It's on again!


TUESDAY, MAY 2 @ 12:50pm

Lightning sessions offer delegates a snapshot into the presenters field of expertise or research. Each lightning presentation runs for 5-minutes and will be held in the main plenary room – National Ballroom 2 – within Hotel Realm. 

LIGHTNING PRESENTATION TITLE: Where are we taking wool education?
HOST: Australian Wool Innovation
Kelly McAvoy, Program Manager Education Extension
​At Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) we are serious about attracting Australia’s best and brightest students into a fulfilling future in wool.  Through a host of engaging and informative education initiatives, scholarship and graduate programs and industry partnerships, we are opening the gates to a world of opportunities for your students in the wool industry, no matter where their interests, skills or aspirations lie.From supporting school wether challenges across Australia, to delivering shearer training programs, the Wool4School fashion design competition and our involvement with numerous scholarship, leadership and graduate programs, AWI is committed to education and engagement. During this lightening session, Kelly McAvoy, Australian Wool Innovation’s Program Manager Education and Extension will share with you the myriad of ways you can engage with the wool industry to better prepare your students to embrace a career in agriculture, with a focus on wool.   



LIGHTNING PRESENTATION TITLE: The Tocal Virtual Farm | K-12 resources for ag across the stages
HOST: NSW Department of Primary Industries
Jo Hathway, Schools Program Officer
Tocal is a 2200-hectare property in the NSW Hunter Valley. Run by the NSW Department of Primary Industries the Tocal Virtual Farm frames the daily workings, environmental management, production data and management goals within the NSW syllabuses for students from k to 12. This session will demonstrate how a resource like Tocal – and the virtual farm – can be used across all stages to help students value agriculture and farmers to learn about Australian food and fibre production. Teaching guides and student workbooks position the farm activities within learning for the Science and Technology, Geography, Agriculture, Technologies and history syllabuses.



LIGHTNING PRESENTATION TITLE: Unlocking the gate to a career in lot feeding
HOST: Australian Lot Feeders’ Association (ALFA)
Emily Litzow, Project Manager – Feedlot Training
Jump on Feedlot TECH, an online training, education, careers hub and take advantage of the central collection of online training courses, career pathways, and job opportunities within the Australian lot feeding sector – all free to access currently. Feedlot TECH is an initiative of Australian Lot Feeders’ Association (ALFA) and Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).
On the site, you’ll find plenty of videos to explore career journeys of real people, and videos showcasing the various areas and roles you can find on a feedlot, where cattle are cared for.
In this lightening session, you will get a first hand look at the quality of the online training and an overview of the many career opportunities available at Australian feedlots. 



HOST: NSW Farmers
Cassie Carslake, Project Officer
Kids to Farms is a program aimed at increasing awareness in primary-school students about where our food and fibre comes from. With agriculture being rolled out across the NSW Curriculum, we aim to provide teachers and students with an opportunity to learn about Australia’s food and fibre production in a hands-on, interactive environment with the farmer.To date, Kids to Farms has worked with over 5,100 students from 80 primary schools across NSW, through virtual and in-person incursion experiences, as well as facilitating excursions to farms across the state. Throughout 2022, we provided over $56,000 in rebates to help schools access excursions to agricultural states where they could learn about the importance of our food and fibre industries.One of the success stories throughout Kids to Farms is the partnerships we were able to form and benefit from. Throughout the project we partnered with various organisations who provided equipment, speakers, and expertise for school programs. These partnerships provided help in the form of personnel, donated large amounts of equipment and resources, ultimately allowing more students to be involved. ‘Partnerships for Success’ will help educators identify businesses and organisations who may be able to assist in developing their agricultural programs.



LIGHTNING PRESENTATION TITLE: Approaches to building capacity of a future-ready agricultural workforce
HOST: Australian National University
Dr Rachael Rodney-Harris, Agricultural Innovation Training and Education Convenor, Fenner School of Environment and Society and Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology
To adapt and thrive in the face of future challenges, the Australian agricultural sector will need new skills and perspectives to problem-solving. Developing a workforce with these skills will require a combination of approaches to upskill the existing workforce, broaden the skills of agricultural graduates, and attract workers from non-agricultural backgrounds. Here we present findings from recent research that explores some of these approaches, including an innovative approach to higher education that the Australian National University is taking that creates pathways for people with a diversity of non-traditional skills to study agriculture in their degrees. Establishing these study pathways to draw students from non-traditional fields is contributing to the development of the future-ready workforce Australian agriculture needs.

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