Teaching better farming
KYLIE Cochran is proud that her school will be the first in the state to implement its own school farm biosecurity plan.
This semester, the Monto State High School will work with the Livestock Biosecurity Network (LBN).
Principal Cochran said the school had one of Queensland’s largest school farms - 24 hectares, growing crops and raising cattle - and was proud to be implementing the plan.
“Farm biosecurity simply means the measures taken by farmers to help prevent the spread of serious animal diseases and exotic weed pests,” she said.
“We are working closely with LBN to ensure students really understand the importance of biosecurity, and the huge risks of not managing it correctly, in terms of extra production costs and the spread of plant pests and animal diseases.”
Agriculture teacher AndrewWallis says the plan will build on the school’s existing farm management practices.
“We already manage farm biosecurity at the school by using a secured chemical facility, a bio-control area (overseen by the local Landcare group), separate cropping and orchard areas, and a number of different paddocks to separate stock,” he said.
“Students will write their own biosecurity plans as part of their assessment, and will all participate in creating the school farm biosecurity plan.
“Through seeing exactly what methods must be applied to our own farming situation at the school to manage biosecurity, our students will learn the underlying principles and how to use them in different farming situations.”
LBN regional officers are working closely with existing farming networks, raising awareness of biosecurity.