A look back on this years hack - Will Atkinson

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2017 participant Will Atkinson's future is looking bright since agrihack in April this year. We take a look at Will's agrihack experience and what he is up to now.

WHO

Will Atkinson hails from a cattle property in Braidwood, NSW where both his parents work in the ag space.  Will is a 3rd year student of Ag Science at CSU Wagga Campus, about to head into his final year in 2018 so agrihack was a natural fit to put his livestock production and pasture agronomy study to use.

THE CHALLENGE

On the day, Will and his team received the following agrihack challenge focusing on WOOL:

Consider ideas for technology application/s that will make wool growing an appealing, viable choice for farmers and consumers.

Here are some questions to help guide your thinking:

How might we help farmers keep their sheep, happy, healthy and productive?

How might we help consumers understand and enjoy the benefits of wool?

How might we discover new uses for the unique properties of natural wool?

THE SOLUTION

Will was grouped with a vet consultant and two farmers and together they worked on a design for a “smart” sheep run, utilising automated gates and RFID tags to keep the sheep in an agreeable state whilst running a smooth backlining and drenching operation.

WHERE IS HE NOW?

While Will and his team didn’t win the hack it certainly opened some doors for an aspiring member of the ag workforce.  As part of his degree, Will must undertake a 12 week placement out in the field.  At agrihack Will was introduced to Colin Scrivener, who connected Will with a contact at Meridian Agriculture, Casterton.  Meridian is an agricultural and business advisory service, and will now play host to Will’s 2018 placement, a position that is sure to open exciting doors for Will in the future.

agrihack - 1 & 2 March, 2018, CSU Wagga Campus Convention Centre

Dianna Somerville