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

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