Why it’s a good time to get into primary production
STUDENTS and future innovators keen on a career in Agriculture have been encouraged with a panel of experts saying there was no better time to get involved with the industry.
Students from local high schools and local businessmen and woman had the opportunity to ask guest speakers at Thursday's Hinkler Innovation Series Breakfast for their advice and thoughts on the future of agricultural innovation.
Founding Director of Rural Economies Centre of Excellence Associate Professor Ben Lyons, CEO and Co-Founder of RapidAIM Dr Nancy Schellhorn, CQUniversity's Professor Philip Brown and Co-founder of Corematic Engineering Scott Hansen each spoke in the panel at the event where AgTech was the theme.
Prof Brown said now was "the most exciting time" someone could ever enter the agricultural industry.
"There's a wave of change coming through that's unprecedented," he said.
"You think of agriculture as all dirt and driving tractors, that's not agriculture anymore.
"For example on farms when Nancy's RapidAIM gets implemented, instead of a farmer requiring a labourer to go count how many bugs are in the traps, you're going to have ecologists on the farm interpreting a rich set of data to figure out the best way to manage pest population in an ecologically sustainable fashion. There's a huge range of careers you wouldn't picture agriculture to be."
Mr Hansen said his company, Corematic Engineering, tried to employ within the region.
"We're based in Brisbane but have an office in Bundaberg, we've found some excellent resources from CQUniversity in particular in terms of skilled young engineers or technical people that can fulfil the roles," he said.
"From what I've seen and the experience I've had with the graduates that come from the university, I think there's absolutely no reason why we can't stay here and I think the industry and the opportunities are only growing.
"For people who are starting their university degrees now, in four years time it's going to be a totally change landscape.
"I think with some of the businesses that are here now, be it agriculture or tech in agriculture, the opportunities are going to grow and grow and grow."
All speakers agreed that one of the most important things for future innovators to do was to surround themselves with good mentors who believed in them.
"A lot of our successes come from the support of people around us, people who say they're self made are kidding themselves," Mr Hansen said.
"If you can put yourself in with the right people you can do anything."