Is there an Archie coming to a town near you? We might need your help

The Archibull Prize is a program that operates on love. Its is run by a very small dedicated team who have day jobs that hopefully (I try not to think about it) feed their families

Our major funding sponsor is Paul’s Milk who are a joy to work with and we will be doing some great things with them this year

Our industry supporters ( MLA,  AWI, Cotton Australia and GRDC) have grown over the years and together through the Young Farming Champions (YFC) program we are developing the next generation of agriculture’s leaders with a whole of supply chain focus mentality.

It was particularly rewarding to form an ongoing Young Farming Champions program partnership with NSW Farmers last year to help develop the next generation of skilled and knowledgeable policy formulators and drivers. We hope to be able to do this in other states but I must admit I am a little saddened that this is moving a lot slower than I envisioned

The 2014 YFC team all had the opportunity last week to spend a day behind the scenes with their industry sponsors. All of these wonderful young people are just itching to take every opportunity to talk to anyone and everyone about their industry and their career. We had some great fun sharing stories last weekend of conversations with taxi drivers who always ask “what do you do?” and  “Why are you in town”? As the wise Geoff Birchnell reminded us taxi drivers are the eyes and ears of the world and they are your captive audience don’t let the opportunity pass you by .

YFChampions-7831

2014 Young Farming Champions doing agriculture proud

The truly rewarding thing for me about our industry partnerships is the clever ways industry is now wholeheartedly supporting the YFC to get out there and be loud and proud about their industries at every available opportunity. Sydney Royal Easter Show and the Ekka  watch out the YFC are coming to town in a big way on behalf of industry next year and it wont be stopping there.

This year by request from rural and regional Australia we are taking the Archibull Prize program to schools in their area. We did this for social reasons because our rural communities have been doing tough at the hands of mother nature and the heartfelt requests we were getting showed us this program had the potential to lift the community spirit well beyond the school playground.

When we said yes we knew the major limiting factor cost wise was cartage. Just as an example it cost us $10,000 plus to get the finalists to and from the Sydney Royal Easter Show so you can imagine what it might cost to get 4 fibreglass cows to the Atherton Tablelands let alone to all these schools

2014 Archibull Prize Schools

Is their an Archie in a town near you 

When we started to develop the partnerships that could possibly allay some of the costs and even more importantly give our farmers and their community members an opportunity to have ownership of the program in their region, the journey as you might have noticed from previous posts this week has been fraught with frustration. But it has also delivered some great joy and new partnerships that are going to add so much value to the students experience .

One of the reasons we were bombarded by rural schools this year was the wonderful promotion ( unbeknown to me at the time) of the program by Landcare Australia and wow those Landcare groups will move heaven and earth to bring people together in the spirit of community. Huge hugs and kisses to Mary Bonet and Christie Elemam.  Barnaby should be doubling the budget for Landcare not halving it.

The wonderful James Walker called in some favours from to GD Partners to have Mt Isa School of the Air’s Archie freighted to Longreach to some very happy kids last week

Mt Isa School of the Air

The adorable Katrina Nixon will be working with Fife’s Stockfeeds in Goulburn and her trusty horse float to get the cows delivered to schools in her region

Skinners Premium Meats in Cowra will be hosting the Archies in their main street frontage window prior to Landcare rallying the troops to pick them up to go to schools in Forbes and Eugowra as well as local schools. Special thanks to former Cowra girl and now Cotton OZ staffer Sophie Davidson for pulling that one off.

Speaking of Cotton Australia, breathed a big sigh of relief when we had schools in cotton country participating. I was confident there would be many hands on deck to make light work and I wasn’t disappointed. Kudos to Nigel Corish and his cotton growers team who will be helping get the Archies to St George and Goondiwindi this week.

Thanks to the Gateway Schools team in Far North Queensland we are now talking to a potential freight partner for the Atherton Tablelands and James has put his thinking cap on again for Cloncurry and Charter Towers

We could however do with some help for Wagga and Tumut. Please feel free to send me an email lynnestrong@art4agriculture.com.au if you have any ideas

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Archies on display at the 2014 Royal Easter Show