Agri-tech education and extension

We are a team of researchers and practitioners who develop innovative programs to increase the skills and knowledge of the current and next generation agricultural workforce in agri-tech tools and systems.

Our team works with educational institutions, agricultural businesses and industry organisations to develop and implement a range of learning opportunities for educators, students and those working in the agricultural industry to build their capacity to use data and technology to support decision making across the supply chain.

All of our projects aim to showcase the scientific and digital skills required in the agricultural industry to upskill the current agricultural workforce and attract the next generation to work in the food and fibre production sector.

By exposing young people to agri-tech tools and systems from an early age the benefits are two-fold:

  • It will increase the adoption of technology across the agriculture supply chain when these young people enter the workforce as they will be confident and skilled in the use of agri-tech.
  • Students will act as ‘agents of change’ and influence, encourage and support adults to adopt agri-tech tools and systems on-farm.

Specialist research skills:

  • education as a vehicle for information delivery and encouraging practice change
  • community based social marketing
  • behavioural and clinical psychology
  • behaviour change through story-telling
  • knowledge transfer and innovation in agricultural supply chains
  • training and assessment protocols and delivery
  • information-based public relations and communications techniques
  • media, social media, and mass communications

Cluster Leader

Amy Crosby

a.cosby@cqu.edu.au

Projects

GPS Cows 

Description 

The GPS Cows program is a collaborative project bringing together researchers, industry professionals and educators in both Australia and the USA who understand the importance of, and are passionate about engaging students in agri-tech. The aim of GPS Cows is to increase the knowledge and skills of high school students in emerging agri-tech, specifically tools and systems which provide animal location and behaviour data, and to encourage them to consider tertiary study and a career in the agricultural sector. GPS Cows is funded by the NSW Department of Education.  

Impact 

GPS Cows works with high school teachers across Australia to improve digital literacy in emerging agri-technology of the next generation agricultural workforce.  Using tools and systems to examine and analyse animal behaviour, students are encouraged to consider tertiary agricultural studies and careers in the agriculture sector.  

Over 200 NSW high school teachers have participated in face-to-face teacher professional development workshops.  

Partners 

NSW Department of Education 

Project Lead 

Amy Cosby and Jaime Manning 

 

EXCITED 4 Careers in Agriculture 

Description 

The EXCITED 4 Careers in Agriculture program is targeted at K-10 students in regional and rural communities. A range of hands-on activities will embed career guidance activities in the classroom and strengthen the ability of teachers, parents, and industry professionals to support students in exploring their interests, strengths and values and how these relate to the world of agricultural work. EXCITED 4 Careers in Agriculture is funded by the Australian Government National Careers Institute.  

Impact 

This embedded school-industry partnership career guidance program will be implemented in regional and rural classrooms modified for lower primary (K-3), upper primary (4-6), lower secondary (7 & 8), and middle secondary (9 & 10), and focused on a regional industry of economic significance. 

Partners 

AgForce, Australian Science Teachers Association, Australian Prawn Farmers Association, Cotton Australia, GippsDairy, National Association of Agricultural Educators, NT Farmers Association, Sugar Research Australia, and Wine Australia. 

 Project Lead 

Amy Cosby and Nicole McDonald  

 

Next Generation Farm Safety 

Description 

The project aims to increase the uptake of safe farm practices particularly for under 15 year olds who account for 15% of farm-accident fatalities. The Next Generation Farm Safety Project works with students, teachers and communities across 3 states to increase awareness of farm hazards and mitigate risks and is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.  

Impact 

The project activities include in-school workshops for secondary students, teacher professional development webinars, family field-days and interactive ipad games. 

Partners

AgForce, GippsDairy, Kempsey Shire Council, Port Macquarie Hastings Council, Primary Industries Education Foundation, NSW Department of Education. 

Project Lead 

Amy Cosby