Students get first hand farm lesson
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.