This year I've had the privilege to be a part of an informal cluster group (a gang of 12 likeminded agri-food people) across regional, rural and remote Queensland, all working together to promote AgTech throughout November.
It all started in early 2019 when Liz Alexander (Emerald), Bruce McConnel (Toowoomba) and Jess Fealy (Tablelands) attended a food industry leadership forum in Boulder Colorado, supported by Advanced Queensland. While on tour they realised they were all hosting AgTech events in Queensland in November 2019.
Faced with two options, to compete or collaborate, the three visionary AgTech leaders chose the latter and joined forces. And they didn't just stop there. They reached out and invited their networks in industry, academia and government across Queensland to be a part of a cooperative campaign to promote AgTech in November.
Representing the greater Sunshine Coast and as former Chair of the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN), I quickly jumped on board. As to did with Ben Lyons (Toowoomba), Julia Telford (Goondiwindi), James Walker (Longreach), Fleur Anderson (Theodore), Baden Uren (Gold Coast), Garnet Radford (Balonne), Jason Huggins (DAF) and Kirsty Hodgen (TIQ).
Our informal group had shared values and goals, and a real desire to work together to celebrate AgTech in Qld. We also engaged House of Communications as the communications agency to support the group.
The output of our collaboration was the creation and launch of Queensland AgTech Month (QAM) in November 2019, a celebration of the ever-growing AgTech community of big thinkers, forward planners and invested innovators who call Queensland home. During QAM, more than 10 AgTech events were held in every corner of the state, placing a spotlight on those leading the sector from rural and regional Queensland.
I think QAM is an excellent example of how by working together, you can achieve so much more than going it alone. Why compete when collaboration is the alternate strategic choice?
If you're interested in learning more about QAM or want to take part next year, sign up to our mailing list or get in touch.