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First South Island School Takes Part in 100 Schools Project

First South Island School Takes Part in 100 Schools Project

The hand-eye coordination of students at a Dunedin school has been put to the test drafting sheep on a farm.

“We had to quickly pull the drafting gate backwards and forwards to separate the sheep into different pens, based on the colour of their ear tags,” said Year 8 student Janae Blair.

“It was heaps of fun.”

Janae was one of 29 city students from Liberton Christian School who visited Tori and Preston Hope’s farm at Deep Stream yesterday.

It was the first South Island school to visit a farm as part of a national project putting students from 100 primary schools onto sheep and beef farms.

“We had an absolute blast. Everybody loved it,” said teacher Bronwyn Bennington.

The aim of the project is to help pupils and teachers understand the wealth of career opportunities available in the agri-food sector.

It’s being funded by the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) and delivered by NZ Young Farmers.

“We weighed a pen of sheep, then had students calibrate how much drench or medicine to give them,” said farmer Preston Hope.

“That was a fun way to weave maths into the field trip.”

“We put water and food colouring into empty drench containers, so it looked like the real deal when students had a go at drenching,” he laughed.

The farm visit is part of a resource the students are studying on boosting productivity in the red meat sector.

“It was exciting, but I have also really enjoyed studying science and genetics,” said Year 8 student Johan Lokman.

“It’s given me a better understanding of where food comes from and how animals are useful in different ways.”

Teacher Bronwyn Bennington said it was great for students to see in real life what they’d learned in the classroom.

“Preston put some cattle into the yards and asked students if they knew difference between a cow and a heifer,” she said.

“They all put their hands up to answer and he was so impressed.”

Students got to watch lambs being crutched, which is where wool from around the tail and back legs is clipped.

A neighbour also used her highly-trained sheep dogs to round up rams.

“The red meat sector is a viable sector full of amazing opportunities,” said RMPP project manager Di Falconer.

“We want to get the industry on the radar of students and teachers, so they’re aware of the opportunities.”

New Zealand’s red meat sector will need to find an extra 33,000 workers by 2025 to replace people who will retire or exit the industry.


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