Cattle farmer's daughter takes new approach to the industry
AMY Comiskey left her boots and hat at home when she visited the Central Queensland Innovation and Research Precinct on Wednesday, but she brought her knowledge of the cattle industry in her heart.
The Rockhampton Grammar School student grew up on a cattle property between Mount Larcom and Marmor, which is run by her mum and grandfather.
Monitoring cattle comes second nature to the 14-year-old, but the science experience at CQIRP gave her an insight into the technology behind the industry.
"It's been interesting,” Amy said.
"I've been able to learn more about the technology.”
The year nine teen was one of 24 students from local high schools who took part in the 2019 ConocoPhillips Science Experience event run by CQUniversity.
Students started their day in the paddock to see how the hardware technology was used, before heading back to the classroom to check out the research behind the scenes.
Ear tags weren't a new concept to Amy, but entering the GPS data recorded by the ear tag was a learning experience.
"I do like the idea with the GPS and how they can track the cows to know what they're doing,” Amy said.
The technology is used by researchers to monitor animal behaviour patterns, which allows them to recognise animals' significant health events such as giving birth.
After the students entered the data, they then analysed it to distinguish behaviours.
Agri-tech education research fellow Amy Cosby said introducing kids to the work of environmental researchers was an attempt attract them to the industry.
"We need these young people to consider a career in agriculture especially those who are interested in stem (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and digital technologies,” Dr Cosby said.
"They're the ones that will solve a lot of the problems and come up with the solutions in agriculture.
"A lot of them might not be aware of the level of science used in the industry so we want to use these days to attract them to show you could have a bright future in ag.”
Amy is tossing up between being a lawyer, teacher, vet or doctor when she's older. While she hasn't decided on the specific profession, she was determined to work in an industry where she could help the environment.
Amy said regardless of what she was doing, one thing you could count on was she would apply at CQU.