The businesses surviving COVID19 are the ones putting people first

The Chances we didtn take

In the last six weeks I have had the opportunity to share the COVID19 journey with people across the globe and it is clear the organisations who are agile enough to go with the flow ( and wow what a rising tide it is) are the organisations who put their people first.


Some of our Young Farming Champions have also found their lives turned upside down and overseas adventures to see how the rest of the world does the food supply chain have abruptly come to an end and they have found themselves back in OZ looking for jobs in organisations who put people first.


My full-time gig currently seems to be Chief Reference Officer and I am finding the gig fascinating. We have some extraordinary talent in the Young Farming Champions team. Young people I can be wax lyrical about confidently without a second thought. It’s become bigger than that for me I find myself asking is this organisation worthy of this talent. Do they put people first?


Great article here from Corporate Rebels. Examples of Organisations who put people first


“Nothing reveals character like a crisis.” We wrote this recently and, as predicted, during the Corona crisis, companies revealed their true colors. Recently, we highlighted the bad. So let’s turn to the good, and highlight organizations that not only talk about putting people first, but also walk their talk. Let’s applaud those that put their money where their mouth is in difficult times.

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Here are three inspiring companies that show you should always put people first– and especially in times of crisis.the heart of the earth

In reality if we cant show compassion what does that say about us as humans

Change – Are you looking forward to taming your elephant problem like me?

Change Old You New You

As I mentioned recently I have joined a Global Leadership course. This is because I decided I needed all the help I could get and I prefer to be coached rather than mentored. I like to be able to work through my challenges with others much smarter than me.

For six years I have also been working with the wonderful Zoe Routh of Inner Compass and today my Aussie cohort is going to be reflecting on CHANGE using Dan and Chip Heath’s book SWITCH as the foundation.

Here is a little taster of the book.

The Five Big Ideas

  1. There are three surprises about change.
  2. Change often fails because our emotional side (The Elephant) and our rational side (The Rider) can’t cooperate long enough for the desired change to occur.
  3. Another reason change often fails is because of our surrounding environment. This is known as the “Path.”
  4. So, to change a behaviour, you need to direct The Rider, motivate The Elephant and shape The Path
  5. Change isn’t easy, but with the right framework, it becomes easier.

Chameleon on branch

My destination postcard gets more beautiful everyday

Chapter 1: Three Surprises About Change

In one study, people with the large buckets ate 53 percent more popcorn than people with the medium size.

There are three surprises about change:

  1. What looks like a people problem is often a situation problem.
  2. What looks like laziness is often exhaustion.
  3. What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity.

For anything to change, someone has to start acting differently.

To change someone’s behaviour, you’ve got to change that person’s situation.

The brain has two independent systems at work at all times. First, there’s the emotional side. It’s the part of you that is instinctive, that feels pain and pleasure. Second, there’s the rational side, also known as the reflective or conscious system. It’s the part of you that deliberates and analyses and looks into the future.

Jonathan Haidt, the author of The Happiness Hypothesis, says that our emotional side is an Elephant and our rational side is its Rider.

Changes often fail because the Rider simply can’t keep the Elephant on the road long enough to reach the destination.

If you want to change things, you’ve got to appeal to both The Rider and The Elephant. The former provides the planning and direction, and the latter provides the energy.

When Rider and Elephant disagree about which way to move, you’ve got a problem.

This is awesome if you are a visual person

Heads up everyone I have big elephant problem that I am looking forward to taming. Looking forward to the challenge

Is there ever a perfect person?

Dedication to meaningful work is getting me up at 3am in the morning to be part of a global group all working with the fabulous Dave Stachowiak and each other to be the best they can be at what they do in business and life

Some wisdom from today – the importance of defining your life’s purpose

“When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.” — Seneca

“Having a purpose is the difference between making a living and making a life.” — Tom Thiss

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” — John F. Kennedy


One day Alice came to a fork in the road

And for the day you get that big job offer or win that award and your inner critic is screaming in your ear and asking  “Am I good enough”

You are the right person for the moment



Human beings are hard wired to do meaningful work

‘For every single human being, the way that we are wired as human beings, is we need to directly see and connect how the work that we are doing is helping others. That is something we all innately need as human beings. Its hard wired into us.” Scott Anthony Barlow


How wonderful is the recent rain

Twenty years ago when I left my community pharmacy role, I knew wanted something different. I wanted something different and I wanted it to feel much more meaningful to me.

Whilst I was figuring out what that was, I became a full-time dairy farmer.

Being a farmer is highly meaningful work that my family love doing. However, it is  not valued at the point of sale and farmers returns for what they do, and they do a hell of a lot more than produce food are not something that would get me out of bed every day. Changing this is a whole of industry role and I have found agriculture seems to think it is somebody else’s role.

My meaningful work became changing the culture in agriculture from it being somebody else’s problem to it being everybody’s opportunity.

Meaningful work for me in 2020 sees me working with the team at Picture You in Agriculture where we build the capacity of young people to thrive in business and life.

We use agriculture as a lens, and we work with champions and clusters of organisations and schools to provide educational equity and excellence for all young Australians. We want all young Australians to have equal opportunity to be successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.

We get to meet extraordinary people doing extraordinary things. One of those is Kris Beazley who is the Principal of the Centre of Agricultural Excellence at Richmond.

Kris who we profiled here is one of those people who spend her life adding value to others. I have introduced her to many of the wonderful people who have supported Picture You in Agriculture’s journey. She is a joy to watch. Each time she connects with others something wonderful happens

Do you have people in your life like that?


Agriculture a career that should be attracting all the talented people

As mentioned in a previous post I have joined a global leadership academy. As part of my onboarding process I was invited to do a DISC profile.

And wow the four hour debrief process with Doug McCrae  was extraordinary.

I learnt, not surprisingly for all who know me, I am a high D. I also rated very highly on the Intellectual scale. This doesn’t mean I am smart.  It means I have a high thirst for fact-based knowledge.

I am confident this is one of the big reasons I love working with the Young Farming Champions.  I learn so much from young people in other farming industries

The science and technology on Australian farms today is quite extraordinary and quite a bit of that science and technology is driven by farmers and their advisors

I got very excited when I saw this blog post  Its planting season – our Young Farming Champions have got their big toys out to grow the food that feeds us. from the Young Farming Champions today

This video from Onus Agronomy on the biggest air seeder in the world just blew my mind

I remember as a newly married very young pharmacist who suddenly found themself a dairy farmer’s wife driving up the road to Clover Hill. It was soooooo steep they didn’t even have a tractor ( or a horse) and planting seed meant doing it like they do in developing countries dispersing it by hand.

Our family changed a lot of things on Clover Hill. We started that process by teaming up with the best in the business and thanks to dairy pasture guru Dr Neil Moss we became trailblazers in pasture utilisation and getting the best nutrition outcomes for our cows which meant consumers got the most delicious, nutritious milk we could supply.  If you want to read some of our story you can see some of our research trials here .

It is seven years since I was part of the team that made decisions on what to plant in planting season at Clover Hill so I reached out to Dr Neil Moss to see what progressive dairy farmers on the south coast of NSW are planting.

This is what Neil had to say

South Coast Dairy farmers are continuing to lift the bar with their choices for pastures as they move into winter. We are seeing continued uptake of improved ryegrass genetics as farmers work to improve both early season pasture yields and late season pasture quality where required. There has also been increased uptake on some of the older techniques used to increase early season yield including co-planting ryegrasses with one combinations of winter cereals and short term brassicas giving low cost options for shifting the feed curve “to the left” while not compromising spring pasture growth or yields.

The ever-persistent challenge of farming with, rather than against, kikuyu has seen a variety of techniques used to improve early over-sowing outcomes including low dose chemical suppression, use of heavy mulching or pre-cutting of silage and increased use of disc planters. Early results with the good season have been encouraging to date.

Gumboot Test

We are also seeing increased use of forage herbs such as chicory and perennial legumes again to improve the pasture mix while also increasing warm season feed quality. 

We learnt a lot in the early days. We learnt for example the power of language. Things like it was smarter not to call your trials Zero Grass and instead call them Salad Bowl Mix trials.

I am super excited that Neil and our South Coast farmers are setting the standard for high quality pasture for South Coast cows to produce safe, affordable, nutritious milk for Australian families.

Speaking of Neil he was most recently the appointed Scientist responsible for the Dairy industry 2020 Fire Recovery Response in NSW and in this podcast he speaks to Agriminders host Chris Russell about how farmers have been aided by these plans in the immediate aftermath of the devastating 2020 bushfires, as well as the lessons learned  along the way to help improve the government’s response in the future.


Imposter syndrome- a F..ckg waste of a life

Imposter syndrome

In 2005 I was awarded the inaugural Kiama Electorate Woman of the Year and I was completely overwhelmed by Imposter Syndrome for good reason.

There were a lot of women in my community who had achieved more than me.

So what did I do?

I could have spent my life feeling unworthy or I could embrace I was in the right place at the right time and show the world I was worthy

Trust me there was no shortage of people in my inner family circle who felt the need to express that they felt I was unworthy

When your family dont feel the need to help lift you up,  you seriously start to doubt yourself.

Trust me – that’s the time to decide if you are in the right family.  DNA isn’t everything.

Girlfriend when somebody says you are unworthy. Work your butt off to show their faith in you is warranted

Stand tall

Be Proud

We are all worthy

amd we dont need the silver cup to prove it.

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Food for Thought. Is your COVID19 food security crisis management plan inspiring you to become a backyard farmer

I thought of my wonderful Australian leadership coach Zoë Routh from Inner Compass when I saw this article. Like me and my chickens, Zoe’s chickens bring her great joy.  
Is COVID19 inspiring you to think more about the things you alway took for granted like always having access to safe, affordable nutritous food?
  • What is your new food security plan?
  • What are you growing at your back door you werent before?
  • Have you got a House Cow or are you thinking of getting one?
There is no shortage of House Cow candidates in my region ( Ieven have them at my front door)  but trust me milking them by hand is quite a challenge and very grateful for all the dairy farmers who get the milk from cow to carton and I can use my talents for other things.
If having realiable access to fresh eggs and chickens look more like your thing then here is some great info on How to build a chicken coop

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My chickens live in luxury with the chicken coop built out of repurposed materials from some of  house renovations and turning the old orchard and veggie garden into a chicken run  

Chickens are perfect for an apocalypse because not only will they provide you with delicious eggs and fertiliser for your garden, they will help you stave off boredom.


Your chicken house can be made from anything that provides shelter.
Your chicken house can be made from anything that provides shelter.

Chickens are perfect for an apocalypse because not only will they provide you with delicious eggs — about 250 eggs per bird a year — and fertiliser for your garden, they will help you stave off boredom. Chickens are hilarious. When you’re feeling depressed about not being able to watch your favourite band perform live, the chickens will lift your spirits with the way they hunt and chase whatever enters their space. But first you will need a chicken coop. This structure has two parts.

The house protects them from the rain, wind and sun. The run is their main play area. You will need some chicken wire to build a fence around the run. It should be about 2m high with a floppy top leaning outward, so any fox or cat attempting to climb the fence will simply fall to the ground under its own body weight. Similarly, the wire should come all the way to the ground and at least 30cm across the surface of the ground on the outside of the fence, so any dog or fox trying to dig their way in will hit the mesh.

Wrap the wire around star pickets, and posts in each of the four corners. Allow 3sq m for each chicken inside; we don’t want a battery hen operation. Your chicken house can be made from anything that provides shelter. I’ve seen everything from old trampolines to Portaloos and old cars. For a simple house, join together a couple of pallets with star pickets, add some sturdy branches as a perch and whack on a piece of corrugated iron for the roof. Your chickens will compact the soil very quickly; to stop them skating in their own poo, lay down 20cm of straw or sawdust over the area to absorb the manure. This will smell much better and provide a home for worms that your chickens will delight in scratching out.

A final word: start with at least three chickens. Eventually one will die and you don’t want one to be lonely. Even chickens struggle with isolation.