Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

First King Country school takes part in 100 schools project

6th April 2018

First King Country school takes part in 100 schools project

Students are learning how DNA testing and artificial insemination is being used to improve genetics on an Otorohanga beef farm.

Thirty-six pupils from Benneydale School have visited Storth Oaks Angus Stud as part of a national project funded by the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) and delivered by NZ Young Farmers.

It will see students from 100 primary schools visit sheep and beef farms.

Benneydale is the first King Country school to take part.

“Semen from the best bulls is frozen in liquid nitrogen and sold for between $50 and $100 per straw,” said Year 8 student Ariana Nathan.

“That’s a lot of money.”

She’s one of the school’s Year 7-8 pupils who’ve been learning about the importance of science and genetics in the red meat sector.

“It’s more complex than I thought it would be. You have to be good at maths, science and waking up early,” laughed Mike Kaleopa.

Storth Oaks is at the forefront of genetics, using genomic testing, artificial insemination and an embryo transfer programme.

“All of our calves are weighed at birth and a DNA sample is taken from them,” said the stud’s co-owner Tim Brittain.

“That sample is analysed to verify the calf’s parents and it predicts the animal’s future genetic worth.”

“By identifying unsuitable animals early, we can make huge genetic progress with our breeding programme very quickly.”

Last July, Tim and Kelly Brittain won a coveted national award for producing the best steak, beating more than 300 other entries.

The stud’s relentless pursuit of quality means its average bulls are usually in the top five per cent of the breed in New Zealand.

“One of our school values is excellence. So, to come to a farm that’s all about excellence and being the best has been fantastic,” said principal Vanessa Te Huia.

“We’ve all learned so much.”

Benneydale School is the first in New Zealand to use both the English and Te Reo versions of the teaching resource.

“In the lead-up to the farm visit, I’d been getting students to write down all the tricky questions I didn’t know the answer to, so they could ask Tim and Kelly,” she laughed.

“Because I’m a city girl, I’m not a farm girl.”

Tim Brittain didn’t grow up on a farm either. He was raised in Auckland.

His grandfather owned a farm and he had a mentor who encouraged him to get on a farm during the school holidays.

“A lot of urban children don’t have the same opportunities these days,” said Tim.

“I think it’s really important that the agriculture sector opens its gates to the community.”

“If we can give kids a taste of how their food is produced, hopefully it’ll encourage some of the best and brightest to enter our industry,” he said.

RMPP project manager Di Falconer said the red meat sector is a viable sector full of amazing career opportunities.

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

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.

“That’s why programmes like this are extremely important,” said Kelly Brittain. “We need young people coming into our vibrant industry, so I can retire,” she laughed.

View entire message

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Facebook Announces New Changes: Combating Hate And Extremism

Some of these changes predate the tragic terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, but that attack, and the global response to it in the form of the Christchurch Call to Action, has strongly influenced the recent updates to our policies and their enforcement. More>>

Amazon Confirms: Lord Of The Rings Series To Shoot In NZ

Amazon Studios announced today that its series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic fantasy novels The Lord of the Rings will shoot in New Zealand. Pre-production has started, and production on the series will begin in Auckland in the coming months. More>>

ALSO:

Birds: Dunedin's Bells Ring As City Celebrates Its Albatross

The city's churches, schools and public buildings bells would chime in unison from 1pm, in what has been a long-standing tradition marking the return of the birds - and a farewell to this season's albatross chicks. More>>

Oscar Buzz: Waititi's Jojo Rabbit Wins People's Choice Award At Toronto

Taika Waititi's new film Jojo Rabbit has nabbed the coveted Grolsch People's Choice Award at the close of Toronto International Film Festival. More>>

ALSO:

Broken Estate: An Expat Expert Surveys Our Media

Melanie Bunce cut her teeth in journalism at the Otago Daily Times. Now she teaches and researches it at one of the UK’s most prestigious journalism schools and tracks the trends that shape the uncertain future of news... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland