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Mudgee's Maddie a farming champion

 By ANIKA HUME Mudgee native Madeleine Hamilton is officially a Young Farming Champion after being selected as one of 12 people to represent and promote Australia’s agriculture industry through Art4Agriculture. The Young Farming Champions are a network of young people dedicated to sharing the positive stories of the industry and to bridging the gap between urban and rural communities through education. Miss Hamilton grew up at “Meroo Hills” sheep farm in Mudgee and has since completed a Bachelor of Agriculture Economics at the University of Sydney. She currently works for the Australian Lot Feeders Association in Sydney, was backed by Livestock Australia for her position in the YFC program representing the beef and sheep industry. Other representatives from Queensland and NSW are also acting as ambassadors for natural resource management and the cotton and wool industries. The YFC initiative was developed by managers of Art4Agriculture’s Archibull Prize program, where students in metropolitan schools are tasked with interpreting agricultural concepts through art. As a YFC, Miss Hamilton’s role is to visit several participating schools and deliver a presentation about her farm, career and industry as well as provide information about the food or fibre the students are studying and help them design their Archibull entry (a paintable fibreglass cow). “I’m really excited to be chosen to help bridge the divide through the education of school children, because I think the urban-rural gap all comes down to being ill-informed,” Miss Hamilton said. “People in agriculture tend to forget that some people don’t know the basics of our industry, so it’s important to inform these kids of the basics like where their food comes from and how it gets to them.” Miss Hamilton said she also aimed to make agriculture appear “a bit more fun” while opening the eyes of young people to “the big picture”. “I want these kids to see that agriculture isn’t just about farming – there’s so many different roles and people that contribute to the industry, from marketing experts to scientists to teachers, and they need to see that,” she said. “I’ve heard from program coordinators that some of the students didn’t know that farmers could be girls, so I hope that they’re willing to learn about who’s really involved in the industry.” Miss Hamilton attended a workshop in Jamberoo last weekend to prepare for her role as part of the first big cohort of YFCs after the pilot program last year, and said she had also started designing her presentations for her allocated schools in Sydney. “It’s going to say that you can have the best of both worlds, showing that I can still be involved with agriculture and enjoy a city lifestyle, and I’ll also focus on the sustainability of farming practices for sheep and beef cattle,” she said. Miss Hamilton said she was relishing the YFC experience as an opportunity for professional and personal development. “I hope to make a difference while giving back to the industry that’s given me so much,” she said. Source: Mudgee Guardian Read Original post on this Link: Mudgee's Maddie a farming champion