CAREER HOPES: Lani Bennett, 12, of Lismore High School, at yesterday’s Cows Create Careers day.
CAREER HOPES: Lani Bennett, 12, of Lismore High School, at yesterday’s Cows Create Careers day.

Uddering in new farming generation

DAIRY farming contributes $4.6 billion to the Australian economy each year, so it is no wonder the industry is keen to ensure a new generation of farmers will keep the milk flowing for years to come.

In an effort to halt declining interest in farming careers, Dairy Australia is touring the nation running its Cows Create Careers program.

Yesterday, 90 students from the Northern Rivers attended a workshop at the Lismore Workers Club as part of the program.

National co-ordinator John Hutchinson said given the region’s dairy tradition, he was surprised only two of the students at the workshop came from dairy farms.

“There is a lack of people coming through,” Mr Hutchinson said.

“Dairy farmers are getting older so we need to be proactive about getting the future generation of farmers in.”

One student planning to follow in her family’s farming footsteps is 12-year-old Lismore High student Lani Bennett.

Lani already helps to drench the cattle and do other jobs around her parent’s beef cattle farm at Leycester, near Lismore.

“I really want to live on a farm and have a job that has something to do with cows and horses,” Lani said.

“I just love the open spaces and not being crowded. I think that teaches you to be independent and make your own fun. My friends think it is a bit different.”

As part of the Cows Create Careers program, students from Alstonville High, Evans River K-12, Richmond River High, Lismore High, Kadina High, Mullumbimby High and St John’s College all helped rear calves and learned more about career pathways in the dairying industry.

Lani said the program had inspired her and helped to direct her ambitions.

“I think they do need to encourage kids to get into farming,” she said.


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