Young Farming Champion Jo Newton wins RASV Emerging Leaders Award

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Art4Agriculture is pleased to announce Young Farming Champion Jo Newton has joined Amelia Bright as one of two recipients of the 2018 RASV Emerging Leader in Victorian Agricultural (ELVA) Award.

Run by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria the Awards “recognise people under 40 years of age who have demonstrated leadership qualities and make a contribution in their profession, or to the wider industry and community.”

Jo currently works as a Research Scientist in Dairy Genetics for Agriculture Victoria with the ImProving Herds Project and donates much of her time to ensure the next generation of scientists are aware of the opportunities in agriculture – regularly attending school-based events to share her own experiences. Jo is also Chair of the recently formed Youth Voices Leadership Team, an initiative of Art4Agriculture.

“The agricultural sector has warmly welcomed a city convert and supported my growth and development,” Jo said. “I’m motivated by a desire to give back by doing research that has real benefits for our livestock industries and sharing agriculture’s many opportunities and career paths with the next generation. To have my contributions to agriculture recognised through the RASV Emerging Leaders in Victorian Agriculture Award is overwhelming and humbling.”

The award comes with $10,000 prize-money, which Jo will use to extend a fellowship in Ireland, commencing in November, where she will work with leading animal geneticists and extension specialists at Teagasc: The Agriculture and Food Authority. “Receiving a RASV Emerging Leaders Award will enable me to turn this fellowship into a truly life changing experience,” Jo said. “It will enable me to visit other major research groups in Europe, and hopefully to attend one of the big European animal science/genetics conferences. These activities would offer me an opportunity to hear the latest research in animal science in Europe and would provide a forum for idea sharing and networking within the wider European agricultural community. New knowledge and networks formed in Europe would be brought back to Australia, offering an international perspective to my future work and providing a foundation for future collaborative research opportunities.”

Lynne Strong, Art4Agriculture National Program Director, has known and mentored Jo for many years and believes she is a most-worthy recipient of the ELVA. “Jo has a strong  ‘we-can-do-this attitude’ and a unique capacity to frame things in a positive and encouraging way, giving others the courage to find their own voice and take ownership of  the solutions,” Lynne said. “Jo’s advocacy and promotion of agriculture is helping to build community trust and understanding about agriculture, is attracting new people to the sector and helping retain agriculture’s best and brightest minds.”

Jo was presented with the RASV Emerging Leaders Award at the prestigious Agriculture: The Heart of Victoria gala dinner on Thursday June 28 in Melbourne. The dinner, held by RASV and the Victorian Farmers Federation, highlighted the contribution of agriculture to Victoria.

Watch Jo’s interview at the awards here

This award continues Jo’s association with the Australian show movement. In 2013 she was a Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Rural Achiever. It also follows her recent announcement as the winner of the leadership category at the Victorian Young Achiever Awards.

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Young Farming Champions Muster June 2018 Week 4

This week’s top  stories from our Young Farming Champions across the country

In the Field 

With almost all of NSW in mild to severe drought and the NSW DPI Drought Hub  providing a one-stop online destination for information on a vast range of services and support available to  farming families and communities to prepare for and manage drought some of our Young Farming Champions are reporting some good news .

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Marlee Langfield now making all the on farm management decisions on her farm at Cowra took a gamble and sowed her first crop.

Its was a very nervous wait and a great relief to get two small rainfall events which give hope for the season ahead  

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After planting her canola in what some may describe as a dust bowl Marlee was very pleased to see the rain which has encouraged the canola to shoot


Photos Marlee Langfield 

Likewise Emma Ayliffe purchased her first farm this year and planted her first crop of barley and along with fellow Riverina farmer Dan Fox  was pleased to see the clouds open up.

Many other YFC farmers like Emma Turner, Bessie Thomas and Anika Molesworth are looking forward to the day the rains return in their region and grass can replace hand feeding with grain and hay

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 Photo Emma Turner 

Out of the Field 

Our Cotton young farming champions are visiting schools in Sydney and the Hunter this week

James Kanaley will be visiting Airds High and Mamre Anglican School and Casey Onus is visiting Irrawang, Muswellbrook and Oxely High School and Raymond Terrace Public School.

Wool Young Farming Champion Sam Wan and Youth Voices Leadership Chair Jo Newton are attending the Heart of Victoria Gala Dinner . 

Wool Young Farming Champion Lucy Collingridge is doing a great job keeping us uptodate on UNE IFAMA tour 

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Photo L-R: Jasmine Whitten, Meg Rice, Macarena Calderon and Lucy Collingridge

Updates from our global travellers

Today three Young Farming Champions (YFC) had the opportunity to meet with Macarena Calderon and discuss the issues agriculture is facing in Argentina.
Macarena is a member of the Pergamino Rural Society, particularly the youth section of the organisation.
The Pergamino Rural Society, which is like a combination of NSW Farmers and YFC, supports their rural members through political advocacy, education and training, networking and extension services. The society also supports rural youth, aged 15-35, and provide educational opportunities.
Experiences were shared, with both Macarena and YFCs understanding the difficulties their respective industries faced in educating the broader communities about where their food comes from and attracting young people to careers in agriculture.


Until next week #youthvoices18 #youthinag #archieaction





Young Farming Champions Muster June 2018 Week 3

This weeks top stories from our Young Farming Champions across the country

In the Field 

Wool Young Farming Champion Katherine Bain currently getting the Cow Girl Experience in Canada will take up her new role as a Production Analyst with Paraway Pastoral in their head office in Orange in August.

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Beef Young Farming Champion Tim Eyes is hosting his Archibull Prize School The Lakes College at his farm on 21st June 2018. Wow are they in for a treat

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Out of the Field.

Wool Young Farming Champions Peta Bradley and Caitlin Heppner caught up with Young Farmer Business Program  Team of Alex MacDonald and newly appointed Adele Henry whilst visiting Orange last week for The Archibull Prize.  Its was widely agreed that the Young Farmer Champions will be invaluable in promoting the opportunities available as part of the YFBP.  Megs Dunford from the DPI Schools Program also attended and gave an overview of how they support primary and secondary schools.

Aussie Farmers Foundation supported Young Farming Champion Jasmine Whitten stars in the latest Art4Agriculture video showing young people how they can become Eggsperts

Shoutout to #YouthVoices18 Dione Howard and Emma Turner who will be participating in Hour of Power at MerinoLink Conference in Goulburn. Awesome opportunity for young professionals to speak about their work and passions within the wool industry.  Read more here

#WearWool #LoveWool #WOOLisCOOL #YouthinAg

Wool Young Farming Champion Dione Howard will be visiting Moss Vale High School participating in The Archibull Prize 2018 to share her story and inspire next wool ambassadors

Young Farming Champions Jasmine Whitten, Lucy Collingridge and Meg Rice fly out to Argentina today for IFAMA conference. Find out more here and you can follow their journey on Facebook.

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Lucy Collingridge

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Jasmine Whitten


Following in the footsteps of Young Farming Champion Bronwyn Roberts in 2013 Youth Voices Leadership Team member Anika Molesworth is the key note speaker tonight at the Marcus Oldham Leadership Course Dinner. Anika will be sharing her leadership journey through the 7 Forks in the Road that have led her to where she is today.

  1. Finding your fight
  2. Believing in yourself
  3. Backing yourself
  4. Finding your wolf pack
  5. Jump in to learn how to swim
  6. Never stop learning
  7. Having the courage of your convictions

Huge congratulations to Young Farming Champions Liz Lobsey and Emma Ayliffe who have recently been announced as finalists in the Adama Young Agronomist of the Year

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till next time share your stories with us using the hashtags #YouthVoices #Youthinag

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Young Farming Champion Katherine Bain enjoying life on Dane Ranch in Canada

Young Farming Champion Katherine Bain is blogging from Canada. Here is the latest in her Cowgirl Experience

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This past month in Canada has seen the weather warm up, and cool down again, and lots going on at Dane Ranch! Calving is now finished, and all the cows are now being put out on to range.


A lot of the work now is being done on horses, which I am really enjoying. The main horse I’ve been riding is a black gelding by the name of Smokey. He’s a cool character and knows his way through trees a lot better than me!


The biggest part of May was Branding. Branding is a big affair, with friends and family coming in to help out. Over two days we branded, vaccinated and recorded close to 800 calves! The branding was all done with horses, which was very exciting to watch. All the cows are branded so they are easily identifiable when they are out on range, so everyone knows which cows belong to who.

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It hasn’t all been work. I also got a chance to drive around some of the beautiful lakes in the area. Because there had been so much snow over Winter, all the lakes and rivers were full (and sometimes overflowing). The views from the lakes were breathtaking, especially with the snow-covered mountains in the background. It’s definitely a scene you don’t get back in Australia.

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Moving the cows out on to range is a big process. There are three ranges that the cows are moved to over summer. The biggest range is at the Dane Ranch, as well as a smaller range where the purebred cattle go. The other range is about an hour away at the other Ranch, near Anaheim Lake, which is called Clesspocket. The cows, and the replacement heifers go up to the Clesspocket range on a truck, and then pushed out to the grassy meadows with the horses.


Other duties we’ve been doing are very similar to back home. A lot of fencing has been done to mostly help keep young bulls in. They mostly use logs here to build what they call Snake Fences. Luckily there are lots of trees that fall down, so all we have to do is cut them to size put them on!

I’ve only got one more month left working on the ranch – how time flies when you’re having fun (and working hard)! I’m looking forward to riding up on the ranges, making sure all the cattle stay in the right area and stay where there’s lots of grass.


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Art4Agriculture at the MerinoLink Conference

The 2018 MerinoLink Conference  and Field Day will be held in Goulburn this week on 20th and 21st June and Art4Agriculture will be flying the flag for young people in agriculture.

The purpose of the MerinoLink Annual Conference is to provide an opportunity for sheep producers and service providers to network, learn about research outcomes and management programs and also to have a positive influence on the future direction of the sheep industry in Australia. 

A highlight of the conference will be the Hour of Power, sponsored by T.A.Field Estates, which will give an opportunity to nine young professionals to speak about their work and passions within the wool industry. During this session Art4Agriculture will be represented by Young Farming Champions Dione Howard and Emma Turner.

Dione will elaborate on concepts she delivered last year at the Australian Farm Institute’s Roundtable Conference where she encouraged industry to invest in and support young professionals. See her inspirational speech here.

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Dione, who will be appealing to both new and experienced members at MerinoLink, says these are her take-home messages:

There are many opportunities that exist for young people to get involved in the wool industry.

Programs such as Art4Agriculture’s Young Farming Champions exist so that our industry can invest in us as young people in wool. 

I urge members of our industry to get behind young people with an interest in wool and support them to step up and take on available opportunities.

 Emma, who is set to graduate from the University of New England in October, will use her time at the Hour of Power to present her honours project to industry.

Emma Turner (39)

My honours project, on the implementation of shorter shearing intervals at Ivanhoe comparing six and twelve month shearings, is highly relevant to the industry and I am hoping the Hour of Power will give my research exposure and provide networking opportunities as I job hunt for the future.

 Rounding out Art4Agriculture’s involvement in MerinoLink will be National Program Director Lynne Strong who will be the speaker at the conference dinner. Lynne will use her life journey from a pharmacist to a farmer to illustrate how the wool industry will benefit from the investment in youth and how working together makes innovation fast and easy.

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It is wonderful to see the 2018 MerinoLimk Conference following our vision to help young people stand up and be confident to share their own stories

#LoveWool #WearWool #WOOLisCOOL #YouthVoices18 #YouthinAg

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Local Land Services and Young Farming Champion Casey Onus collaborate at Tocal Field Day


Extending over three days in May the Tocal Field Days, held in the NSW Hunter Valley, are a premier event to showcase all that is new and exciting in agriculture, and in 2018 we were excited to see a collaboration between Hunter Local Land Services and Young Farming Champion Casey Onus, who together took the world of drones to the enthralled public.

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Casey Onus at Tocal Field Day answering landowners questions about CASA rules and  utilising drones on-farm in their individual situations 

“We set up a drone simulator on the big screen in the Hunter LLS tent to encourage people to come and ask their questions about using drones on farm and to have a go at flying before they make the investment to get one,” Casey said. “The drone simulator was quite popular, especially with the school kids on the Friday, but we had quite a lot of landowners come with questions about CASA rules, utilising drones on-farm in their individual situations and even questions from people who had already purchased a drone but didn’t quite have the confidence to fly it yet.”

Although Casey believes satellite imagery remains more economical for large-scale crops, she knows drones have multiple uses on the farm from stock scouting in rugged terrain to monitoring water troughs and weed populations. And they are fun to fly!

So popular was Casey’s demonstration that even Chair of Hunter Local Land Services Board Lindy Hyam, had a go at the simulator.

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Chair of Hunter Local Land Services Board Lindy Hyam and Casey Onus encouraging landholders to ask questions about using drones on farm and to have a go at flying before they make the investment to get one, 

“Hunter Local Land Services recognises that addressing innovation and utilising modern technology is a key challenge for many local farmers, and is keen to find practical solutions to help local producers improve their productivity and profitability,” Penny Evans from Hunter LLS said. “Casey and her drone simulator created quite a buzz at the Tocal Field Days and it showed there is demand from the local community to help them adapt new technologies to their needs.”

Hunter LLS and Casey will partner again in 2018 as they take The Archibull Prize into local schools to excite young people about the high level of technology in agriculture and inspire them to think about STEM career pathways in agriculture .

#youthinag #archieaction #youthvoices18

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The Archibull Prize Round Up – June 2018


Welcome to our first Archibull Prize Roundup –  special shoutout to Daniel from Salt Media for our super cool Roundup animation.

Our Roundup will share #archieaction in and out of the classroom in the journey of our  30 schools participating in The Archibull Prize 2018 competition.


The Henry Lawson High School bit the bullet and put two of their prize winning Archies up for Auction at the Henry Lawson Festival raising $$$$$ for the school. See the full story here 

Students from The Lakes College, Youth off the Streets program visited Grace Springs Farm at Kulnura.

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“The students learnt about holistic farming, permaculture and the benefits of chemical-free produce. Virginia and Tony engaged them in all aspects of the property and I know that when we return to the classroom the discussion around their experiences will be rich.“  said Amy Gill teacher

Read all about the powerful effect the excursion had on the teachers and students in their blog here 


Archie was guest of honour at the Year 8 Battle of the Bands at Picnic Point High School

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Our Young Farming Champions Sam Wan, Emma Ayliffe and Tayla Field visited schools in Sydney and Wollongong to talk all things WOOL, COTTON and HORTICULTURE

Tayla Field was quick to spot the employee of the month at Gwynneville Public School with the winner of this Traceability workshop competition packing spinach as fast as the team on the floor at the OneHarvest plant. Just under 20 seconds. What a star


This year we have a number of primary schools building community between themselves and local high schools.

Big shoutout to the teams at Little Bay of Community Schools working with Year 8 mentors at Matraville Sports High School

The Wooly Bully team at Moree Small Schools Community.Moree Small Schools.JPG

Check out their blog here 

Beaudesert State High School has also partnered with small primary schools in their region


A number of our Archibull Prize schools have taken to Twitter, Facebook and  Instagram to share their Archie journey

Cristie Collins from Granville South Creative and Performing Arts High Schools shares how they are engaging their school community

You can follow and support our schools on social media here


Beaudesert State High School:

Little Bay Community of Schools:

Calvary Christian School:


Miller Public School:

Moree Small Schools:


Granville South Creative and Performing Arts High School:

Until next time share your stories with us using the hashtags #archieaction #youthvoices18

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Young Farming Champions taking the farm to the city

Last week our Young Farming Champions took the fresh young face of agriculture into schools  participating in The Archibull Prize in Sydney and Wollongong

Cotton Young Farming Champion Emma Ayliffe shared her career journey  with students and teachers at Granville South Creative and Performing Arts High School, Parramatta Public School and Kurring-gai High School.

Emma had great success with her Name the Good Bugs/Bad Bugs game turning students with no previous experience into experts in 20 mins.

She found it very rewarding to hear from the teachers of  the Power of the Cow in Archibull Prize schools.

She took her hat off to the team at Parramatta Public School who have formed a partnership and are working directly with 90 students to complete the program

Horticulture Young Farming Champion Tayla Field supported by the Aussie Farmers Foundation took the story of fruit and veg into schools in the Eastern Suburbs and to Gywnneville Public School

With strong messages about eating fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy diet


Students at Little Bay Community of Schools and Gwynneville Public School (below) embrace the concept of Eating a Rainbow of fruit and vegetables every day Gwynneville Public School

and the importance of traceability and biosecurity Tayla was a hit with the students

Tayla was thrilled to see the students eyes light up when she showed the level of technology available to farmers in the horticulture industry she loves

Wool Young Farming Champion Sam Wan had Wooley Dooley time with students at Picnic Point High School. Read all the fun here.

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Hooley Wooley Young Farming Champion Sam Wan is blown away by The Archibull Prize

Sam Wan

It’s always exciting when our Young Farming Champions go into schools as part of The Archibull Prize for the first time, but it seems YFC Sam Wan has been particularly impressed by the experience.

 “HOOLEY WOOL-EY! What a day! I have been absolutely blown away by the energy of the Picnic Point High School students – the next generation ambassadors for wool.”

As a first generation Australian-born Chinese from Western Sydney Sam’s stereotypical career may have been accountant, doctor or lawyer; but not the predictable for our Sam. She is a wool broker with Elders!

Sam is the first to admit she didn’t know much about agriculture growing up but the combination of a great high school teacher, keen classmates and a mob of black Corriedales opened up an entirely new world. And that’s a world she’s keen to share with her Archibull school.

“Suburban Sydney is where I started and to go back and be able to show these students the world I’m now part of was incredible. The Archibull Prize program is providing an opportunity to students that I never had and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.”

Sam’s visit to Picnic Point High School included the production of a wool stencil especially for them.


As well as donating their own stencil Sam told students of her life as a wool broker, and had a lot of fun teaching students tongue-twisters to get them used to the quick patter call of an auctioneer. She then used this to illustrate a whole range of careers available in agriculture. The fun continued when she introduced them to the benefits of wool craft and how recycling can be incorporated. Having only begun crocheting herself the week before her school visit, the kids were not the only ones learning!

With such a varied presentation there were bound to be plenty of questions as Sam soon discovered:

“I do know that I needed plenty of water to keep me going. There were questions on lanolin, wool prices, currency, wool types etc.I had no idea how many questions I was asked but the students most definitely took the opportunity to have a go at everything.”

And apart from “Hooley Wooley” Sam is keen to keep using another phrase to challenge her students to become wool ambassadors with her:


#youthinag #youthvoices18 #archieaction

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Young Farming Champions Muster June 2018 Week 2

This week’s top stories from your Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions. 

In the Field 

Youth Voices Leadership Team YFC Mentor Dione Howard is very excited to be accepted into her dream job as a Graduate District Vet with the Riverina Local Land Services.

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Tayla Field who is one of our Horticulture Young Farming Champion supported by Aussie Farmers Foundation has accepted a full time position with One Harvest in their Sales & Marketing Team. Well done Tayla we know you love living and working in Brisbane

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Shoutout to all our YFC farmers and YFC farmer support networks desperately looking to the sky for those much needed rains to plant winter crops and grow pasture for livestock


From the Field 

Youth Voices Leadership team member and Climate Wise Agriculture founder Anika Molesworth is presenting at the Irrigation Australia International Conference

Wool Young Farming Champions Peta Bradley and Caitlin Heppner are visiting schools in the Orange region participating in The Archibull Prize.  They are also looking forward to catching up with the Department of Primary Industries team  @DPI HQ in Orange to learn more about the DPI school education programs and the Young Farmer Business Project.

In the Media 

Young Farming Champions Caitlin Heppner, Lucy Collingridge and Deanna Johnston are featured in the June July edition of the prestigious Beyond the Bale Magazine. You can read their stories online here  

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Young Farming Champions Anika Molesworth and Danila Marini are the lead-in story on Future Proofing the Farm in Outback Magazine. See background story on our blog here.

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Lifetime Highlights

The last couple of weeks have brought some special life events for several of our Young Farming Champions (YFC). We pride ourselves on providing seamless professional development programs that are flexible with the flow of career, lifestyle and family, and it’s our pleasure to support these courageous young agricultural superstars.

A huge shout out to Cotton YFC Martin Murray and partner Rachel Angus on their recent engagement, as well as  Cattle and Sheep  YFC Hannah Barber’s engagement to her partner Sam Hawker. Congratulations!

Wool YFC Adele Offley married her partner Jesh Smith. We can’t get enough of Adele and Jesh’s stunning wedding photos among their family’s beautiful merino flock.

Adele and Jesh

And a huge congratulations to Cotton YFC Liz Lobsey and partner Troy Kahu Francis who recently welcomed beautiful baby William. It’s wonderful to see the Next Gen Young Farming Champions coming into the world.

Liz and William

Mega congratulations to Martin, Hannah, Adele and Liz.

Until next week share your thoughts with us on Twitter @YouthVoicesYFC and Facebook PictureYouinAgriculture  #YouthVoices18 #ArchieAction #YouthinAg

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