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    WONDERFULLY WOOLY: Horsham Wool director Jamie Nelson talks to Stawell Secondary College students about the wool-buying process, from farmer to wool store.

AgLife: Hands-on farming skills for Stawell Secondary College students

Stawell Secondary Students enjoyed an opportunity to learn hands-on skills in the agriculture industry, with farm-industry experts teaching sheep shearing and wool grading. 

Central Grampians Local Learning and Employment Network, CGLLEN, provided financial support for the experience through a 2021 Engage program, enabling 13 year-nine and 10 students to learn about various career paths in agriculture.

Structured workplace learning co-ordinator Nerissa Gee said the program, facilitated by Rural Industries Skills Training, RIST, involved several Wimmera industry experts. 

“This was a fantastic program that was created to give young people plenty of opportunities to learn all facets of the sheep industry, from the paddock and the shed to the end point of the product,” she said. 

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“This program really engaged the students involved and gave them plenty of opportunities to get their hands dirty. 

“A lot of them already had an interest in agriculture, but it was great to see those who’d had little exposure to the industry engage in something new that might lead to a career.” 

Students spent two days at the Bibbys’ family farm at Navarre, where they got to try their hand at shearing sheep and grading wool.

On the final day of the program, students toured and networked with industry experts at Horsham Wool, Horsham Regional Art Gallery and Horsham Regional Livestock Exchange. 

College year-10 co-ordinator Murray McKenzie said he was grateful to everyone involved in the program. 

“Many thanks to RIST and CGLLEN for making these three days possible for our students at Stawell Secondary College, as well as the local farmers who provided the venue and sheep,” he said. 

“It was a great event and there was plenty of discussion among the group regarding work experience and careers.”

The entire April 28, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser and AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!