Dairy in schools

By Sarah Cornell, GippsDairy

GippsDairy’s extension officers are often asked how we are involved with schools to promote the dairy industry and showcase dairy industry career pathways to the next generation.

Whilst some schools are reluctant to alter their curriculum to include dairy or may have partnerships with other industries, in recent years GippsDairy has partnered with CQUniversity Australia’s(CQU) Agri-tech Education and Extension Team to expose students to the dairy industry and career pathways.

CQU’s Agri-tech Education and Extension Team is led by local Leongatha dairy farmer Dr Amy Cosby. Working with schools, agricultural businesses and industry organisations, the Agri-Tech Education and Extension team implement a range of learning opportunities for students and teachers to build their capacity, knowledge and engagement with the dairy industry. The team are currently working on a number of programs in the Gippsland region including RACE Gippsland and EXCITED 4 Careers in Agriculture which GippsDairy is involved with.

RACE Gippsland

RACE Gippsland is funded by the Victorian Department of Education and Training from 2020-2023. “The RACE Gippsland program connects the classroom with the Gippsland agriculture and horticulture sectors and encourages students to explore potential careers that exist in their own backyard,” Dr. Cosby said. “The program delivers a range of hands-on, interactive and engaging activities to primary and secondary students through agri-tech roadshows and teacher professional development. To date, 886 students across Gippsland have been engaged in the physical activities of the program, in addition to virtual activities including a National Science Week forum where students received insight from locals involved in the dairy industry.”

GippsDairy’s Career Development Coordinator, Sarah Cornell, recently attended two teacher Professional Development days as part of the RACE Gippsland project. Sarah spoke to teachers about the range of career pathways in the dairy industry, employment opportunities and how dairy can be included in the school curriculum.

For more information, please visit racegippsland.com

EXCITED 4 Careers in Agriculture

The EXCITED 4 Careers in Agriculture program is funded by the Australian Government’s National Careers Institute to deliver a national agricultural career guidance program in primary and secondary schools. The program will work with students in regional and rural communities to explore careers in an industry of local importance, in this instance being the dairy industry for Gippsland. CQU has partnered with GippsDairy to deliver a dairy focused program of activities including:

  1. Classroom activities and learning resources focused on dairy and exploring different careers along the supply chain with the opportunity for students to meet career mentors and visit a local farm or dairy business.
  2. Professional Development for teachers, careers counsellors and industry mentors to support career influencers in their role in mentoring students.
  3. Speed Dating between industry mentors and career influencers to increase their knowledge, awareness and understanding of local dairy career pathways and skills.

“The program will give students, teachers and careers counsellors a taste of the many dairy careers available using leading career guidance theory, Holland’s RIASEC model, to link broader careers, personality and environmental factors with professionals vital to the local dairy. Students will have the opportunity to explore several dairy careers from pasture managers, robotic dairy farmers, tanker drivers and vets, to herd recorders, extension officers, icecream makers and nutritionists,” Dr Cosby said.

For more information, please visit excited4agcareers.com

More information

If your farm, service provider business or school is interested in being involved in the RACE Gippsland or EXCITED 4 Agriculture Careers programs please contact GippsDairy Career Development Coordinator Sarah Cornell on 0437 400 316 or sarah.cornell@gippsdairy.com.au

For more information on CQU’s Agri-tech Education and Extension team visit agri-techeducation.com or email ageducation@cqu.edu.au.

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