Pupils have plenty of options
Two Taranaki vets used jaw bones and preserved cattle body parts to get students interested in a career in veterinary science.
Around 300 students from Hawera Intermediate School took part in eight hands-on modules ranging from the science behind artificial insemination to how drone technology can be used to muster sheep, all aimed at giving them an insight into a career in the agri-food sector.
‘‘The kids have been really engaged,’’ teacher Larni Martin said.
‘‘The artificial insemination module was a hit among students. They all had a laugh and many were quite curious about reproduction.’’
The module was a favourite for Year seven student Juana Potts-Julian.
‘‘Today was a lot of fun. I’m really keen to get job in the dairy industry,’’ she said.
The children, aged between 11 and 13, talked to two vets from the Taranaki Veterinary Centre who were at the Hawera Showgrounds. Tori Turner and Lucy Webster told students a career as a vet could be an exciting challenge.
‘‘It’s like a bit of a puzzle because humans can say where they’re in pain, whereas animals can’t,’’ Turner said.
‘‘So we have to do a full examination to find out what’s going on with an animal, which can be quite difficult at times.’’
Students also got to blind taste six different types of meat cooked by Silver Fern Farms livestock agent Brendon Kelly.
‘‘We have people in our organisation who taste meat for a living. It’s not an easy task trying to identify different types of meat, as the students discovered today,’’ he said.
The event was funded by the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) and delivered by NZ Young Farmers.
‘‘We want to get the industry on the radar of students and teachers, so they’re aware of the opportunities,’’ said RMPP’s Di Falconer.
Jaw bones and preserved cattle body parts were part of a display set up for students who may want to explore careers in veterinary science.