Careers in dairy

Smithton High School’s grade 9/10 coordinator Josh Smith with students Olivia Nibbs, Connie Perry and Ashlynn Quilliam, who found the Cows Create Careers hands-on module a beneficial way to learn about the dairy industry. Picture: Jelena Potpara.

Education. Smithton High School will welcome calves this week and Circular Head Christian School will soon follow suit.

It’s all part of Cows Create Careers, a Dairy Australia program aiming to showcase dairy industry careers in a hands-on way.

Secondary students are educated by rearing three-week-old calves at school, and the school is provided with dairy industry curriculum.

SHS grade 10 student Olivia Nibbs said the program offers a new opportunity for learning.

“It’s really good to have a different way to engage in the science curriculum,” she said. “We get a different approach to science.”

Classmate Connie Perry agreed.

“There are a lot of students in our grade that come from farming backgrounds, and you can tell which ones they are because they’re really interested in it.”

Smithton High School grade 9/10 coordinator Josh Smith said “realistically about 10 per cent” of his students seek a career in dairy.

“What I try to do is show that it’s not just farming,” Mr Smith said.

“If you’re interested in say computers, you could get a job in the dairy industry – not on a farm. It’s all linked.”

Mr Smith said the program encouraged students to see the opportunities for local careers.

“For those students that are interested in agriculture – or might not even know that yet – staying here is a good option,” he said.

“I personally believe we’re better off with our locals running all of our industries.”

The school was recently granted $2500 through Dairy Australia’s search for the country’s Legendairy Capital, in which Smithton was named state finalist.

The money is to be spent on an overnight camp, in which the students will travel the circuit of Circular Head, visiting local farms and factories.

It is expected this year’s calves, belonging to Brett McGlone and Penny Williams, will be at the school by Friday.

CHCS will offer the program through its Primary Industries course and welcome two calves provided by Neil and Leanne Innes-Smith.

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