Students have a field day at Primex

The northern NSW sun shone a light on regional, rural and remote education at Casino’s Primex. Kristi Pritchard-Owens reports.

Image: Kalen Sowter from the department’s Regional, Rural and Remote team speaks with agriculture students from The Rivers Secondary College – Richmond River Campus.

Among the tractors, cattle and Akubras, visitors to this month’s Primex Field Days at Casino could also stop by the Department of Education stall.

Grabbing the opportunity by both horns, staff celebrated regional, rural and remote education in the department’s second year of exhibiting at the Northern Rivers event.

“One point of difference with this field day is we organise a passport program where students go around to different exhibits to get a stamp and answer a question,” said Raechel McCarthy, Relieving Executive Director of the Regional, Rural and Remote Education Policy Unit.

Casino High School, Nimbin Central School, Woodenbong Central School, Evans River Community School and The Rivers Secondary College participated in the passport program.

The students then go into a draw to win a prize for themselves and their school and have free entry for student excursions.

Sally Ford, Agriculture teacher at The Rivers Secondary College Richmond River Campus, said the Primex Field Day excursion was a great learning opportunity for her students who lapped up seeing innovative equipment and devices, processes and practices.

“Lots of my boys are looking at the tractors and the machinery because that’s what they want to do, they want to work in the (agricultural) industry,” Mrs Ford said.

The opportunity to hear firsthand from employers and peak industry bodies is a drawcard of the field days for high school agriculture students.

“Some of my senior students are going to the MLA (Meat & Livestock Australia) talks because they’re doing beef industry as their major study and all of their information is incredibly helpful.

“Quite a few of our students have ended up with part-time work from the last few years that we came here.”

It is also educational for those who are more interested in horsepower than real, live horses.

“For lots of our students, it is about preparing them for industry. It’s preparing them for what sort of gear is out there and available and what equipment they should be using,” Mrs Ford said.

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