In order to address the declining number of students choosing technology, science and engineering career paths, Women in Technology Western Australia launched the Techtrails STEM outreach program in 2010. From 2011 onwards the Techtrails program has evolved into a highly effective method to showcase inspiring industry role models to both male and female Western Australian secondary school students.
As part of this program, Agworld sponsored the Techtrails visit to Manjimup Senior High School, in the South West region of Western Australia on November 22nd of this year. This visit showcased exciting agricultural, sustainability, resources, entrepreneurial and creative jobs of the future to 100 year 9 students. Agworld Customer Success Representative Rachel Asquith remarks: “Many jobs in sectors that are thought of as quite traditional, and perhaps not very exciting, are increasingly using cutting-edge technology in order to remain competitive. Agriculture is a great example of this: technology is starting to play such a big role in the industry as a whole, but I still hear kids say they they are not interested in working in agriculture as they’d rather to work with technology. This is where programs like Techtrails play an important role: educating younger generations on what jobs in certain sectors actually look like, how interesting they are and the great career paths they offer.”
Earlier in 2018, Ms Asquith was part of the Agworld sponsored Partners in Grain WA (PinGWA) roadshow throughout the Western Australian wheatbelt with the aim of educating growers and their partners on how to become paperless in their offices. Ms Asquith: “Growers realise how important it is to follow the latest trends in technology and the interest shown in these workshops was really overwhelming; every single one was fully booked. Although the paperless office is only a small part of all technology used on a farm, the fact that so many growers were interested in these workshops, highlights the importance of technology in general for farmers and their families.”
Ms Asquith continues: “I hope that Techtrails can help educate the next generation on how important it is to be tech savvy in whichever career you might chose, but also to get some more students interested in a career in agriculture. It is not easy to change the perception that some might have of agriculture and show them that it is really one of the more technologically advanced industries out there. For example, in how many other industries do you, on a daily base, drive multiple different $500,000 machines that are setup with a 2cm accurate guidance system, while using multispectral satellite imagery and other data sources to write scripts that help you improve your results?”
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Since 2008, Agworld has been a big part of the push to give technology a bigger role in agriculture and remains focused on ensuring that growers have access to the best technology that allows them to be competitive on a global scale. In order to ensure the long term viability of the sector, programs like Techtrails are extremely important and Agworld is therefore a proud sponsor of this, and many other similar programs. Ms Asquith ads: “Whenever I talk to students and explain to them what I do on a daily basis within Agworld, they are truly amazed. Agriculture is so diverse and there is such a wide variety of roles available; whatever your interests are, you can find it in agriculture. We cannot underestimate the importance of attracting young talent to the industry and I’m proud of the role that Agworld wants to play in this process.”