Victorian teachers are being urged to apply for a program to learn firsthand from some of the state's most innovative farmers, as they open their gates to showcase the latest advancements in agricultural technology and sustainable production.
The innovative Teacher Farm Experience Program, a two-day professional development course to be held next month in the Goulburn Valley region, aims to equip teachers with a better understanding and interest in food and fibre production.
The program will have a particular focus on how teachers can adopt the information into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and digital technology curriculums.
The program is delivered at no cost to participating teachers.
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Program organiser and Rabobank's Monique Bryant said TeacherFX provided a platform to showcase the many career opportunities in agriculture.
"By giving teachers a hands-on look at how agriculture uses STEM in many aspects of business, we hope they return to their classrooms with the skills and confidence to make connections back to agriculture in their teaching programs," Ms Bryant said.
"Because realistically a lot of students might not have a connection to agriculture, but if their teachers are showcasing ag in their classrooms, it might get them thinking about a career in the sector."
Rabobank, an agribusiness specialist, is playing a lead role in the program.
Ms Bryant said the sector offered career pathways in a number of areas including technology, engineering, genetics, marketing, finance, agronomy, soil management, environmental management and research.
CQUniversity will provide professional support for the program's development and resources for teachers to take home, and evaluation measures to record its success.
CQUni research fellow in agri-tech education and innovation Dr Amy Cosby said the program would be the first personal development opportunity of its kind for teachers in Victoria.
"There is so much diversity in Victoria's agricultural sector ... and this will be put on show with the program including visits to a dairy farm, fresh fruit and vegetable operation and fresh cut flower enterprise,' Dr Crosby said.
For information or to lodge an application to attend the program (by September 20, 2019) head to www.teacherfx.com.au.
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