29 May 2024

Fifth-generation farmer helps spread the high-tech word in traditional rural world

| Sally Hopman
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Family of five

Jen Medway with her family on their Gunning sheep property. She will speak about how to secure better communication in the bush at Crookwell RSL Club on 6 June. Photo: Supplied.

Jen Medway was once one of those people who became frustrated when internet access on her Gunning farm was not as good as it should have been.

Today, the fifth-generation merino sheep farmer spends her days talking to farmers and business folk in the bush about how to connect with the latest technology.

She is also the general manager of the Regional Tech Hub, helping people in regional Australia get connected and stay connected; a research fellow with the Australian Farm Institute; and a fan of introducing technologies to ensure the continued growth of her property’s fine wool and cross lamb operation.

In the past, people who lived out of town just had to wear the fact their digital communication facilities were not on a par with their city cousins. But, according to Ms Medway, no more.

Today she is spreading the positive word about how connectivity in the bush can change people’s lives, as long as they get the right advice.

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Working with the non-profit Australian Agricultural Centre (AAC) in partnership with Telstra, she will speak at ‘From Paddock to Plate – On Farm Connectivity Matters’, at the Crookwell RSL Club on 6 June.

Working with Telstra’s Regional Engagement Manager, Christina Cawkell, the two will lead a discussion about the latest innovations in the agricultural sector, designed to help modernise farming enterprises.

They will talk about the importance of connectivity on the modern farm – about extending a reliable network to machinery sheds, yards, and anywhere else needed to support AgTech solutions – which connect farmers to every aspect of their enterprise, from GPS-enabled equipment to robotics.

This technology allow farmers to monitor their operations remotely and gain insights through data analytics and more.

Ms Medway said by choosing the right connectivity solutions for their business, farmers could unlock a world of efficient and sustainable practices.

“These days there are a lot more applications and providers that can help with productivity on farms, like what kind of technology can be used,” Ms Medway said. “Ten years ago there were not a lot of options, but now, with the expansion of the NBN footprint, there are so many plans available.

“It’s also really important to look at what technology suits you. For example, a security camera system that costs $100 and breaks down is not much help.”

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Ms Medway said with most technology advancing so quickly, “this is where our program sits neatly – we are here to demystify, to show people what options they have.

“No-one really knows what is possible with this technology advancing so quickly. What I do is to show people case studies of what we’ve done on our farm, the innovative business you can do.

“The key thing is to try to be clear about what problem you’re trying to solve.”

Bookings for From Paddock to Plate – On Farm Connectivity Matters at the Crookwell RSL on Thursday, June 6 at 4 pm are recommended.

This event is organised as part of the AAC’s Sheep Week, from 3 to 7 June.

Original Article published by Sally Hopman on About Regional.

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“…can change people’s lives, as long as they get the right advice.”

Ah, the first blush of the potential of the internet, I know it because similarly a late uptaker.

1000% good luck to them, but seasoning leads to cynicism eh.

If only the internet were filled with wise persons giving the right advice, it would be a brilliant tool…

But it’s filled with idiots all espousing their worldview as though the greatest authorities ever, which ok fine some people do know more than suits in offices do.

Problem is, the dunning-Kruger valley, if authority in modern communication stems from how certain your phraseology is – there are vastly more completely certain idiots around than there are measured experts.

Signal and noise problem, if only the internet had lived up to its potential eh.

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