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I am 7th Generation in the Australian Cattle Industry. I grew up on a cattle station in North Queensland. My husband and I run a Livestock Agency (hence the reference to mobile phones)as well as a small hobby farm with our two young children.

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Friday, 16 August 2013

Hi! My Name's Kylie and I'm a Gen Y

This blog is dedicated to all those fabulous Gen Y who I work with as Young Farming Champions and around the traps.

So, apparently I stepped on a few toes with my last blog “Who Gives A Flying Fandango”.  I’m not surprised however.   I welcome feedback, I am not perfect, I am forging my way through this wilderness too.  It would be easier if those wanting to say things about me would say it directly and not in round about ways.  But enough of that before you all roll your eyes at me and say (all together now) “Who gives a flying fandango?”    I’m certain I will step on some more toes, or even kick someone in the shin, but may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb eh?

I have many failings, but according to much of the feedback I've received over the last couple of years my biggest downfall is that I had the misfortune to be born in 1981 and therefore am that nasty thing “Gen Y”.  My fellow Gen Y’s and I have had it said to us quite a bit recently that because we are too young we just don’t get it and we should just shush and let the older generation carry on because they've been doing it for years.  And because I’m that apparently rare thing known as a “polite Gen Y” I've bitten my tongue until now and have blurted out in true 80’s child style “if you’re so damned good at advocating for agriculture, why are we in this mess”.  Because I truly don’t think like that, it’s just my childish reaction!

Our urban Gen Y cousins also seem to get the finger pointed at them for not “caring about farmers” or "knowing how food is produced"  (again I don’t think this, just what sometimes seems to be the undercurrent from a few.)  I can assure you if you stood in front of a room of Gen Y and demanded that they be grateful for farmers because without us they would starve, they would tell you ever so politely (or not) to bugger off.  How do we know this?  Because we went to school together, we went to Uni together, we are friends and our kids are friends.  Gen Y’s are raising and teaching the next generation of leaders.   I believe that Gen Y’s are the best people have those conversations with other Gen Y’s.  In the Gen Y way.  Don’t get me wrong, we will always look up to you for your wisdom, experience and guidance.  But the world is changing and we must change with it.

Gen Y is the up and coming generation.  In the next decade they will rule the world so to speak.  So by all means talk to your generation how they best receive it, and us “young upstarts”  (I’ve seriously been called this) will talk to our generation in the way we know it works.  Because it’s important that we build those lasting, positive connections now.

Post Script:
Please note that I don't think all Baby Boomers are grumps just like I know you all don't think Gen Y are little toads.  Some of the coolest people I know are Baby Boomers.  As for you Gen X, with your middle child syndrome, I have a blog in mind especially for you and the challenges you face.


  1. Just so ya know I LOVE YOU

    Can't stop laughing as I read this :) I recently while at home listen to the ABC radio fencing heard this bloke talk about how the baby boomers are to blame for all of the GEN's attitudes.... according to him because they did it so tough as kids they tried to make sure their kids didn't go through that and as a result that's how the GEN's ended up as 'young upstarts' :)

    Love the post

  2. Go for it Kylie as a baby boomer farmer I so look forward to Gen Y #YouthinAg rising up and doing what the Royal Family doesn't have the guts to do and avoid the Prince Charles Syndrome and jump a generation and let Wills take the reins

  3. I had to google what generation I was, hmm. middle child ?! Cannot wait to see what you have planned for us ;-)

  4. I've just returned from a few a days down in Canberra where I attended the National Rural Health Students Network Conference. A room jam-packed with our future rural health leaders.

    The conference began with a Welcome to Country by local Aboriginal Elder Aunty Agnes & set the tone beautifully for a journey of learning & respect. There was an extraordinary line-up of keynote speakers with no differentiation of generation and the students hung on every word we said.

    One such speaker divided his presentation into 3 sections:
    1. Past - our ancestors, all those who'd gone before us, breaking ground & paving the way.
    2. Present - as we gain more knowledge we change things for the betterment of future generations
    3. Future - the role of the young people in the room as future leaders for the generations that will follow.

    It was deeply moving & the presenter received loud applause, yells & whistles from the entirely Gen Y audience when he finished.

    The feedback from the students about the whole conference was extraordinary - bubbling with enthusiasm about how much they had learned from all of us. How we'd encouraged them, inspired them and empowered them. Yet, apart from one presenter who was GenY, the rest of us were GenX & Baby Boomers. Despite our obvious age differences, we were all unified with a common purpose: the betterment of health outcomes for rural & remote Australians.

    The reason I'm writing this is because a generational attitude like the one expressed in this blog post can be divisive & counter productive to your cause, because it labels & isolates people according to their age. I'm not going to pretend it's easy being a GenY but it's never been easy being the next generation. It wasn't for me as a GenX & it most certainly wasn't for my parents' generation - the baby boomers - who experienced the greatest generational gap & change in recorded history with the advent of rock 'n roll & the sexual revolution of the 60s & 70s.

    If you focus on the "generation gap", which has already begun for you as you go into schools to present as a Young Farming Champion to GenZ, then all too soon you will be redundant, and that would be a great shame! Your passion, enthusiasm, drive & knowledge must be captured for all generations, not just one.


    Alison xo