Teachers learn lessons from farm families
Great Southern farmers are working to bridge the rural-metropolitan divide, hosting more than 20 city-based teachers in an effort to champion WA agriculture.
On Monday and Tuesday this week, 24 teachers travelled to Kojonup and surrounding areas for the latest Teacher Farm Experience Program, or TeacherFX. The two-day professional course, supported by CQUniversity Australia and Rabobank, was launched last year with an aim to equip educators with a bolstered understanding of farming.
Kojonup woolgrowers Neil and Sandy Jackson were among farmers to host the group, while also billeting some teachers on Monday night.
Speaking with Countryman, Mr Jackson said he was glad to be involved in the program and showcase his wool enterprise.
“I’m at the stage where I think a program like this is vital,” he said.
“There is a growing divide between the city and rural towns and there is a bit of disconnect.
“This is a great initiative to start building that bridge and give teachers an understanding of not only farming, but also what it’s like to be in the bush.”
In addition to staying with the Jacksons, the group of teachers were welcomed by 11 other farming families near Kojonup on Monday night.
As part of the two-day course, attendees visited Brad and Tracy Wooldridge’s grain-sheep farm at Arthur River.
Rob and Caroline Rex also hosted the teachers at their Beaufort River farm to discuss soil regeneration’s importance to long-term farming.
Mr Jackson said he focused on outlining the importance of animal welfare when the teachers toured his property.
“I predominately showed them what is involved in our sheep husbandry,” he said.
“Explaining animal welfare and husbandry is definitely important to give people an understanding of farming.
“We also went through a little bit of wool and what wool is suited to processing.”
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