View this email in your browser
Career Harvest Career Harvest
Career Harvest Career Harvest

December 2021 News

As we get ready to sign off for 2021, we want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Most importantly, we hope you get the chance to relax over the summer break. Thank you so much for following along with PIEFA this year. 

We are pleased this month to welcome a new associate member Australian Eggs, a member owned organisation that provides marketing and R&D for the Australian egg industry. Thank you to Australian Eggs for supporting PIEFA! 

In this newsletter you'll find the launch of a new ag gap year program AgCAREERSTART, our new board of directors, a new resource all about Sugarcane: One Plant, Many Products, videos exploring the career opportunities in viticulture, horiticulture and the sugar industry, plus lots more.  Please note, the PIEFA office will be closed from 23 December 2021, back open on 11 January 2022.

Luciano Mesiti
Send us your news!
If you would like to submit a news item for the next edition please email


AgCAREERSTART: A new gap year program for Australian agriculture
PIEFA is thrilled to be supporting AgCAREERSTART, the new agricultural sector gap year program. AgCAREERSTART is a structured 12-month program where participants are matched with a paid on-farm job, given training, development and access to industry events and experiences. AgCAREERSTART is an Australian Government initiative, delivered by the National Farmers' Federation in collaboration with leading industry bodies. Expressions of interest are open now, with applications opening in the coming weeks. The first on-farm placements will get underway in March 2022. Register for updates at
AgCAREERSTART a new gap year for Australian agriculture - sheep and two people in a side-by-side
New board appointed for PIEFA
PIEFA's Annual General Meeting was held on 22 November 2021 and confirmed the appointment of a new board of directors. The board selection committee was comprised of representative member organisations and an independent chair and conducted a rigorous skills-based selection process. PIEFA CEO Luciano Mesiti said, “The appointments bring a vast amount of relevant experience to PIEFA and will guide the organisation over the next three years. This new board comes at a time when PIEFA is expanding its reach through recently announced projects, involving careers in primary industries, farm safety and soils.” The new PIEFA board consists of:
  • Ms Leanne Kruss: Director, Agriculture Workforce Development in Far North Queensland; primary producer; and teacher.
  • Mr Mark Napper: Horticulturalist; accountant; and food and agri-business specialist.
  • Dr Simon Livingstone: Principal, Marcus Oldham College.
  • Mr Keith Pengilley: Director of Research Services, NSW Department of Primary Industries; former farm business manager; and agricultural consultant. Mr Pengilley is a continuing board member.
  • Ms Sarah Thompson: Primary producer and NSW Farmers Rural Affairs Policy Committee member. Ms Thompson is a continuing board member.
  • Mr Hardy Manser: Head of Department Agriculture and Home Economics, Rockhampton Grammar School. Mr Manser is a continuing board member.
  • Dr Cameron Archer AM: former Principal of Tocal College. Dr Archer is a continuing board member.
Dr Archer was re-elected as Board Chair and Ms Thompson was elected Deputy Chair.
National Ag Week 2021 a huge success
National Ag Week 2021 was a huge success and we want to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who celebrated alongside us and the Australian agriculture industry. From the producers who dedicated their time to prepare and present at our live-streamed Farmer Time sessions, to the classrooms that attended, and our member organisations for their enthusiasm and support... however you celebrated, we hope you had a happy #AgDayAU 2021! Recordings of each Ag Week Farmer Time session are now available on YouTube. And don't forget, you can still participate in the PIEFA STEM challenge.
New Learning Resources from Produce It. Protect It.
15 Minute Farmer Time sessions are fun, quick, engaging, and allow students to work independently online or collaboratively within the classroom. Check out the Produce It. Protect It. website to find the below and many other awesome and free cross-curricular food and fibre resources for your classroom!

Physical Features with Farmer Paul
Designed for Years 5-6, this resource guides students through a series of interactive learning experiences, exploring how physical conditions in the environment can influence living organisms. This resource includes a pre-recorded VIC Farmer Time session with Farmer Paul and accompanying student activities centred on the food and fibre curriculum.

Tools and Technology over Time
Designed for years 3-4 students, this inquiry-based two lesson unit explores the ways innovations in technology have improved the productivity, efficiency, safety, and sustainability of food and fibre production in Australia. Students can apply science inquiry skills to pose questions, make observations, collect data and use hands on materials to create their own rain gauge. Throughout this unit, students will gain an insight into the exciting world of robotics in agriculture before designing their own robot to solve a concern in agriculture today.
ACARA program provides timely tech skills to teachers
Thousands of Australian teachers who participated in an Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority's (ACARA) Digital Technologies in focus program gained digital skills and confidence that proved vital for the switch to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Digital Technologies in focus project was a four-year program, funded by the Australian Government, designed to upskill teachers and support them to teach Digital Technologies, a relatively new subject. The unique project has now been independently recognised to improve student engagement and achievement in some of the country’s most disadvantaged schools, but it also has provided timely tech skills to teachers. Read more on LinkedIn.
Digital Technologies in focus


New resource for Years 5 to 8 Sugarcane: One Plant, Many Products
Cane growers produce more than just sugar. From cattle feed to garden mulch, sugarcane has many uses throughout our community. Students can now explore the sugarcane industry in a new educational resource from CANEGROWERS and PIEFA. One Plant, Many Products introduces students to the process of growing, harvesting, and processing sugarcane, as well as the wide range of products sugarcane produces. Aligned to the science, design and technology and geography curricula, this resource can be downloaded from Primezone for classroom use or completed online via Primezone Academy.
Sugarcane One Plant Many Products


Grow your Career in Horticulture videos out now
AUSVEG, the peak industry body for vegetable and potato growers, has launched the Grow your Career in Horticulture video series, highlighting the diverse range of careers in the Australian horticulture industry. Get a glimpse into every kind of career from irrigationist to biosecurity officer, production supervisor and more. Watch Grow your Career in Horticulture videos.
AUSVEG Grow your Career in Horticulture video still - man inspecting crop
Explore wine industry careers in online videos 
To celebrate National Ag Day Wine Australia released a series of videos about the many career opportunities in viticulture and the wine industry. The videos include: Why choose a career in viticulture - part 1 and part 2 and What it is like to work in a vineyard - part 1 and part 2. Watch viticulture careers videos via Career Harvest
Wine Australia viticulture videos still - purple grapes
Working in the sugar industry video out now
As part of National Ag Day 2021 celebrations, the peak body for Australian sugarcane growers CANEGROWERS asked people in the sugar industry how they got into their jobs and what made them choose their #AgVenture. The result is a video about the range of careers available and opportunities on offer in the sugarcane industry, which plays a vitally important role in many communities in New South Wales and Queensland. Watch Working in the sugar industry via Career Harvest
CANEGROWERS video still - Working in the sugar industry
2022 scholarships for students undertaking VET and university studies
Visit Career Harvest to find out more about scholarships opportunities coming up in January and February 2022 and the selection criteria for each.


Apply now for the Growlabs Grain Challenge
PIEFA partner Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) and Cicada Innovations are looking for innovative deep tech solutions that can help to drive sustainability and help create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers. The Growlabs Grain Challenge is looking for a broad range of solutions, from genetic toolsets to circular economy solutions, and from adjacent sectors such as biotechnology, mining, data science that may have applicability in the grains industry. Successful applicants who meet the criteria of the challenge will be invited to participate in Cicada’s Fast Start Accelerator, a six-month coaching program which includes a dedicated workspace at Cicada Innovations incubator, as well as access to mentors. Submit your innovative solution before 17 December 2021
GrowLabs Grain Challenge - sorghum crop in flower
2022 AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship Program now open
PIEFA partner AgriFutures Australia's 2022 Horizon Scholarship Program is now open for undergraduate students studying an agriculture-related degree or a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM) who want to use their skills to contribute to the future of Australian agriculture. As well as a $5,000 bursary, Horizon Scholars get the opportunity to explore their passions, expand their skillset and networks, and develop both personally and professionally. Apply before 14 January 2022.
AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship - Five young people sitting at two tables looking at a laptop
Introducing the next phase of ForestVR: Five exciting experiences in 2022
ForestLearning, with funding from the Australian Government, is growing its immersive learning tools for classrooms with ForestVR. Experiences and virtual tours launching in the new year include Forest Science Explorers exploring for forest types of Australia and how the science behind their unique adaptations to their local environments influence their sustainable management; Trees on Farms exploring three successful farms around Australia planting trees for a range of benefits including erosion, pasture growth improvements and timber; and Careers in Forests and Timber Processing focussing on a forester, ecologist and timber processing cadet. All experiences and virtual tours are launching on the ForestVR apps and ForestLearning website in early 2022. Discover more about the five new virtual reality (VR) experiences designed to transport school students into the heart of Australia’s forests. 
Formosa Estate plantation wind break Cressy Tasmania with Marin Moroni from Private Forests Tasmania and John Heard from Formosa Farm Manager
Can we recycle unwanted cotton clothing on-farm?
Each Australian discards an average of 23kg of textile waste a year. Textiles go to landfill where the waste emits greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. A trial earlier this year tried to find out if old cotton textiles could improve the soils of the very farms that grew the crop in the first place by spreading shredded cotton textiles onto paddocks at Goondiwindi and found it had no negative impact on soils. Coreo, specialists in creating circular economies, partnered with PIEFA partner Cotton Australia, the Queensland Government, Goondiwindi Cotton, Sheridan, Worn Up and the Cotton Research and Development Corporation who supported a soil scientist Dr Oliver Knox to deliver the research. Find out more via ABC Rural.
Shredded cotton is applied to a trial field at Goondiwindi

PIEFA gratefully acknowledges the continued support of its partners


Thanks also to our associate members
Copyright © 2021 Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.