Stu­dents get first hand farm les­son

Bush Telegraph - - Focus On Farming - By STEVE CARLE´

Pahiatua Fon­terra farm­ers Todd and Traci Wheeler won a draw for 2000 trees re­cently from a Farm Source com­pe­ti­tion.

They re­ceived help from Tararua Col­lege stu­dents to plant 1000 of them.

At the end of each sea­son, Fon­terra farm­ers sup­ply Fon­terra with their nu­tri­ent in­for­ma­tion, said Anna Red­dish, Fon­terra sus­tain­able dairy­ing ad­viser.

“Last year Farm Source had a re­gional draw where farm­ers who sub­mit­ted their Sus­tain­able Dairy­ing Records early went in the draw to win a sup­ply of ri­par­ian plants. Todd and Traci Wheeler won the plants for Farm Source Cen­tral Dis­tricts.

“Todd and Traci wanted to in­volve the lo­cal high school to plant the trees and give the stu­dents an experience on-farm. They are Fon­terra farm­ers. The plant­ing took place on their runoff block be­cause they have al­ready done ex­ten­sive plant­ing on the dairy plat­form. There were 17 Year 12 and 13 stu­dents from Tararua Col­lege who helped plant 1000 of the plants that Todd and Traci won.

“This was an op­por­tu­nity for the stu­dents to learn about ri­par­ian plant­ing and why farm­ers do it — for example to fil­ter sed­i­ment, up­take nu­tri­ents, sta­bilise banks, in­crease bio­di­ver­sity.

“Some of the stu­dents are in­ter­ested in ca­reers in agri­cul­ture, are from farms or have fam­ily or friends that work at the lo­cal Fon­terra Pahiatua man­u­fac­tur­ing site. They en­joyed get­ting out on farm, get­ting their hands dirty and see­ing their progress at the end of the day.”

FRONT left: Anna Red­dish, Fon­terra sus­tain­able dairy­ing ad­viser, with farm­ers Todd and Traci Wheeler.

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