Port Broughton Area School are sending their first show team to the 2018 Royal Adelaide Show to lead and show a range of goats and sheep.
With what is their first ever entry, 17 students from Years 9, 10 and 11 will travel to Adelaide and compete in the school led goat and wether competition, not with high hopes, but with the aim to give students a hands on learning experience with animals.
Andrew Smith, the agricultural, science and maths teacher at Port Broughton Area school says that the school only introduced the agricultural subject in the second semester in 2017, and since then, students have had to learn a large variety of topics to ensure their animals are show ready.
“We started in the second semester of last year with a Year 9/10 class with a focus on local agriculture: sheep, goats and cropping are the main things. We are trying to stay away from the stuff that we don’t see around Port Broughton”, Mr Smith said.
“The school led goat and led wethercompetition is a good opportunity for students who don’t have a lot of experience with animals because they can really get hands on and learn about animals. We also get to teach about nutrition, health, fleeces, body composition and classing.”
The students will be leading their goats which are a mix of pure bred boer goats and several cross bred myotonic and boer goats.
Additionally, in teams of three, students will present their merinos. The school are entering both modern merinos and a more traditional merino.
Mr Smith hopes that the students can come away with more confidence on how to handle the animals but also grow some personal qualities, mingling with other students and experiencing a competition atmosphere.
A Year 11 student who will be travelling to Adelaide for the show is Shayla Biddell and she says that having the program in the school is such an important thing for a farming community.
“I think as a farming community, it is probably better to have that option for the farming kids so they know how how to do all the little things with livestock that wheat farmers might not get as we are a big wheat and canola community”, Shayla said.
Shayla does not know how the animals will fair in the large competition but does hope for all their hard work to pay off.
“I am looking forward to seeing how they go and how they perform with all the work that we have put into them. Also seeing how we go as a school and meeting new people.”
The school’s farm has been highly supported by volunteers.