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In the past week Year 9 students completed their statistical analysis of their heifer weights as part of their TAP project. On Wednesday this week they were given the opportunity to travel out to Bilyana Grazing to check on the progress of their own heifer first hand. Many thanks to Simon and Katie Gleeson for this opportunity and the comprehensive facts and figures that they shared with the group.
On the 11th November the Year 10 science class visited Garry & Lee Hibberd's "Cooriemungle Holsteins" to reinforce their learning about Genetics. Following the visit from Dairy Futures CRC, the students saw in practice the role of DNA as a blueprint for controlling the characteristics or required traits of dairy cattle. Peter Younis from The Vet Group was on site to analyse the role of genetics, genomics, reproductive management, AI, synchronizing a herd, flushing cows, embryo transfers, genetic gain etc while Garry & Lee explained about the effect of these procedures in their dairy business. Peter also clarified that we have world class farmers, vets and professionals working with cutting edge technology in this region and that attending a small country P-12 school should be no obstacle to a fulfilling career in science or agriculture.
As part of their geology unit ‘Beneath our Feet’ the Year 4 students welcomed Alex Goudy from DEPI to talk about how soils form and the composition of soil in our area. He shared maps that explained the different soil types around Timboon and further away and related the soil types to the type of agriculture for each area. He also talked about erosion and the effect it has on the landscape which the students will be following up in the science room by creating models to imitate water erosion. Our other visitor was Robbie Leishmann who talked about the development of the Heytesbury settlement. He shared about the clearing of the land and how the soil needed to be worked on to become productive. He also told us about the formation of the farms and the students were excited to find their family names among those listed on the original Heytesbury map.
The preps science unit this term is ‘On the Move’ and as well as exploring how their bodies and toys move they got the chance to be up close to some very large machinery as part of the TAP. Stewart Rundle provided a Claas 656 Tractor and the Corangamite Shire provided a Caterpillar 12M grader driven by Mick Harrison. The preps watched the different parts on these large machines move up, down, around and sideways. Then they each had a turn at the controls and showed their expertise in pushing and pulling the levers to make parts of the machine work.
Today we went on road trip to Garlic World and Newtons Ridge Winery.
Garlic World was fascinating. Sarah Illingsworth gave a tour of their farm as well as detailed explanations of what they do at each stage of the process. We got to see the garlic growing, how they dry the bulbs and then how it is sent off to purchasers. It is always interesting to learn why people start up their businesses and some of the not so great and great experiences they have had.
David Falk explained the process of growing grapes and how to turn them into wine. He was able to compare how the big producers in the key wine growing areas do it in comparison to his own much smaller operation. The barrels were of great interest to the students who were keen to know where they came from, what they do and how long they last.