Queensland farmers are being encouraged to get their local school involved in the ground breaking Archibull Prize program, a farmer designed initiative from Art4Agriculture.
Rolled-out through NSW schools, Art4Agriculture has introduced the next generation to the world of food production while raising the profile and importance of the industry.
National program manager and NSW farmer, Lynne Strong said the program started in NSW by farmers encouraging local schools to take-part.
Art4Agriculture covers all agriculture industries, from farmgate to plate, while students create a final art project.
“The Archibull Prize encourages the development of big ideas through teamwork and cooperation, with all work centred on a food or fibre industry,” Lynne said.
“Last year students were paired with a Young Farming Champion (YFC) and used a blank fibreglass cow to create an artwork showcasing their industry research, including the farmers who produce it and sustainable production.
“Students also produce a weekly blog documenting the journey of the artwork as well as a short online video about the industry.”
Farmers are vital to the success of the program, according to Lynne.
“Agriculture deserves the country’s best and brightest to take it forward and attracting people of this calibre starts in schools, what better way to do this than using real-life farmers as ambassadors,” she said.
“Our YFCs are often the first link many of these urban schools have with the land.”
“A presentation by a YFC not only provides technical information for students to use as part of their Archibull Project, they also make a connection with a peer working in agriculture.
“These partnerships create powerful understandings between future farmers and urban consumers and also provide a marketing benefit for industry, the opportunity to tell the story of sustainability and success.”
In the past two years over 10,500 students have heard a presentation by a YFC with increasing numbers reporting an improved image of agriculture.
Queensland Beef Champion, farmer and Grazing and Land Management Officer with the Fitzroy Basin Association Bronwyn Roberts was the Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College, NSW YFC who were runners up in Archibull Prize in 2012.
“I gained so much from being part of this wonderful program and I encourage fellow farmers to contact their local school and get them involved,” she said.
“In these current times, where agriculture is competing with other industry for land use, labour, funding and services it is important that we have a strong network of consumers who support the industry and accept our social license as the trusted and sustainable option.”
Art4agriculture is always looking for Young Beef Farmers who would like to be Young Farming Champions. For more information about Art4Agriculture visit: www.art4agriculture.com.au.