I have had a very inspiring 3 week road trip which started with an invitation to judge the Spirit of the Land Farm Art Sculpture’s competition. You can see my photos of this amazing event here
Following the Lockhart Festival I joined The Archibull Prize artwork judge architect Wendy Taylor on her yearly whirlwind tour searching for the WOW Archie. Poor Wendy this year proved to be very stressful – the wow factor was off the scale as you can see here.
For me as a farmer the highlight of this trip is talking to the teachers and students and listening to their journey and finding out the impact the program has had on them, their school and the wider community.
Did the students and teachers and farmers have the courageous conversations we all need to have to ensure Australian farmers can continue to feed and clothe Australian families in the highly challenging environment we find ourselves in on so many levels?
The big threats to reliable access to safe, affordable and healthy food in this country like increasing and prolonged extreme weather events, declining access to land, water and non renewable energy sources, food waste, biosecurity risks and and increasing consumer concerns about modern farming practices.
The students looked at all these big ticket issues and many more. They created artworks, they blogged and they animated and wow did they have courageous conversations, They have thought boldly . They have shown they have the courage to drive change and find new and better ways of doing things . Mega kudos to them and their outstanding example to the rest of us
These little cuties from Lockhart had such a great time making pom pom sheep
The Archibull Prize is a very costly program to run as you can imagine. Australia is a big country and transporting life size fibreglass cows doesn’t come cheap. Many people donate their time and expertise to ensure the program is delivered on behalf of farmers everywhere to the level of significance our wonderful Australian produce deserves
In fact the Young Farming Champions – some of Australian agriculture’s most inspirational young people donate thousands of hours between them to gain the skills and knowledge to go into schools participating in The Archibull Prize to tell agriculture’s story and share their values, hopes and dreams for a bright future for agriculture in this country
Interestingly enough it was Cotton Australia who was the first industry to put their hands up to participate in The Archibull Prize. Always an industry that thinks outside the box they could see the potential of using a blank fibreglass cow to tell the story of cotton. Although I must admit it did take me a while to convince them the award shouldn’t be the called The Archiboll Prize. Just to show you what I knew about cotton at that time I had to ask what a ‘boll’ was
Let me show you how inspiring an innovative vehicle, a blank fibreglass cow, an exciting young farming champion and some great classroom resources can be to tell Cotton Tales in a way that resonate with the people that matter – the people who buy what farmers produce and I am not even going to show you the artwork yet
The Many Faces of Cotton
Investigating the Australian Cotton Industry
Did you know Australian Cotton is the best in the World?
How to make a Cotton Calf
And we haven’t even talked about cows telling sheep tales yet
Well check this out
Where there’s Wool There’s a Runway
Weaving the Woollen Dream
And this is just a sample – so glad I am not judging these
BTW Check out the Learn about Wool school resources here