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Beyond the Bale : September 2012
22 22 September 2010 Beyond the Bale September 2012 Beyond the Bale 22 on-farm helping bridge the divide between the city and regional areas, the 2012 Young Farming Champions (YFC) are breaking the stereotypes of the conventional Australian farmer. Co-sponsored by AWI, the initiative is a program developed by Art4Agriculture – a network of young people who share a passion about teaching others the pivotal role Australian farmers play in feeding and clothing the world. This program will not only help build the capability of young rural people to farm with resilience and confidence, but it will provide a great platform to spark the next generation’s interest in an agricultural career. Lauren Crothers from Dirranbandi, Queensland, Kathleen Allan from Yass, NSW, Sammi Townsend from Lyndhurst, NSW, and Stephanie Grills from Armidale, NSW were the four recipients chosen to represent the wool industry and be trained to become local faces of sustainable primary production. They will go to schools participating in another Art4Agriculture program – the Archibull Prize – to engage with the students, share stories and improve understanding about farmers and farming, and work together to find possible solutions to the challenges facing the wool industry and the wider community. AWI Education and Extension Program Manager Claudia Wythes said the program was a great way to not only communicate the key messages of the wool industry, but also deliver a positive message about the next generation of Australia’s farmers. “ Our four young farmers have been chosen to identify and showcase the new generation becoming involved in the wool industry,” Ms Wythes said. “Sending the Champions to urban schools participating in the Archibull Prize, which uses art and multimedia, gives city students an insight into modern agricultural practices and the efforts our farmers undertake, and in turn provides farmers with a better understanding of their urban customers. “ The program also provides an opportunity for AWI to raise awareness of wool whilst mentoring those already participating in the industry.” Creating connections with real people in the industry will help bridge the rural-urban divide and, according to Art4Agriculture’s national program director Lynne Strong, will portray agriculture as a Young farming Champions Bridging the rural-urban divide Kathleen allen from Yass, Lyndhurst’s sammi Townsend and Lauren Crothers from Dirranbandi are future faces of australia’s wool industry and current Young farming Champions.