Conference workshops

Amy Cosby, Central Queensland University | GPS cows

Dr Amy Cosby is a Senior Research Officer at Central Queensland University. She holds a Bachelor of Agriculture and Bachelor of Laws and a PhD in Precision Agriculture. Amy works with educators, researchers and industry professionals to develop and deliver engaging agri-tech learning resources to build the capacity of teachers and engage and inspire the next generation of agricultural professionals.

‘GPS cows’ – Increasing digital literacy and engaging rural students through agri-tech: The ‘GPS cows’ project will develop and evaluate a unique learning resource targeted at increasing digital literacy and engagement among agriculture students. This project is a collaboration between teachers, curriculum developers and researchers to identify best practice in linking current agricultural research technologies into high school teaching through the development of teacher and student resources.

This workshop gave teachers an update of current research in GPS livestock tracking and how it can be applied in the agricultural industry. Participants were introduced to GIS software to analyse GPS tracking data and learned how to take this resource back into the classroom.

For more information on GPS cows contact Amy Cosby.

MICHELLE FIFIELD, NSW DPI | Encouraging diversity in our future workforce

Michelle has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Science), Diploma of Education (Secondary Science) and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. She has over 20 years experience in planning, policy, project management and the delivery of education programs in both an urban and agricultural context across NSW.

Michelle is currently leading a school education program for the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) with a focus on delivering teacher professional development, teaching resources, onsite and online learning experiences and careers & industry promotion.

Encouraging diversity in our future workforce: NSW DPI has a range of programs that address the social, financial, productivity and environmental aspects of our primary industries. To engage the future workforce that is incubating at school our schools program develops teaching resources, teacher professional development, onsite and online learning experiences as well as promotion of industry and careers. Our end goal is to build ‘brand: agriculture’ so we not only have an innovative and capable workforce, but ultimately we create informed consumers.

For more information go to the NSW DPI website.

Australian Pork Limited | celebrity chef | Colin fassnidge

Students of today will be the decision-makers of the future and it is vitally important that we empower them to learn about their food futures, the environment in which food is grown and produced, and ways food is processed and prepared for eating. Australian Pork Limited has a range of education resources aligned to the Australian curriculum in Technologies, Science and Geography. This innovative workshop outlined ways to captivate kids in the classroom using the pork as the basis of your lessons.

For more information on Australian Pork’s School resources visit the APL website.

Andrea Vallance | Timboon Agriculture ProjecT (TAP)

Chooks playing bingo, embryo transfers, growing food on Mars, marketing, flooded paddocks, robot milkers, keeping kids safe on farms, bushfire disaster planning, Caterpillar graders, fork art, prosthetic limbs, BAA+RAM+You, farm maps, ‘bee happy’, virtual reality Ag and journey from paddock to plate with dairy, beef and sheep farmers… it’s been a diverse, innovative and busy year for the Timboon School TAP project (TAP).

The TAP is a partnership between the Timboon P12 School and industry — more than 320 people from outside the school working inside the school (and on lots of farms and other places) since the TAP started in mid 2012! It’s no wonder the Great South Coast Food and Fibre Group Executive Officer, Tony Ford, described the TAP as, “…inspiring and fits in what is best practice category for fostering food and fibre in schools.”

This proven applied learning model enhances student learning and engages the school with the talent and innovation in the regional community to provide the next generation of creative, motivated students. The TAP’s Learning Broker, Andrea Vallance, will share recent developments and past successes of this pioneering educational program in this workshop and give participants the opportunity to investigate how to ‘TAP’ into their own communities.

For more information visit the Timboon School TAP project (TAP).

Kathleen Allan | Agvocacy

Kathleen is a fifth generation farmer from near Yass in southern NSW and with her family runs a self-replacing, superfine Merino flock and operates an award-winning agricultural education business — Farm Animal Resource Management  (FARM).  Established in 1994 FARM promotes the importance of agriculture in an increasingly urban community and provide consumers with an opportunity to engage with practicing farmers.  With a Bachelor or Rural Science with Honours from the University of New England Kathleen majored in animal health, and sheep and wool production, completing her honours thesis on Ovine Johnes disease.  Kathleen has worked in a number of regulatory, program management and policy roles, animal welfare, agvet chemical regulation, food policy and water management. Previously Kathleen was the Program Manager for Capacity Building at the GRDC and Industry Leadership and Communication Manager for the Sheepmeat Council of Australia before starting as the Communication and Adoption Manager at the Integrity Systems Company — part of the MLA Group.

Kathleen has a particular interest in community engagement and agricultural advocacy. When recently asked to describe her vision for Australian agriculture she said: “Australian agriculture — a diverse, inclusive and coordinated industry that is economically and environmentally sustainable and valued by the whole community”. Kathleen believes the disconnect between customers and producers poses a serious threat to the sustainability of our primary industries. She feels we need to engage with urban communities so they feel connected with where their food and fibre comes from and understand the effort farmers make to sustainably manage the environment — the Australian community needs to value the importance of agriculture. Through greater understanding of the importance of our food and fibre industries, there are great flow-on benefits for the industry in terms of interest in our sector and associated education and employment outcomes. Watch Kathleen’s YouTube clip outlining her vision for Australian agriculture

Beth Weldon, Darcy Vickers and hannah kench | ForestLearning program

Beth is the Manager of the ForestLearning Education Program. She comes with more than 15 years professional experience leading agricultural education programs from K–12 including AgForce Queensland’s School to Industry Partnership Program, Queensland Gateway Schools to Agribusiness. Beth has been the marketing manager for the Australian Melons Association and Avocados Australia, communications coordinator for the Queensland Agriculture Teachers Association, National CRC Education Program coordinator, and also served as Director on the Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia (PIEFA) board. Beth is passionate about transferring the skills, knowledge and emerging technologies found within primary industries to the classroom and is keen to build teacher confidence in contexts surrounding sustainable agroforestry and forestry.

Darcy began his teaching career as a primary school teacher before his passion for engaging students in outdoor learning moved him towards environmental education. Interest in this area lead to Darcy joining the Forest Education Foundation (FEF) in the mid 1990s. Since then Darcy has seen the FEF grow from a small centre supporting school camps to what is widely recognised today as a leading education provider in the not-for-profit sector.

With a passion for exploring nature Hannah is dedicated to sharing her curiosity of forest environments. Hannah started her career as an Education Officer at The Melbourne Zoo and is committed to implementing environmental education experiences that encourage students to engage with forest spaces. Hannah is one of two experienced teachers at the FEF, conducting field-based experiences, developing resources and providing professional development opportunities. Hannah has been responsible developing a range of new resources to broaden and support the FEF’s field-based experiences, which teachers can use in the classroom. These include interactive online resources, and a hands-on wood resource in collaboration with the School of Architecture and Design — University of Tasmania.

Part A: Branch out with farm forests — resources and experiences for the classroom: A hands-on workshop supported teachers with the latest research, hands on ideas, lesson plans and student resources to improve student learning experiences. Participants investigated new forest and agroforestry, sustainable land management and fibre production related education resources developed to support the Australian curriculum (K-12) for agriculture educators.

Part B: Science, Innovation, Technology and forest products — future directions: A unique offsite workshop opportunity next door to the Tramsheds to visit the University of Tasmania’s School of Architecture and Design showcased innovations in timber engineering, current technologies, sustainability and new directions for fibre production. Participants discovered a range of new teaching and learning resources being developed to support school programs.

More about the presenter organisations: For more than 20 years, the Forest Education Foundation (FEF) has developed and delivered programs and curriculum resources supporting both school-based and field experiences for primary to senior secondary students surrounding forest systems and forest resources.

The ForestLearning program provides free K–12 teaching and learning resources, by teachers, for teachers, aligned to the Australian Curriculum incorporating contexts of sustainability, forestry, wood, farm forestry and more. They equip classrooms with free teacher packs and pro

karen weitnauer | Food & fibre snapshots

As Senior Project Officer Technologies: Food and Fibre Production, Karen has created dynamic and future-focused two-page learning sequences (Snapshots) for learners from F– 10. The Snapshots embed 21st century teaching pedagogy, child-centred, hands-on applied learning and guided inquiry, and are part of the Food and Fibre Production suite of resources mapped to the Australian Curriculum in the Technologies Learning Area. Thirty years of technologies educational leadership in schools, most recently at New Town High, has informed the construction and content of the Snapshots.

Food and Fibre Production Curriculum Snapshots: This workshop unpacked resources and offered guidelines as to how teachers can successfully incorporate the Snapshots into learning programs. Participants will be empowered to teach this important context within Design and Technologies and will be able to access new and innovative ways to teach across the curriculum.

The Cross Curriculum priorities, General Capabilities and Content Descriptors of the Australian Curriculum are interwoven into the two-year band snapshots so teachers can see at a glance how to incorporate them into classroom practice.

Delve into these resources to discover ways of approaching design within the food and fibre production context! The Tasmanian Department of Education is committed to supporting schools through the Grow, Make, Protect Tasmanian Agricultural Education Framework.

Reuben Parker-GreeR | The 24 Carrot Garden Project

The 24 Carrot Garden Project establishes the gold standard of school kitchen gardens partnered with fun learning activities in the creative arts, culinary arts, science and sustainability.  The project is aligned with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation program and currently has 12 schools participating, plus a sister after-school garden in the New Orleans neighbourhood of St. Roch.

Rueben explained the project and the role project host Mona provides through facilitating: funding, leadership, architectural design and fun and creative learning opportunities.

Peter Lelong | ACARA and the University of Adelaide

Peter is the Digital Technologies project officer for ACARA and the University of Adelaide. Peter has been a Digital Technologies educator supporting all three jurisdictions in Tasmania. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator (2004) and a Google Educator. He has worked with teachers and students across all year levels and curriculum areas from F–12. Peter supports leadership in schools and teachers as they prepare to implement the Australian Curriculum — Digital Technologies. He is the University of Adelaide’s Tasmanian Project Officer, supporting the professional learning program developed by the University. Peter supports the Digital Technologies in Focus program. A three-year federally-funded project.

Peter is a teacher of 40 years having taught both Primary and Secondary students in Western Australia and Tasmania and in all three jurisdictions. Peter continually seeks to further his understanding of new trends in the integration of technologies in the classroom. He writes the ‘Cyberclass’ column in the Mercury newspaper each week and collaborated in the writing of the international Horizon Report for 2016 that looks at future trends in technologies and education.

Digital Technologies curriculum and Smart Gardens: To date 1000 teachers across Tasmania have registered in the Federally-funded CSER MOOC developed by the University of Adelaide, introducing teachers to the new curriculum. A total of 12 Tasmanian schools have been selected to participate in a three-year Digital Technologies in Focus initiative to determine the sustainability of the new curriculum. Six of the 12 schools have identified their community gardens as resources that could support the introduction of digital technologies using a range of digital technologies that introduce students to computational thinking, systems thinking and design thinking.

This workshop outlined the Digital Technologies curriculum and introduced activities with micro-processors and robotics that support the smart gardens projects schools have identified that will support their student understanding of Digital Technologies.

For more information email Peter Lelong.

Kaylene Little | the Tassal Group

The challenge facing educators and industry alike is how we ‘lure’ the young people of today to be as excited about being ‘future farmers’ as we are. What in fact is a ‘future farmer’? Are we fancy and modern like bitcoin, or forgotten like superannuation? How do we strengthen links between education and industry so we maintain relevance and are seen as the awesome industry we are? An important part of making our sectors ‘sexy’ is understanding just what we have on offer — behind every ‘farmer’ there is an industry, science, finance, HR, IT, manufacturing, QA, sustainability, WHS, sales, marketing etc etc, so let’s take a peek together — because our farmers wear wetsuits, do yours?

For more information check out the Tassal website.

Ross Wilson | Queensland Curriculum

The new Agricultural Science syllabus is a high-definition syllabus that will be introduced into Queensland schools in 2019. It is one of four interdisciplinary sciences and three general sciences that will introduce students to a scientific discipline.

Students will be required to learn and apply aspects of the knowledge and skills of Agricultural Science (thinking, experimentation, problem solving and research skills), understand how it works and how it may impact society.

Assessment in all new Queensland Science syllabuses comprises the same three summative assessment techniques. The presentation focused on one of these assessment techniques and an overview of its construction.

For more information email Ross Wilson

jeff and Rebecca perry | cornell university, US | Youth Leadership Development Opportunities

Jeff is a senior lecturer in Development Sociology at Cornell. Courses taught include: The Art of Teaching, Youth Leadership; Extension-Outreach-and-Instruction. He taught high school agriculture for 17 years at a comprehensive rural school.

Rebecca is the 4-H Team Leader for Cortland County Cooperative Extension. She facilitates county 4-H clubs, after school programs, special interest groups, and workshops across various educational subject areas targeted to youth, as well as managing adult 4-H volunteers.

Youth Leadership Development Opportunities: The diversity of programs taught by NAAE instructors matches the diversity of Australia itself. One common theme bringing all of us together is youth education and leadership. Join Jeff and Rebecca in an active discussion about opportunities and ideas to develop a youth leadership model in Australia Agriculture Education that draws upon the history of FFA, 4-H and other models of youth engagement in the United States. Time to take stock in the resources available and add innovation to develop strategies that encourage student development and entice students into our courses.

For more information email Jeff Perry or Becky Perry.

Liz Little | Rural Alive and Well (RAW) Tasmania | Building resilience

Health outcomes for rural people in general are poorer than those for their urban cousins. For mental health and suicide, several factors contribute to this including distance to and availability of services, poorer help seeking, lower health literacy, concerns about privacy in small communities, higher stigma and a higher sense of self-reliance. Rural educators can play an important role in reducing several of these key barriers both on a professional level and a personal level. A whole of community response encompassing both clinical, NGO, business, education and grassroots is currently considered best practice in suicide prevention.

ashley evans | Rural Youth Tasmania | capacity building

The Rural Youth Organisation of Tasmania Inc is an autonomous organisation for persons between the ages of 15-30 years, which aims to provide opportunities for the personal development of members through social, educational, cultural and agricultural activities. Rural Youth organises and hosts Tasmania’s premier agricultural field day — AgFest.

For more information visit the Rural Youth Tasmania website.

Roger Tyshing | Discover Agriculture Program (Tasmania)| sponsored by Rural youth tasmania

The Discover Agriculture program is an intensive but fun-filled six days for students in years 10, 11 and 12 with an emphasis on practical learning, having a go, understanding the real fundamentals of agriculture and building important networks. Roger will share the successes and highlights of this innovative program. This workshop was sponsored by Rural Youth Tasmania.

For more information on Discover Agriculture email Roger Tyshing.

The Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council (TSIC)

The Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council (TSIC) is the peak body representing the interests of wild capture fishers, marine farmers and seafood processors in Tasmania. Tasmania is the largest producer of seafood by value in Australia and is a supplier of high quality fresh and frozen seafood produce to the 8 out of 10 Australians who buy seafood and to valuable export markets, principally in South-east Asia. The Council works in conjunction with the industry sector groups to ensure that all sectors of industry are ecologically sustainable and make an ongoing economic contribution to the Tasmanian economy, particularly in regional areas.

Will Tatchel Van Dieman Brewing

Founder and Head Brewer Will Tatchell transgressed into the brewing world as a distraction while studying Agricultural Science at university. He retrospectively saw the brewing industry as an extension of the primary industry he’d grown up within.

Upon completing University, Will sought further experience in the brewing sector and travelled to the United Kingdom to immerse himself within the history-rich brewing sector. He returned a number of years later to initiate the beginnings of the brewery in 2007 which was, by necessity, a labour of love.

Farming beer: Our dedication to creating totally unique and completely brewery-grown, singleorigin beers we’ve dubbed as Estate Ales, borders on fanatical. By utilising grains and hops grown on the brewery farm and subsequent processing on-site, a spring-fed water source, and foraging the countryside for wild flora and indigenous wild yeasts, we are returning to how local farmhouse brewing existed in a previous life, back to its agricultural roots. This concept excites and passionately drives our focus day to day from a brewing operations’ perspective and also on-farm decisions for brewing purposes. The ability of being able to actively control, influence and manage the entire process from ground to glass is incredibly rare in any industry these days, and something we’re inherently proud and protective of. We’re brewing from the ground up.

For more information visit the Van Dieman Brewing website.

Ag Institute Australia (the trading name of The Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology)

Ag Institute Australia is committed to promoting the advancement of Australian Agriculture and Natural Resource Management in accord with sound scientific developments and represents professionals involved in these areas. AIA has taken the lead in development of Professional Standards, accreditation process and a code of ethics for members.