ORROROO may not be typically associated with the dairy industry but students at Orroroo Area School know this has not always been the case.
Students have been getting hands on with dairy as part of the Royal Adelaide Show’s school’s program which has returned after a pilot program last year, also featuring Orroroo.
The Upper North town has a history with dairy, with a particular boomtime in the 1920s, linked with damming of the Pekina Creek reservoir and irrigated lucerne flats.
A few years ago when the school began participating in the Cows Create Careers program, they linked with dairy advocate, the late Jeff Kernich, Carcoola Jerseys, Greenock.
Ag Studies teacher Sarah Hazel said this was the school’s third year at the show, first working alongside Carcoola, then as part of last year’s school’s pilot program.
The school has continued its links with the Carcoola stud, including borrowing two Jersey heifers to care for, prepare and lead at this year’s show.
“It’s an honour to make Jeff’s dream, something he always wanted to happen,” Ms Hazel said.
Student Olivia Sheehan said she enjoyed this was a chance to work with something quite different to what they grew up with.
Jazz Vandenbrand said they were able to build relationships with their Jersey heifers.
Dylan Lock said he liked the interactivity in leading.
“We can have an impact on if they come first or last,” he said.
For many of these students, the Cows Create Careers competition was their first experience with the dairy industry.
For the past two years, the Orroroo Area School has won the Barossa Valley region CCC competition.
Ms Hazel said dairy heifers can be a great option for small schools, with the young animals often gentler than some other livestock and already used to some human contact, making breaking them in less onerous.
The school also takes part in the wether competition and grains judging at Adelaide.
In total, six schools took part in the school’s program – Murray Bridge High School, Mount Compass Area School, Unity College, Murray Bridge, Urrbrae Agricultural High School, Westminster and Orroroo Area School – which included two specialist classes in the junior show.