Young Farming Champions Muster June 2019 Edition 2

This week’s top stories from Young Farming Champions (YFC) around the country (and globe!)

In the Field

Youth Voices Leadership Team  YFC Mentor and all round amazing woman Dione Howard has been busy learn all the ins and outs of social media at the Social Media Gov Summit. As part of the workshop she learnt  about how to delve into the behind the scenes of the common social media apps to learn how to find your most engaged audiences and what is working well on a social media channel. One lessons she shared with the team is “vertical video is king ” as it takes up more screen “real estate”. A great reminder for us all to get a little more intimate with our social media apps…

Young Farming Champion Lucy Collingridge shows she is ahead of the curve filming in vertical mode

Winter cropping is underway but what a difference a few hundred kilometers can make…In the northern part of NSW with Agronomist Casey Onus’ clients dry sowing in anticipation for a break, while at the south end of the state Agronomist and farmer Emma Ayliffe will complete her’s and her clients winter crop sowing this week. Australia is such a vast and varying country and while some farmers have been extremely lucky with the rain, others are still waiting for mother nature to provide some relief from the drought.

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Dryland crops around Moree going in exactly that, dry!

The opposite happens in the south with early crops out of the ground and what is left to be sown going into moisture with a promising start.

Grain Young Farming Champion Marlee Langfield is looking forward to her germinating canola crop getting some rain. Check out this great time lapse video of Canola seeds germinating

Overseas NFF 2030 leaders course Alumni Matt Chapness is in Laos sharing the technology and knowledge that we have on weed management in staple crops. Matt is working with rice growers in Laos sowing rice and introducing the concept of inter-row cultivation for weed control to help them get better crop yields

“They are small holder farmers and are very vulnerable to climatic shifts. It doesn’t take a lot for them to lose a whole year of production. They don’t have a lot of savings … I want to help them as they aren’t as fortunate as we are.

“Obviously it is different to Australia, but there are similar principles applying.”

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Matt working with growers in Laos to improve how they grow rice which is not only a staple crop in their diets it is critical to many farms incomes.

Out of the field

Dione Howard, busy as always, is off to Melbourne next weekend as she wraps up her stint as the Wool Producers Youth Ambassador Role. As part of her trip she is attending the Wool Producers Animal Health and Welfare Advisory Committee and Executive meeting as an observer which has been a key aspect of her involvement as the Youth Ambassador. While there she will also get to find out the next round of “Raising the Baa” recipients as they are announced.


 Dione Howard 

Young Farming Champion Meg Rice attended the National Press Club Agricultural Leaders Debate

YFC Jasmine Whitten has been way out west has been running education programs in Cobar at the St John’s Parish Primary School. Run in conjunction with the Buckwaroon Landcare and Peak Gold Mine Environmental officers the program showcases how farmers care for one of our most precious resources, soil.


Jasmine pictured here with the students of St John’s Parish school and the teams from Buckwoon Landcare and Peak Gold Mine

Young Farming Champion Lucy Collingridge used social media to share how she is volunteering her time to support rural and regional communities through the agricultural show movement. Lucy shared her wisdom and experience in this fabulous blog 

Young Farming Champion Alana Black has started her global journey of a lifetime flying out last week to join the Rural Youth Project, based in Scotland. The aim of the project is to  “develop feasible strategies to develop leadership and enterprise skills amongst young people in agricultural and rural communities based on understanding their current situation, aspirations, opportunities and challenges.”

Alana is currently in the Netherlands on an agriculture learning journey and shared her trip highlights on ✔️ vertical and aquaponic farms 🍅 ✔️ community farming initiatives 🚜 ✔️ floating dairy farm 🐮 through our social media pages

Alana Black Netherlands.jpg

The Netherlands is the most densely populated country in the European Union and with 26% of the landmass under sea the Dutch are looking more and more to urban farming to meet production needs. At STRIJP-S which has become a place for artists, designers, theatre-makers and musicians to showcase their work Alana visited a closed loop aquaponic farm. Located on the 5th floor of an old Phillips manufacturing building. 

Alana Black Striip S At Kipster Farm which is the first farm of the world to produce CO2-neutral eggs and has a viewing facility open 24hrs a day for transparency Alana was very impressed with the farm’s egg cartoons. Made from  potato starch, cellulose fiber and water, the  CO2 footprint of a the Kipster egg box is 90% smaller compared with a standard egg box.

Screen-Shot-2018-05-03-at-14.26.32LIDL.Kipster-1009101534-7615_adftvqKipster Farm

Alana also visited the world’s first floating dairy. The offshore facility is right in the middle of Rotterdam’s Merwehaven harbour and will house 40 cows milked by robots. Eighty percent of the cows’ diet will come from food waste gathered from Rotterdam’s nearby restaurants.

The Floating Farm is 27m2 and has three levels. The lower level, on the floating base, houses the factories and a visitor’s area and shop. The factories process the raw cow milk, rainwater collected from the roof and cow urine and manure. Once processed, the manure will be used as fertiliser to grow feed for the cows.


Talking about globetrotters Wool Young Farming Champion Sam Wan is off to Italy. The trip is part of her prize pool of winning Elders Employee of the Year Sam will use the Italian wool study tour to experience the Italian connection of the wool pipeline and learn all she can to benefit her wool growers 🇮🇹

Superstar YFC and climate action activist Anika Molesworth has had the most thrilling experience receiving the Instyle and Audi Future Shapers Women of Style award for the Farmer of Change award! On top of rubbing shoulders with the rich and fabulous she looked stunning and gave an inspiring speech . We couldn’t be prouder (and more jealous) of her truly unreal experience. See her acceptance speech here

Lifetime Highlights

Well honestly who can go past the superstar Anika…congratulations on being so damn fabulous, if you haven’t already go and grab your copy of June InStyle Magazine and see for yourself.

As the sunsets on yet another wrap-up of a fortnight of achievement of young people forging their way in this world we will leave you with this


“Why fit in when you were born to stand out!” – Dr. Seuss

We also blogged about our lessons learnt

  1. What we have learnt about the world of volunteering 
  2. What we have learnt about using social media to amplify youth voices
  3. What we have learnt about leadership development 

Its been an exciting fortnight for our Young Farming Champions – looking forward to sharing the future with you

#YouthinAg #YouthVocies19 #StrongerTogether

Youth in Dairy MOOve into 21st Century

Today’s guest post comes from Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion and Holstein Youth Mentor Tom Pearce

For better or worse and bordering on an obsession, the mobile phone has become our more useful “left” hand. Ask yourself – How often do you see a young person these days with a firm grip on their mobile device? Right -Every spare second! And what are they doing with it? Chances are if they aren’t writing another text message in record time they are using some form of social media!

The Holstein Youth mission statement is “To attract and develop the next generation, providing a sustainable framework for the future of the Australian Dairy Industry”. We believe the best way to do this and connect with the majority of the younger generation who are holding on tightly to that smartphone is through Social Media

When Charles Darwin said in the 19th century – “It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change” I don’t think in his wildest dreams he would have envisioned the phenomenal   level of technology in the 21st century

Social Media  is often described as “revolutionary”, and those resisting the change are being left behind, fast! While Holstein Youth has had a social media presence for some time it is only in the last 6 months or so we have really “jumped on the bandwagon” so to speak and started to milk it for all its worth to boost our online presence and audience. Not only are we trying to connect with the dairy community we feel our content is relevant and of interest to the wider community.

So what has Holstein Youth been doing in this space?


Facebook –


Our most active platform now with 581 “Likes”, that has seen a weekly page audience peak at 8000+ and our most popular post reaching 3000+ Facebook users worldwide. Some of the statistics are truly amazing! While our main audience are Australian’s, others include from the USA, Canada, New Zealand and as far afield as Pakistan, Ecuador and Egypt to mention a few! We endeavour to keep the page updated regularly so our audience can see Coming Events, Photo Albums, Interesting Facts, YouTube clips, links to other competitions and Sale + Show Coverage (proving quite popular for those who can’t attend the event). Being an interactive platform we invite comments from our audience with our “Guess Who” and “Caption This” photos. It is interesting to note that the most successful “posts” are the one’s our audience can relate to and share an emotional connection.clip_image004

The caption ‘Should have been a “Cow’ asaki’ had 816 Likes and was shared 333 times on other Facebook pages

Twitter –

Twitter is the newest social media platform we have ventured into. Yes Holstein Youth has joined the conversation (don’t roll your eyes it’s definitely worth looking into, it may be a lot more than what you expect). clip_image006

And while Twitter is not for everyone and may lag behind Facebook in terms of users, the number of users is however rapidly growing. We believe it is important to be in the space as Twitter tends to capture a different audience. All Facebook posts are linked to Twitter and then able to be “retweeted”.

YouTube –


The YouthTube competition was inspired by a number of Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion videos that showcased their industry to the wider community via Youtube. All entries into the YouthTube competition have been uploaded to our YouTube channel for the whole world to see. And going by the statistics YouTube is telling us those videos have been seen, again mostly by Australian’s but other views have come from countries like Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey and Costa Rica amongst others! The Holstein Youth team has a few more videos in the pipeline but we are definitely looking forward to uploading this year’s entries into the YouthTube Competition to continue to showcase our Aussie dairy industry to the world. Any video uploaded to YouTube can then be shared on Facebook and Twitter and potentially join the Petersen Brothers movement and go “viral”

What’s next for Holstein Youth

It doesn’t stop there the Holstein Youth team is looking at embracing another social media platform, Instagram. All we can say is watch this space!

Using Social Media will also play an integral part in promoting next year’s Holstein Youth Conference which will coincide with the Holstein Australia 100 Year Anniversary Conference in Queensland.

So long as the Holstein Youth team has an internet connection we can update our social media wherever we are in the world, it truly is so easy! On the other hand it is a little hard to measure our success on social media in terms of page “likes”, twitter “follows” and video “views” equally more young farmers on the land or new Holstein Australia members, but you just never know. By using Social media we can provide constant reminders to our audience and it may just be one of the pieces to the puzzle in attracting and retaining youth in Agriculture. Through using visual and interactive content we might just get a few people to stop and take notice in this fast paced digital world.

Thank you Tom and well done Holstein Youth 

You can follow Tom on Twitter @progressivetom

You can see his entry for the I love Ag competition “Meet Tom Pearce the farmer who puts the Cheese in your Cracker” here