Bringing the farm to the school gate

‘Cows make milk!’ was the simple, takeaway message from a recent incursion by Western Dairy and dairy farmers, Tavis and Sami Hall of Halls Family Dairy in Harvey, to students at Leschenault Catholic Primary School last Friday.

Kindergarten, pre-primary and Year 3 students were treated to an informative session on dairying with a special visit by a month-old Holstein calf from Mr Hall’s dairy herd.

“Some of these kids may not have stepped foot on a farm or realise cows make the milk that goes into their favourite foods,” Mr Hall said. “Speaking to them at this age, and letting them meet and pat a calf, on a basic level introduces them to the importance of agriculture.”

Mr Hall, a fifth-generation dairy farmer, and Mrs Hall, a former early childhood teacher, have voluntarily conducted dairy incursions at Leschenault Catholic Primary School for the past four years.

“We’re very fortunate Sami and Tavis provide this opportunity to our younger year groups. This year, we also included Year 3 as they have been learning about food production,” Daniel Graves, Principal of Leschenault Catholic Primary School, said.

Western Dairy Regional Extension Officer, India Brockman, also attended this year’s incursion, focusing on informing the Year 3 classes of dairy production from farm to shop as well as the role of Western Dairy and Dairy Australia in supporting dairy farmers.

“One of our values is ‘farmer first’ and explaining to children there is a farmer who gets up at 3am and milks cows twice a day so we can all have milk on our cereal is so important,” Ms Brockman said. “We want young people to know cows make milk, there is a process there before it ends up on the shop shelf.”

For secondary school students, Dairy Australia and Western Dairy offer the Cows Create Careers project, where students learn about dairy industry careers by rearing and caring for a calf under the supervision of a team of local dairy farmers. Each school is provided with a dairy industry curriculum for years 7-11, at no cost, and students form teams to complete industry-based assessments. Submissions from schools who want to get involved in the 2023 Cows Create Careers project can be emailed.  


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