STUDENTS from Poowong Consolidated School took out some of the top prizes at the annual Cows Create Careers Presentation Day in Warragul last week.
Primary and secondary school students, teachers and dairy farmer mentors from across Gippsland gathered at the Warragul Country Club last Thursday to celebrate their participation in the Dairy Australia program, which aims to increase awareness of dairy industry careers in a fun, hands-on way.
Over three weeks, students reared and cared for two three-week-old calves at their school, with a local dairy farmer assigned to teach them how to care for the calves, and an industry advocate visiting the students to speak about their career in the dairy industry.
Students were required to form teams to complete assessments based on the dairy industry, and at last week’s presentation day, Poowong Consolidated School was announced as the top performing junior school in the region.
Poowong students Bonnie Crawford, Holly Hallyburton, Zinnia Jackman-Riches from team ‘Milkyway’ and Sam Wallace, Jordon Foote and Moneve Egeberg from the ‘Flamin Farmers’ also won prizes in the junior section for outstanding results on assessment tasks.
Bass Valley Primary School, Newhaven College and Chairo Christian School (Leongatha) also participated in the program, and each school’s top performing team received a commendation.
The Cows Create Careers program was established by the Strzelecki Lions Club in 2004, with nine Gippsland schools participating.
With support from Dairy Australia, regional development programs, dairy farmers and sponsors, the program has now expanded to 244 schools across Australia, with 13,163 students completing the module in 2017.
Dairy Australia’s Workforce Development program manager Sally Roberts said it was encouraging to see students passionate about Cows Create Careers and Australia’s vibrant 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.
“It’s great to see enthusiastic students getting involved and learning about the industry, while making important connections with their local dairy community.”
Ms Roberts said the project had received strong support from dairy farmers and advocates across Australia, with 466 volunteers giving 2330 hours of their time across 23 Australian dairying regions in the past year alone.
“The project’s passionate volunteers are vital to the continued success of Cows Create Careers,” Ms Roberts said.
“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.”