Agri-food Project Gets 160 Invercargill Students Onto Southland Farms

Apr 10, 2019
1064 Views

Invercargill student Aimee Paterson isn’t one to shy away from a challenge – especially if it involves agriculture.

The 16-year-old has helped spearhead a food-focused educational project at Southland Girls’ High School.

Aimee’s one of a handful of TeenAg members who teamed up with teachers to teach Year 7 students about farming.

The initiative saw 160 girls visit two farms to learn how science is driving gains in meat and milk production.

Students touch the wool on a sheep. Photo: supplied

“It’s been such an eye-opening experience. A number of the younger students didn’t realise the skill involved in producing food and fibre,” said Aimee.

Students spent mornings in the classroom being taught theory, then got hands-on, practical experience after lunch.

Tasting milk at Farm Fresh South. Photo: supplied

They helped draft sheep on Nigel King’s farm near Invercargill and watched as Aimee Paterson crutched a lamb.

“Nigel was extremely supportive and inspiring. He said me crutching a sheep showed that girls can do anything,” she said.

“He told us the agri-food sector is full of opportunities and encouraged us to pursue careers in the primary industries.”

One group of pupils visited Farm Fresh South, which sells raw milk from a small herd of cows.

“The trip enabled the girls to see the grass to glass process of milk production,” said Aimee.

Aimee Paterson crutches a sheep. Photo: supplied

“They had so many questions after going into the paddock to see the herd, touring the milking shed and sampling the milk.”

“One of the girls even put the farmer on the spot and asked what happens when bulls and cows mate,” she laughed.

The visit was part of a major national project putting Years 6-8 students onto farms.

The education programme is funded by the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) and delivered by NZ Young Farmers (NZYF).

Students help draft sheep. Photo: supplied

“It’s designed to get the primary industries on the radar of students, so they’re aware of the career opportunities,” said NZYF territory manager Amber Mitchell.

For a number of the students it was their first time visiting a farm.

The field trips are already having a positive follow-on effect for the school’s active TeenAg club.

Students get up close with a friendly cow at Farm Fresh South Milk. Photo: supplied

“We’ve gained a lot of new members as a result of the programme being taught at our school,” said Aimee.

“After each farm visit Year 7 students would ask how they could sign up to the TeenAg club, which is awesome.”

“I have a farming background and I’d love to see the Bigger and Better unit taught in more schools,” she said.

Teachers can download free agri-food related teaching resources from the Agrication website.

You may be interested

Funeral Notices – Monday 22nd July
Funeral Notices
1145 views
Funeral Notices
1145 views

Funeral Notices – Monday 22nd July

Notices - Jul 22, 2019

If you would like your recently lost loved ones death / funeral notice or memoriam listed here, contact your Funeral…

Flashback: Old Local Council Election Flyers From 1980’s
Election 2019, Old Invercargill
1609 views
Election 2019, Old Invercargill
1609 views

Flashback: Old Local Council Election Flyers From 1980’s

Old Invercargill - Jul 21, 2019

With news of major redevelopment for our City Centre today we windback to the late 1980's featuring election flyers for…

Mal’s Moon Memory – The Eagle Has Landed – 50 Years Ago Today
News
94 views
News
94 views

Mal’s Moon Memory – The Eagle Has Landed – 50 Years Ago Today

Mal - Jul 20, 2019

Go for landing......immortal words from Houston control as The Eagle came closer and closer to where no man had gone…