Our Young Farming Champions are doing a deep dive into the world of allyship. Meet Mentor Teresa Hogan who lives and breathes wool

At Action4Agriculture we have four goals.

As you can see giving young people agency and voice is the heart of everything we do.

In 2022 our Young Farming Champions are participating in a number of initiatives to “grow their confidence to create a better world together”.  

As part of this journey our Young Farming Champions will:

  • Do a deep dive into the world of allyship starting with an Indigenous perspective working with the Evolve Communities team.
  • Investigate what allyship looks like in everyday life.

Acts of allyship generally fall into one of three categories: speaking up, extending opportunities, and challenging the status quo.

  • Allies can speak up for someone who’s being treated unfairly or dismissively by advocating for them or by amplifying underappreciated perspectives and contributions.
  • Allies also can give people opportunities by helping them access learning, leadership roles, or professional or social networks.
  • Finally, allyship can mean working to make your team’s everyday systems and processes—its decisions, meetings, and communications—fairer and more equitable.

To value add to the 2022 YFC journey we will be inviting our supporting partners to identify a team member from their organisation who can join the YFC in workshops, debrief with them following workshops and be their ally in the workplace/community they are part of together. Hunter Local Land Services have put their hands up to be part of this and we are super excited to introduce you all to Teresa Hogan

I am a seventh generation farmer from Merriwa NSW. I have been fortunate to grow up in a world surrounded by farming. I live and breathe it; the good and the bad. I live in a world that I consider to have been built from generations of dedication and determination. If you put me under a microscope it’s likely you’d see tiny strands of wool wrapped around my DNA. If you listen closely they probably baa.

I’ve known agriculture was my path from my earliest memory, it was drought, 1994, not a blade of grass to be seen. I proudly marched around with armfuls of broccoli, giggling as very hungry sheep grabbed them out of my hands. At the time I didn’t realise the enormity of the situation, I was completely oblivious to the stress, the anxiety and the desperation that my family were facing in the 90s drought. It wasn’t really until facing my own drought that I fully understood what it all felt like. I have clung to that memory, it makes me smile, and it is the memory I think back to when I need a little reminder of why I became a farmer. I don’t need reminding often but as the saying goes ‘Farming is easy on a good day… and there aren’t many of those’

I am a farmer who wears many hats. By day you’ll find me advising livestock producers for Hunter Local Land Services on all things livestock production and nutrition as well as grazing management. When I hang up my LLS hat, I am a sheep farmer running a small super fine merino flock on the family farm, training work dogs and working horses as part of the family farming business. In my ‘spare time’, I enjoy playing sport and hiking. I do believe I sleep somewhere in the middle of that, but I’m not 100% sure where I fit it in.

So why do what I do it?

I have always been a woman on a mission, a defining feature, if you will. I often say that I don’t have dreams, I have goals. I get a lot of funny looks when I mention this isn’t a dream, but hear me out. You see by having goals, I have small achievable things to work towards. The end goal, is owning 10,000 sheep! I can’t achieve that overnight so by breaking it down into smaller pieces, I give myself a chance and reduce the risk of losing heart. Hard work pays off. I am where I am, because I didn’t wait for someone to do it for me, I got out there and had a go, made a start and took risks.

Am I there yet? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Am I anywhere near where I thought I’d be? NOT A CHANCE!

Does that matter? NOT IN THE SLIGHTEST!

You see, this industry is always changing, the goal posts move regularly. We are governed by climatic conditions, markets, and decision making bodies that are sometimes out of touch with what’s happening on ground.  At the same time agriculture is full of very successful and supportive people who are willing to give you a leg up, support your goals and mentor you through. My network grows every day. This is an exciting industry to be a part of, and I look forward to sharing my story further with the Young Farming Champions Program. 

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