Bright, Young Minds at Property Planning Field Day

4th May 2018

The future of resilient agriculture is in good hands judging by the enthusiasm at the 2018 Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Schools Property Planning Field Day.

Over 140 agriculture students immersed themselves in the 21st annual property planning program on the Glen Innes Agricultural Research and Advisory Station on Wednesday, 2 May. The participants spanned years 9-11 from seven regional schools, learning and gathering information about soils, pastures, biodiversity, biosecurity, water quality, and an understanding of Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Northern Tablelands LLS Farm Planning Officer Kim Deans coordinated the event, and joined the LLS team of experts assisting students on the day. Kim said it was rewarding to see students gaining a practical and holistic understanding of the key components of the natural resource base on farms which underpin profitable and productive agricultural systems.

“For these students to have a future in agriculture they need to understand the value of a healthy resource base and how that connects with production. The intent of the Schools Property Planning program is to help the participating students understand that value and connection,” Kim said.

The field day was the first stage of the program. Students took their new knowledge away to create a profitable, productive and sustainable property plan for the Station which is then submitted as an entry into the Property Planning Competition, with the winners announced in August. In the process students will grow skills to respond to future challenges in their agriculture careers on the land.

The students were keen to get their hands dirty at the field day to boost their understanding of the many aspects of farming.

Harry Scoble from Macintyre High School in Inverell was eager to “Learn more about biosecurity and how it works on farm. Biosecurity is very important for our region because it helps keep some of the diseases that are in other regions out of ours.”

Teachers see enormous value in their students’ involvement in the Schools Property Planning Competition.

“The program asks students to analyse and create answers to problems. It goes across curricula and the students get a great deal of satisfaction out of feeling that their ideas are important enough for farmers to listen to,” said Janet Price, Agriculture teacher at O’Connor Catholic College.

“It gives students the opportunity to see the whole of the farming process and for those students who live on a farm, it encourages them to go back and question what needs to be done better at home.”

Northern Tablelands Local Land Services thanked the Schools Property Planning Field Day sponsors The University of New England and Regional Development Australia - Northern Inland, for supporting this event for the region’s future farmers and agriculture professionals. 

ENDS

Media contact: Annabelle Monie, Communications Officer – 0429 626 326

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