Young Farming Champions create a lasting legacy with the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW

Action4Agriculture’s overarching aim is to create a movement of resilient and innovative young people in agriculture who are advocates and leaders of their industry and community. Our work with Young Farming Champions was under the spotlight this week at the Sydney Royal Easter Show with two of our own, Keiley Noble and Florance McGufficke, applauded on the highest stage.

Keiley, who wears many caps including mother, policy officer with the NSW Government and small business (rural contracting) owner, won the prestigious RM Williams Royal Agriculture Society’s Rural Achiever Award.

Keiley Noble winner of RM Williams RAS Rural Achiever with her trophy and husband Ross and daughter Ruby ( Photos Facebook)

Florance, a livestock and stud stock sales support officer with Elders, won The Land Sydney Royal AgShows NSW Young Woman.

Florance McGufficke with RAS President Michael MIlner and runner up Jessica Towns ( photos Facebook )

“The Young Woman competition has been an eye-opening and rewarding experience and this will be just the beginning for me and the wonderful cohort of young women I met during my week in Sydney, and I am honoured and grateful for this opportunity,” Florance says.

The success at the 2023 Sydney Royal marks three consecutive years when YFC have been rewarded the Rural Achievers title with Dione Howard honoured in 2021 and Jessica Fearnley in 2022. Dione was also awarded the national Rural Achiever (Ambassador) title.

Mark Muller, from RM Williams, was on the judging panel for Jess and Keiley

“Both are the kind of intelligent, committed and engaging people whose works and endeavours lift those around them. Their combination of drive and humility is inspiring. Their deep appreciation for the agricultural sector and its possibilities in terms of their own careers and its importance at a local, national and international level make them rightly regarded as leaders in their field,” Mark says.

Watch Keiley talk about here win here ( Video Facebook)

YFC success with the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW highlights the benefits of leadership and professional development, which are taught and honed through the Young Farming Champions program.

“The YFC community is a wonderful network of role models who step up and take on opportunities, and support other YFC to do the same,” Dione says.

“The YFC training sets us up to thrive in opportunities such as Rural Achiever and Young Woman. From sharing a room with a (virtual) stranger at workshops, to reflecting on your values, to practicing answering questions without notice – we’ve had the opportunity to do all of this as a YFC, and while it’s not any easier in a competition, the muscle memory is there. Not to mention that getting to practice sharing your story in front of school students (in Kreative Koalas and The Archibull Prize) sets YFC up to share their experiences with any audience – for Florance and Keiley that happened to be a full amphitheatre at Sydney Royal.

“Whether someone has had a year of YFC training or been in the program for several laps around the sun, the training and support makes you feel inspired to take on new challenges and enables you to thrive in opportunities to showcase yourself and the industry.”

Dione was in Sydney to support Keiley and Florance and her attendance (and support of the wider YFC network) did not go unnoticed.

“I have been on a pathway of personal and professional development through my involvement with the Young Farming Champions. This has been such an influential part of my growth in the last few years. It has allowed me to think with a broader perspective, be a leader, develop my story and ambitions so I can share and inspire other young people and has connected me with numerous like-minded and passionate people in agriculture, especially my mentor Dione Howard.

“I am so fortunate to have been accepted into the YFC program; to Lynne and all members thank you for the support and guidance you continue to provide me.” Florance says

Action4Agriculture looks forward to continuing the YFC legacy with the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW in future years and the further development of agriculture’s young leaders; leaders who thrive when working together as illustrated by Jess’s comments as she hands the Rural Achiever baton to Keiley:

“Keiley was outstanding at Sydney Royal and it was my pleasure to see her flourish as part of the weeks program. I am looking forward to seeing what she does in the coming year.”


Dione Howard at Sydney Royal Easter Show 2023 ( Video Facebook )






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