The Year 11 Aggies have returned from their Warialda camp where they not only gained an incredible amount of knowledge but blessed local farmers within the region.
The seven-hour trip was broken up by a stop at the Glenn Inness Research Station, where the students learned about feed conversion ratios, cereal grains and hay, as well as management options during the drought. It was then a night hosted at Bob and Kate Swain’s sheep property and a day in the shearing shed. The students were loaded with information about Heiniger shearing machinery by Sue, and wool classing and sales by Niki from Landmark. They also had a turn at throwing and skirting a fleece, and shearing with Todd, a professional shearer. Students also had a go at classing and pressing a bale of wool with Bob Swain, and drenching and marking lambs with the farmhand, Graham.
The Aggies also took a moment out of the shed to feed the cattle, and it really hit home the enormity of the drought conditions that the people of Warialda are facing. There simply is not a blade of grass for the stock, and sadly the students were also informed that the water within the paddock they were feeding cattle would only last two to three weeks, meaning what could be sold would be, but only cattle with the required weight by the agents can be sold.
Following this day in the shearing shed and paddock, the Aggies then went into the night to put on an amazing BBQ for many of the local farmers. It was such a sensational experience, with students talking with so many people and hearing first-hand how badly the drought is affecting each and everyone within the district. A massive thanks to everyone who helped, particularly Warialda Rotary and local schools for lending their tables.
The next day had the Aggies up at it again and visiting Bindaree Beef abattoir, who stock Aldi and export all over the world. The students learnt about carcass assessment, meat grading and quality assurance. After all the learning, late nights and early starts, the Aggies then had the late afternoon off to go exploring Ashford caves, which they loved and didn’t want to leave!
The final day and return trip still held more to do, with a visit to Wonga Plains feedlot tour, which was sensational. The Aggies learned all about cattle management, mill working, feed quality, feed rations, cattle breeds and feed conversion ratios.
Finally, with the entire camp being based on learning everything from paddock to plate, the Aggies finished their camp with an amazing shared meal at Muller Brothers in Toowoomba, where they were treated to a continuous supply of carved meat! It was a sensational camp and a massive thanks goes out to Jenny Ritson and Mark Becker for being a part of it all, and I couldn’t be more proud of the Year 11 Aggies for their conduct and willingness to learn.
Jade King, Head of Agricultural Science