A born and bred cotton farmer from Emerald has made history as the University of Southern Queensland's first head of school and dean for agriculture and environmental science.
Professor Craig Baillie, an agricultural engineer, researcher and academic leader, was recently appointed following USQ's announcement in April that it was introducing the new school, which ranges from undergraduate to higher degree research training.
Raised on a farm in Central Queensland, Professor Baillie's passion for improving farming operations was fuelled by his childhood.
"Growing up in Emerald, I understand first-hand the need for improved farming technologies," Prof Baillie said.
"Whether it's driverless tractors or automated irrigation, ag tech is the way of the future for Australian farmers."
Professor Baillie went on to study agricultural engineering at USQ before getting a job at Bundaberg Sugar Ltd.
"Providing technical support to a large corporate farming operation really set me on my path," Prof Baillie said.
"I've come full circle and I'm so excited about it.
"Building new technologies for the people who need it most, our farmers, is one of the most important things a researcher can do.
"This connection between research and people will be central to the school."
His focus on precision agriculture, energy conservation and irrigation modernisation has earned him many accolades, including the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award.
Within the school for agriculture and environmental science, disciplines include agricultural engineering, agricultural science, animal science, climate science, environmental engineering, environmental science, food science and wine science.
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