Calling all out-of-the-box thinkers! (The Land)
DO you have a brain full of ideas that could help solve some of agriculture’s biggest challenges?
If so, throw your hat in the ring to be a part of Agrihack, Australia’s first agricultural hackathon.
The event, which is taking place in Wagga from September 16 to 18, will bring together farmers, software and web developers, agribusiness professionals, mental health experts and academics from Charles Sturt University. Participants will work in teams of five to solve a “big” challenge.
One challenge will be set by GrainGrowers Limited and will require teams to work together to devise a solution to an issue plaguing the grains industry. The solution must incorporate technology.
The other challenge will be set by the Centre for Rural and Remote Health. Teams must devise a policy, program or procedure aimed at improving and supporting the mental health of farmers’ spouses.
The winning teams will take home a cash prize and will have the opportunity to develop their idea further.
Wagga businesswoman Dianna Somerville, owner of Regional Grants, Tenders and Corporate Services, has masterminded the event.
“I’ve seen how well hackathons produce solutions that are new, unique and relevant and I want to use the event as a way to generate innovative ideas to some of agriculture’s biggest challenges,” she said.
She said bringing software and web developers to regional NSW would expose them to opportunities to work with farmers and agribusiness professionals to develop tools to achieve efficiency gains in the grain supply chain.
Likewise, connecting policy makers with farmers and farmers’ spouses would help put the latter at the forefront of policy making process.
“We need to celebrate the diverse skills farmers spouses have and use them to build innovation in ag.”
Ms Somerville is excited to see what solutions arise.
“It’s going to be a collision of minds.”
Children from Year 3 to Year 6 can also take part in the event, also. Students will tour Charles Sturt University and take agriculture and computer coding lessons.
“If we can help our kids understand agriculture from a grass roots level and teach them how to code and think about technology we are on the right path to creating the agri-tech developers of tomorrow. “