Improving farmer digital literacy in challenging times

Agriculture Victoria is supporting farmers to improve their digital literacy with a technology audit and digital webinar series.

The audit will help farmers understand the technology they currently have on the farm and how to build on these to assist decision making during challenging times such as drought and dry seasonal conditions.

Free digital literacy webinars will help farmers better understand the available connectivity options, the Internet of Things, and how social and professional networks can support to farmers.

The audit and webinar series are part of the 2019-20 Drought Support Package, with input from Horticulture Industry Technology Coordinator Andy Clark.

“Farmers make important decisions every day – choosing and using technology is one of them,” Andy said.

“Understanding exactly what technology and connectivity they already have on farm and where the gaps are is crucial when it comes to knowing how improvements can be made. This will also help avoid unnecessary or duplicated expenses.”

Andy said the digital technology audit and webinars are designed to work together. “The two will give farmers the confidence to connect digitally, use the technology they already have more efficiently and ensure they have access to information to assist decision making.”

The free 30-minute audit will be conducted by phone. Sessions can be booked starting in late June. Farmers will be asked to identify what type of internet connectivity they have, whether they have access to wi-fi and how they use technology on their farm.

A report will be provided for each farmer that includes a property map, which can be used as a guide to add new technology.

To register for the audit contact Andy Clark on 0436 804 656 or book a time at bit.ly/2VbBXBK

The free digital literacy webinar series will be offered in July, each session will be held 1.30 – 2.30 pm.

Webinar Date and timeContact/registration

On-farm connectivity

Tue 21 July

1.30 – 2.30pm

Register or join

Getting the most out of video meeting software

Tue 28 July

1.30 – 2.30pm

Register or join

Internet of Things (IoT)

Tue 4 August

1.30 – 2.30pm

Register or join

Online networking to better communicate on-farm and service farm businesses

Tue 11 August

1.30 – 2.30pm

Register or join

If you need help registering please contact Gavin Beever, Cumbre Consultants on 0438 234 886.

Farmers impacted by drought and dry seasonal conditions are encouraged to apply for the On-Farm Drought Resilience Grant where the maximum amount available increased from $5,000 to $10,000.

This means farmers can use up to $5,000 for farm business planning activities and $5,000 for drought infrastructure investments.

The program also allows applications for new eligible technologies to improve mobile phone connectivity for access to the internet and online drought services, and items such as soil moisture probes.

The program is a key component of the increased drought assistance being provided to Victorian farmers.

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