfares, accommodation, meals, enterprise visits, and registration to compete in the Collegiate Crops Contest.

The Young Farming Champions instantly came to mind when I read this great article featuring the research of Professor Haslam and his team

An important finding from the team’s research was that in order to get the best out of creative individuals, society needed to invest in the groups that made certain forms of creativity possible. They found that whilst creativity and genius are commonly seen as attributes of an individual, their research indicates the role played by the surrounding group may be just as important.

“Our research supports the argument that geniuses and creative people are very much products of the groups and societies within which they are located.”

“What people create, and how they create it, depends to a large extent on what those around them – those with whom they identify – are doing,”

For the creativity of individual creators to be celebrated, and to make a difference in the world, it has to be enthusiastically embraced by others,”

The argument is corroborated in a number of experimental studies the team has conducted over the past decade which have been published in leading scientific journals. The paper explores how creative individuals are often portrayed as mavericks who, freed from group constraint, can fly in the face of convention.

“Even Steve Jobs needed a group to treat his ideas seriously and to cultivate them,” Professor Haslam said.

“Indeed, it was precisely because people refused to be ‘trapped by the dogma of another person’s thinking’, that Jobs’ idea of the personal computer wasn’t dismissed as lunacy.”

My call to action.

Agriculture identify your young talent, engage them, nurture them and most importantly invest in them and celebrate them