Students from across the State have been discovering current and emerging agricultural technologies during an immersive event at Hagley Farm School.
The University of Tasmania was among several participants at this year’s Ag Innovation Expo, an initiative of the Tasmanian Agricultural Productivity Group.
Forming part of the event was a three-day program enabling 24 students in Years 9 – 12 to engage with exhibitors through fun, interactive learning opportunities.
Among the exhibitors was University College’s MILE truck which provided a central Higher Education ‘hub’ for the aspiring agricultural leaders to explore and experience.
It brought together activities led by UC, as well as other parts of the University – collaborating to engage via the Industry 4.0 TestLab focussed on agriculture and food innovation – into one interactive space.
Students were able to get creative on electronic whiteboards by collaboratively editing and expanding contributions in real time, then emailing screen shots of the content.
Senior UC Outreach Officer – Industry and Community, Jamie Mitchell, said the collaboration was a tremendous example of the University’s partnerships and impact.
“Students were able to discover and experience several areas of the University that are collectively working to advance technologies in one of Tasmania’s key industries,” Mr Mitchell said.
“It impressed everyone who ventured inside. Agriculture producers, politicians, and industry representatives all commented enthusiastically on the size, scope and potential of the MILE truck to engage community and industry, and how it could be adapted to support other learning programs.
“The MILE truck has always been about taking the University to the people, and its participation in the Expo was a fantastic example of how it can serve as an interface between our programs and the community.”
The 24 participants of the three-day student experience program each applied for a place, and were supported with a bursary funded by 14 agricultural companies.
TAPG Executive Officer Terry Brient said the presence of education and training providers was now an important fixture within the Expo program.
“Over the last four years we have successfully included the full range of education and training providers into the event as we came to recognise that the increased productivity potential of modern farming technology would not be fully realised without a better educated and trained workforce,” Mr Brient said.