This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions across the country.
In the Field
It’s been great week for our Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions (YFC), fresh off the excitement of last weekend’s YFC and Teachers workshop in the Hunter Valley.
Teachers have declared interacting with the the Young Farming Champions the highlight of the workshop. Equally the Young Farming Champions valued been able to partner with teachers to gain a clearer understanding of the curriculum , the perspective of teachers and the role The Archibull Prize plays in empowering teachers to meet the needs of their students. All in all the workshop was declared a huge success and a mutual lovefest
Young Farming Champion Peta Bradley volunteered to be the “talent’ for the Teacher Video interview technique session
Well done to our incredible Rice YFC Erika Heffer who harnessed her enthusiasm from the workshop and put her new skills into practice right away with a great interview on ABC Radio on Tuesday.
If you tuned into Anne Delaney on ABC Riverina Breakfast you might have heard Erika speak on behalf of the Ricegrowers Association of Australia about their “Water for Wildlife and Rice” campaign. Erika was involved in running a Pozible campaign to source funds for the idea, which is a “collaborative farming program that combines regional farming know-how with water supporters and owners of agricultural land to produce food and fibre in conjunction with the provision of ecosystem services.”
Read more about Water for Wildlife and Rice here
The Pozible campaign was unfortunately unsuccessful in raising the necessary funds for it come to fruition, but Erika says the team will continue looking for ways to raise capital this great idea. Good luck and well done, Erika!
In Western NSW our “Woolly” YFCs Emma Turner and Bessie Thomas are working on seperate ideas to boost the spirits and provide social opportunities for locals living through the current drought.
Emma is hosting a Women’s Health Day in Ivanhoe, NSW, with the exact details and date yet to be announced. Looking forward to finding out more Emma!
Bessie is hosting a Barefoot Bowls and Bocce mental health day at her sheep property near Wilcannia, NSW. It’s a opportunity for locals to take an afternoon off from the large workload of feeding stock through dry times, kick off their work boots and relax with some friendly competition on the bowling green (which is currently very brown).
Great work on supporting your local communities and farmers, Emma and Bessie! Good luck!
Out of the Field
In Melbourne this week Beef YFCs Steph Fowler and Jasmine Green attended the International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) conference alongside more than 500 attendees from across the globe. It’s the first time ICoMST has been on Aussie soil in 30 years.
Steph, who has attended the conference several times overseas, said “it was great to see Down Under so well represented with lecturers and post doc students from all major agricultural universities represented, along with CSIRO, DPI (Vic, WA and NSW) and industry.”
“A highlight for me was definitely the conversations with researchers from different places. I learnt a lot about what’s going on in my area of research in Ireland, New Zealand and Germany and hopefully will get the chance to collaborate formally on some new projects with them,” Steph said.
Jasmine Green enjoyed learning about new and interesting research happening in the meat industry. “There are now new ways to measure eating quality across various meat types, concepts around smart packaging and traceability from farm to consumer, discussion around how to combat food “fraud” and robotics/automation,” Jasmine said. “It was excellent!”
It’s AgQuip time! Australia’s largest agricultural field day is on this week in Gunnedah, NSW, and two of our YFC are heading that way!
Grain farmer and YFC Marlee Langfield will be selling merchandise and hosting our Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page from the Case IH stand and Wool YFC and Local Lands Service (LLS) animal biosecurity officer Lucy Collingridge will be representing North West LLS and Cotton YFC Casey Onus will be talking all things Precision Agriculture at the Landmark stand.
“My role is based around helping landholders manage the pest animals on their property and our display at AgQuip will be on best practice to manage feral animal populations to reduce the impact of these burdens on the landholders,” Lucy said.
“We will have a feral pig trap, multiple animal displays [Bowman’s Taxidermy are bringing a mounted pig, fox and two deers], lots of information about best practice pest animal management, and information on the new North West pest animal plan.”
If you’re at AgQuip this week be sure to look out for Marlee and Lucy!
There are lots of good news stories coming out of schools this week as our Art4Agriculture Archibull Prize school visits continue.
Tuesday saw Cotton YFC Sharna Holman visit Dakabin State High School where she spoke to a mix of art and agriculture students participating in the Archibull Prize. “I loved my visit!” Sharna said. “It was fantastic to visit a school that reminded me so much of my own going through high school. They were a great group of students and I especially loved seeing the students get engaged with the biosecurity activity of thinking of biosecurity practices which could help make up their School’s farm biosecurity plan.”
Meg Rice and students from McIntyre High School work shopped the careers from A to Z in the Australian grains industry
On Thursday Northern Tablelands LLS YFC Meg Rice visited McIntyre High School in Inverell, speaking to agriculture students in Years 9. “It was a wonderful opportunity to share all the experiences that I have been offered within the agricultural industry.” Meg said. “The students were particularly interested in my recent to visit Cambodia and Lao, as part of a University of New England study tour, fand how culture has a large impact upon agricultural practices.”
Wool Young Farming Champion and Wool Classer Deanna Johnston visited Beaudesert State High School to share her career journey . Deanna was overjoyed to swamped by students after her talk asking how to get into wool classing. Deanna tells us Beaudesert have taken robotics to the next level with their Archibull Prize entry this year. If the end result is half as exciting as the titbits she shared with us. Wow do they have an Archie people will be talking about across the world
Well done Sharna, Meg and Deanna!
And well done to Alan Eagle Scholarship YFC Emma Longworth for the great work on your AGEX field day at the University of New England Smart Farm this week. A little birdie told us it was a wonderful event!
RAS Foundation Rural Scholarship applications for 2019 are now open, closing on August 31st! Several of our incredible YFC have won these scholarships in the past, which provide a financial support for study and allow many students extra time to engage in extracurricular activities.
If you have a passion for rural and regional New South Wales and are committed to giving back to these areas, scholarships of $6000 for full-time study and $3000 for part-time study are available. Submit your applications here
Featured photo credit: Cotton Young Farming Champion and owner of Summit Ag out in the field checking for bugs with her business partner Heath McWhirter