#youthinag why I believe in strength in numbers.

Todays guest blog comes from Wool Young Farming Champion and PhD student Jo Newton

Jo is one of the growing number of young people who grew up in the city who are attracted to career pathways that support Australian farmers and food and fibre production in this country. At Art4Agriculture we believe our role is to help empower the younger generation of rural entrepreneurs to drive the direction and take ownership of the future of the agricultural sector.

We believe the fastest way to do this is cross industry programs and networks that bring young people from every food and fibre industry together to work towards a connected, cohesive, profitable and respected agrifood sector

As you can see from Jo’s blog she has sought out and tapped into many of these programs and she shares that exciting journey with you today……….

I believe the multitude of #youthinag groups across Australia is one of our greatest strengths as an industry. Since I became a country convert 6 ½ years ago I have felt truly lucky to have become a part of the agricultural community. Somewhat ironically, in the last couple of years it has been by old school friends from Melbourne who have made me realize just how lucky I am, and we as an industry are.

Around 2 years ago a few girlfriends and I were out to tea and a catch up. Having all graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in the last couple of years conversation quickly turned to our future career paths. My girlfriends were flabbergasted when I started talking about some of the opportunities that I have been fortunate enough to take part in as a young person in agriculture. They were blown away by the magnitude of programs such as the RAS Rural Achiever Program and the Woolworths Agricultural Business Scholarship program and wished that their industries offered similar professional development opportunities for young professionals. As an aside if anyone has heard of professional development programs of scholarships for young people in the health professions or social work my girlfriends would love to know.


Pictured above: the 2013 Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Rural Achievers, I’m third from the right in the front row & 2014 GRDC YFC Dwayne is in the middle of the back row

Whilst clearly enjoying their new careers, my friends raised another challenge that entry to the working world had brought. They often found themselves surrounded by people much older than them at work which is definitely something I am able to relate to. My friends talked about the challenge of meeting other young people in their profession and I asked them if their industries had a youth network, council or group and received negative answers. At this point I realized just how lucky I am to work in agriculture.

Given a choice of many youth groups from my industry to be a part of or none at all, I’m certainly glad to have the former. Since I moved to Armidale these #youthinag groups have been vital for me to meet other young agri-professionals. Whilst I may be the youngest person in the office, the various different #youthinag groups provide me with the opportunity to network with a whole range of other young like-minded people. Different groups have provided me with different opportunities; from social gatherings, forums, newsletters, fieldtrips, scholarships, conferences and networking events I believe I have got something different from all the groups I am a part of.


Picture: in 2013 my involvement with #youthinag saw me represent my university & Australia at the Enactus World Cup in Mexico

I often hear that having too many groups is a weakness. I prefer to think of our diversity as a potential strength. Earlier this year I had the privilege of being funded by AWI to attend YAC (Youth Agricultural Central) organized by the Future Farmers Network (FFN). It was an electrifying experience and over the two days I learnt that many of the groups face similar challenges. I also enjoyed having the opportunity to interact with like-minded young professionals all passionate about agriculture’s future. Whilst each #youthinag group might offer something different to members, our strength will be multiplied many times over if we come together and unite on key issues to achieve lasting change. The annual YAC conferences organized by FFN are a great forum to build connectedness between our groups and I hope to see them continue to grow from strength to strength.

Having just recovered from my 2014 Sydney Show experience I am yet again amazed by the strength of the #youthinag network and the admiration, loyalty and support we display to one another. The stands of the amphitheater were packed by #youthinag supporting their peers during the 2014 Land Sydney Royal Showgirl Announcements and Rural Achiever Public Speaking showcase whilst the annual Catchup at the Royal was filled with young people from many different #youthinag groups.

With such a strong network of passionate young people, which I consider to be stronger than youth networks in other industries, how can you not be excited about the future of agriculture.


Picture: How many #youthinag groups can you fit in a photo? NSW Young Farmers, RAS Youth Group, ASC of NSW Youth Group and Art4Ag YFCs catch up at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

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Announcing the successful schools participating 2014 Archibull Prize

Its gives us great pleasure to announce the successful schools who will be participating in the 2014 Archibull Prize. 

Archibull Prize 2014 Schools 

As you can see we have schools right down the eastern seaboard from the Atherton Tablelands to Melbourne. Last year we travelled 4500km to judge the artworks OMG its going to be big gig this year.

We see 2014 as the year to take the Archibull Prize into rural and regional Australia and bring some joy to areas affected by the harsh climatic conditions our farmers have experienced over the last few years.

Our young farming champions and the Art4Agriculture team look forward to working with farmers, state farming organisations, Landcare and natural resource management agencies and local communities to make this the best year ever   

We have divided the schools into three regions

Schools in Region 1

Region 1

Schools in Region 2

Region 2 Schools


Schools in Region 3

Region 3

If you live in any of these regions and want to get involved please feel free to contact the Art4Agriculture team

Email Lynnestrong@art4agriculture.com.au

NEVER underestimate the power of ladies who lunch

Since its inception in 2008 the Art4Agriculture team has been supporting Jenny Dudley’s ( wife of RAS president Glenn Dudley ) annual Charity Brunch held on Excellence in Agriculture day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show

Since 2008 Jenny Dudley and her passionate committee of RAS councillor’s wives have helped raise more than $87,000 through the annual RAS Charity Brunch – money which has benefited a diverse range of community projects spread across the State.

The initiative was established in Glenn’s first year of the RAS presidency and arose out of the couple’s desire to help – even in a small way – community projects in need.

By 2008 the State had been struggling through eight years of what has become known as the millennium drought, and Jenny saw this as an opportunity for the women of the RAS to collectively show support for rural communities.

“We’re all very passionate about the work of the charity and anxious to help in the bush,” said Jenny.

“I don’t think many of us realised how desperate things were during the drought and the committee’s aim was to choose a different project each year – a stand alone project – to assist a community in need.” Source

This year thanks to our talented Young Farming Champions including Cassie MacDonald – the young lady whose counter infographic to Coles sparked an ACCC inquiry in Coles “ that its social media advertising blitz would be likely to have” breached consumer law that prohibits misleading and deceptive conduct” and  Stephanie Tarlinton and Siannon Parice we contributed to the Silent Auction

Cassie MacDonald

This magnificent piece of artwork by Cassie saw  Katrina Hodgkinson MP as the losing bidder

These stunning photographs from Stephanie and Siannon created considerable bidding interest to help support the reroofing of the CWA Building that houses the Binalong Preschool

To date the RAS Charity Brunch has raised $11,000 towards funding a cancer care room at Orange Base Hospital for the Condobolin community in 2009, $14,000 to help repair the Bobadah Hall in the centre of the State in 2010, contributed $17,000 to the BackTrack program youth program at Armidale in 2011, and $23,000 for a maternity bed at Young Hospital last year, while this year $22,000 was raised to assist the Inverell Community Garden project.

Well done to our talented team for contributing to a very worthy cause 

Update from Jenny Dudley

I am very pleased to report that we raised a record $25k for the reroofing of the CWA building in Binalong which will allow the preschool to remain open.

No wonder people cant tell the difference between a camel, a cow and a horse

Who said all the fun stuff happens at the Sydney Royal Easter Show on the rides and in the show bag pavilion.


Well I can assure you there is plenty of great fun things to see in the Agricultural pavilions too


Livestock in the Round

No-one will deny that the Sydney Royal Easter Show is a great way for farmers to engage with the people who buy what they produce. There is also certainly no denying some farmers are better at it than others. Can you believe there were exhibitors telling people at the show this beast was part camel/ part horse.

brahman cow

Yes you guessed it a CAMORSE

As if there isn’t enough half truths around agriculture without farmers adding to them. This one all in jest of course – the problem was it was clear a lot of people believed them

Just to make sure the general public got the right facts this year the Action4Agriculture Young Farming Champions paired up with MLA and the Target 100 team to run the Livestock in the Round and tell the great story of the Australian cattle industry from a farmer’s viewpoint.


The Young Farming Champions team at the Livestock in the Round yesterday. L-R Steph Fowler, Hannah Barber, Tim Eyes and Jasmine Nixon.


You will be pleased to know fellow farmers, Jasmine and Hannah and Steph and Tim certainly did a sterling job of ensuring that everyone they spoke to could tell a Brahman was a beef breed and NOT part horse/part camel


There were lots of questions from the crowd


from big people and little people


and no shortage of patrons keen to learn about our great sheep and cattle industries from young people who love what they do

Livestock in the Round is on in the Downs Pavilion on the hour from 10am to 3pm (Closed tomorrow whilst the dairy cows bump in)

Call in and say G’day to one of our Young Farming Champions like Hannah Barber.


Hannah Barber

Thank you to Hannah and the team – you are all doing an amazing job of ensuring everything runs to clockwork and our customers value the wonderful food and fibre our farmers produce

Read more about our Livestock in The Round team here

Steph Fowler

Tim Eyes

Prue Capp

Hannah Barber

Kylie Schuller

Jasmine Nixon

Woolworths Agricultural Business Scholarship setting the bar in building supply chain relationships

One of phenomenal opportunities for young people ( 20-35yrs) involved in the agrifood sector in Australia is on again in 2014. Applications are now open for the Woolworths Agricultural Business Scholarship. See here

I strongly believe successful farmers of the future will collaborate across industry, hone their business skills and build partnerships right across the supply chain. See here

Woolworths Agricultural Business Scholarship program is the ideal kick-starter to develop the mindset and skills and knowledge to do just that and my only regret is that there isn’t something similar for the over 35’s

The course is practical as well as theoretical, and covers topics such as:  

• Business strategy and planning

• Agricultural value chain

• Successful business leadership

• Business finance

• Logistics and supply chain management

• The role of government

• Understanding retail

• Sustainability and environmental issues

• Personal development

A number of our Young Farming Champions who have participated have found the experience a life changer

Young Farming Champion Jo Newton and Melbourne girl who fell in love with agriculture and now a livestock geneticist with a first class honours degree and university medal in rural science from the University of New England, said of the program in this article in the Australian

The biggest reward from the program is exchanging ideas “with other young people passionate about the future of agriculture”.

“We’re a diverse group from a wide range of backgrounds, all under one roof for two weeks,”

‘Our new insights into the supply chain is helping to put pieces of the jigsaw together, some of which I didn’t even know were missing”.

I had the opportunity to present to the successful applicants a number of years ago half way through the course and wow did they ask some thought provoking questions and all were relishing the opportunity to learn and grow.   

This year Woolworths will offer 25 young Australians the opportunity to participate in the Agricultural Business Scholarship program. I cant recommend the program more strongly and if you know a young person in agriculture who wants to build their networks and get the skills and knowledge to succeed in the tough climate for agriculture in the 21st century may I suggest you flick this article their way.  

Giving agriculture a fresh young face and a new opportunity to be heard and celebrated.

When we first began our journey with Art4Agriculture the aim was to use innovative vehicles and build partnerships to give agriculture a fresh young face and a new opportunity to be heard and celebrated.

This year has proved to be a highlight. Our partnerships with industry and the media have allowed our schools and students participating in the Archibull Prize and our Young Farming Champions to get mind blowing opportunities we didn’t even  know existed

A yearly highlight is our Sydney Royal Easter Show partnership with the Agricultural Development and Agricultural Education team at the RAS of NSW.

This year there is a huge buzz around the Archies and the finalist in the Archibull Prize which can be found partnering with their food and fibre industries all over the showground

A spotlight on Archies the Food Farm

Firstly looking at our Cattle and Sheep Industries and our partnership with MLA through their Target 100 and Bettertarian campaigns


Brandon from Menai High School showcasing the delicious cuts of meat 

Fast Fact

Did you know that 99% of the cow is consumed by humans and only 65% of that is as meat in your diet


Lim from St Brigids Catholic Parish Primary School


Winmeatlee from Winmalee High School

Fast Fact

If you want to eat with understanding, make better choices and feel better for it then we suggest you eat 3-4 palm sized serves of beef and lamb per week

Our partnership with Cotton Australia see Archies on display in both the Food Farm and the Food and Fibre Pavilion


Check out our flying surfboard Archie Jasper ( Chifley Primary School) and Miss Sophie ( Matraville Sports High School)

Lets not forget the Grand Champion


Thanks to our partnership with Pauls we give you Udder Brilliance welcoming visitors to the Food Farm

And this from Jenny Hughes whose team pull this magnificent pavilion together

Congratulations go to the students and teachers who have again done a fantastic job to provide me with props that talk for themselves in the Food Farm, Natural Fibre Showcase, The Lounge and Tech Pavilion. Even the Sheep Pavilion will see an Archie during Week Two of the Sydney Royal Easter Show

I will do a separate post on the Archies in the Food and Fibre pavilion, the Sheep and Wool Pavilion and the Tech Arena

For the first time we had the opportunity to work with the The Land Showgirl Finalists through our Picture You in Agriculture “Speaking with Confidence” workshop


Picture You in Agriculture presenter Ann Burbrook with the 2014 The Land Showgirl Finalists – photo Toby Peet


Speaking with confidence as ambassadors for rural and regional Australia – photo Toby Peet


Ann working on one with the showgirls – photo Toby Peet

Careers in Ag day

Some of our team are also on the RAS Youth Group committee which runs the highly successful Careers in Ag day at the show. Archie played a key role in this event as well ( as you would have come to expect)


RAS Youth Group with Archie

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Archie says ‘There are Careers In Agriculture from A to Z’IMG_5168

Steph Fowler  1MB IMG_5172

Young Farming Champion Steph Fowler made sure Archie was given lots of hugs and kisses to ally his nerves from being the centre of attention



Our event director Kirsty Blades making sure everything runs to clockwork 

And we have only got to the end of Day 1

Lots more to follow with the Art4Ag Young Farming Champions coordinating the Livestock in the Round event

Our program director judging the Junior District Exhibits

Our art judge designing the Rice Growers and Cotton Australia display as well as this masterpiece

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