Graduates of the Action4Agriculture two year Cultivate Growing Young Leaders program join our Young Farming Champions alumni where they have two opportunities to practice what they learn in a safe environment
To practice their communication and trusted voices skills they become role models of who you can be in agriculture and the faces of our in-school programs
To put their leadership training into practice and lead teams they can join our iHub
The iHub is a Young Farming Champions (YFC) alumni community of practice for individuals and groups to build an innovation mindset, explore new ideas, collaborate, experiment and accelerate learning applied to a real-world project that nurtures a bright future for agriculture.
This year several YFC have imagined projects they see as beneficial to agriculture as a whole and to future YFC. Helping to realise these projects has been leadership coach Josh Farr from Campus Consultancy.
Josh initially gave the YFC a list of six options to explore and asked them to select the ones they felt would be most beneficial to their projects.
The six options were:
- Vision and Ideation
- Strategic planning
- Metrics of success – objectives and key results
- Marketing and promotion
- Personal branding
- Financial sustainability
Vision, strategic planning and marketing were popular elects.
“We are working with YFC on a range of ideas starting with the ideation stage, which is thinking what and why are we doing this, and how does this help everyone in agriculture from students in high schools all the way to established leaders in the field. From there we are going into a bit of depth about strategy and execution and how do we make sure really busy YFCs not only have clarity on what they are doing but also have a lot of fun bringing their big ideas alive.
The YFC see a need and a value to their idea and they want to know how to get that out in the world, and how to make something that cuts through the noise,” Josh says.
Developing their ideas with Josh at one-on-one workshops have been Dylan Male, Emily May, Francesca Earp, Steph Tabone and Tayla Field.
“My big idea is to encourage YFC to contribute to our monthly Muster content by starting up a monthly ‘YFC 5-minute Muster give and take’ initiative. Josh is providing strategy advice and support and I have already created a draft strategy document. I will continue to seek feedback on the initiative to help develop it before hopefully launching next year,” Dylan says.
Tayla and Steph are collaborating on an idea to create a platform for people with experience in agriculture to share their key learnings with young people.
“That could be anyone from university students to those in the workforce to those who might be interested in a career in agriculture. The platform, which might be a podcast or video series, is planned to be short, sharp and effective in communicating some key take outs and learnings from a leader in agriculture.
Josh has helped us a lot in just one session to think about the format of the platform and what will work best for our target market and also be achievable for Steph and me to maintain throughout busy work and personal lives. We are looking forward to the next session where we are going to refine our elevator pitch, our ‘why’ and have a look at a few different strategies to approach the project,” Tayla says.
Emily, who specialises in talking about peri-urban agriculture sought Josh’s help to prepare a school presentation.
“Josh supported me by first helping identify what the goals of the presentation were for both me, the students and their teachers while also going over some key ways to get students engaged. As my session was for an hour before lunch to upper high school students, there was potential for this to be a tough crowd. We then ran through ways to improve what I had already created and it proved to be highly successful ,” Emily says.
The workshop with Josh found immediate results for Emily who presented at the Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education’s Ag Week virtual conference, facilitated by school principal Kris Beazley.
“Emily was excellent for the city kids, reinforcing you don’t have to be a country kid coming off a sheep station to have a role in agriculture. She also had some great interactive activities throughout her presentation and provided thought-provoking answers to student questions,” Kris says.
For Josh, one of the highlights of working with YFC as part of iHub is their willingness to share.
“The iHub identifies that YFC have a desire to go above and beyond, to share everything they are learning and to create projects that are sustainable beyond themselves. One of the things I’ve noticed about everyone who has got involved is that they’ve consulted lots of people – they’ve got their boss on board, they’ve had employers offer funding – they’re really good at bringing people together. I don’t see a single project here that is an individual glory project. These are things that the YFC are using their leadership skills to set up knowing there is going to be future generations of YFC eager to apply these skills. There is a beautiful synergy between their ideas and their insights, what agriculture needs right now, and setting up future YFCs for success,” he says.
So, with big ideas being generated and workshopped with Josh to go to the next stage what opportunities are there for others to get involved?
“These projects are like rockets on the ground about to take off and I would encourage others to get on board. If you are a young person in ag, get in contact with these YFC. If you can offer experience, financial resources or even emails of encouragement, contact these YFC. These are ideas are by young ag leaders for ag leaders,” Josh concludes.
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