This week’s top stories from our Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the country and globe.
In the field
First stop on our round the globe tour this week is with YFC Sam Coggins who has touched down in SE Asia for the next stage of his work with Rise Harvest. Sam is the co-founder of the Rise Harvest smartphone app that provides site-specific fertilizer recommendations for smallholder rice growers in Myanmar.
“I just had a day in the field during an intensive rice course at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, where I tried unsuccessfully to plough rice field with Gertrude the carribou (native water buffalo),” Sam says. ” I will be here for the next three weeks and then I’m going to straight to Myanmar to put learnings into practice developing digital fertilizer knowledge tool with smallholder rice growers.”
On Aussie soil, Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) vice-chair and agronomist Emma Ayliffe sent us this update from her farm near Lake Cargelligo, central NSW:
“The 2019 winter cropping season has seen a much better start compared to last with rains earlier to get crops out of the ground. Small rain events every couple of weeks are helping to sustain our crop but we need a substantial rain event in the next couple of months to get closer to average yields. Compared to last year we are in a much more exciting position as can be seen this this picture,” Emma says.
Friend of the YFC program, National Farmers Federation 2030 Leader Matt Chapness is in Laos and sent us an update while “passing the time on a two hour drive to the village.”
“Yesterday I demonstrated a modified whipper snipper we made to control weeds in direct seeded rice in Laos. This picture (below) shows the results. Field overrun by weeds (left), weed cut (right). I’m off to demo to three other villages today and give them our design.”
Out of the field
Climate YFC and InStyle Magazine Farmer for Change/Klorane Changemaker Anika Molesworth is a triple threat this week with appearances on both television and radio, as well as articles published online!
Anika joined the panel on ABC’s The Drum to talk about climate change, examining the impacts of higher temperatures and lower rainfall, dissecting Australia’s current climate and energy policy, and looking forward to where the country could go from here.
She spoke about how the agricultural industry is being challenged by rapidly changing conditions, why current policy is out of line with the science, and gave examples of the great potential in rural Australia as we move to a low-carbon economy.
Watch it on ABC iView Here.
Anika also spoke with Triple J’s Hack about drought and the Future Drought Fund which provides relief for some farmers experiencing the word drought in recorded history and the need for emissions to be reduced in order to prevent worse future droughts. Take a listen here.
John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations this week published Anika’s piece “The Drought and Inter-generational Equity” where she writes:
“In failing to act on human-induced climate change, our political leaders are neglecting the rights of the next generation.
“You just need to turn on your television to know this drought is tough. Every evening, Australian families are being bombarded with footage of struggling farmers, dust-bowl paddocks and hungry animals…” Read more here.
A two time Charles Sturt University graduate, Anika this week starred on the CSU “Insight: explore news, careers and study with CSU” website in the stroy, ‘Women in agriculture- let’s push things forward.’ Read more here. And what a woman she is! Keep up the great work Anika!
If you don’t follow Anika on Twitter, you can find her at @AnikaMolesworth She has been named one of the most influential people in Australian agriculture on Twitter and this week alone her tweeted video on a national drought strategy has been viewed 17,800 times and counting…
What are we learning from the #drought and how should we respond?
A national strategy for #agriculture on #climatechange is needed.
A strategy based on risk minimisation and recognising the opportunities we could seize by responding now.@farmingforever @ClimateWiseAg pic.twitter.com/rwXNS7VMSb
— Anika Molesworth (@AnikaMolesworth) July 25, 2019
Also hitting the radio waves this week was Eggs YFC and YVLT communication creative team member Jasmine Whitten who spoke to ABC New England for the NSW Country Hour. “I spoke about my passion for agriculture and the education activities I have done as a Young Farming Champion and a Landcare coordinator,” Jas says. It’s absolutely worth a listen:
Jas also headed back to her old stomping ground of the University of New England (UNE) last week for the uni’s huge Ag Week event. We spotted Jas in this video from Agmentation (a two-day sprint and pitch grassroots problem-solving event):
And if you’d love to see more of her Agmentation pitch, we posted it to our Picture You in Agriculture (PYIA) Facebook Page earlier this week.
Ag Week was the perfect opportunity for our new UNE YFC to introduce themselves over on PYIA. Well done to our Ruby Canning, Emily May, Haylee Murrell, Forbes Corby & Rebecca George for a brilliant week of guest hosting our social media channels. Pop over to PYIA now to take a look back over the week, which included Becca George and Forbes Corby speaking on the Rural Focus Symposium Q & A panel, alongside speakers Andrew Roberts, David Brownhill & Jock Whittle.
“The theme of the day was ‘corporate vs family farming: learning from each other.’ On the panel we discussed challenges for young people entering farming & what we think the future of farming looks like for our generation,” Becca says.
As chair of the Farming Futures committee, YFC Forbes Corby was spotted in this story about the symposium in the Armidale Express
YFC Becca George was showcased on the UNE Agriculture Facebook page as part of the Farming Futures UNE Careers Fair, which is an opportunity for both high school and university students to meet industry representatives and consider careers in agriculture. What excites Bec about the future of careers in agriculture?
Heading west to Narromine, YFC and 2018 Narromine Showgirl Keiley O’Brien recently MC’d the 2019 Showgirl competition, which consisted of interviews, a luncheon and a ball.
“We had five entrants in the competition, each who were a deserving winner, with Annabelle Powell, an embedding nurse, being named the 2019 Narromine Showgirl.
“I was honoured to MC the night as our outgoing Showgirl and had an absolute blast in doing so. It was great to see so many people within our district come together to celebrate our town, our show, and our people. We had a record number of 176 people in attendance, with two fellow YFC Bec George and Lucy Collingridge amongst the crowd.
“Big thanks to our judges: Spike Orr, Vice President of the Parkes Show Society, Effie Ferguson, The 2019 Land Sydney Royal Easter Show Girl Runner Up, and Lydia Herbert, ASC Next Gen Vice President.”
Last week also saw Keiley attend the Grain Growers Innovation Generation conference in Ballarat, Victoria with her employer RuralBiz Training. “Innovation Generation brings together award-winning speakers, innovators and industry professionals from across the sector, to inspire and challenge young people within the grains industry. I had a fabulous time networking and endorsing the flexible training programs offered through my work,” Keiley says.
Not far away in Bendigo it was all action at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show, where UNE YFC Ruby Canning was busy photographing for the Stock and Land Newspaper.
“The Sheep and Wool Show is the largest of its type in the Southern Hemisphere,” Ruby says. “It was a great experience meeting and networking with other individuals within agriculture. Competitors traveled from all over the country, including as far as Western Australian, to showcase their top stock.”
“While I was there I worked closely with Joely Mitchell, the Acting Editor of the Stock and Land. Along with photographing most of the champions, I had the privilege of photographing the industry dinner Lambition, which included meeting and photographing MLA corporate chef Sam Burke, as well as Jason Strong the newly appointed Managing Director of MLA.
“To top the event off one of my photos made the front page of the Stock and Land Newspaper for the second time, and I was shortlisted for the BBM Global Industry Scholarship.”
Congratulations Ruby! Fingers crossed for you with the scholarship winners announced in early October. If she wins, Ruby plans to travel to Canada and America to study the feedlot industry and meat grading and quality systems in comparison to Australia.
Check out Ruby’s beautiful photographs of the Sheep and Wool Show in the Stock and Land here.
Over to Wagga Wagga, NSW, where YVLT mentor leader and Local Land Services (LLS) district veterinarian Dione Howard has been as busy as… well… an LLS district veterinarian!
Last Friday Dione attended the Graham Centre Livestock Forum with Riverina LLS, where livestock researchers, producers and market experts shared their latest insights.
Later in the week Dione spoke to the Charles Sturt University (CSU) Vet Science Class of 2020 about all things district vetting before the students head out on their final year of placements. The following day CSU had its Ag Careers Fair where students come together to hear from organisations in the agriculture sector who they might consider working for when they finish their agriculture, animal, vet or business degrees – lots of opportunities!
This Friday the Riverina LLS hosted a Lamb Post Mortem Workshop, in conjunction with Elders Wagga Wagga, where Dione shared with producers common causes of lamb mortalities and how they can identify what has happened to lambs so that they can make improvements for next year. Wow – what a week!
This week also saw Dione present at NFF House, Canberra, to a Lunch ‘n’ Learn group about her experience as WoolProducers Youth Ambassador for 2018-19. This was the last of her commitments for this program, now it’s over to Woolly YFC Samantha Wan for the 2019-20 Youth Ambassador role!
Speaking of Sam… If you’re heading to Sheepvention in Hamilton, Victoria, this week keep your eyes peeled for Samantha Wan. Sam is presenting the Elders Southern Clip of the Year awards. Looking forward to hearing more about this Sam!
We’re also staying tuned for news from YFC Steph Fowler who flew to Germany this week for the International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) which starts this Sunday. Steph is presenting three papers on the meat science research she has been doing at Department of Primary Industries, and Steph’s PhD student will be presenting another two papers. Break a leg, Steph!
Coming up this week in Sydney is the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) of NSW’s leading Agricultural and Agribusiness careers expo, AgVision2019. YFC Lucy Collingridge and Dee George, and friend of the program and NFF 2030 Leader Aimee Snowdown are all heading AgVision’s way – say hi if you see them!
UNE YFC Becca George is gracing the RAS of NSW Facebook Page and website this week as one of the 2019 RAS Foundation Rural Scholarship winners. 22-year-old Becca is a fourth year Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Agriculture UNE student in Arimdale, originally from the small central NSW town of Nevertire. The RAS Foundation Rural Scholarships support students from rural areas who have to relocate to study. Applications are now open for 2020 RAS Foundation Rural Scholarships: Apply here
And did you catch Becca George’s photo on the Ten News Daily Bailey segment? Congrats Becca and we hope it’s pouring with rain out there soon.
YFC and YVLT communication creative team volunteer extraordinaire Marlee Langfield was the face of the recent Rural Women’s Network Hidden Treasures Honour Roll campaign, which recognizes fabulous volunteering efforts of rural women. As a 2017 Hidden Treasures nominee, Marlee was asked to talk about why she loves being involved with her local community and how she hopes the Morongla Show will continue for another 100 years. “They came to the Country Women’s Association/Red Cross meeting to film, which meant they could see me in volunteer action,” Marlee says. Nominations for the 2019 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll have now closed.
Congratulations to Wool YFC Samantha Wan who has been selected as one of three finalists in the 2019 National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia Wool Broker Award! Read all about it on Sheep Central here. Well done and good luck Sam! The prize sounds right up your alley…
“The winner of the 2019 award will win an all-expenses paid trip to attend the 2020 Congress of the International Wool Textile Organisation in Tongxiang, China in May 2020. Arrangements will also be made for the 2020 award winner to visit the wool textile industry in China.
NCWSBA executive director Chris Wilcox said the winner will be announced at the AWIS Wool Week dinner in the evening of Thursday, 22 August.”
Double YFC whammy for the NSW Young Farmers – with two YFC elected at the recent Annual General Meeting. Mega congrats to Meg Rice who was re-elected as a NSW Young Farmer Councillor, and Martin Murray who was elected as NSW Young Farmer deputy chair and onto the grains committee. Well done Meg and Martin!
Congratulations to YFC Tim Eyes from The Food Farm: Central Coast Produce who last week won champion tree felling at the district fire brigade championships!
And a huge warm welcome to the latest amazing talent to join the YFC team, Sally Downie. Sally has been awarded the 2019 Picture You in Agriculture Scholarship. Read Sally’s blog here to discover what makes her so incredible and a deserving winner of this scholarship. Sally’s heading to Beaudesert State School as part of the 2019 Archibull Prize and they’re already as excited as we are!
2019 Archibull Prize school visits are well under way and this week YFC Lucy Collingridge visited Greystanes High School and St Johns Park High School, where she spoke with 50 secondary students. At Greystanes High School, Lucy met with a range of students from years 7-12 who elected to participate in The Archibull Prize this year with their art teacher. Here, Lucy skyped with YFC Emma Ayliffe to give the students an insight in to the cotton industry. At St Johns Park High School Lucy spoke with the year 9 elective arts class who are participating in The Archibull Prize with their art teacher. Lucy also had the pleasure of speaking with the year 10 elective agriculture class who joined the session.
“I loved my time at the schools and I am looking forward to some follow up Google Hangouts with the students and tracking the progress of their Archibulls for 2019!” Lucy says. “Big thanks to teachers Donna Draper, Max Labal and Leah Bonus!”
How special is this…! YFC and Cowra grain grower Marlee Langfield was recently doing some family research when she came across a 1979 newspaper clipping with her grandad Clem Capps on the front cover of The Land newspaper. We love the headline, “Everything Old is new again” because 39 years later, Marlee and her partner Andrew made the cover! Read and enjoy the stories below…
#YouthVoices19 #YouthVoicesYFC #YoungFarmingChampions #ArchieAction #YouthinAg