Part of the VCE Business Management exam will focus on how businesses can successfully manage and operate through change and 2020 has provided plenty of that! The Midfield Group have been commended as exemplars of how the meat industry should operate during the COVID-19 crisis and, as part of the TAP, a Webex was convened with our Business class and two of The Midfield Group management team. Alistair Sharp (Production Manager for Processing Operations) and Mick Williams (Midfield Training Manager) described the family owned, non-corporate, ‘paddock to plate’ business model that employs 1,500 people across our region including 1,000 at the Merrivale processing site. They detailed the processes that were put in place at the beginning of the year when the implications of COVID were realised and outlined the swift, proactive and aggressive steps that were recently taken to halt the potential spread of COVID through our region when a meat inspector inadvertently could have spread the virus across regional processing sites. Students heard that strong leadership lead to decisive action to cease operations, to contact trace and test all staff and that adherence to protocols and staff buy-in lead to no COVID on site. Management have also implemented new technology including a Smart Badge tracing device system and the potential of virtual induction processes for new staff. A Deakin University study indicated that Midfield had over 8,000 contacts in the community through its processing plant, transport, on farms, etc so it was imperative to control the potential spread of COVID internally and externally. What a great practical example of effectively navigating through change for our students!
As our Year 8 Science students spent most of Term 3 learning remotely, we interviewed artisan cheese maker, Julian Benson, from Apostle Whey Cheese during the term so he could share his expertise with the students. Yesterday, as students gathered in the classroom we watched his interview and learnt how Apostle Whey was created, the planning and training prior to new business commencing, the types of cheese produced and the production methods used. Julian described the pathway of the milk from the dairy through pasteurization into being made into cheese or bottled for milk or churned for gelati. The impact of COVID on the business was outlined as it was primarily tourist dependent, but Julian explained that the business could pivot and include their products in Cheese Therapy packs, on the Click for Vic site as well as on site as part of the 12 Apostles Artisan Trail. He was most proud that Apostle Whey Cheese cheese has been awarded international recognition and encouraged students to believe in yourself, talk to positive people, set your goals and work for it.
After a school year hijacked by COVID we look forward to welcoming students back into our classrooms. The noticeboard in the Staffroom showcases a return to 'normal' curriculum activities and engagement in local prospects. We look to our region for inspiration in our curriculum with things like renewable energy options, entrepreneurial businesses, local tourism and agribusinesses, industry adaption of STEM, operating in a COVID environment and a new dawn in our region with boundless opportunities.
Timboon families – you are amazing! This term, not only have you battled the challenges of remote learning and staying safe and sane during a pandemic, you have also created some innovative and fun meals during the Timboon Kitchens Rule TKR ‘iso’ challenge. Families have shared meals as diverse as Scotch Eggs- Muppet Face Style, Chicken and Pesto Gnocchi, Cheese and Chive Muffins, Pancakes, Chicken with Mustard and Cheese, Egg and Bacon Pie, Chicken and Cheese Fritters, Potato Gnocchi, Cheese and Vegemite Scrolls, Crumbed Prawns and Rice Salad and Cheese Bondas. If you want top keep sending them, we'll keep sharing them,Bon Appetite!
As a remote learning task the Year 9/10 Taste of Europe Food Tech class had to design a piece of focaccia floral art. A fictional business, Meee’s Bakery, had tasked students with designing and producing a work of art to go on display in their window to celebrate the start of the spring racing carnival. The colourful display had to feature seasonal vegetables as a garnish and students had to work through the design process to design, create and evaluate a focaccia art production. During the task, our bakers had to submit a food order and production plan, safely and hygienically produce a recipe and their evaluation had to consider if the product was suitable to the brief and suggest improvements for future productions. As you can see, Meee’s Bakery would be very happy with the results!
TKR Round Two – Despite the end of Term looming, we asked a question, and Timboon families replied!
Challenged with potential dishes that could be created with two eggs, two cups of flour and a block of cheese, Timboon families have created Pancakes with Home Made Butter, Cheesy Savoury Muffins, Pizza, Quiches, Chocolate Pancakes and Cheese Puffs. Check back in to see what else our clever chefs can create!
To conclude our Year 3/4 Paddock to Plate unit and to revisit some of the science used in processes to manufacture dairy products, we introduced students to goat farmer and cheese maker Bernie Drake from Childers Cove Cheese Company. Inspired by Bernie’s demonstration of how easy it was to make ricotta cheese, Vanessa Howard and some of the students at school made their own batch of cheese using a Thermomix. The processes were remarkably similar but the main difference was the way the milk was heated as the milk /vinegar combination still separated into curds and whey. Students then enjoyed the ricotta cheese on biscuits with some students suggesting that it tasted a bit like salt/vinegar chips – who knew!
Despite it being a long, tough term of remote learning we have been delighted that some of our Timboon families have taken on the Timboon Kitchens Rule (TKR) family iso challenge once again. Intrigued by parcels containing eggs, flour and cheese our families have created meals as diverse as Team Vogels Quark Gnocchi (Quocchi?), Cheesy Stuffed Bread Breakfast Pizza, Three Ingredient Brownies, Bacon and Cheese Muffins, All American Slam, Cheese and Vegemite Pinwheels and Bread and Cheese Croquettes. What a feast of recipes you have all created!
To conclude their Paddock to Plate unit, and as a final investigation, the Year 3/4 students were introduced to the Childers Cove Cheese Company. The class were acquainted with the local business by a movie featuring goat farmer and cheesemaker, Bernie Drake. Bernie described how goats are milked, explained the differences between goats and cows and demonstrated how the Childers Cove Cheese Company produces Sea Spray, a fetta style cheese, at their local processing site. As a consequence of their enquiries this term, the students are very familiar with the Paddock to Plate journey of milk as a raw product through a processing plant and they could see that the processes were similar to a large processor, like Bega, but just on a much smaller scale. During a second video Bernie described the type of goats milked, the products in their range and where their goods are sold. He demonstrated how easy it was to make ricotta cheese in your own kitchen using milk and vinegar and a learning task offered students the opportunity to make ricotta cheese and design a label to advertise and sell their own cheesy creation.
The second round of TKR saw school families receive mystery parcels containing two eggs, two cups of plain flour and either Tasty or Colby cheese donated by Saputo Dairy Australia. By using some, or all of our ingredients, and adding up to five other elements, our creative chefs have once again produced some amazing dishes such as Breakfast Scrolls, Cheesy Chicken Parcels, Birthday Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, Chicken Parmigiana, Spiced Chocolate Brownie Cookies and Quark Parcels. Can't wait to see what else other Timboon families create!