Turning effluent waste into energy and developing technology to detect illness in livestock are some examples Gippsland teachers are using to encourage students to engage in agriculture.
Now, teachers from Bairnsdale to Leongatha and Warragul to Traralgon have the chance to learn firsthand about the importance of incorporating food and fibre into students' curriculum.
The Gippy Ag project will link regional educators with industry contacts in an attempt to broaden teachers' understanding of career pathways avaliable in the food and fibre sector.
"There's working in science, agribusiness, working in marketing and events for food festivals, agricultural journalism, and even people who are in accounting and those who are developing the technology like agricultural engineers," Gippy Ag project lead Dr Amy Cosby said.
"It's about linking the food and fibre industry with schools and students to highlight career opportunities and raise awareness of the $7 billion sector in Gippsland."
The project is funded by the Victorian government, Food and Fibre Gippsland and CQ University and offers a range of activities for students and teachers learn about what keeps the industry ticking.
"I guess the idea is that teachers reach a lot more students and food and fibre is already within the curriculum sometimes but teachers don't have the knowledge and confidence to incorporate it into lessons," Dr Cosby said.
"These teacher professional development opportunities will help build knowledge in our teachers to go back into the classroom and share with their students."
The project links back with classroom-based activities like a brain stem challenge being run by the Local Learning and Employment Networks which pairs students with industry mentors to solve a problem they have identified in the food and fibre sector.
"Some are technology-based or they could be social or environmental issues," Dr Cosby said.
"For instance, one group is looking at ways to turn effluent waste into energy and another is trying to develop technology to detect illnesses in animals.
"It's also connecting them with people in the ag industry such as agronomists or accountants for example."
The free five-hour session will be delivered free for Gippsland teachers in November.
"Teachers will be able to link food and fibre concepts to multiple subjects, including science, biology, chemistry, agriculture, design, food technology and digital tech," Dr Cosby said.
For information, email Dr Cosby at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0405 824 112.