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AU: School grants open doors to opportunities in agriculture

The Palaszczuk Government has awarded almost $200,000 to schools for projects that support agribusiness studies and prepare students for good jobs in the career pathways for students.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said 42 Queensland schools participating in the 2022 Agribusiness project under the Gateway to Industry Schools Program (GISP) were successful in securing Small Grant funding of up to $10,000.

“This funding provides the next generation of workers with real hands-on experience and insight into the breadth of career opportunities available in the agribusiness sector,” Mr. Furner said.

“Under this program, a record ten schools will receive an Exploring Frontiers with AgTech Small Grant, enabling students to explore new agriculture technologies and innovative thinking.”

Schools will use the funding for:

  • Aldridge State High School - electronic hardware upgrades and software allowing students, teaching staff, and farm managers to monitor their cattle.  
  • Beenleigh State High School - built on its Paddock to Plate program by incorporating an organics composter into a blockchain technology project.
  • Caboolture State High School - weather station and sensors, allowing for data collection and analysis to create efficiencies in horticulture and livestock production.
  • Corinda State High School - Smart Farm Robot for gathering data in the field, including pest and weed identification.
  • Downlands College - create a semi-climate-controlled protected cropping system using probes and data loggers and introduce hydroponic production systems.
  • Kelvin Grove State College - use prototype environmental monitoring systems to measure the performance and environmental footprint of Barrambin Farm.
  • Kepnock State High School - create efficiencies in crop protection with a programmable laser bird control unit and further develop learnings in hydroponic growing and monitoring technologies through the use of sensors.
  • Kirwan State High School - two FarmBots so students can use intelligent apps, big data, robotics, programming, and the Internet of Things to customize automated growing regimes.  
  • Rockhampton State High School - link aquaponics facility with hydroponic gardens, plant nursery, and raised gardens with data loggers and sensors, creating a water waste recycling program.
  • Wilsonton Agricultural Field Study Centre - autonomous waste management system to reduce food waste in the community while supplying fertilizer.

Small Grants are also awarded to schools seeking to expand their current agribusiness studies or undertake field experiences. Agribusiness teachers can apply for professional development funding.  

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said a record number of schools had applied to be part of the 2022 Agribusiness GISP.

“When the GISP program started 15 years ago, we had 42 schools involved across six priority industries – we now have more than 290 Queensland schools participating across the ten priority industries,” Minister Farmer said.  

“Just this year, we’ve had 76 schools participating in the Agribusiness GISP, advancing the opportunities for Queensland students, increasing our skilled workforce, and keeping more jobs local.

“The recently announced Good Jobs. Good People: Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022-2032 includes an Action Plan to ensure Queensland has the workforce we need to take advantage of our economic opportunities and ensure we include more Queenslanders in our brighter future, including through programs like GISP.

“The Queensland Government has started the job of delivering on the Queensland Workforce Strategy to ensure industry, workers, and the community can embrace the opportunities on offer and look ahead to an even brighter future.”

For more information:
Governor of Queensland

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