Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the World, with a higher percentage of the population living in an urban area than England, the U.S. and even France, whilst marginally trailing Brazil. This means that fewer Australians have a connection with agriculture and an understanding of how amazing and diverse the agricultural industry really is. From physicists to chemists; biologists, agronomists, economists and computer science to mathematics, modeling and sociology; welders, manufacturers and heavy fitters, agriculture really has it all. AgriEducate is here to dispel the myths surrounding the agricultural industry and provide balanced, informative pieces for everyone to understand and enjoy.
What’s on Offer?
Social media is a marvellous thing. The ability to break down distance barriers and engage groups of people is fantastic. At AgriEducate we are aiming to capitalise on the widespread usage of social media to reduce the Agri-Urban gap. We are developing an active farmer base to answer questions on the production system as a whole, straight from the consumer to the grower. Questions can range from those regarding rural lifestyle to those focusing on specific production techniques.
Wanting to learn more about a particular food? Well head on over to our actively updated Food Factsheets page where you can find out in depth information about how and where your food is produced
Our other program focuses on insights into students of current agriculture-related majors and young people in agriculture, so that those wanting to learn more about joining the industry can understand the wide ranging opportunities available.
And if you’re just after a few different agricultural blogs, well you can find a glossary of agricultural blogs on our page too.
That is where our partnered farmers come in (send us a message here if you want to become one). Our partnered farmers are operating around the country on various production systems – from seaweed and native foods, to wool and grain. They volunteer their time to share the passion about agriculture and your food! Tweet us and our partner farmers or send us an email and we’ll get you connected and have your question answered.
We also have a fantastic and dedicated volunteers producing articles, business ideas and answering questions whenever they are needed.
Originating from, let’s keep it simple and say Southern Australia, Matt recently graduated from CSU Wagga Wagga with B. Ag Sci (Hons I). Whilst he researched salt supplementation to increase lamb growth rates and he comes from a long family history in livestock, Matt has taken is skills and thirst for more knowledge and adventure abroad. He is now currently based in Laos as an Australian Volunteer Agronomist as part of the Crawford Fund’s mission for a food secure world.
The assignment is seeking to overcome weeds in direct seeded rice. No, not the jasmine rice sown with an 80ft air seeder using controlled traffic farming– the sticky rice sown with a 2.5ft seeder behind a hand tractor! It’s the rice old mate down the road produces just to feed his family. And just to make it a little trickier, herbicides are not legal.
Matt has a passion to help connect people with where their food and fibre comes from, but his main goal and aspiration is to see a world where everyone has access to food. Not just any food, but safe, nutritious and affordable food. Food that allows children grow un-stunted, food that when shared brings smiles to faces, and food that is produced sustainability.
Christine writes the Wednesday Development Agriculture articles, and assists with the planning and strategy. Christine studied B.P.E.SS at Sydney University and Kings College London, focusing on International Development and Food Security. Christine has also worked as a national consultant with UNESCO, as a junior researcher and policy analyst of international programs by organisations including the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, volunteered at an agricultural college in rural Thailand, and has been involved with the Farmers Overseas Action Group!
Calum is a PhD student with the Western Barley Genetics Alliance based out of Murdoch University, Western Australia. Calum hails from a small property near Harvey in the South West of the state and has followed agriculture passionately throughout his studies. He is Western Australia’s first representative in the Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champion program which aims to educate school children on the agriculture industry, in Calums case this is the grains industry. This interest in educating people makes him a perfect fit for AgriEducate and has seen him write some fascinating articles and topics which most people would ever think about. Calums research is looking at improving barleys productivity under heat stress conditions during flowering and grain fill through genetic improvement. He views this period in history as being hugely exciting for agriculture across all sectors because the technological improvements and opportunities available are seemingly boundless.
A city girl, gone country girl….Jen was born and raised in a metropolitan area. She studied Bachelor of Agricultural Science at The University of Melbourne, which gave her not only an academic education but also the opportunity to meet her husband Mark. Having grown up in a chicken farming family, Mark could answer all of Jen’s questions. Jen likes to fires her questions without mercy and loves to learn about the hot and sometimes controversial chicken production topics like RSPCA approval, council regulations and animal welfare topics. Jen has worked in the horticulture industry and now works in Ag media.
Having come from an urban background, Jen recognises the knowledge gap between urban consumers and rural producers. Jen believes that farming practices should be thoughtfully communicated so that consumers who are willing to learn where their food comes from can make a well informed decision before taking the next bite.
Guy – Founder
People often ask me “where are you from?” My usual answer goes along the lines of; “well I grew up and went to school in Perth, but school holidays and weekends were spent in Kalgoorlie and on the farm in Esperance. I studied in Sydney after studying Agricultural Science at UWA and now working I am in Canberra.”
So what does that make me?
Honestly, I’m never too sure, but I feel it makes me lucky enough to have insight on both sides of the coin. Controversial issues often arise (don’t mention live export!) that pit farmers vs. city people as if two separate groups, with distinctly different ideologies and needs. A conflict is always great for selling news but is never the true story, after all everyone needs farmers at least three times a day, and obviously Australia certainly wouldn’t be competitive without urban centres.
Observing these issues (live export, GMO, pesticides, livestock handling, foreign investment) from both sides led me to believe that the inherent conflict, adversity and generalisations arose from a severe lack of communication between the two parties. I saw the first step in bridging this gap as capitalising on existing online communication platforms to educate and connect everyone on a more personal level. I can tweet directly to thousands of farmers around WA and Australia in moments, and boy do they love Twitter. The same goes for users in the city.
That is why I developed AgriEducate – educating urban and rural people, breaking down distance barriers and playing a part in ensuring the Australian Agricultural Industry is sustainable on an environmental, social and economic level.