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Beyond the Bale : June 2014
2014 Young Farming June 2014 BEYOND THE BALE 50 ON-FARM The Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion program, co-sponsored by AWI, is helping break the stereotypes of the conventional Australian farmer, and bridge the divide between city and regional areas. The program aims to create an Australia-wide network of enthusiastic young professionals to promote Australian agriculture as a dynamic, innovative, rewarding and vibrant industry. Young Farming Champions go to events and schools to engage with students and the public, share stories and improve understanding about farmers and farming. The program also helps build the capability of young rural people to farm with resilience and confidence. AWI is sponsoring four Young Farming Champions in 2014 to be ambassadors for the wool industry. Meet the future of the industry... FAST FACTS l Four young Australians have been selected as 2014 Young Farming Champions (YFC) for the wool industry and are sharing their enthusiasm for wool with students from the city. l These YFCs aim to educate their generation about the wool industry and show there is a bright and prosperous future in it. l The program, now in its fourth year, enables AWI to mentor the young faces of wool as well as raise awareness of the fibre. TOM TOURLE Dubbo based Tom Tourle says he always knew agriculture was the industry for him. "My journey in agriculture started the same way as any other kid growing up on the land. Whenever I was asked what I wanted to be when I grow up, my response was always the same: 'Just like dad'." Tom has a thirst for education, completing stock handling and marketing courses fresh out of high school, before he headed to North Queensland as a cattle station ringer. In September 2012 he returned to Dubbo and got back into the life as a sheep farmer. The first few months took a bit of readjusting, but once 2013 came around Tom's career took off. "I caught up with some of my old TAFE teachers in early 2013, just to touch base and catch up. Suddenly I was enrolled in Certificate III Agriculture, then Certificate IV Agriculture, then Woolclassing, and that was just the beginning... "As much as I have always loved to learn, I've also loved to teach. While I was on a bit of a roll with my studies, I decided to also pick up my Certificate IV in Training and Education, meaning I could then teach with organisations such as TAFE." When he's not teaching at Western College, Tom is setting up his own grazing and trading enterprise while working full time at the family farm. "Everything I'm doing is taking me to where I need to be. Where that utopia might be, I have no idea, but I'm pretty sure it involves me, on our property, surrounded by healthy animals, lots of grass, on a bike and with a big smile on my face, just like when I was a kid." PETA BRADLEY From a young age, Peta Bradley was drawn to the excitement of stock work on her family's sheep and cereal cropping property near Armatree in Central West NSW. But while Peta always loved sheep work, it wasn't until high school that she was convinced her future lay in agriculture. She became involved in sheep showing and judging, successfully competing in the biggest sheep shows across Australia. Last year she became the youngest member appointed to the Australian Stud Sheep Breeder's Association NSW judging panels. Peta has now completed her HSC, finishing in the top 99.96% of NSW students in agriculture, and she is now studying a Bachelor of Animal Science (Livestock Production Major) at the University of New England in Armidale. "When I complete my degree I hope to continue onto further research within the sheep industry," Peta says. "My ultimate aim is to research, develop and implement new technology as well as maintain traditional breeding values and techniques to boost the production of Australia's sheep and wool industries." Peta says Australian agriculture and the next generation of farmers and scientists are key to helping the world meet the food and fibre needs of its growing population. "I am proud to be part of these young producers and researchers that must look into the future, educate others and implement cutting edge scientific methods in combination with the traditional values upon which the Australian agricultural industry is built to ensure the continued success of Australian agriculture."