Engagement and participation keys to attracting young people to agriculture, horticulture and sciences for future food security
Russell, D and Birch, C, Engagement and participation keys to attracting young people to agriculture, horticulture and sciences for future food security, Proceedings of Horticulture for the Future Conference, 1822 September 2011, Mantra Erskine Beach Resort, Lorne, Victoria, pp. 1-1. (2011) [Conference Extract]
School leavers have a real opportunity to enter a rewarding career in science based, high technology career in agriculture, horticulture and food processing industries following studies in agricultural, food and other relevant sciences. The current and future shortage of suitably qualified people to meet the needs of agricultural, horticultural and food industries can be attributed to prolonged low enrolments and ageing and impending retirement of many agricultural and horticultural scientists. Emerging and current issues of food security, climate change, biotechnology and environmental management are intensifying the need for more highly trained professionals. Encouraging students into relevant studies represents a challenge for agricultural, horticultural and food industries, and can be achieved by an integrated program that builds relationships among schools, industry and universities. The Primary Industries Centre for Science Education (PICSE), was funded by the Federal and State Governments, National and local industries, Rural Research and Development Corporations and Universities. Quantitative and qualitative data including longitudinal case studies have shown it to be a successful catalyst for attitudinal change. It has focussed on raising awareness, engagement, participation and commitment of students to the sciences underpinning agriculture, horticulture and food security. An expansion of the PICSE model to include financial and in-kind support of current and additional participants from educational, industry and government sectors will assist in overcoming existing and looming professional shortages through a proactive program demonstrating that challenging and interesting careers in agriculture, horticulture and food meet personal aspirations and contribute to community needs.
education, food security, climate change, biotechnology and environmental management