St John’s Woodlawn Year 8 students (from left) Teagan McWhirter, Caralie Wilson, Jack Oates and Claire Kelly with a newborn Friesian calf at the Cows Create Careers project.
St John’s Woodlawn Year 8 students (from left) Teagan McWhirter, Caralie Wilson, Jack Oates and Claire Kelly with a newborn Friesian calf at the Cows Create Careers project. Cathy Adams

Pupils take part in dairy project

THERE is more to being a dairy farmer than milking cows.

That’s what the students at St John’s Catholic College, Woodlawn, learned when they took part in the Cows Create Careers project.

The project, delivered by Dairy Australia and Subtropical Dairy, introduces high school children to the array of careers associated with the dairy industry.

Year 8 student Claire Kelly, 15, said while she had always wanted to be a vet, she learned a lot about working with dairy cows through her participation in the course.

“There are so many careers,” she said.

“And I knew there was a lot of technology in (modern) dairying, but I didn’t know there was that much technology.”

During the course the students cared for week-old dairy calves for three weeks.

The students were required to bottle feed the calves each day and monitor their health and progress.

During the course one of the calves became sick with a bacterial infection and needed to be treated with a course of antibiotics.

Agricultural studies teacher Mick Melino said the course provided students with hands-on experience and information about possible career paths.

“Feeding the world is so important and that’s what agriculture is,” Mr Melino said.

There was a perception that working in dairying was a dead-end job, he said. However, many dairy-related jobs required degree-level qualifications and were well-paid.

“There is a real shortage of qualified people to work in the dairy industry,” he said.

Students were required to care for the calves, develop a presentation about a chosen area of the dairy industry and create an ad or poster featuring a product used in the dairy industry.

The entries were judged against other participating schools.

St John’s won first place and third place in the junior section and was declared the overall winner.

 

PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS

Richmond River High

Alstonville High

Kadina High

Lismore High School

Mullumbimby High School

Casino High School

Evans River K-12

St John’s Catholic College



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