Start the day with the perfect cocktail

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This weekend Erin (see Next Gen giving our farm lots of TLC) has bought the troops in to put the finishing touches on our Fountaindale Dam project

Fountaindale Dam is a beautiful area bordering our farm but was sadly suffering from benign neglect and we have taken it upon ourselves to build community partnerships to help rectify this.

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This important community area covers diverse environmental zones including the headwaters of Fountaindale Creek which flows into Minnamurra River and wetlands.

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Red circle indicate area of Fountaindale Dam at Jamberoo

Whilst the dam borders our farm it is actually owned by Kiama Council who built it a long time ago in the hope of supplying Kiama with water. An expensive pipe dream as it turned out.

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Lots of farm generations have had fun playing under the dam wall

Above the dam are a number of hobby and lifestyle farms and many small mountain streams which bisect significant areas of high conservation value remnant rainforest feed into the dam. The hobby and lifestyle farms unfortunately in the main don’t fence their cattle out of the waterways and this has led to considerable degradation of the upper stream beds during the drought.

The region is also habitat for the spotted quoll – a beautiful little native animal (which also has a penchance for chooks)

Spotted quoll

Spotted quoll cute and endangered but don’t let him near your chickens

Zieria Granulata is an endangered shrub found only in the Illawarra region of NSW and also thrives here.

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With the support of Kiama Council and funding from a Community Action Grant and Erin’s expertise we cleared the invasive evil lantana from the banks of the dam.

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Lantana is considered to be one of the ten worst weeds worldwide but it is so entrenched in the Australian landscape its thickets now provide a substitute habitat for a range of animals, including bandicoots, whipbirds, quail, wrens, birdwing butterflies and brush turkeys, where it has replaced the natural understorey vegetation.

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Every wise landholder knows removing Lantana is a waste of time unless cleared areas are revegetated with native trees or pasture immediately and regular maintenance is a must until the vegetation is well established.

Fountaindale Dam Jan 18th 2011  (8)

Once we had cleared the Lantana we sowed ryegrass in the open areas and did spot spraying of secondary weed nasties in the rainforest understory.

Jack's Paddock

We ensure all our paddocks around the dam have a permanent pasture coverage which helps keep the nutrients on the pasture where they should be and not washed into the waterways during major rainfall events. 

This weekend Erin and her eco warriors have planted a further 400 rainforest tree species such as Black plum, bleeding heart and myrtle ebony as part of a new wildlife corridor.

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Petrol powered plant auger makes light work of digging the holes

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We even landscaped the backyard of our friendly neighbourhood wombat

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Michael bravely put his hand up to plant all the Giant Stinging Trees (Dendrocnide excelsa)-

The purpose of these plantings is to strengthen the existing wildlife corridor that links the lower rainforest to the rainforest around the dam. Once the trees in the wildlife corridor are established we will be planting rows of native grasses to act as a nutrient buffer zone between the pastures and the dam. This will ensure minimal farm runoff can get into the community waterways and help reduce the nutrient load on the waterways.

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All the rainforest trees that have been planted here have been provided by Landcare Illawarra as part of the “Illawarra Rainforest and Woodland project”.

This project aims to increase the genetic diversity of plantings in the Illawarra which has the potential to increase the level of fruiting of individual species. This is an important project as it aims to ensure genetic variability in the many species selected. Landcare Illawarra has collected seed from multiple locations to guarantee this.

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Many hands make light work and another great effort from Next Gen Eco Warriors

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Heads up today is Erin’s birthday – you can wish her happy birthday and tell her what a great little eco warrior she is via Twitter @ErinLake_C2G

There is no room for ordinary in agriculture anymore.

These days I get asked to speak at many varied events and that pleases me greatly

This month it is the Future World Eco Technology Centre in Wollongong and the topic is ‘Sustainable Urban Food Production”

Once upon a time when I was just starting my crusade ( Farmers Call to Arms) to give the community real farmers they could relate to and most importantly talk to; Rosemary Stanton was the face of sustainable agriculture at every community forum I went to. I was mortified. Expert on human nutrition she may be, commercial farmer she is not and whilst my degree gives me a sound knowledge of human nutrition and I have opinions about it there is no way I would up put myself up as an expert. Rosemary has strong opinions indeed about sustainable agriculture but that’s all they are, armchair expert opinions.

So I asked myself why is Rosemary asked to talk on this topic and not a farmer. After hearing her speak a couple of times and attending a few agriculture conferences the reason was obvious Rosemary Stanton is a damned good highly charismatic presenter

It then became very clear to me agriculture desperately needed farmers who were both experts in their field and charismatic speakers who could relate to urban audiences and urban audiences to them.

This is why I love and fight so hard for the Young Farming Champions program. (See footnote)

In November last year I presented at the Future Focused Ag Oz forum to a group of 20 young rising stars of agriculture. The topic of my presentation was “Wanted extraordinary people for an extraordinary challenge”

I started my presentation with a picture of me and said “My name is Lynne Strong and I am extraordinary”  Slide 1

This was followed by a picture of Michael and Nick with the statement “ I farm with my family and they are extraordinary”  Slide 2

I then put up a slide with a picture of our cows and said “our cows supply 50,000 Australians with milk everyday and they are extraordinary” Then I said “ as you can see there is a pattern forming here extraordinary can be contagious.” Slide 3

With that I asked each person to introduce themselves to the person sitting next to them and then tell them they were extraordinary and of course these exciting young people got into the groove straight away.

Slide 4 went on to say “Feeding, clothing and housing the world now and in the next 50 years is going to require an extraordinary effort. This means we need extraordinary people to take up the challenge.  There is no room for ordinary in agriculture anymore”

Now when I do a new presentation that’s a bit out there I run it by my family. This time I only showed them slides 1, 2 and 3 without telling them who the audience was.  They both looked shocked and said “You are not giving that presentation to dairy farmers are you?”  When I said no its for a group of young farmers with similar mindset to the Young Farming Champions they were quite comfortable with that but assured me I could never give that presentation to a group of dairy farmers.

I recently asked a wise person who works across all industries why dairy farmers are such quiet achievers.? Why has it been inbuilt in dairy farmers to play things down? Why aren’t we encouraged to celebrate?

He said the dairy industry is like the egg industry. They are the two most silo orientated industries in Australia and this mindset is embeded in their culture.

It is clear to me and the exciting young farmers I meet and work with we need a culture of change as being quiet achievers is achieving very little. Agriculture has great stories to tell and farmers should be loud and proud. If agriculture is going to overcome the challenges and grasp the opportunities with both hands it is imperative that we find vehicles for our young farmers to stand up and show Australia (and the world) just how extraordinary our farmers are.

I am currently putting together a number of blog posts for the Art4agriculutureChat site that have been written by some of the inspiring young farmers I have met over the last 12 months.

Last week we featured Melissa Henry and thanks to the twitterverse and Facebook Melissa’s story is now one of the Art4AgricultureChat most popular blog posts. It is clear that the community is interested in stories about young farmers written by young farmers  and we will be sharing them with you as often as we can

Next up is Young Farming Champion, AYOF Roadie and NSW Farmers Young Farmers’ Council Chair Hollie Baillieu followed by Horizon Scholar Rozzie O’Reilly. Two extraordinary young farmers of the future.

You can read Hollies post here Agriculture can take you anywhere you chose

If you know an exciting young farmer and would like to share their story with the world send me an email at Lynnestrong@cloverhilldairies.com.au

Footnote

The Young Farming Champions program was inspired by the most impressive initiative I have ever been involved in which is the Climate Champions program.

The Climate Champions program is a cross industry partnership of farmers across Australia which has exposed me to the bright minds from other industries. There is nothing more rewarding for your personal development than surrounding yourself with innovative thinkers you can learn from. The Climate Champions program is managed by the fabulous team from Econnect who not only deliver the workshops they support each of the 34 farmers 365 days 24/7

The Climate Champions program is a collaboration between the Grains Research & Development Corporation, Managing Climate Variability and Meat & Livestock Australia

Farmers call to arms

Each year the Readers Digest does a poll to determine Australia’s most trusted professions. Last year as you can see farmers came in at number 7.

Top ten most trusted professions in 2011

1. Paramedics

2. Firefighters

3. Pilots

4. Rescue volunteers

5. Nurses

6. Pharmacists

7. Farmers

8. Medical specialists

9. GPs

10. Veterinarians

Four years ago when farmers were at number 9 I showed the list to a group of farmers and posed the question “ why aren’t farmers at the top of the list”. The farmers around the table replied “ the majority of the professions in the top 10 save lives”. My reply was without farmers supplying people with food, their most basic of needs, there would be no life and we need to find away to remind people just how important farmers are.

At that time I received mostly blank looks to my suggestion from the farmers around the table. I thought this was very sad and recognised we also needed to find a way to make farmers realise just how important they are. After all if you don’t believe in yourself how can you expect anyone else too.

So I began a crusade to fix this lack of appreciation of farmer self worth and initiated the Art4Agriculture programs to provide opportunities for farmers to share their stories with the community and in turn get a greater understanding of the community’s expectations of the people who supply them with food and fibre. The aim was to create a two way appreciation between rural and urban communities and an understanding of how much we rely on each other.

This year is Australian Year of the Farmer. A once in a life time opportunity to remind people (farmers and the community alike) just how important our farmers are.

Australian Year of the Farmer is an opportunity for every primary industry, every rural community and every farmer to invite their urban cousins to join them in a 365 day celebration.

Beyond Art4agriculture’s activities I am having a dinner party once a month for my urban friends. They will receive a copy of an Australian rural showcase like Fiona Lake’s books which my first guests were lucky enough to get.

AYOF dinner

We will celebrate local produce, drink local wine and I will be encouraging them to wake up each morning and say “I thank a farmer today”

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There is no shortage of great food on the South Coast.  And just to prove it we recently won the 100 mile challenge

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What do you have planned?

Well known Australian author Fleur McDonald– the voice of outback has pledged to get hold of 52 Farmers and post a blog a week from a farmer. From every part of Agriculture; grain, stock, mixed, fishing, dairy, viticulture, communications and so on and so forth!

This week I am very honoured to say I am farmer no 4. You will find my blog on Fleur’s site as well as at the bottom of this post.

CALL TO ARMS

This is my challenge to Australian farmers. Farmers are currently number 7 on Australia’s most trusted professions list. How can we work together to make 2012 the year Australia votes to put their farmers at number 1?

I look forward to working with each and everyone of you to make this happen

Fleur McDonald – Australian Year of the Farmer – a farmers story No 4 by Lynne Strong Clover Hill Dairies

Firstly I would like thank Fleur McDonald for giving me this opportunity to share my story and congratulate her for taking the lead in Australian Year of the Farmer by sharing 52 farmers’ stories. For too long food has been about cooking and eating and recipes and restaurants with little attention paid to the origin of the key ingredients. It’s time for everyone in the food value chain to follow Fleur’s lead and put faces to the product and give our customers real farmers they can relate to

1. Summary of your family and farming enterprise

My name is Lynne Strong and I farm at Clover Hill Dairies in partnership with my husband Michael and son Nick in what I refer to as paradise – the beautiful Jamberoo valley on the South Coast of NSW.

Clover Hill Dairies

Jamberoo is the birth place of the Australian dairy industry and the cooperative movement and my family has been farming here for 180 years.

I am actively involved in the day to day running of our two dairy farms where we milk 500 cows that produce milk to supply over 50,000 Australians daily. Lynne and Michael Strong

The highlight of my farming journey to date has been winning the National Landcare Primary Producer Award. This award recognises farmers who have a holistic view of farming and are committed to achieving the delicate balance between sustainable and profitable food production, and the health and wellbeing of people, animals and the planet

Nick Strong

2. Why I farm

· I farm because the people I care about most in the world farm and they are in it for the long haul

· I farm because I believe feeding, clothing and housing the world is the noblest profession

· I farm because I like the mental intensity, the constant review process, the drive to get up each day and do it better. The fulfilling challenge of balancing productivity, people, animals and the planet

· I farm because inspirational people farm. Feeding, clothing and housing the world now and in the next 50 years is going to require an extraordinary effort. This means we need extraordinary people to take up the challenge. When I work with inspirational people, they light my fire, feed my soul and challenge me to continue to strive to make a unique contribution to agriculture and the community.

3. What do you foresee as the biggest short term and long term challenges in farming?

Sadly Australia is complacent about the challenges to food security. There is a lack of appreciation by society in general of the interdependence of environment, agriculture, food and health.

However if we are to progress and fuel the mushrooming food needs of the cities while meeting the community’s expectations for environmental sustainability and animal well-being, then both rural and urban communities must have greater mutual empathy and respect.

This I believe is the real challenge facing farmers in the immediate future -How do we fix it?

As I see it we can do one of two things. We (farmers) can sit back and lament that we are victims or we can actively acknowledge that farmers are business people selling a product and successful businesses recognise marketing is a strategic part of doing business.

Marketing doesn’t mean every farmer needs to have a logo, spend money on advertising, write a marketing plan, write a blog, join Twitter or Facebook – it simply means being customer focused. This means you have to understand your customer and their values and your business has to BE the image you want your customer to see.Then whenever you get a chance, put that image out there. It may be at the farmgate, at a local farmers market, a community meeting, a media interview or whenever you are in contact with consumers.

Every sector of the food system whether they be farmers, manufacturers, branded food companies, supermarkets or restaurants is under ever increasing pressure to demonstrate they are operating in a way that is consistent with stakeholder values and expectations. Farmers cannot expect to be exempted from this scrutiny just because we grow the food.

Businesses are built on relationships. This means we (farmers) have to get out there in our communities and start having two way conversations with our customers

Excitingly I know that once farmers embrace the concept they will discover like me that it can be very rewarding talking to your customers. They are interested and they do care.

There are so many ways farmers can share their stories. To help achieve this I initiated the innovative ‘Art4Agriculture’ programs which started with Picasso Cows and is now the Archibull Prize. The Archibull Prize uses art and multimedia to engage thousands of students in learning about the valuable role farmers play in Australia’s future.

With the Art4Agriculture team I am working on establishing an Australia wide network of ‘young agricultural champions’ who are trained to tell the great story of Australian agriculture to the next generation of consumers – students.

This program connects young people from different food and fibre industries. They get to see their similarities, they find common ground, they realise each has issues that are just as challenging, and they learn how they can help each other.

Art4Agriculture’s Young Farming Champions program for 2012 will train a team of 24 young farmers from regional Australia to actively engage with students in schools around Australia. The students will focus on a particular food or fibre industry, receive a unique insight from their Young Farming Champion and then enter their project work (their Archie) to vie for the ‘Archibull Prize’.

Our Young Farming Champions will also have the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive and diverse array of initiatives offered by our supporting partners. These events will provide a platform from which to develop, build and strengthen the capacity of the Young Farming Champions and allow primary industries to develop key farmer-to-stakeholder and farmer-to-consumer relationships.

Through their involvement in Art4Agriculture school programs our Young Farming Champions will be able to directly market their food or fibre industry and its diverse career pathways to a captive and relevant audience. The legacy of the Young Farming Champions program is to create an Australia wide network of enthusiastic young professionals and build their capacity to promote Australian agriculture as a dynamic, innovative, rewarding and vibrant industry.

We believe this program will not only help build the capability of young rural people to farm with resilience and confidence it will provide a great platform to spark the next generations’ interest in an agricultural career.

4. What is my vision for the future?

My vision for the future isn’t too difficult; it just requires a different way of thinking. I believe a profitable and sustainable healthy future for the farming sector is achievable – the health and welfare of all Australians and many people around the world depends on it.

To drive the process of change requires champions and leaders. But to change grass roots perceptions, we need grass roots action. Farmers care about the country, their livestock and the people they provide with food and fibre. Beyond best farming practices, farmers have to be out in communities, walking the talk – from paddock to plate, from cow to consumer – and building trust between rural and urban communities. I want farming men and women to go out and sell the message that feeding and clothing the world is an awesome responsibility and a noble profession, and that it offers great careers. Just imagine if we could achieve my vision of an Australia-wide network of trained, passionate farmers talking directly with the communities they supply!

5. What do you wish non-farmers / city people & the Australian Government understood about farming?

Australian farmers proudly feed and clothe 60 million people. If they were doctors or nurses or pharmacists or ambulance officers or firemen there would be a moment in most people’s lives when they would be reminded just how important those professions are.
But farmers, at less than 1 per cent of the Australian population, are almost invisible and with food in abundance in this country, there is little opportunity to remind Australians just how important our farmers are.
I am hoping Australian Year of the Farmer starts a very long conversation and a new appreciation for the land that produces our food and the hands that grow it

6. What would I like to see on a billboard?

Billboard – across Sydney Harbour Bridge

“If you want safe, affordable, nutritious food forever love the land that produces it and the hands that grow it.”

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You can visit us at the following websites:

Clover Hill Dairies www.cloverhilldairies.com.au

Art4agriculture www.art4agriculture.com.au

Read our blogs at:

Clover Hill Dairies Diary http://cloverhilldiaries.com/

Art4agriculturechat http://art4agriculturechat.wordpress.com

Follow us on twitter:

@chdairies and @art4ag

Follow us on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clover-Hill-Dairies/211850082224503

http://www.facebook.com/art4agriculture/

You can find links to our Flickr, Slideshare and YouTube accounts on our websites as well as my email address. Looking forward to hearing from you

Custodians of the land

Clover Hill Dairies in partnership with a number of local stakeholders has been lucky enough to access Federal government Caring for our Country funding to deliver great environmental outcomes on both local dairy farms and hobby farms which are also providing significant benefits for the waterways of the wider catchment

When we started these activities on the farm five years ago we recognised we didn’t have the expertise required to do the job to the level of significance our landscape deserved so we sought expertise from Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority and Landcare Illawarra to ensure best on farm and wider catchment environmental outcomes. We outsourced cow comfort expertise from our farm consultant Dr Neil Moss and Dairy Australia’s NSW NRM coordinator Jess Jennings

Then we got stuck into it and we were pretty pleased with the outcomes and ourselves. A couple of years down the track we found we had ongoing maintenance problems and we readily admit we were well and truly out of our depth.

Cows grazing along water ways do a great job of keeping the weeds under control but the negative is they pollute the waterways and the negatives definitely out way the positives

So when you fence the cows out of the waterways and riparian zones the challenge is then how do you control the nasty weeds. Again you get the experts in and this time its was the bush regenerators. If you then take the time and have two way conversations with these amazing people you learn so much and we now have a new appreciation for our native landscapes and the plants who inhabit them.

We have worked with a number of bush regenerators over the years but our favourite is Erin Lake who I wrote about here

Erin with the help of director Ann Burbrook and videographer Tay Plain of Clear Cut Productions is creating a series of short videos with which we aim to engage, enthuse, educate and empower both farmers and rural landholders who care about their land but don’t necessarily have the skills sets to ensure the best outcomes for the landscape and the native animals

Here are some pictorial highlights from the last two days of the film shoot on the farm

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Director Ann and “talent” Erin co write the scripts

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On set Day 1 and Tay checks out the lighting

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and action

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Ann multi-skills and Erin proves to be a natural. Watch out Richard Attenborough

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Day 2. As far as locations go it doesn’t get much better than this

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Learning the lines

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was never so peaceful

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Cant wait to see the outcome of this footage

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New life

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Its a wrap and now long process of editing and reviewing the footage begins

We hope the take home message from our videos will be

Whether you are a commercial farmer or a hobby farmer or just lucky enough to have your own little piece of rural heaven it is pivotal to remember we are just custodians of the land

The landscape and our waterways are our lifeblood, they feed us, they provide us with natural beauty and so much more, they are not a toy and we must treat them with respect

If you don’t have the skills to manage them to the level they deserve GET THE EXPERTS IN

Russian latte–opening the farmgate has many advantages

We have been opening our farm gate to international delegations for over ten years.

There is no denying hosting visitors to your farm is a lot of work. It can also be very rewarding and enlightening

I grew up a country town in NSW. I met the first person who couldn’t speak English when I was ten. I was fascinated by the new girl at our school who was Italian and didn’t speak one word of English. How brave was she. We didn’t mean to but I am pretty sure we all made her feel like an alien.

I learnt French at school so was very comfortable travelling to France when I went overseas but I must admit sadly I have favoured visits to overseas countries where the majority of people speak English.

So hosting delegations of farmers who speak no English is quite an eye opening learning experience. Whilst they always come with a translator invariably the translator knows little about farming.

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Dimitry the translator knew little about farming but he made up for that with lots of personality and good humour

The farmers always take loIMG_6702ts of notes

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take hundred of pictures

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not only video cameras but and Ipads as well

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and ask a lot of questions

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and like all farmers love big pieces of machinery

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and love to share their farming stories and this weeks visitors from Russia were no different.

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Our consultant Dr Neil Moss was on hand to explain the technical details

Come to think of it I don’t think I have meet a Russian before and these farmers where so Russian. Why was I so flabbergasted when the bottles of vodka were bought out for morning team

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There was vodka for the Russian Lattes

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Straight vodka and vodka on the rocks

Russian Birthday Boy

Russian and Aussie icons go down well together

This Russian delegation was from the Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) region and they were very proud of their heritage presenting me with a replica of the famous Motherland Calls statue.

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The history of this statue is fascinating. Briefly in 1967, the Soviet Union dedicated a towering monument to one of its great World War II triumphs. The Motherland Calls stands 170 ft., hoisting a sword to the sky that measures another 108 ft. 200 steps lead to the base of the statue to commemorate the 200 day battle of Stalingrad where the Red Army broke a German siege, only to surround and defeat the invading army. Motherland is not fixed to her base, though, and seeping groundwater has caused the plinth to lean nearly eight inches.

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I also received a bottle of Russia’s finest and I have since had a few Cosmopolitans to remind me of our new Russian friends

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Two way conversations are the key

As anyone who knows me will tell you I have very strong opinions about the way forward for sustainable agriculture.

Today my post reflects on the importance of both talking and listening.

Sadly Australia is complacent about the challenges to food security.  There is a lack of appreciation by society in general of the interdependence of environment, agriculture, food and health.

However if we are to progress and fuel the mushrooming food needs of the cities while meeting the community’s expectations for environmental sustainability and animal well being, then both rural and urban communities must have greater mutual empathy and respect.

This I believe is the real challenge facing farmers in the immediate future – how do we fix it?

As I see it we can do one of two things

We (farmers) can sit back and lament that we are victims or we can actively acknowledge that farmers are business people selling a product and successful businesses recognise marketing is the strategic part of doing business.

Marketing doesn’t mean every farmer needs to write a blog, join Twitter or Facebook it simply means being customer focused. This means you have to understand your customer and their values and your business has to BE the image you want your customer to see.

Every sector of the food system whether that be farmers, manufactures, branded food companies, supermarkets or restaurants is under ever increasing pressure to demonstrate they are operating in a way that is consistent with stakeholder values and expectations. Farmers cannot expect to be exempted from this scrutiny just because we grow the food.

Businesses are built on relationships. This means we (farmers) have to get out there in our communities and start having two way conversations with our customers

Excitingly I know that once farmers embrace the concept they will discover like me that it can be very rewarding talking to your customers. They are interested and they do care.

There are so many ways farmers can share their stories. This one is very quirky and I just love it. Check it out you will too

Cobargo Dairy Farmer Stephanie Tarlinton shares her story via YouTube

WINNING DAIRY ENTRIES ANNOUNCED

 

Recognising all food fibre industries share common ground we have designed the  Archibull Prize as a cross industry partnership.

This year we showcased grains, beef, sheep, wool, dairy and the egg industry.

There are some superb dairy entries with Model Farms High School coming second overall.

This post is a tribute to all the schools who studied the dairy industry and showcases the winning dairy entries.

A special thank you to our Young Dairy Farming Champions Emma Visser, Erin Lake Stephanie Tarlinton, and Naomi Marks. You are all absolute stars

By the way just to reinforce that this month alone Emma has won her section of the Heywire competition and Naomi has been named Ms Dorrigo Showgirl !!!!!!!


THE ARCHIBULL PRIZE 2011 HONOUR ROLL

Archibull Prize  2011

Runner Up

Model Farms High School

Model Farms



Secondary School Winner

Best Blog

Model Farms High School
(Dairy Industry)



Secondary School Winner

Best PowerPoint
Model Farms High School
(Dairy Industry)


Primary School Winner

Best Video

Schofield Primary School
(Dairy Industry)


Technology Award of Excellence

Windsor Public School


The Archibull Prize was developed with the support of the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, Woolworths Ltd, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, NSW Department of Primary Industries, LandLearn NSW and Hawkesbury Harvest.


Want to join the Archibull Prize Team in 2012?

Opportunities are available for other organisations who share the same passion and vision as we do to be part of the Archibull Prize 2012

For more information please contact
National Program Director
Lynne Strong
105 Clover Hill Rd
Jamberoo NSW 2533
Phone 02 42 360 309
Mobile 0412 428 334
Email: lynnestrong@art4agriculture.com.au
Web: www.art4agriculture.com.au

Join the growing list of supporting partners for 2012

AND THE WINNER IS

My family has been farming for 180 years. 180 of great farming stories waiting to be told. But how, but where and to whom. My family aren’t alone farmers across Australia have great stories to tell.  So I decided to fill this gap and what better audience than our future, our school students, the next generation of consumers, decision makers and our workforce.

So Art4Agriculture was born. Our signature program is the Archibull Prize and now we have paired the Archibull Prize with the Young Farming Champions program which I hope will be my ongoing legacy.

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The Archibull Prize Awards and Exhibition Day is the highlight of the Art4Agriculture year 

It was yesterday and it was huge. Woolworths rolled out the red carpet and hosted the event. The Hon Katrina Hodgkinson not only presented the winners she spent considerable time viewing the artworks and talking to the students  

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I love the Archibull Prize. Every entry gives me one of those ‘feel good’ moments.

It reminds me that young Australians are interested and positive about the future and they are filled with hope.

Don’t believe what you read in the papers – our school students are engaged, they are talented and they are truly inspiring!

And this competition proves it!

This year was second time we have rolled out the program in Western Sydney with 5 primary schools and 15 secondary schools participating.

20 bulls have made their way to the judging ring and today we found out which schools have triumphed in each of the categories and who is the Grand Champion Bull

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Once again it has been an outstanding success

I thought the entries last year were impressive – but the schools who participated this year have taken things to a whole new level.

  • We have some amazing examples of fine art
  • We have discovered digital technology we didn’t no existed
  • We have entries that have astounded the heads of the food and fibre industries our schools have showcased

World class is the only way to describe the efforts of the teachers and the student participants in the 2011 Archibull Prize

and the winners are ?

Announced by the Hon Katrina Hodgkinson Minister for Primary Industries and Small  Business

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Primary Winner

Secondary Winner

Artwork

Macarthur Anglican School

($250.00)

Caroline Chisholm College

($250.00)

Blog

Macarthur Anglican School

($250.00)

Model Farms High School

($250.00)

PowerPoint

St Michaels Catholic Primary School

($250.00)

Colo High School ($250.00)

Model Farms High School ($250.00)

Video

Schofield Primary School

($250.00)

Caroline Chisholm College

($250.00)

Overall 2012 Archibull Prize Winner

Caroline Chisholm College ($1,000.00)

“Moobiks Cube”

Artwork Award of Excellence

Hurlstone Agricultural High School

Quakers Hill High School

Richmond High School

Innovation in Technology Award of Excellence

Windsor Public School

 

See all the picture from the Awards and Exhibition Day on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/art4agriculture/

There are so many ways to meet a farmer – Part 1

This week has been huge I have been everywhere but on farm ( hugs and kisses to the people who milk the cows. Thank god they don’t need to rely on me to wear that hat).

Yesterday was one of those blissful days where you come home elated (albeit very sunburnt. Note to self. Buy sunscreen for handbag)

What bought on this feeling of euphoria you ask? Well the answer to that is easy my sister Kerrie and I joined Jacqueline Weiley of Foodscape Tours on their South Coast Indulgence tour to Berry & Beyond.

Jacqueline Weiley is one of those wonderful people who not only wakes up everyday and says “I thank a farmer today” she spends her spare time spruiking regional farmers and produce far and wide in every way imaginable.

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Love your work Jac

Here is a little background from the Foodscape Tours website

With a shared passion for food and a friendship spanning over 17 years, Jacqueline and business partner Karen  launched Foodscape Tours in 2009 to acknowledge and celebrate regional food. Karen and her husband moved to Byron Bay in 2003 for a change of lifestyle. Karen saw an opportunity to leave a corporate marketing and communications career behind and follow one of her passions – food. She began working with a local food manufacturing company and soon became part of the growing Northern Rivers food industry.

Jacqueline began her marketing career working for a small consultancy offering marketing, public relations and distribution advice to gourmet food producers from Tasmania, igniting a life-long passion for food and quality produce. In 2009 she moved to the NSW South Coast to be closer to her family where she got to know the local producers. She soon discovered they were hungry to get involved with Foodscape Tours on the South Coast.

Since Jacqueline moved back to South Coast ( she still has the job that pays the bills in Sydney) I have had the absolute delight of working with her as part of  the South Coast Harvest Experience and 100 Mile Challengeteams

Kerrie and I were met in Gerringong at 8.30 am by Jac and her gorgeous dad Gordon who drives the bus

Our first port of call was to be the Berry Tea Shop where we sampled artisan teas in one of Berry’s most beautiful specialty retail stores

Owners Paulina and Cliff Collier say “Tea brings people together and has a beautiful sense of warmth and hospitality. It is something you can sit down with and enjoy with friends. There is also an important ritual around it – you are boiling the kettle, putting the leaves in the pot and letting it steep and, in our busy lives, it is something that brings you back to the present, even if just for 10 minutes of your day. And it’s great for your health – we should all drink to that!”

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Kerrie says I will drink to that

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Not only tea but every kind of tea pot and tea cup you could ever imagine

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Christmas pudding tea cosies to boot

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MMMMh interesting imagery on this tea pot

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and Cliff produced scones to die for

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Just ask Kerrie ( and I had two)

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Are you really buying all those things Kerrie?

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“Yes she is” says Paulina

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“Its Christmas and my friends and family deserve the best of the best” says Kerrie

Joining us on our Foodscape Tour was Penny Baker the new editor of South Coast Style Magazineand photographer Philip Atkinson.

How excited was I to be out and about with my new Canon camera and 70-300mm zoom lens ( about which I know nothing about both) and get to watch an expert photographer in action

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Kerrie and Jac with Penny and Philip from South Coast Style Magazine share tales of the Shoalhaven River with Neil from Riverside Strawberries 

Next stop was South Coast Providores. It was great to catch up with the dynamic duo that is Carole Rutta and Ian Grey of South Coast Providores. Ian and Carole have a “local” philosophy on food and source over 85% of their ingredients from local farmers and growers. They also sell local produce every Friday at their “Locavore Friday” market.

Carole also played a key role in the bringing the South Coast Harvest Experience to our region and she and Ian are another great example of the exciting sea changers who are moving to our region and using their considerable talents to promote local food and the people who grow it

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Kerrie’s friends are going to shout with glee when they see the South Coast Providores delicacies she bought for them and mine are going to tuck into roasted beetroot and red wine relish when they drop by for Christmas cheer and cheese

We then jumped back on the bus and took the road to Terrara where we would meet the first of the local producers Jo and Neil from Riverside Strawberries and Citrus.

But this story will have to wait until next time. First rule of blogging “keep your posts short and sweet” and you must admit this post had lots of sweets on offer

For information on Foodscape Tours contact. (I feel some gift vouchers coming on)

Jacqueline Weiley
Foodscape Tours

1300 502 100  |  0409 123 553  |  www.foodscapetours.com.au  |  www.facebook.com/foodscapetours
Members of The Hawkesbury Harvest – South Coast Harvest Experience & Northern Rivers Food

Hello World, Welcome to my world

My name is Lynne Strong and I am a woman with many, many hats. Some I wear better than others I readily admit.

The one I wear most proudly though is my farmer hat. I will be the first to admit it isn’t a hat that I saw myself wearing as a little girl.

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I grew up on a farm and even though I enjoyed being hands on in the day to day running of the farm and the lifestyle that comes with it the idea of being a farmer was most definitely not on my list of top 10 professions.

I farm today because the people I most care about in the world farm and they are in it for the long haul.

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Farming today is no walk in the park. Feeding, clothing and housing the world now and in the next 50 years is going to require an extraordinary effort. This means we need extraordinary people to take up the challenge.  My husband Michael, my son Nick and our farm team (and our cows) have put their hands up to take on the challenge and I want to work side by side with these extraordinary people.

So why write a blog. Well my family have been farming in the Jamberoo Valley on the South Coast of New South Wales since 1831 (and in Ireland and Scotland probably for centuries before that).  That is 7 generations of farming families and 180 years of blood sweat, tears, passion and commitment that have gone into what is now producing milk for 50,000 Australians everyday

That’s 180 years of great stories waiting to be told. And I knew from my interactions with our friends and neighbours that the community wanted to hear those stories.

They just needed the right vehicle. So Art4Agriculture was conceived and Art4Agriculuture has its own entire wardrobe of hats.

But people keep telling me there was still a gap missing, we need more farmers to share their stories to help provide the community with real farmers they can relate to.

Writing a blog is indeed a great way to open the door to our farms, share our ups and downs, the frustrations and challenges, the passion and commitment but most of all show the community that the faith they have in Australian farm produce is warranted.

I am writing this blog to join other inspiring farmers who are opening thier farmgates and help inspire other farming men and women to share their stories. To help show them the community does love farmers, that they do want to hear our stories but they maybe a bit concerned about modern farming practices and whether the way we farm today fits into their rural idyll.

Lets not forget farmers are people and not all people are perfect but there is a whole nation of Australian farmers who get up everyday and say “today I want to move one step closer to being being a perfect farmer”.

What is the definition of perfect farming? That’s the challenge – that’s the two way conversation I would like to have with my readers.

I will put this one out there as a definition this morning “We believe that responsible farming is not only about ‘doing the right thing’ but makes sense – for our animals, our landscape, our people and our communities”.

So lets start the conversation I invite my readers to write me a mission statement for their “perfect” farm