The tyranny of distance was no hurdle for students and teachers from across the Fleurieu SA region, who were awarded on Thursday, July 2 at the Cows Create Careers - Farm Module 'Fun in the Cloud' event - a virtual, online Presentation Day.
As the culmination of the project, excited students and teachers from the Fleurieu region attended the high-energy cloud-based event, to conclude the Cows Create Careers program for 2020 in the region.
Students participated simultaneously in each of their schools in pre-arranged, industry-based games in their classrooms and prizes were announced for the project's winning teams.
The Presentation Day recognised schools from the Fleurieu region that had completed the project, including Investigator College - Victor Harbor, Eastern Fleurieu School, Victor Harbor R-7 Primary School, Aldinga Beach R-7 School, Mount Compass Area School, Willunga High School, Eastern Fleurieu School - Langhorne Creek Campus, Eastern Fleurieu School - Ashbourne R-6 Campus, Flinders Park Primary School and Yankalilla Area School.
The winning Senior School for 2020 was the Eastern Fleurieu School at Strathalbyn.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Dairy Australia's popular Cows Create Careers project was delivered via an online hub for Term 2, 2020. The hub offered various curriculum options - 'Normal', 'Reduced' and 'Easy to Implement' - schools chose the option that best suited their requirements.
Each school was provided with dairy industry curriculum and ongoing support for years 7-11, at no cost. And while the students did not get 'hands-on' this year, Cows Create Careers remained highly engaging through fun industry-based resources.
Students took an online journey through Willbrae Farm where they were introduced to two dairy calves, 'Bright' and 'Future'.
Over five weeks, students found out how to care for the calves and watch them grow through engaging videos. Students learnt about the environment, technology and machinery used on farm through quirky activities and competitions.
As with all Cows Create Careers resources, the online program prioritised student learning and aligns with ACARA curriculum.
Sally Roberts, Lead - People at Dairy Australia said it is encouraging to see secondary students passionate about Cows Create Careers and Australia's vibrant dairy industry.
"The aim of Cows Create Careers is to increase the students' awareness of the diversity of educational pathways and career opportunities in Australia's dairy industry. Through the project, students learn about the different skills required in the dairy industry in a fun and hands-on way," Ms Roberts said.
"It is great to see enthusiastic students getting involved and learning about the industry, while making important connections with their local dairy community. The Presentation Day is a great way to reward and celebrate the students' and schools' dedication to the project."
Cows Create Careers was originally established in 2004 with dairy farmers in the Strzelecki Lions Club in Victoria and nine Gippsland schools.
Since 2006 the project has been supported by Dairy Australia, Regional Development Programs, dairy farmers and sponsors. It has now grown to 240 schools across Australia with 13,200 students completing the project in 2019.
Ms Roberts said that the project has received strong support from dairy farmers and advocates across Australia. Last year alone 527 volunteers gave 2,635 hours of their time across 23 Australian dairying regions.
"The project's passionate volunteers are vital to the continued success of Cows Create Careers. They speak to the students about their experiences in the industry, they support student career decision making, and they have important links to education and employment sectors."
Locally, the project is funded by DairySA and receives additional support across the state from local companies MaxCare, SA Dairy Industry Fund, La Casa del Formaggio, Hills Farm Supplies, Daviesway (Dasco, Skellerup and Peach Teats), Easy Dairy, Victorian Hoofcare Services, Agrimilk Consulting Pty Ltd, Polymaster, Willunga Vet Services, Total Result Ag Consulting, FP Ag, Beston Global Food Company, Fleurieu Pumps, Elders Rural Services, Fleurieu Country Vet, Alexandrina Council, Yankalilla Seeds, Nutrien Ag Solutions, East Total Reproduction, Fleurieu Stockfeeds, City of Victor Harbor, Victor Harbor Rotary Club, Daish Irrigation and Fodder, Victor Motorcycles, Agridairies, Compass Feeds, Bates Farm Machinery, G. & J. East (Strathalbyn), Fleurieu Milk Company and Bendigo Bank who have continued to support the project in the Fleurieu SA region.
For more information, visit https://www.dairyaustralia.com.au/farm/people/dairy-education-and-careers
Dairy Australia is the national services body for the Australian dairy industry. The company acts as the collective investment arm of the industry, investing in essential research, development, extension and industry services.
For more information on Dairy Australia and dairy service levy investments visit www.dairyaustralia.com.au.