THE agriculture students from Narooma High School had a great time at the Sherringham Farm at Central Tilba learning all about the dairy industry.
The Year 7 and 8 students visited the farm of Robyn Lucas and her son Charles on Wednesday as part of the Cows Create Careers program.
This is the sixth year that Robyn and Charles have opened the farm to the students showing them all aspects of the farm.
Proof of the success of the program is Year 12 student Nadine Hunter who now is doing a traineeship on the farm after first coming on a similar excursion and then following up with work experience.
She now helps daily on the farm doing all the duties from caring for the cows and their calves to do doing the milking.
The students had a great time last week, starting out by pinning cow part labels and a very placid brown Swiss cow named Bessie.
They then checked out the poddy calves, the milking shed and the farm equipment and were given a cup of farm fresh milk straight out of the vat.
We had to leave before the students had some hands-on experience in the area of artificial insemination with the brave ones volunteering to stick their arms up the rear of a cow.
Robyn and Charles Lucas have a long association with ag department at Narooma High School, each year providing a couple of poddy calves for the students to rear themselves.
This year is no different and the students are having fun with the poddy calves kept at the school in the agriculture complex, as well as some sheep that have just given birth.
Cows Create Careers school program
Calves are helping to shine a light on dairy industry careers through Dairy Australia’s innovative school program, Cows Create Careers – Farm Module.
Cows Create Careers - Farm Module is a six-week program that aims to increase the awareness of dairy industry careers in a very hands-on way. Secondary students are educated by rearing two three-week-old calves at school and the school is provided with dairy industry curriculum for years 7 and 8 and years 9 to 11, at no cost.
This year, four schools in the Far South Coast NSW region will participate in the program including Eden Marine High School, Narooma High School, Moruya High School and Sapphire Coast Anglican College.
Since 2006 Dairy Australia has worked with thousands of students, teachers, farmers, industry advocates and communities through its investment into Cows Create Careers – Farm Module.
Dairy Australia’s Industry Capability program manager Tracy Lloyd said the program started in 2004 with dairy farmers in the Strzelecki Lions Club in Victoria and nine Gippsland schools.
With support from Dairy Australia, Regional Development Programs, dairy farmers and sponsors, the program has now grown to over 180 schools across Australia with 8,357 students completing the program in 2013.
“Cows Create Careers – Farm Module is a program that builds awareness of dairy industry careers – from teaching students about educational and vocational pathways, to profiling the diverse range of professional careers in the dairy industry,” Lloyd said.
“By bringing calves into schools, students have fun learning about the different skills required in the dairy industry.”
The program has gained strong support from dairy farmers and advocates across Australia.
Last year alone volunteers gave 1162 hours of their time across 22 Australian dairying regions. The National Centre for Dairy Education Australia (NCDEA) also plays an important role by being an educational link for the schools.
Locally, the project is funded by DairyNSW and receives additional support across the state from local companies such as: IMB Community Foundation, Genetics Australia and Murray Goulburn who have continued to support the program in the Far South Coast NSW region.
“Volunteers play a vital role in encouraging and supporting students and their career decision making,” Lloyd said.
“The program has dedicated volunteers who have knowledge of the industry and links to education and employment sectors.”
Upon completion of the program, students and teachers will be recognised at a Presentation Finale where prizes are awarded to the winning schools and students.
The Finale will be held on Friday, October, 24 in Bermagui.
For more information visit http://www.dairyaustralia.com.au/education-and-careers/secondary-school-resources
Dairy Australia is the national services body for the Australian dairy industry.
The company acts as the collective investment arm of the industry, investing in essential research, development, extension and industry services.
For more information on Dairy Australia and dairy service levy investments visit www.dairyaustralia.com.au