The Archibull Prize is an innovative hands-on program that sees students research a local agriculture related area of investigation and express their findings through multimedia and art – specifically a life size fibreglass cow. ‘The Archies’, as they are affectionately known, have reached over 300,000 students and chalked up some impressive successes.
The program is ground-breaking, providing students with a holistic approach to learning. Through this program students have had the ability to:
The Picture You in Agriculture team has been working with Kris Beazley –Principal – Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education, Richmond Agricultural College and Lorraine Chaffer from NSW/ACT Geography Teachers Association to build on and leverage the community engagement model of our primary school program Kreative Koalas for our secondary school program The Archibull Prize.
As a result of this collaboration we are piloting a new vision for The Archibull Prize in 2020 that will see it build deep and lasting communities of practice between primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions, business and government.
The new approach draws on the success of The Archibull Prize program, and now the Kreative Koalas program as highly effective enablers in the development of students from a broad range of communities to engage in holistic, innovative and applied learning experiences that are also creative and relevant.
The new model is based on the concept of communities of practice and will see the establishment of partnered learning between primary schools, secondary schools, universities, industry and government. The program will continue to promote student voices and student efficacy as it facilitates opportunities for students to explore solutions to real world issues from the perspective of the sciences, industry, policy development and the social elements connected to community and sustainable futures.
The new model is focused heavily on developing cross curricula learning and the development of transferable knowledge and skills and general capabilities, whilst initiating the opportunity for shared learning partnerships within schools and between schools, industry, tertiary educational facilities and local communities that will last beyond the program. The shared knowledge and solutions of participating students, schools and communities will be recognized and published through Awards and Celebrations events.
Partnered learning opportunities also enhance the transition of students between primary school and secondary school and post school opportunities for secondary students. The program also places importance on developing students understanding of current and emerging career opportunities in the Agricultural industry.
“This is a great initiative to encourage students to learn and build confidence around farming and natural resources, how the food they eat can be impacted by challenges like climate variability and biosecurity threats and to find out more about future career opportunities.”
- Niall Blair Professor of Food Sustainability Charles Sturt University .
Feeding and clothing the world is a shared responsibility, right across the globe.
While Australia’s farmers are among the world’s best at growing quality food and fibre for our nation and many more around the globe, they cannot do it alone.
Every minute the world’s population grows, adding another 158 mouths to feed. Over the next four decades, more food will need to be produced than has been during the last 10,000 years combined.
Highlighting the challenges and opportunities for farmers everywhere in the future.
But the issue is more complex than economies of scale.
The last 100 years has seen Australia become increasingly urbanised. An estimated 89 percent of Australians now live in urban areas, with no close links to rural communities and little knowledge about the production of their food and fibre. It’s equally troubling that farmers are also gradually losing touch with urban communities through their reduced interaction with modern supply chains.
The diversity and complexity of the modern Australian economy now means greater competition for resources, including land, water and people, among all sectors. A greater awareness of the role agriculture plays in supporting our cities will contribute to informed decision making around resource allocation.
It’s clear that to move forward and meet the escalating food and fibre needs of our cities, as well as satisfy the community's expectations about environmental sustainability and animal care; both rural and urban communities must have a greater understanding of one another. This can only happen when a common ground for communication and knowledge-sharing is found. Farmers know they need to reconnect with their consumers, but modern supply chains mean farmers have never been so isolated from their end-consumer.
Likewise, how do our urban communities learn about rural Australia?
An innovative and fun in-school program, the Archibull Prize traverses the boundaries of communication between rural providers and city consumers. Put simply, the program is an agricultural and environmental themed art competition for primary and secondary student groups.
But the Archibull’s aims are much greater than this.
The Archibull Prize brings the farm into the classroom.
It provides students with opportunities to meet young farmers and to gain knowledge and skills about the production of the food they eat, fibres they use and the environment they live in.
It creates an opportunity for students to work together to create an amazing artwork that tells the story of farming as they understand it.
It builds relationships between schools, industry, business and the community as they progress through the Archibull Prize’s different elements.
It raises awareness of exciting career pathways.
It promotes change and fosters two-way conversations.
And it builds lifelong relationships between consumers and their farmers.
Since the turn of the century, the amount of viable agricultural land has been decreasing by about 1 percent every year. This means the majority of the additional food needed by 2050 will come from being able to grow more food on less land. The new model of agriculture will require a workforce with skills sets that extend well beyond traditional agricultural skills. In the research, service and support sectors most of these skills will be delivered by staff without traditional farming background as opportunities and technologies used within agriculture attract new entrants and businesses. Australia will require a pipeline of graduates with capabilities in architecting, designing and analysing data. There will be growth in specialist IT technology and businesses that service these technologies.
The Young Farming Champions (YFCs) understand the challenges farmers face. They are agriculture’s freshest advocates, who believe in being proactive in finding solutions.
They are paired with students participating in The Archibull Prize. These passionate and enthusiastic young agriculturalists and are the real life link between farm and classroom. They love what they do and they can’t wait to start conversations with consumers.
You and I are both consumers, playing a vital role in the paddock to plate and field to fabric cycle. Consumers are the driving force behind how and why food is produced. This means we also have responsibilities.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, our current global footprint exceeds the world’s capacity to regenerate by 50 percent. If we continue consuming as we do today, we will need the equivalent of two planet Earths by the mid-2030s.
It’s even more disturbing to hear Australia has one of the world's largest ecological footprints per capita. More than 50 percent of Australia's footprint is due to greenhouse gas emissions, with the average household emitting around 14 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year. If all countries consumed the amount of resources that Australian's do, it would take three Earths to support their lifestyle.
So another very important question is: How do we reduce waste and produce more food, with less water, chemicals and fertiliser?
The message is clear and urgent.
We need to develop relationships along every step of our supply chain, enabling farmers and consumers to make informed decisions about food and fibre choices, and farm production systems. We must recognise that by becoming more informed, one by one, we can all make a difference.
Fresh ideas and innovative solutions are needed to start building this partnership between farmers and consumers for a sustainable future, and The Archibull Prize is the first simple step.
Productivity growth combined with new land sector markets could lift our agrifood exports and deliver regional economic benefits.
Future agricultural prices and land sector incomes are projected to trend upwards. Australia’s most productive agricultural land is likely to continue to be used for productive agricultural use.
With productivity improvements in line with long-term trends, Australian agricultural output volumes are projected to rise by at least 50% by 2050 – even in scenarios where bioenergy and plantings for carbon sequestration increase.
New markets and policy settings that enable carbon farming, especially in currently less productive areas, would allow many rural landowners to increase and diversify their incomes.