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!
This term has been all about lamb management. Our ewes produced nearly 30 lambs in May and we have been busy studying their growth and development.
We have also learnt how to tail, eartag, castrate and vaccinate lambs safely.
Recently we welcomed four young goats, ready for Royal Show preparation next term.
It is amazing what the Year 10 class has squeezed in to just three lessons per week! The first highlight was a visit to Neil Patterson’s piggery to tour the facilities and collect our eight young pigs. We have spent the subsequent weeks preparing their feed ration and weighing them regularly to monitor their growth. They are now ready for sale so please contact school if you would like to purchase a side of pork!
Next, we prepared our paddock for seeding using our new tractor skills and, with the aid of Governing Council member Danny Allen, we sowed our pasture paddock in May.
Royal Adelaide Show
Finally, we started preparations for this year’s Royal Adelaide Show Led Steer competition. This began with a trip to Kev Graham’s Red Poll stud to collect Humphrey.
We were then very grateful to Ashley and Amy Nankivell for collecting our Murray Grey steer Syd from Roseworthy. Amy returned to school a fortnight later to conduct a steer preparation and training session for the class. Amy began her interest in preparing livestock for Shows back in 2010 when she first represented MAS as a part of the Led Goat team.
Her passion has led her to University to study Animal Science at Roseworthy and hopefully will lead to a career in the field.
Finally, as mentioned in a previous newsletter, we were thrilled to see the results of the Governing Council working bee in the Ag Block. Our garden area is looking fantastic with the new dolomite paths. A big thank you from our Ag students to all involved.
Well that’s it for Term 2! Stay tuned for more news from the Ag Block later in the year as we continue our preparations for the Royal Adelaide Show.
Sarah Townsend, Ag Teacher