JUST seven months ago students at Denison College Kelso High campus headed off into a new paddock, and it is already paying dividends.
The school’s agriculture teacher Jarrod Kelly was keen to get students involved in an agricultural team to attend a range of country shows, and he admits the plan has been an outstanding success.
Kelso High’s ag team have already attended four country shows – Bathurst, Blayney, Canberra and Hawkesbury – where their cattle and sheep were awarded a haul of ribbons.
“I started the ag team in 2016 so the kids can have experience with the industries in Bathurst that are relevant to our city,” Mr Kelly said.
“We’ve already had a part-time job offer to work at a farm for one of the students.”
And, while show ribbons might be great, Mr Kelly said the best thing about the team was the change it had made to the students who are involved.
“The educational outcomes for the kids, and also the social improvements in the kids, have been the most exciting things,” he said.
Mr Kelly said some students were very shy before joining the team, but they have since built such confidence that they will lead cattle in front of crowds of 400 people at shows.
“It’s been a massive success,” he said.
Year 10 student Kendra Willott, 15, is among the students in the ag team and she said it has changed her outlook in life.
“I got involved last year and I enjoy it. It’s my passion,” she said.
“I love parading and grooming and showing cattle in the ring.”
The school’s ag program has been so successful that it has now expanded to include sheep.
Mr Kelly said the agriculture program would not be possible without the generous support of many local businesses and livestock owners.
He said the majority of the ag team’s cattle have been donated by local farmers, while feed has been provided at cost and transport given for free.
“It’s brilliant, I’ve never had anyone say no [to requests for assistance],” Mr Kelly said of the community’s support.
“The whole Bathurst community has been amazing.”
Ag team’s success
- Emily Watterson and Kendra Willot placed in the Young Rural Achievers literature competition
- Hereford cross steer – 2nd in led steer competition
- Highly commended in the hereford lightweight class
- Angus cross steer placed 6th in heavyweight class
- Ribbons were also won in the junior parading competition
- Pen of three wethers placed second in its class
- One ewe earned a fourth place