Food security: Australian agriculture needs next-gen entrepreneurs


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AgriFutures Australia and have joined forces to deliver an exciting education program called AgriFutures™ that teaches school kids in rural and regional Australia to solve the problems facing agriculture using innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset.

Jo Burston, serial entrepreneur and Founder of ​Inspiring Rare Birds​ has a new venture,​, that brings entrepreneurial learning in action into the classroom to inspire and equip the next generation to create real social and economic impact.

“Youth globally are our superheroes,” Jo says. “They want to find solutions to problems that previous generations have created and for these solutions to be sustainable, sometimes multimillion-dollar businesses. They are digital natives who thrive on being connected and, most importantly, don’t see any gender or cultural barriers to success. We must keep these imaginations alive and healthy.”

Her first partnership is with Australian Government-funded research and development body, ​AgriFutures​ Australia​, that will sponsor seven schools across seven states and territories to receive a $7,000 education program that will take secondary students on an immersive journey into the entrepreneurial startup scene to help solve the problems facing agriculture in Australia.

Australian agriculture produces an impressive 93% of our domestic food supply and 1.6 million Australians are employed in ag-related industries, making it the biggest employer in rural and regional communities. But the world is changing. The population is growing and the climate is changing, which means we need to work out how to feed more people with less land and less water. For this reason, it is imperative that agriculture in Australia embraces the new technology revolution. That’s where entrepreneurship and innovation comes in.


Drones, AI, renewable energy, driverless trucks, and remote monitoring of soil and air are now all common factors in Australian farming. But there are many more problems to be solved. The industry now needs more tech-savvy kids to help it prosper well into the future. For this, students will need to prepare for Industrial Revolution 4.0 by gaining the ​skills highlighted by the World Economic Forum​, and the programs are designed to deliver just that.

Teachers will enjoy delivering these energetic, inspiring and thought-provoking sessions as their students become equipped with a key skill for their business life – an entrepreneurial mindset – and work towards positively impacting Australia’s all-important food security.

Managing Director of AgriFutures Australia John Harvey says: “We are thrilled to launch the AgriFutures program with Jo and her team. A key objective of AgriFutures Australia is to attract capable people into careers in agriculture, and this program will be a wonderful tool to expose high school students to different ways of approaching national rural issues, and importantly expand their horizons in terms of what a career in agriculture could look like.”

Applications will open in late February 2018 for schools who wish to be part of this exciting new program.
To register your interest, please contact

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