Often our headline act each month celebrates the awards and recognition our YFCs deservedly receive, but every now and again it is good to go back to basics and listen to the passion that draws them to agriculture in the first place. Marlee Langfield is a shining example of this and has commenced sowing her 2021 crops.
“We have been blessed with a full moisture profile and our canola crops have already received just shy of an inch of steady of rain. The soils are just beautiful this time of year – chocolate brown and full of worms! There are little plants just starting to emerge with these past few warm days.”
Marlee also expresses her love for the land in beautiful photos. Thank you Marlee for reminding us why we love agriculture.
In The Field
Of course, all of our YFC get out of bed every day to work passionately in agriculture and this passion was recognised on May 10 when The Weekly Times ran an article featuring 15 promising Australian farmers under the age of 30. Making the cut were Emma Ayliffe for her work as an agronomist, Tom Squires for his work with wool and shearing and Peta Bradley for her work with sheep genetics. Congratulations all round.
However passion can be tested and mice are this year’s big challenge. Here’s a round-up of how it is affecting our YFC:
Dan Fox (Marra, Riverina NSW): “We are fairing pretty well although there are mice in paddocks and sheds but nothing like what is happening north of us, and nothing like the 2011 plague. We are still baiting everything we are sowing whilst planting but no damage or losses to stored grain or sowed paddocks.”
Keiley Noble (Narromine, North West NSW):
“We’ve been using a drum of ‘Mouse Off’ a week since mid-January on with our hay stacks. The mice have come back strong mid-May.”
Emma Ayliffe (Lake Cargelligo, Western NSW):
“We have had a few isolated issues with certain paddocks that were sown dry and waiting for rain. Sheds and silos are foul. Defiantly north of us are having bigger issues.”
Dee George (Nyngan, Northern) NSW:
“Hit and miss where we are. They are horrible in patches and then only light on in others. Our family (Nevertire) are baiting everything, and I’ve personally bought at least $1000 worth of domestic bait for around our house and shed. They are starting to damage early crops to the west of Nyngan where I work, and earlier in the year east of us they were damaging cotton (chewing holes in the bolls) which I’d never seen or heard of before.”
Marlee Langfield (Cowra, Central West NSW):
“They are around, especially in sheds, we baited off the back of the seeder with our canola because we are fearful of the damage they may do to new crops. At the moment, touch wood, emerging canola is doing ok.”
It’s not even mouse-free underground. PYiA journalist Mandy McKeesick mines for opal west of Lightning Ridge:
“Mice are falling down the shaft into our sump (hole below mining level), which has water in it from recent rains. So imagine a black festering, can’t-be-emptied, 44-sized bucket right at your working shaft and that’s what we’ve got. They are also chewing out the ceiling lining in the camp.”
Let’s hope the onset of winter puts the brakes on the mice!
Melissa Henry is focussing not on mice but on the continued success of her sheep. At the recent Hawkesbury Show Melissa’s Quebon Coloured Sheep Stud took out Reserve Champion Black and Coloured Ewe, Champion Black and Coloured Ram, Best Coloured Wether and Supreme Exhibit!
“What a cracker of a season we are having. The pastures, trees and sheep are looking amazing. Many thanks to all of our fleece and sheep buyers from across NSW and VIC for their continued support.” Melissa says.
Out of the Field
In more show news Becca George took to the microphone at the Dubbo Show to do her first ring announcing of the junior heifer section.
“We needed someone on day 3 to ring announce so I put my hand up to give it a go. I actually really enjoyed it once the nerves wore off!”
Well done for putting your hand up Becca.
Away from the agricultural shows and agricultural conferences and courses are the big thing at the moment. Meg Rice, Dione Howard and Dee George will attend the Young Farmer Business Program conference in Dubbo on May 28, Meg is also participating in GROW with Tocal College, Emma Ayliffe is lined up to speak at the River Reflections Conference for the Murray Darling Basin Authority in June and Bryan Van Wyk presented at the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program recently.
ht to Jill Briggs for sharing the pix of Bryan presenting to her Seafood Leaders
Having recently participated in Dr Jenni Metcalfe’s Confident Communicators workshop Bryan relished the opportunity to put Jenni’s mnemonic MESSAGE into action
Bryan has also been appointed as an industry member on the Northern Prawn Fishery Resource Assessment Group (NPFRAG). This decision making group is made up of researchers, government and industry and provides advice to inform legislation on the fishery.
“I am the youngest member on the group and our first two-day meeting was held in Brisbane earlier this month. Big win for me personally and very humbled to be accepted with open arms into this amazing group of people but it has also taken me incredibly far outside my comfort zone. When you’re sitting on an important decision making table surrounded by very intelligent and experienced people and you are asked to voice your thoughts and opinions on behalf of an entire industry it can be extremely daunting. Definitely one of the most challenging experiences for me so far this year.”
Dr Anika Molesworth has joined the Visibility Co team and recently facilitated a workshop for Researchers in International Agricultural Development on climate change leadership and visibility. The workshops had participants from around the globe, including Ghana, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Italy and Australia.
However the biggest shindig during May was Beef Australia held at Rockhampton where Jasmine Whitten teamed up with Greg Mills to share their knowledge of the beef industry with school students as part of the AgForce School to Industry Partnership Program. They spoke with over 500 students, conducted mock cattle auctions, ran a teacher professional development session and attended the agricultural careers evening. Now they’re taking 3 years to gear up for the next Beef Week in 2024. Oh, and Jas and Greg wore the brightest shirts to prompt conversations on mental health!
Also spotted at Beef Week was friend of the YFC Aimee Snowden in her new role with CQUniversity Australia Agri-tech Education and Innovation.
Climate Change YFC Anika Molesworth is moving into the world of film to spread her climate messages. “I’ve had the pleasure of supporting two amazing filmmakers, Sanne – Eefje Suzanne – Kragten and Tim Arnold AV, as they travelled around Australia filming the stories of famers and their mission to overcome climate change. The Positive Alternative film series provides both dramatic yet uplifting stories about how little changes can create a big positive impact on our lives, on climate change and the world at large.
Another film project Anika has been working with (Harsh Climate Harsh Truth) featured in the Canberra Short Film Festival in March. See the previews for both films here
Closer to the PYiA core and the YVLT’s Leadership is Language Series 3 continues with a chat with Country to Canberra CEO Han Worsley. Han had both Meg Rice and Dione Howard as interviewers. Catch all the action here
YFC are also connecting with school students with the popular online Paddock to Pen Pals organised by the ever-enthusiastic Sam Wan. Katherine Bain, Emma Turner, Dione Howard, Tayla Field and Chloe Dutschke participated. These are some of the student comments from Chloe’s session:
“I loved asking her questions and hearing her answers. She explained all about her job. I was interested in how she got into being a farmer and completing a Bachelor of Animal Sciences. She wasn’t a farmer growing up but just loved animals. It was great to meet a real farmer. It’s not a job I had ever thought of before!”
And, because they are not busy enough already, our YFC are commencing their training workshops for the year – learning from the best in Josh Farr and Dr Jenni Metcalfe.
Check out Dr in waiting Francesca Earp, Dr Calum Watt and Dr Jo Newton’s wrap up in this video.
Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) is excited to be working with new partners this year and we welcome the Northern Territory Farmers Association to the fold. NT Farmers have selected Oliva Borden to participate in the 2021 Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program. When her YFC introduction begins with “a female incarnation of John Williamson’s Mallee Boy crossed with Crocodile Dundee” you know we’re going to have some fun. Welcome to the team Olivia.
Emma Ayliffe has been named as a finalist in the 2020/21 Australian Farmer of the Year Awards (Young Farmer category). The winner’s announcement ceremony will take place on 17 June at Parliament House in Canberra and will feature a live ABC Country Hour broadcast. Congratulations Emma, we can’t wait!
Anika Molesworth is in the final stage of turning her dream of writing a book into reality. The manuscript is currently with her publisher getting a final nip-and-tuck before going to print.
“The book will hit bookshelves at the end of August, and I am so excited to share this story with the world!”