The future is a clean canvas where we can create our own art

The future is a clean canvas where we can create our own art or allow others and circumstance to randomly direct our destiny.

climate change cartoon1

This is a reblog of the blog we have created to support the schools and students participating in the 2014 Archibull Prize

We will soon be announcing the successful schools. As a result of the overwhelming responses to our expression of interest the schools this year have gone through a 3 stage process in the race to a place in the program

Starting of course with Stage 1 submitting an EOI this a was followed by Stage 2 which asked both the teachers and students to complete an entry survey

The survey helps us understand in respect to the teachers what they want for their students from the program. Wow what the teachers want for their students is very diverse and we look forward to meeting their expectations

With respect to the students we survey their entry knowledge of things like their knowledge of modern Australian farming practices, the meaning of terms like ‘food gap” and ‘ecological footprint’, what farmers are doing on their farms to ensure healthy landscapes and clean waterways and number of other questions which will give us insights to the issues we should be having two way conversations between producers and consumers about

Once the schools have completed Stage 2 we then asked them to set up their blogs using this one as an example

The Archibull Prize is not just for young Picassos. It combines art and multimedia to share the students’ journey with the community.

The blog element is worth 50% of the point score so it plays a very important role in the students and schools quest to win the Archibull Prize. It also plays a very important role in creating a buzz in their wider community and we suggest the students encourage their parents and friends to follow their blog

Whilst a blog is very easy to set up the security systems demanded by the education department in some states ( particularly QLD) means the schools have to get very creative. We are finding our schools are very creative indeed and many of the teachers are relishing the opportunity to work with their IT student gurus to up skill their IT knowledge

You can find 4 blog examples from the winning schools here.

This year the theme for the Archibull Prize is the school’s allocated ‘food or fibre industry and sustainability’

Whilst many people in the community think sustainability is all about the environment we will show the students that sustainability requires a triple bottom line approach

The students will be given on farm insights on how in recent years most Australian farmers have adjusted their farming practices to improve the animal husbandry and environmental and economic sustainability outcomes of their farming systems.

It is generally agreed sustainable farming systems have the following characteristics:

  • they are profitable
  • they conserve natural resources(especially soils, waterways and vegetation)
  • they recycle nutrients through the farming system
  • they minimise energy usage
  • they attempt to repair past environmental damage (eg soil erosion, salinity, acidification, vegetation decline)
  • they minimise the usage of chemicals

The students will be made aware that is important that sustainable agriculture involves a holistic approach that enhances livelihoods, improves wellbeing and reduces environmental impacts


Source Steve Spencer Fresh Agenda

Examples of Sustainablility on US dairy farms

Examples from the US. Source Steve Spencer Fresh Agenda Dairy Australia Horizon 2020 project

Our food and fibre industries have lots of wonderful resources to assist the students on their journey See here

But the Archibull Prize journey is not all about the role farmers are playing, it also helps the students reflect and understand the role they can play to ensure a sustainable future.

The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths to it are not found but made, and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.”
Both the limitations and the pathways to success exist in our mind and imagination. John Schaar, Professor Emeritus at the University of California

As you go through our day today, we must own the past, manage the present, and imagine the future.
Today’s the day!  Jim Stovall


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