Cows Create Careers
Cows Create Careers is a program run by Careers Advice Australia designed to introduce secondary school students to the dairy industry and make students aware of career pathways within the industry.
Mount Annan Christian College in south-west Sydney participated in the program and its year 10 agricultural studies class were given responsibility for caring for two calves over a four week period. The students' responsibilities including cleaning the calves pens, checking their health and feeding them. In the classroom the students complete reports, undertake research and a variety of assignments in relation to the calves with final reports being submitted at the end of the program.
The main skills that students take away from the program, according to Mount Annan agricultural studies teacher Jennifer Cains, is basic animal husbandry. She notes that although some students were initially hesitant, the class had responded really well to caring for the calves, they nicknamed Custard and Milkshake.
Under the program the students also receive mentoring from a local dairy farmer - Martin Hodge of Camden Farms dairy is the mentor for Jen Cain's class. He notes that there are lots of apprenticeships in the dairy industry and the program aims to make secondary school students aware of this. Many students, Jennifer, notes erroneously associate agriculture with farming when it covers a wide gamut of industries and skills ranging from veterinary careers to jackarooing/jillarooing to sustainable farming practices.