Cows Create Careers

25 Aug 2017

Cow Create Careers – This Farm Module is a six-week program that aims to increase student awareness of dairy industry careers in a very hands on way.

Hastings Secondary College students from Port Macquarie Campus and Westport Campus are amongst eight Mid North Coast NSW schools who will integrate the farm module into their curriculum this term.

Students in Years 7 – 9 will experience first-hand learning by engaging in the rearing of two three week old calves, with each campus being provided with a Dairy Industry Curriculum for the program.

Local Dairy Farmers play a vital role in encouraging and supporting students, as well as exposing them to possible careers by offering first-hand knowledge on the industry.

Michael and Paula Gray, Dairy Farmers from Rollands Plains, were delighted to be part of the program to expose students to the Dairy industry and how it works.

“We delivered two Holstein Friesian calves and feed to the College’s Westport Campus as part of the program.

Providing calves as part of the program is a fun and engaging way to introduce students to dairy farming”, said Paula.

Hastings Secondary College teacher Luke Schmitzer said, “This partnership demonstrates the relationships between Key Learning Areas and real-life professional applications and introduces students to educational opportunities through vocational and university pathways.”

As part of the program, students undertake a project where they investigate cattle rearing and the dairy industry in general. Students will present their findings via video and models to the Diary industry for judging next month.

Laura Page, a student at Hastings Secondary College, said, “When the calves arrived, we named them Cookies and Cream and the next step was to settle them into their environment to get them used to human interaction. The program includes hand feeding the calves before and after school and weighing them each day”.

“We also get to groom the heifers. They like their baths and we are training them to walk on a lead,” added Laura.

The calves will return to the Gray’s Dairy Farm late August to become part of their milking herd.

Upon completion of the program, student and teachers will attend an official presentation on Monday 16 October in Wauchope where prizes will be awarded to winning schools and students.

The program has gained strong support from dairy farmers and advocates across Australia. Locally the project is funded by Dairy NSW and received additional support across the state from local companies, including Mid Coast Connect, Maximum Animal Nutrition, Castlereagh Feeds, Provico, Peach, Teats, Dasco, Daviesaway and Skellerup who have continued to support the program in the Mid Coast NSW region.