Over 100 excited students and teachers from the Central NSW region were awarded for completing Cows Create Careers, Farm Module on Thursday, October 25.
Gathering at the Cowra Services Club students from Cooma to Orange were recognised for their participation in the program.
Over three weeks the students completed the Dairy Australia project which aims to increase the awareness of dairy industry careers in a very hands-on way, with students rearing and caring for two three-week-old calves at their school.
Each school is provided with dairy industry curriculum, at no cost. A local dairy farmer teaches the students how to care for the calves, while an Industry Advocate visits the students to speak about their career in the dairy industry.
Students are required to form teams to complete assessments based on the dairy industry.
Chair of Dairy NSW, Jane Sherborne, said it was great to see the school passion for the industry.
“When we fist go into the school, the kids we speak t,o they’re a little bit stand offish,” she said.
“They have the usual questions but after the three weeks and after you go to pick the calves up they’re much more engaged, they understand the animal health and welfare much better.
“The program has been running since 2004 and it really works when the teachers and school get’s behind the students.
“When you have a good teacher, good farmer and good advocate, you get really good results. With children wanting to look at dairy as an industry to work in,” she said.
Sally Roberts, Program Manager for Workforce Development at Dairy Australia said it is encouraging to see secondary students passionate about Cows Create Careers and Australia’s dairy industry.
“The aim of Cows Create Careers is to increase the students’ awareness of the diversity of educational pathways and career opportunities in Australia’s dairy industry,” she said.
“Through the project, students learn about the different skills required in the dairy industry in a fun and hands-on way
“It is great to see enthusiastic students getting involved and learning about the industry, while making important connections with their local dairy community. The Presentation Day is a great way to reward and celebrate the students’ and schools’ dedication to the project.”
Ms Roberts said that the project has received strong support from dairy farmers and advocates across Australia. Last year alone 466 volunteers gave 2,330 hours of their time across 23 Australian dairying regions.
“The project’s passionate volunteers are vital to the continued success of Cows Create Careers,” she said.
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“They speak to the students about their experiences in the industry, they support student career decision making, and they have important links to education and employment sectors.”
The support of the dairy industry in the success of the program was also backed up by Mrs Sherborne.
“We get Moxey Farms to speak at these events because a lot of the children through they had to move away to get a job,” she said.
“But they show these jobs are here and they are varied, especially when you are working on a big farm, you don’t have to work with the cows. You can be an accountant or a mechanic.
“This wouldn’t work without John Hutchison and Deanne Kennedy because they are so passionate about the industry. Getting the message across to the students that they have other options other than going to the city,” she said.