Teach­ing bet­ter farm­ing

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Noel Thomp­son noel.thomp­son@cnbtimes.com.au

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.

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