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Agricultural innovation to be boosted by secondary school program

Terry Sim, February 26, 2018

AUSTRALIAN secondary students have just two weeks to join a learning program aimed at solving the problems facing agriculture using innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset.

Applications now open for secondary schools around Australia to apply for the unique entrepreneurial learning program — AgriFutures™ startup.business — for Year 9 and 10 students.

As part of the collaboration between AgriFutures Australia and startup.business, AgriFutures Australia will sponsor seven schools across the country to receive the $7000 education program. The program will take secondary students on an immersive journey into the entrepreneurial startup scene to help solve the problems facing agriculture in Australia, AgriFutures Australia said.

The AgriFutures™ startup.business pilot program aims to show young people how the skills and mindset of entrepreneurs can allow them to create their own jobs.

“We learn because of our curiosity, because of the challenges we face, because of the things we do … and as we learn we grow,” said Jo Burston, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Phronesis Academy, the parent company of startup.business.

“That’s why we’ve brought together entrepreneurs and academics to design a unique program of learning.”

AgriFutures Australia said there are currently four jobs in agriculture for every university graduate studying an agricultural-related degree. However, there are barriers to entrepreneurship in rural and regional areas that education in entrepreneurship aims to overcome. AgriFutures™ startup.business’ project aimed to enable students’ passion for, and interest in, business to be integrated into large scale solutions for local problems.

AgriFutures Australia managing director, John Harvey, said the body was thrilled to launch the AgriFutures™ startup.business program with startup.business.

“A key objective of AgriFutures Australia is to attract capable people into careers in agriculture, and this program will be a wonderful tool to expose high school students to different ways of approaching national rural issues, and importantly expand their horizons in terms of what a career in agriculture could look like,” he said.

To be eligible for the program, schools must be a secondary public high school and offer Commerce, Agricultural Studies or Geography to Year 9 or Year 10 students. Schools must also be located in a rural or regional area, and commit to delivering the program to a minimum of one class in Term 2 and Term 3 of 2018.

Applications are now open and close  onMonday, March 12, 2018 at 5.00pm AEDT. Teachers or school representatives are encouraged to apply online at: www.agrifutures.com.au/people-leadership/agrifutures-startup-business/

Source: AgriFutures Australia.

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