“In a world full of noise it can be overwhelming for school students to decide on a career and it’s hard to be what you can’t see.”
With research showing young people moving from primary school to secondary school have closed their minds to 70% of the careers available agriculture is excited that Picture You in Agriculture has found a successful tried and tested model to open young people eyes to the exciting and diverse world of work in agriculture.
Every school participating in The Archibull Prize competition is partnered with a Young Farming Champion (YFC) to assist them in their agricultural learning journeys. But did you know a YFC represents more than a friendly face in your classroom? A YFC can open the door to brand new worlds for your students and introduce them to the diversity of knowledge and careers available that align with the issues most important to them. A YFC can show your students careers within agriculture that have social and environmental purpose.
A recent Picture You in Agriculture survey has shown the following issues are what young people care about and want to learn how they can play a role in addressing
Further research shows how YFC can successfully engage with teachers and students to change agricultural preconceptions.
Our YFC champion these issues every day in their jobs within agriculture and fishing; YFC such as Tayla Field and Bryan Van Wyk.
Read Tayla’s case study here
Tayla is a business manager for salad producer One Harvest and knows the importance of food security and the impact of consumer expectations in the provision of safe and nutritious food, and of good food produced in an environmentally sustainable manner. At the 2021 Hort Connections Gala dinner Tayla spoke of these issues and you can watch the video here.
From the table above Tayla cites “Knowing what food is good for you” and “Making less waste” as issues she can directly address within her job.
“We have been seeing consumers becoming more aware of their health during COVID, with freshness, taste, provenance and nutritional value being key purchasing drivers. Luckily, the fresh produce industry has a range of options from fresh fruit and vegetables to nuts and herbs, that can form a part of a healthy diet for shoppers of all ages. Our business uses plastic to deliver our products to the consumer in a safe way, while maintaining the integrity and freshness of the raw material, but we are working on a number of operational projects to reduce plastic throughout our supply chain. This includes the introduction of new ways of working and new machinery to help facilitate these changes. I am loving being able to see these projects come to life and the business focusing on, and actively investing in, improving our environmental footprint,” Tayla says.
Tayla works with the vegetable farms of Australia’s east coast and further north, on the seas out from Cairns and Karumba, Bryan Van Wyk is managing the prawn trawler fleet for Austral Fisheries. Life in the oceans has been identified as one of the top issues of interest to secondary students and Bryan takes this part of his job incredibly seriously. He recently zoomed in to speak with QLD Marine teachers.
“Having enough food to feed everyone” and “Life in the oceans” are high on our list of priorities so its pretty cool to see that its equally as high on young people’s minds. With nearly 20% of the world’s animal protein coming from seafood, commercial fishing is an important way of feeding the world. However, if poorly managed or unregulated, it can result in widespread ecosystem declines. Australia is blessed with some of the healthiest oceans and best fisheries management practices in the world. The Northern Prawn Fishery is Australia’s largest and most valuable prawn fishery and is renowned for its robust ecosystem-based management and bycatch reduction work. With 11 vessels in this fishery, Austral Fisheries work closely with scientists, fisheries managers and industry to ensure the on-going health and sustainability of the oceans in Northern Australia,” Bryan says.
In a world full of noise it can be overwhelming for school students to decide on a career and, like us all, it’s hard to be what you can’t see. Young Farming Champions are role models for students; they are memorable, relatable, credible, passionate about their industries and they are disrupting the stereotypical images of what a farmer is. How many students would think as a ‘farmer’ they could be dressed in a stunning pink dress addressing a national conference, or working on fishing boats while raising the profile of Patagonian toothfish? There are new worlds to discover every day in agriculture and a YFC can be your personal, professional guide.