Women drive new rural technology, data collection…

RACHEL Hay, a student at James Cook University, is studying how women are playing a critical role in the use of new digital technology in the beef industry.

Rachel, a PhD student, says her work builds on an earlier study that demonstrated the critical role played by women in the beef  industry regarding the use of digital technology. “The 2013 study found that women were  driving technology from the homestead for the paddock, highlighting a shift away from men as sole decision makers in the business, and more towards them playing a larger role in farming diversification and productive partnerships,” she said.  “Adopting technology adds value to the business in terms of profit, and in terms of partnerships.”

Rachel will be at the Westpac Ag-Grow field days to conduct short interviews, and will be found walking around the grounds over the three days.  Attendees are encouraged to help with her research by having a chat.

Rachel said digital technology included computers, smart phones and drones.  “Future livestock management will make increasing use of remote cameras, weather stations, satellite imagery, GPS collars, electronic ear tags, and ‘walk-over’ scales to remotely monitor cattle, pastures and bore levels from the homestead.  “As the use of rural digital technology increases, my research anticipates that women will play a larger role in the management of these technologies.”

Rachel says she is interested in how this affects farming  business, personal career paths  and family aspirations of women in agriculture.

0402 289 724 or rachel.hay@jcu.edu.au

QLD Country Life 15 X25AGP_007P