Hands-on in dairy

Benalla Ensign - - News -

Be­nalla P-12 Col­lege could have been mis­taken for a dairy farm this week as Hand­son Learn­ing stu­dents had the op­por­tu­nity to raise two calves at school.

Stu­dents at the Faith­ful St Cam­pus have re­cently been in­volved with the Dairy Aus­tralia ‘‘Cows Cre­ate Ca­reers’’ pro­gram.

Cows Cre­ate Ca­reers — Farm Mod­ule is a six-week pro­gram that aims to in­crease the aware­ness of dairy in­dus­try ca­reers in a hands-on way.

Stu­dents are ed­u­cated by rear­ing two three­week-old calves at school and the school is pro­vided with the dairy in­dus­try cur­ricu­lum for years 7 and 8, at no cost.

Mel­bourne Univer­sity Dookie Dairy has given Be­nalla P-12 Col­lege the two calves and stu­dents have re­ceived ed­u­ca­tion from the dairy man­ager on how to run a dairy and look af­ter the an­i­mals.

They also re­ceived an in­ter­est­ing les­son in the high-tech el­e­ments of the dairy at Dookie, which uses robots to milk the cows.

Hands-on Learn­ing Teacher Pip Rowe said the school was lucky to be able to be in­volved in the pro­gram.

‘‘The stu­dents are ex­tremely ex­cited about the calves and have really got­ten on board with the pro­gram,’’ Ms Rowe said.

‘‘They have en­joyed or­gan­is­ing a seven-day feed­ing ros­ter, along with learn­ing how to feed and do health checks on the calves, and con­struct­ing and or­gan­is­ing the bed­ding and hous­ing for them.’’

The project also re­quired the stu­dents to make a movie and a 3D model re­lat­ing the dairy in­dus­try.

Af­ter com­plet­ing the pro­gram, stu­dents and teach­ers will be recog­nised at a Pre­sen­ta­tion Fi­nale where prizes are awarded to the win­ning schools and stu­dents.

That event will be held in Shep­par­ton in Novem­ber.

Ex­ec­u­tive prin­ci­pal Tony Clark said the pro­gram was a great way to teach stu­dents about dairy farm­ing.

‘‘This is a ter­rific pro­gram for our stu­dents as many of them have never had the op­por­tu­nity to work with farm an­i­mals be­fore,’’ Mr Clark said.

‘‘The pro­gram gives stu­dents a chance to par­tic­i­pate in ‘hands-on’ dairy farm­ing du­ties and to gain a small un­der­stand­ing of what dairy farm­ing en­tails.’’

Right: Be­nalla P-12 stu­dent Zoe Hors­fall gets ‘‘hands-on’’ ex­pe­ri­ence with dairy calves.

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