Our Royal Show experience looked a bit different in 2016 from previous years – no steers this time, but a fantastic group of goats entered into the Led Wether Competition.
Our Year 9/10 Ag class spent lessons in Term 3 training, grooming and feeding our Boer goat entries to prepare them for the big event, and a lucky group of hardworking students were selected to represent Maitland Area School in Adelaide.
After unloading and settling the animals on Tuesday night, we were ready for busy day of preparation on Wednesday.
The goats were weighed and scanned, then washed and blow dried. Finally, in beautiful sunshine, they were presented in the Grand Parade along with goats, steers, dairy cows, horses and hundreds of students from around the state. Our team looked fantastic in their bright red shirts and the goats looked very smart in their red halters. The occasion was a bit too much for a couple of our youngest goats and they needed a bit of help (ie a carry!) around the main arena! Overall our students represented MAS brilliantly and they can be very proud of their efforts.
The MAS goats have been out and about, taking walks around town, having their hair trimmed in preparation for the Adelaide Show and soaking in the warm weather. Well done to our hard working 9/10 Ag class who don't kid around when it comes to looking after their goats.
On the March 21 our class had a group of ladies come in to the library to teach us how to knit. We had six ladies help us and lots of thanks to Mrs Koenders, Mrs Townsend, Mrs Burman, Mrs Jolly, Mrs Stock, and Mrs Crouch for coming in and sharing your time and talents.
We were learning to knit because we are learning about wool in our Ag lessons.
We all had different colours and our goal was to make a square each. When we've finished we're going to sew it all together to make a blanket to donate to the village or the hospital.
Some of us found knitting easy but most of us found it hard. There were a couple of people who never want to see a pair of knitting needles again in their life, but over all we had a good afternoon.
Cue the trumpets!
The MAS Royal Adelaide Show team goats have won:
Champion Heavyweight Goat (Gary the Goat led by Tiana) AND Reserve Champion Lightweight Goat (Bubbles the Goat led by Ben) AND First place in his class (Bobby the Goat led by Caitlin).
The goat team also came 4th in the 'Best Presented School in the Grand Parade'.
Go Team MAS, Miss Townsend, helpers and (of course) the goats!
Every week this term I have started a newsletter article, then decided to wait ‘just one more week’ so I could include information about the next exciting addition to our Ag Block. So finally, as the term draws to a close, here is the bumper issue which includes everything that has been going on in Ag this term!
We have planted a range of salad vegetables in the garden beds, checking their progress weekly and completing a garden journal.
In addition we have learnt about the range of Ag enterprises run at MAS and have started to produce our own Ag Block book. The highlight of each lesson is a visit to the many animals here at school.
We have spent the term studying cattle production and raising two calves (Nigel and Billy) on buckets of milk.
Our calves have been very quiet and cooperative this year and, apart from a bit of tummy trouble when they stole the pigs’ feed, they are growing well!
Year 5/6 Ag
Term 1 has seen quite a lot of activity in the Ag Block. Our Year 5/6 class have started Agriculture lessons for the first time and they are a very enthusiastic bunch. They are already showing some great skills working with sheep and cattle.
Year 7/8 Ag
The Year 7/8 class have spent the term studying the farm environment, completing soil and climate experiments and comparing the price of farms across different farming zones in SA.
They recently completed research about the many different and varied careers that can stem from an interest in Agriculture.
Year 9 Ag
Year 9 students have studied the impact of insects on Agriculture and have nearly finished designing their own insect trap.
A highlight of the term for this class was a visit from local beekeeper Lionel Harmer. He entertained the class with a demonstration of the suit, gloves and the smoker that beekeepers use, brought in a hive and samples of honey to taste and even shared the story of the worst place he’d ever been stung by a bee!
Year 10 Ag
Finally our Year 10 class have spent the first term learning about the importance of soil in farming.
They have completed a range of experiments examining soil structure and texture and are soon to present their talks about soil conservation. Many of the students have taken on the challenge of learning to drive the school’s brand new tractor.
We’d like to thank Ben Eglington for the many hours he has spent with us providing tractor driving lessons. Our students are now (nearly!) ready to go it alone!
Well, it’s all over for another year! After months of preparation our Show team again represented our school with pride in Adelaide and were fortunate to again come home with a swag of ribbons.
This year we took two steers to town – Gaz the Red Poll from Kev Graham’s stud and Joel the Murray Grey, donated by Stuart Redding. Although our scan results didn’t look promising on the first morning, we were very pleased when Gaz won 4th place in his weight class on judging day.
Our goat team was very successful this year. We took six goats to the Show and our prize winners all came from Margaret Miller’s Coota Park Stud near Wallaroo. Bailey came 5th, Charlie 1st and Sam 1st in their respective weight classes on judging day, and Sam was then named Reserve Champion Lightweight goat. In the carcase competition, Charlie came 3rd in the Chevon category, whilst in the Capretto category Ollie came 6th, Tilly 5th and Sam 1st. Sam then went on to win the overall lightweight division and was named Champion Lightweight Carcase.
Our students looked fantastic in their red team shirts during the Grand Parade on Wednesday afternoon, and despite some rather difficult animals, managed to complete a number of laps of the oval to the cheers of the crowd.
Congratulations to all the Year 9 and 10 Agriculture students involved in the preparation of our animals over the last four months. Particular congratulations to the students selected to represent MAS in Adelaide:
Steer Team – Jesse Lawler, Lochie Gregory, Anna Falco, Ebony Short, Ciaha Smith
Goat Team – Georgie Robinson, Ezra Glazbrook, Bethany Sly, Nikita Penhall, Louise Lawler, Luke Clifford, Henry Honner, Caitlin Wyatt
Huge thanks to Julie Bagshaw for working with the steer team in Adelaide, to Tony Lawler and Andrew Honner for transporting stock and equipment to the Show and to the many parents and family members who supported us during our time in Adelaide.