This week’s top stories from our Young Farming Champions around the country (and globe!)
In the Field
In Central NSW this week Grains YFC Keiley O’Brien’s family are getting creative with their contract harvesting business, due to ongoing drought. “This week we have trucked our windrower and large square baler 650km south, from Narromine to Balranald, to take advantage of a silage job offered to us through friends. This is the furtherest we have ever travelled for work, by a good 400km, and unless we get rain in the next couple of weeks our machinery will probably be staying down there, as we won’t have a hay season in our area – not many crops have been put in, or have come up, or have the outlook of making it to harvest without rain. The crop we are cutting is Balranald is a very impressive height!”
It’s a huge contrast to the world of Cattle and Cotton YFC Kirsty McCormack who is this week walking cattle up into the mountains of western Canada, into summer lease lands to graze. “These are public leases that are brought and controlled to reduce the risk of fire and overflowing vegetation,” says Kirsty, “It was an amazing cultural experience to be part of.”
YFC Tim Eyes and his partner Hannah are in the media spotlight again this week with this fabulous magazine spread of their Central Coast farm on the front page of the New Strait Times in Malaysia. “A few weeks ago we were fortunate to have journalists from all over the world come and check out the way we farm right here on the Central Coast ❤️@chefsamuelburke and @jabfood were superstars cooking the meat up to perfection 🙏 thank you @meatandlivestockaustralia for making this happen!” – The Food Farm: Central Coast Produce
Out of the Field
If you haven’t been following our Picture You in Agriculture Facebook page, now is the time to pop over! This week we’re following the ag-venture of UNE YFC Becca George who is touring China and Vietnam. Becca attended the International Food & Agribusiness Management Association 2019 Conference in Hangzhou, China and is now sharing videos and photos of her ag tour through Vietnam.
YFC Meg Rice recently attended Country to Canberra’s “Overcoming the Odds: power, equality and life’s toughest moments” event. Meg says, “There were laughs and tears, mixed with heartfelt advice about how to push past barriers and drive change. The panellists all shared stories about learning from their mistakes and being the best they can be. It was an incredibly inspiring evening!”
Picture You in Agriculture YFC Alana Black, who is currently working with Rural Youth Project in Scotland, this week attended her first Highland Show and interviewed Scotland’s first minister.
Wool YFC and Peter Westblade Scholarship winner Chloe Dutschke attended MerinoLink conference and field day last week in Armidale, NSW.
Congratulations to Youth Voices Leadership Team chair Jo Newton who has returned from Ireland and is this week returning to Agriculture Victoria as a research scientist in dairy genetics. Jo says she is looking forward to applying the skills and knowledge she learnt on her Endeavour post-doctoral fellowship in Ireland into her new role. Good luck Jo!
Best of luck also to Eggs Young Farming Champion Jasmine Whitten who is starting her new role with AgriPath in Tamworth this week. It’s straight in the deep end for Jas who will be travelling to Collie, NSW, with AgriPath on Tuesday while the team presents the 2018 profit focus results to landholders. Wool Young Farming Champion Katherine Bain is also attending. Say hi if you see them!
Next week Woolly YFCs Haylee Murrell and Katherine Bain will be attending the GrasslandsNSW conference in Gunnedah, where friend of the YFC program and ag consultant Greg Mills is speaking on one of our favourite topics: Social Licence.
Youth Voices Leadership Team vice-chair and agronomist Emma Ayliffe and Cotton YFC and agronomist Casey Onus will both be attending the Summer Grains Conference on the Gold Coast on July 8. Good luck to Emma who is speaking on her journey in agriculture, career path and few “tips” from her experience. And congratulations to Casey who is nominated for the one of four finalists in the Zoe McInnes Memorial Agronomy awards, with the winner to be announced at the conference.
YFC Sam Coggins is excited to be heading to Myanmar in August/September to live with rice farmers and iterate his smartphone-based fertilizer advisory tool with them: www.riseharvest.farm We can’t wait to hear more about this soon, Sam!
Wool YFC and Local Lands Service Biosecurity Officer Lucy Collingridge is in the Arctic! Lucy sent us this update from the Svalbard Seed Vault, a storage facility for seeds from around the world, approx 1200km from the North Pole. “Based on the structure of a coal mine, the facility is ideal for the storage of seeds as it maintains a constant temperature and humidity. With nearly 1 million samples, there are seeds from nearly every country in the Svalbard seed vault and include many plant species, eg cowpeas, lettuce, barley, sorghum, egg plant, potato and many more! To maintain a high standard of biosecurity, the vault is only opened once a year for the sole reason of introducing new samples in to storage. Visitors are able to attend the entrance of the vault but are unable to go inside. Unfortunately due to construction at the entrance I was unable to get any closer but you can see the entrance in the background of my picture!”
Picture You in Agriculture, in conjunction with Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), is pleased to announce Tom Squires from Tasmania and Matt Cumming from New South Wales as the 2019 Wool Young Farming Champions.
Tom Squires grew up around sheep in Tasmania, owned his first mob by age sixteen, completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Commerce in New Zealand and is now living his dream job as a shearer and a farmer. Read Tom’s story here
Matt Cumming owns and operates a shearing contracting business in Inverell in northern NSW, a one-stop shop for all shearing needs from mustering to wool pressing. Read Matt’s story here
Tom and Matt will participate in the Young Farming Champions leadership development program, a two-year package of support including media training, networking and mentorship opportunities to help them share their stories with the nation. Welcome to the team!
Congratulations to our incredible and inspiring Youth Voices leader and Tintern Grammar School alumna Dr Jo Newton who has been chosen to be the face of Tintern’s latest fund raising campaign. Great work, Jo!
Our Primary School engagement program Kreative Koalas officially launched in Western Sydney at Penrith City Council and in the Hunter Valley at Tocal College last week. One hundred teachers, students and community champions attended. We’re excited to share this world class program with these new communities!
#YouthVoicesYFC #YouthinAg #StrongerTogether #ArchieAction #KreativeKoalas