Farming – doesn’t always mean you wear gumboots and drive tractors all day

Tractor Gumboots.jpg

Last Wednesday I was invited to Melbourne University to talk to the  2nd year climate change students. This subject  in the main deals with what to do about climate change, rather than the science. A bit more detail can be found here. My brief was to give a farmer perspective on climate change, in other words how farmers adapt to climate change and how information about climate change is driving real-world, practical farming solutions.

Now this is a topic I love. Spruiking about farmers how are leading the adaptation charge and how cows are inspiring the world by proving you really can produce more food using  less natural resources.

I  was also  invited to talk to a precision agriculture meeting on campus that day, where a group of researchers were wanting an industry/farmers perspective on the issue.  The background was  ‘the cropping industries have seen significant advances in precision agriculture, the grazing / livestock industries have lagged behind. However, there are now some quite significant developments taking place in cloud-based technologies, animal tracking, sensors etc that can make a big difference to assist with livestock management’.

Now whilst precision ag really excites me this a topic I know “bugger all’ about. But I know heaps of people who do. So I had a lot of fun tapping into the experts on this one

future_farms_infographic_precision_agriculture.jpg Wow you have only got to look at this diagram showing the farms of the future to see what an exciting place agriculture is.

But are we getting that message across to teachers and students? It would appear not. Surveying teachers and students as part of The Archibull Prize reveals we have a long way to go.

The first misconception is teachers dont think jobs in the agriculture sector are a good career choice

Q27

So do they know much about the jobs we have on offer ?

Jobs knowledge

Well we definitely need to work on this one

So what jobs are front of mind for teachers?

Teachers How much do you know about careers in Ag Chart

Wonder why the dairy industry is so prominent. Well schools are not going to be exposed to the dairy industry as part of The Archibull Prize so looking forward to students and teachers identifying the plethora of importunities in grains,  wool, cotton and sheep and cattle industries

Now in the past our sector has played with name changes in an effort to sexy up industry image. How did that work for us? We asked the teachers advice about whether that was a smart move

Food fibre Farming It would appear all we were doing was muddying the waters. But lets not get too overwhelmed by this. We are not alone. It would appear scientists feel a bit misunderstood too. I recently saw this

Think all scientists are lab-coat wearing, bunsen-burning geeks? Think again. Scientists come in all shapes and sizes and with Brain Box you can get to know the wonderful brains behind the science. Watch the interviews below, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or  see more here :

The Archibull Prize is off to a good start this year. We will be showing careers in agriculture to a broad range of students

Main Area U teach

And we will be sending in some inspiring young people who have chosen agriculture related careers to influence the conversation. Meet them here   They are all relishing the challenge. Looking forward to their insights on how we change the conversation