Since its inception 10 years ago, the Young Farming Champions program has trained more than 100 people to promote agriculture to young people.

Story + Photos Mandy McKeesick

At Burwood Girls High School in Sydney students are excitedly awaiting a farmer. Many will be imagining an older white male, so when 31-year-old Sam Wan breezes through the door, preconceptions and stereotypes fly straight out the window. Sam is young. She is female. And she is one of them. As a first-generation Chinese-Australian born in the western suburbs of Sydney, Sam’s own stereotypical career path may have been a doctor or lawyer, but she has found her calling as a wool broker in Melbourne, and her enthusiasm for the industry is infectious. 

Sam is a Young Farming Champion (YFC) – one of a cohort of brilliant youth ambassadors trained since the program started in 2010. They aim to create positive perceptions of Australian agriculture, showcase the plethora of careers and become role models and leaders. Since its inception, the YFC program has trained over 100 people, all of whom are pursuing careers in agriculture and advocating on behalf of the industry. They have visited 400 schools, connected with 300,000 students and engaged with countless numbers of people in the general community. As they continue to gain experience, the YFCs become leaders in their own right. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #128

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2020