A taste of farm life

STUDENTS from New Norfolk High School were given a taste of working on the farm last week.

The tours were organised by the Beacon Foundation through their Growth Industry Preparation Program, which aims to create a link between growing businesses who are beginning their search for more workers and young Tasmanians beginning to enter the workforce.

Students visited Glenelg Estate and Curringa Farm last week, showing two contrasting sides of farming in the Derwent Valley.

Sixth generation farmer Charles Downie from Glenelg Estate said he was hopeful the students visiting would become an annual event, as it was a great way to build connections to the new workforce.

“If you want staff on your farms, you have to promote it and the only way we can do that is by bringing people up and talking about what actually happens,” Mr Downie said.

“The people who came up were all at school, at that age you’re just recruiting for attitude, people who are willing to turn up, prepared to try something, and willing to ask for help.”

Students spent much of their time at Glenelg watching shearing demonstrations and learning the ins-and-outs of wool production. Students were then shown Curringa Farm at Hamilton, where they saw how farming could incorporate tourism and retail.

Beacon CEO Scott Harris said Curringa owners Jane and Tim Parsons were role models in the region.

“There are huge opportunities in farming, and we see it as one of the five biggest growth areas in Tasmania.”
“The research shows that if students engage with industry, like they are today, at least four times during their schooling, they are 86 per cent more likely to engage in further education, training or employment once they leave school.”