Kempsey High School has been one of seven schools Australia-wide involved in a new agriculture program and today announced the winners who will be heading to Sydney to represent the school.
Year 7 student Ellie Prior and Year 8 student Freya Weismantel were selected from the 22 students in the program and awarded first place.
“We thought the older kids had us, we didn’t expect to come first,” Freya said.
“It’s really exciting but we’re nervous as well.”
The program is created through a partnership between AgriFutures Australia and Startup.business and is designed to teach the next generation of agriculture students how to overcome problems in the industry as well as including learning modules to increase their understanding of innovation and entrepreneurship in the field.
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The program saw the 22 students, some working in groups and others individually, come up with an invention to improve an aspect of the agricultural sector or remove a problem. They then pitched their ideas to a panel of judges.
Ellie and Freya designed the Frellie Feeder, a sensor for a cattle feed bin that will monitor how much feed is in the bin and when it’s low will send an alert to your phone.
The three judges, Tania Powick from Coastal Wealth Directions Kiempsey, Stewart Witchard from Stewart Witchard Agricultural Contracting and Richard O’Leary from O’Leary Partners, said the Frellie Feeder is a device that is needed in the agriculture business.
“It’s a very feasible and realistic idea. It will add value to the agriculture business and has potential to develop further,” Ms Powick said.
“They can sell a part of the product or all of the product. They’ve designed a feed bin along with the sensor or you can buy the sensor separately, it’s a very scalable idea. Something that is simple but will solve a big problem,” Mr Witchard said.
Kempsey High School agriculture teacher Gavin Saul said he is very proud of all of the students involved in the program.
“I’m very proud they have all stuck it out to the end and produced such great ideas for agriculture,” he said.
“I want to thank AgriFutures Australia and Startup.business for selecting our school to represent NSW in this new program.”
“The students grew throughout the course of the program and gained a better understanding of the business side of agriculture.”
Freya and Ellie will now travel to Sydney to present their idea to a panel of judges at Sydney University on November 25.
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