Why Young People?
The world needs creative, innovative and courageous young people who can connect, collaborate and act.
We know that youth may only be 20% of the population but they are 100% of the future. The time is now to let them share their dreams and design the future they want to create.
We believe a strong leadership team is one where people of common values and beliefs take responsibility for, and share ownership of, a vision.
We believe by empowering the individual with tools and skills to thrive, the individual will strengthen the collective.
Our mission, as young leaders, is to build the capacity of other young people to support the wellbeing of their communities. We do this through the delivery of world class learning opportunities that provide them with the skills, knowledge and networks to thrive in business and life.
“The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”
The YVLT is a group of committed YFC alumni who have stepped up to take responsibility for, and share ownership of, a vision to enable and empower young leaders in agriculture. The YVLT represents a powerful personal and professional development path, giving participants the skills needed to take on leadership roles at all levels in their workplaces and their communities. Through YVLT model we have created a safe environment where YFC can experiment in their journey to become leadership practitioners.
Our goals are:
Grow and practice your leadership mastery.
Solve complex problems by approaching them with an experimenter’s mindset; learn and practice the words, actions and stances that motivate others to collaborate and co-create.
The team have identified the values which will form the foundation for their decision-making processes and guide them in interactions with each other, their peers, collaborating partners and the community.
These values are:
Together we will learn, adapt, grow and be accountable for actions of the team. We value our personal time and the time of our team members.
We innovate, adapt to change and value individuals and interactions over process and tools to meet our purpose in an ever changing environment.
We're supporting young people to solve tomorrow's problems, today.
We empower and multiply our team's voices.
We value open communication, where all voices are heard/listened to. Although our personal and professional goals may vary we support each other in working on team objectives.
We help those around us access opportunities for themselves, recognising the privileges our past opportunities have offered us.
Emma is director, consultant and researcher with Summit Ag, an agricultural consulting business based in the Riverina and Central West regions of NSW. After standing in as acting chair in 2019 Emma has made the natural progression to Chair for 2020. “I see my role as helping to set the direction of the team, to ensure that we are aligned on what our “finish line” looks like and to encourage commitment to the team and the big picture. I am also passionate about developing the space and programs that allow young farmers to gain confidence to tell their great stories and share them with consumers through programs like The Archibull Prize. Beyond this I want to encourage young farmers to seek their own audiences.”
As owner of a small business and a working farm Emma has experienced challenges in recent years, which give her empathy towards her clients and the ability to celebrate with them when seasons change. In turn, she derives inspiration and motivation from the YFC community, her YVLT colleagues and the consumers who turn to YFC as a trusted source of agricultural information.
Emma is 2020 finalist for the NSW Channel 7 Young Achiever Awards in Leadership.
Dione is a District Veterinarian with Riverina Local Land Services based in Wagga Wagga, NSW. She has been an active member of the Youth Voices Leadership Team since its inception in 2018; holding the position of Mentor Leader and Innovation Leader. “I am looking forward to taking the next step in my leadership journey on the Executive of YVLT. In my role as Vice Chair I support Chair Emma Ayliffe to lead the Young Farming Champions team and help them be the voice of the future for agriculture at events and in the media.”
Dione’s seat on the YVLT Executive is enhanced by her completion of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Company Directors Course, which she undertook in conjunction with her role as Wool Producer’s Youth Ambassador in 2019.
“What keeps me coming back to YVLT and the YFC community is being able to assist young agriculturalists to achieve their goals and extend their leadership and communication capabilities. Since I’ve been a YFC our team has achieved some amazing things. The future is very bright for this group and if you’re thinking about it, now is the right time to apply to be a Young Farming Champion!”
As CEO of Cowra agribusiness Wallaringa Trust, farmer and grain grower Marlee is a steward of the land. She is passionate about sharing this stewardship journey and amplifying the youth voices of agriculture through programs such as Young Farming Champions and the Grain Growers ‘Grains Social Leadership’ program, which she joined in 2020.
“As social licence expectations of an ever-connected consumer continue to evolve across the 24 hour news cycle I see an opportunity as Social Media Coordinator for PYIA to have meaningful dialogue with the community on issues that are important to them now and for the future. Through sharing real agriculturalists stories on our social media outlets conversation commences, industry transparency is achieved and a balanced societal perspective is strengthened.”
In her YVLT role Marlee is responsible for overseeing the YFC social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Muster Newsletter, LinkedIn, Instagram and any other future accounts) to ensure they run in an efficient, effective and engaging way. “Our social media content celebrates the success of both the YFCs and agriculture at large and provides engaging, inspiring and honest messages to our audience. I work hand in hand with future agricultural leaders and provide guidance on how to portray their stories on social media and to create consistent branding for PYiA.”
Being admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of NSW in December 2019, the same year she graduated with a Bachelor of Agriculture/Laws from the University of New England, means Meg Rice brings a unique set of agricultural skills to the YVLT. She has been involved with boards and committees for several years being the former Chairperson of the UNE Farming Futures, a Young Farming Champion since 2017, a RAS Rural Achiever and a board director for UNE Life. Meg is currently working as a graduate policy officer with the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment in Canberra. “I enjoy the opportunity to develop my personal and professional skills and I see my role on the YVLT as an opportunity to assist Young Farming Champions to use the skills they have developed throughout the program to share and develop their own ideas. I am excited to be involved with the Innovation Hub, which will encourage collaboration and innovation.”
Currently working as a research scientist for Agriculture Victoria, Jo Newton is positioning herself at the interface of research, application and extension in the field of livestock genetics. “We have world-class research facilities and minds in Australia but haven’t always done a very good job of translating research into action. I am determined to change this and ensure research outcomes aren’t confined to scientific journals. I believe the best way to achieve this is through communication between the whole of the agriculture sector from scientists and academics through to farmers”
After 2 years as Chair of the YVLT, Jo is excited to be stepping into the role of Returning Officer and sees her transition to an advisory role as a new way to continue paying forward the lessons learnt from her own mentors; and an important step in the succession plan of the YVLT.
“Access to mentors, resources and professional development opportunities is important to help young people realise their full potential. In 25-30 years’ time it will be young people making the decisions which shape the future of agriculture (and Australia). Now is the time to be investing in them so they have the capabilities to do so successfully.”
Anika Molesworth is a farmer, agricultural researcher and passionate and vocal advocate for the future of farming in a changing climate. She takes her story to the national and international stage having presented anywhere from the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris to Prime Super International Women’s Day Luncheons held around Australia. She has had one-on-one conversations with the Duke of Sussex and the 68th US Secretary of State John Kerry on climate action, and regularly appears on television shows such as The Project and The Drum. She has also recently returned from Antarctica as part of the Homeward Bound leadership program.
Anika brings her wealth of connections to the role of Partnerships Ambassador with YVLT and her belief in the power of young people to change the world. “I love to learn from this incredible team, and from the young people involved. I am keen to impart some of my knowledge; to exchange ideas and create conversation about the agricultural industry. I love the enthusiasm of young people - nothing is too big or out of their reach, anything is possible - and I love working with people with that mentality.”
As an Industry Development Officer with Temperate Fruits working with the NSW Department of Primary Industries, Jess is keen to amplify the voice of young people in horticulture. This was the motivation for her to join the Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program in 2019, and has led to her internship with YVLT.
“I am excited for the opportunity to learn new skills and to challenge myself in this role, which I see as supporting the committee and ensuring they have can meet their objectives efficiently and creatively. I will be recording minutes, organising the agenda, sending calendar invites, handling email correspondence and endeavouring to keep everyone on track.”
Jess has already been employing communication skills learnt through her time with Cultivate and YFC. “In the last 12 months I have presented research findings, fostered relationships through within the temperate fruit industry and was the twitter representative for NSW DPI at the Evoke Ag conference in February.”
At Picture you in Agriculture we believe empowered young people have the capacity to solve tomorrow’s problems today. The Innovation Hub is a Young Farming Champions 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.
On completion of a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from Sydney University, Tayla Field accepted a graduate position with salad producer One Harvest, which saw her begin work on Tasmanian farms before being transferred to the processing facility in Sydney and then to the sales department. With this rounded view of the company Tayla is now a Business Manager for One Harvest in Brisbane.
Throughout her career Tayla has been a Young Farming Champion. “Participating in the PYIA programs since 2016 has given me a breadth of personal and professional skills and built a great support network of like-minded people. The program continues to offer opportunities to engage with a great group of people and four years later this is what keeps me interested and looking to continue my learnings and involvement with PYIA.”
Tayla extended her networking opportunities when she recently spent seven weeks in the UK with a salad supplier and although this was truncated by COVID-19 she is now in a position to take a lead on the Innovation Hub. “The Innovation Hub will facilitate the scoping and exploration of exciting new projects, and extensions to current projects, that will focus on building engagement and supporting youth within different agricultural industries. I hope that through being a part of these sessions, we can develop platforms for young farmers and consumers to have discussions about important issues within our industry.”
Katherine Bain grew up as a sixth generation farmer in central Victoria, starting her own Coopworth sheep stud at age 14. At school she spent a year in Japan as an exchange student and realised the value of Australian wool to the world. She cemented this international experience by working on a cattle ranch in Canada and now is a Business Analyst with Paraway Pastoral Company, based in Orange, NSW.
Katherine has been a Young Farming Champion since 2016. “From my first YFC workshop it has been the people involved and their passion for the industry who keep me coming back for more. For example, I didn’t even know cotton was such a big industry for Australia until I met the Cotton YFC. Now I’m involved with a small amount of cotton growing through Paraway and I’ve got some first-rate experts to call on!”
Katherine brings this enthusiasm and networking experience to the Innovation Hub and looks forward to furthering the connection between students and the agricultural industry. “I hope the Innovation Hub will close a few knowledge gaps of where to get information on current issues and ensure the voice of agriculture gets heard in classrooms around Australia.”
Chloe Dutschke is all over the world of wool. She has mustered 10,000 acre paddocks, worked in shearing sheds and travelled to Hong Kong to learn about wool’s role in fashion. She now works as a genetics and feedlot overseer on a pastoral property in NSW’s Western Riverina.
Chloe’s passion and dedication to Australia’s wool industry were rewarded in 2019 when she was named the joint winner of the Peter Westblade Scholarship, and her willingness to share her story was celebrated when the National Farmers Federation published her experience of dealing with COVID-19. Throughout her career Chloe has been a Young Farming Champion. “I enjoy networking with like-minded individuals and being a part of an adaptable and ever-changing program that shares the same values I do and is part of a positive agricultural change.”
“I wanted to give back to the YFC program and felt I had the desired skills to bring to this committee. I also want to learn new skills and work with other YFC to develop workshops and create and deliver new ideas through the Innovation Hub.”
Samantha is a Wool Business Specialist at Elders, based at the National Wool Selling Centre in Melbourne, Victoria. Her role with Elders has allowed Samantha to develop a suite of innovative products including a weekly wool market podcast, and she co-developed a new wool-valuing system across all three of the Elders wool selling centres, earning her the title of 2019 Winner of National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia Broker Award.
Samantha brings these IT, social media and marketing skills to the table as an Innovation Hub committee member helping to identify and support new projects and provide input for future Young Farming Champion workshops. “I nominated for this role as an opportunity to put the training received as a YFC into practice, develop my skill-set and give back to the PYiA team and community who are a high calibre group of individuals united under Australian agriculture. Being part of this group also provides opportunities to the next generation of agriculturalists and consumers.”
Samantha is also the 2019/2020 WoolProducers Australia Youth Ambassador.