Do you have the digital skills to drive agriculture?

Defining the digital skills needed to grow agriculture


In this week's The Gauge, Brooke Sauer looks at the digital capability of those driving Australian agriculture.


Opinion | The Gauge 

Like most, I trawl social media for entertainment. I am surprised by how many of my connections are consistently comparing their childhood to the current generation with an undertone that the current generation of children are rather unfortunate not to have experienced simple, uncomplicated fun of riding a bike without a helmet and creating games out of sticks.

I vividly remember the introduction of wheelie bins and riding ours like it was a horse. If I positioned my weight correctly and got just the right amount of rocking, I could even get it to 'trot' a few meters.

Reminiscing makes me smile; my childhood was fun filled. But if I were a kid now, I could create an immersive experience that was far more like the real thing and smelt less like household waste. I am not pining for a different childhood, but I personally am "UP" on progress and the opportunities that it brings my children.

Recently a consortium of RDC's announced a series of frameworks for Growing a Digital Future. We have all heard the claim that digital innovation could improve the gross value of production of the Australian ag sector by $20.3 billion. Brilliant.

But how do we claim a bit of that pie?

Through education and skill building.

Digital capability describes the skills and attitudes that individuals and organisations need if they are to thrive in today's world. This is beyond being able to post on Facebook. The European Parliament defines digital capability as being "underpinned by the use of computers to retrieve, access store, manage, produce, present and exchange information".

Locally, the Digital Capability Framework defines the skills required in the future to uptake digital technologies influencing the agricultural workforce. This document is a reference point for the agricultural sector to recognise where we are at today and how get a seat at the table to eat some of that "$20.3 billion pie".

As an industry we are becoming more reliant on digital resources and technologies. It is up to us as individuals to recognise where our limitations are and seek ways to ensure that we have the capacity to actively participate in the future.

Brooke Sauer, CEO of IntellectAg

Brooke Sauer, CEO of IntellectAg

Improving our digital literacy means being up to date with the latest emerging technologies. We need to become proficient in operating devices and technology - including at the business end. We don't need to know how to build an API, but we should be wanting to utilise them.

Reviewing the way, we currently create, collect, store, manage, dispose and share data, plus developing our interpretative and analytical skills will ensure we make the most informed decisions. This pertinent to increasing productivity. How can you improve if you don't know where you are at?

We communicate daily via many different mediums, communicating digitally with great efficiency throughout the industry - not just within your business - is vital.

The future application of technology is incomprehensible and let's be honest overwhelming but being less "down" on progress and more "up" on technology is the first move.

For more information on where you sit on the digital capability scale a self-assessment tool is available here.

- Brooke Sauer is CEO of IntellectAg, a digital agriculture consulting company.


From the front page

Sponsored by