COW CAREERS: Kaelah Geitz and Tiana Ford from St John's College Woodlawn, Finn Ball from Alstonville High School, Charlie Murray and Georgia McKay from St John's College Woodlawn.
COW CAREERS: Kaelah Geitz and Tiana Ford from St John's College Woodlawn, Finn Ball from Alstonville High School, Charlie Murray and Georgia McKay from St John's College Woodlawn. Cathryn McLauchlan

Cute calves teach school kids about dairy careers

SCHOOL studies turned to dairy at 14 Northern Rivers schools as students got to feed calves and work on industry-related projects during class time.

It was part of the Cows Create Careers Farm Module, which aims to increase the awareness of dairy industry careers in a hands-on way.

The winning student projects were awarded at a presentation day last week.

Alstonville High School student, Finn Ball, 15, won the seniors category.

"I did a movie for my project, I'm interested in the media a lot and I want to be a journalist when I'm older,” he said.

"I looked at some of the issues in the dairy industry and the biggest one I found was the lack of youth entering the industry.

"So I staged a news report about the lack of numbers, and so I went onto the dairy farm to get a feel for it and to find out why people weren't rushing to join it.

"I actually found it very enjoyable and I don't know why more people aren't joining it.”

As part of the program, secondary students were educated by rearing two three-week-old calves at school.

Each school was also provided with dairy industry curriculum for Years 7-11.

St John's College Woodlawn team, La Mucca Fresco, won the juniors category for their 3D model.

Their team was made up of five Year 8 students: Kaelah Geitz, Tiana Ford, Charlie Murray, Georgia McKay and Isla Ewald.

"It was a model about cows and rearing them,” Charlie said.

"It was made out of clay and it was of a farmer feeding a calf.”

Since 2006 Dairy Australia has worked with students, teachers, farmers, industry advocates and communities through the module.

Dairy Australia industry capability program manager, Tracy Lloyd, said volunteers were a vital role in the module.

"The program directly benefits from the generous dedication of volunteers who have knowledge of the industry and links to education and employment sectors,” she said.

Locally, the project is funded by Subtropical Dairy and receives additional support across the state from local companies Norco and Genetics Australia.