Program fosters innovation

By Benalla Ensign

Kids are the future of our land.

And they’ll have the chance to invest in its future through new program AgriFutures

The pilot program, a collaboration between two businesses, teaches school kids in rural and regional Australia to solve the problems facing agriculture by fostering innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset.

AgriFutures Australia will sponsor seven schools across the country to receive the $7000 education program.

The program aims to show young people how the skills and mindset of entrepreneurs can allow them to create their own jobs.

Presented in modules, the program will present kids with problems (not solutions) to facilitate learning.

Jo Burston, chief executive of Phronesis Academy (the parent company of, said the program aimed to encourage curiosity.

‘‘We learn because of our curiosity, because of the challenges we face, because of the things we do... and as we learn we grow,’’ Ms Burston said.

‘‘That’s why we’ve brought together entrepreneurs and academics to design a unique program of learning.’’

While four jobs in field are currently available for every university graduate studying an agricultural-related degree, there are barriers to entrepreneurship in rural and regional areas.

Barriers this program aims to overcome.

‘‘We are thrilled to launch the AgriFutures program with Jo and her team,’’ AgriFutures Australia managing director John Harvey said.

‘‘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.’’

To be eligible for the program, schools must be a secondary public high school and offer commerce, agricultural studies or geography to Year 9 or Year 10 students.

Schools must also commit to delivering the program to a minimum of one class in Term 2 and Term 3 of 2018.

Applications are now open and close on Monday, March 12.

●To apply, visit