Young people in wool seeing the advantages of walking through life long learning door of opportunity.

At Action4Agriculture we grow Young Farming Champions to be confident leaders and trusted voices for agriculture. Part of that process is to encourage them to seek leadership opportunities relevant to their specific fields of expertise. For our “woollies” that often means participation in AWI’s esteemed “Breeding Leadership” program.

Breeding Leadership is a national program for young people in all facets of the wool industry and aims to develop the leadership and professional skills of young people involved in the wool industry.”

The five-day program included sessions on personal leadership, strategic planning, corporate governance as well as skills such as time management and delegation. It also allow for networking with other young wool professionals across the country, giving greater insight into challenges facing the industry and opportunities for improvement.

The 2022 Breeding Leadership cohort in action

YFC Sam Wan attended Breeding Leadership in 2014 and the experience has remained a pivotal moment in her career as a wool broker.

“The highlight for me was networking with a diverse range of people, primarily woolgrowers around the same age. It gave me more perspective on issues they were facing like succession planning. I knew as a broker what the responsibilities and service provided were but the course really instilled a focus that what I do on the brokering side does go back to families and their ability to reinvest into their businesses. I certainly learnt more about myself in the individual development segments and this had me actively seeking out further opportunities to connect more within the wool industry.”

The 2022 instalment of Breeding Leadership was recently held in Clare, SA and among the 19 participants were YFC Dione Howard and Katherine Bain.

AWI CEO, John Roberts, addressed the group and was impressed by the keen interest in all levels of the industry displayed by those present.

“These young people are the future of our industry and are so important. I really enjoyed meeting the Breeding Leadership 2022 cohort and can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Both Katherine and Dione were impressed:

“It was an amazing week in Clare networking with a great group of people who are all so passionate about wool. The course itself was insightful and practical. I think most leadership courses can get lost in the aspirational ideas and you leave without gaining any real skills. Over the week we had lots of discussions around issues like farm succession, communication and governance that, for me, led to some great ideas to bring home to the farm. I left feeling excited for the future of wool both on and off farm.” Katherine Bain

Photo source – Did you see the story on Katherine Bain and Sam Wan in latest Graziher magazine – then get your copy 

“YFCs and wool industry enthusiasts have raved about this course over the years, and I can see why. A group of 19 young wool industry members came together to learn about ourselves and how we can best work within and build the farming businesses we’re involved in. The course was facilitated by Pinion Advisory and we were treated to talks and stud tours, from those out there in the industry with learnings and wisdom to share. The future of the industry is bright and I left feeling inspired for what’s to come.” Dione Howard

Sam Wan is a committed life-long learner from the Wool Auctioneer Floor, to learning the ropes in the shearing shed to promoting the fibre in Grazhier magazine 

AWI collects statistics to measure the effectiveness of Breeding for Leadership with participants repeatedly giving the course 4.9 out of 5 for its value to their business and a 4.8 for new skills acquired. All sessions report a greater than 90% satisfaction rate with sessions on personal leadership and succession planning ranking the highest.

“Often people remark to AWI employees that Breeding Leadership kicked started them into doing more in and for the industry and that gives us great pride,” George Lehmann, AWI Project Coordinator, says.

Woolly YFCs aged between 25 and 35 are encouraged to apply for Breeding Leadership when applications open later this year. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the website for more information.

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