Tumut High School farm – virtual tour

A look around the school farm facility showing the involvement of staff and students and the management of animals.


Watch Introduction. (0:20)

Introduction by agriculture teacher, Tony Butler.

Narrator: Agriculture teacher – Tony Butler

Welcome to Tumut High School Agriculture Farm. My name is Tony Butler, I’m the Agriculture teacher at this school.

In terms of teaching and delivering the Agriculture curriculum, this school is well resourced. We have three locations to be able to deliver this important curriculum and the students are very fortunate in order to be exposed to a wide range of curriculum.

[End of transcript]

The farm

Watch The farm. (3:05)

The Tumut High School farm

Narrator: Agriculture teacher – Tony Butler

Hi, welcome to the Tumut High School Agriculture Farm. I’d like to show you around these school facilities here at the Agriculture Farm. To my left we have the student tool garden shed. The students are instilled here that when they use the equipment from that tool shed they need to wash that equipment and put that back in the appropriate place.

It’s important to instil the tidiness and neatness of the farm so that takes them onto their future careers. Next to my left is our farm office, this is where our farm assistant does a lot of his book keeping work. He does a lot of maintenance of the tools, he records the data that needs to be done on each particular day.

This site is point six of a hectare. Immediately behind me you’ll see the establishment of the student vegetable gardens. At Tumut High School we have Year 7 and Year 8 students establishing those. Behind the gardens we then have the Year 10 sweet corn crop. And behind the sweet corn crop we have a small orchard which Year 10 students work with.

To my left we then have a small flock of Bond sheep. We have three ewes and one ram. This is sufficient enough for the facilities here because we do have pressure on the grazing systems. And through the holidays we may need to agist these animals out.

We then move onto an important facility here at the school, it’s the machinery shed. In the machinery shed we have our larger equipment like the tractors, the slasher, the tiller, the boom spray. You can that this is obviously well established in terms of equipment but also we need to maintain its security.

I will now then show you our poultry facilities. Here we have a major part of our poultry unit here at the Tumut High School Agriculture Farm. Behind me to my left we have the growers’ shed. This is where our broilers and pullets will grow out to their particular age. And immediately to my right is our greenhouse.

Students in Year 9 do a lot of propagation in Term 2. That material is stored and housed in that greenhouse. Year 8 students will do a hydroponic section in Term 3 of their year and their material and their unit is actually established in the greenhouse. Immediately beyond the greenhouse we then have the COLA, the outdoor classroom area and this is where students of all years studying Agriculture enjoy the experience of being outside in the open environment and away from the normal classroom atmosphere.

So, here we are in the outdoor classroom area of the Tumut High School Agriculture Farm. There are fantastic facilities here. To my immediate left we’ve got the greenhouse, this is where the hydroponics and the propagation material is kept. Also to my left we have the potting shed. In there we have a number of pots and propagation material.

We also have fertilisers which the students will use in their vegetable gardens. Immediately to my right we then have the entry to the main unit of the poultry house and that is where our layers are housed. I hope you have enjoyed our virtual tour of the Tumut High School Agriculture Farm.

[End of transcript]

Cattle showing – briefing students

Watch Briefing students. (1:17)

Briefing students about an upcoming show.

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

Okay, guys this is an important day because this is a culmination of our three months’ work of preparing these two animals for the local shows and also the Canberra Show. This weekend we have Gundagai Show coming up and then the following week we have Canberra Show. So, we need to prepare our animals again for those two shows.

So, your hard work over the last three months and through the holiday period has been very appreciative. You’ve all learnt the skills, you’ve got on well as a team and you developed that teamwork that we wanted to start way back three months ago.

Importantly today we’re going to be looking at first of all crushing the animals and putting the halters on, putting the nose clips in. We’ll lead the animals out, we’ll tie them up at the wash bay and that’s where everyone will be involved getting the equipment out and in readiness to wash these animals. And then we’ll bring the animals back in and we’ll have Sally and Jazaya and a couple of other people who will blow dry them in readiness for the clipping procedure which will be in about an hour and a half’s time.

So, that clipping will then finalise those animals in readiness for the show. And after we’ve done that particular part of the work we then need to collect all that equipment as a group and put all that equipment back into the correct location ready for the show on this weekend.

Okay? Any questions? No comments? Okay, let’s get into it.

[End of transcript]

Cattle showing – show attire

Watch Show attire. (1:25)

Appropriate attire for showing cattle.

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

Here we have Angela, dressed appropriately in her PPE gear. You’ll notice this is significant in the fact this is our attire that students will wear in the show ring where they are presenting their animal in front of the show judge.

You’ll notice also that Angela has her hat on, again for protection against the Sun, she’ll have a sun cream on, but more importantly she has a special shirt which was designed by the school so it recognises that we are from Tumut High School, we are in the cattle show team and also using the school tie. This is important in terms of the ring because it designates us as a group and also as a team and it really stands out in the show ring.

Angela also has her moleskins on which is an important attire that she needs to wear in front of the judge and then also her work boots at the bottom. Angela also has a dust coat. And this dust coat needs to be worn by all paraders into the show ring. This allows students to stand out as a junior parader. And once again it also shows that we are part of a team and we are recognised as that through the show event.

To complete Angela’s PPE gear, she also has the show cane which she’ll use in the ring to control her animal and to stand up the animal in front of the show ring judge.

[End of transcript]

Cattle showing – parading

Watch Cattle showing – parading. (0:13)

Demonstration of parading.

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

These students will gain confidence. They develop teamwork. They develop the skills of handling these animals, not only managing them but also being able to parade these animals in front of a judge in a show.

[End of transcript]

Cattle handling – haltering

Watch Cattle Handling – haltering. (3:16)

Demonstration of cattle haltering

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

Today we’re going to show you how to halter up an animal and this is a very important skill that students need to be able to practice and then also perform on the day at the show rings. It involves a number of things, first of all we need to put this animal into the crush, but prior to that there are a couple of important skills that students need to be aware of. One of them is that when we come to yard these animals they need to check that all gates leading through the race up into the crush are already to accept this animal. The animal can then be guided into the race. Obviously students need to stay behind these animals, and as they move through the race then close the gates behind them. Once they lead towards the crush, they enter the crush and then they need to close the gate behind the animal.

At this stage we then have the animal enclosed in the crush. One of the students will then open the head bail to be able to capture the head safely. Once the head is then captured we can then place the halter around the animal’s head. And that’s generally done on the left hand side of the animal or the near side of the animal. From there once the halter is safely placed on, keep it in mind that this animal is restrained, so it’s really protective, an important factor that these students are going to be safe in doing this.

At shows it can be a bit of an issue in the fact that we need to make sure that these animals are restrained to do this activity. So, once the halter is actually placed on these animals, we then need to put the nose clip in. And that’s done quite quickly by bringing the hand up in underneath the nostril of the animal or the muzzle of the animal and then simply slipping it in between the nostrils. Once this part of the strategy is done we then take both leads, we undo the head bail, open up the head stall itself of the crush and then we lead this animal out safely to the wash bay.

At this point we need to go through a number of the yards, so ensuring that the actual gates are open for these animals to safely transfer from the crush to the wash bay.

It’s important at this point here, that the students know the correct procedure and that they are aware of their own safety because sometimes these animals can become a little bit flighty and we need to be aware of not only of their presence but also the presence of where you are as a student. And so that’s really critical to this whole process. Once the animals are then taken out of the yards and then placed onto the wash bay.

At the wash bay they need to be restrained using the end of the halter. And so this is a pretty special technique. I actually get the students to practice this quite regularly and I say to the students that you need to close your eyes and try and do this little technique because it is a skill that these students need to be able to practice, not only here at the property but also at the show ring.

Once the animal is then tied up with the nose dog clip and the lead, we simply then can place that in the top of the halter around the top of the head, that way it’s not going to affect the animal if the animal is actually frightened and actually pulls back. Because as we mentioned before, the nose clip is in the sensitive part of the animal’s nostrils and we don’t need to upset the animal any more than we have to.

[End of transcript]

Cattle handling – washing

Watch Cattle handling – washing. (4:21)

Demonstration of washing cattle.

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

You need to wash these animals and wash them thoroughly. There’s a lot of safety involved in this and as you’ll see what the students do it needs to be efficient and quite effective.

So, to start off with this, Sally will start with the water, we start with the water at the front of the animal. Sometimes the animal is a little bit tentative and needs to get used to the water. So, Sally’s going to start on the shoulder region there. You can see the animal is quite accustomed to this, so she’s been washed before and the fact that she’s ruminating and quite pleasant with the whole experience. So, Sally starts on the shoulder, she moves through the top line across the back line washing the body of the animal, right through to the rump region, underneath the barrel, up into the udder. And then from there we then move onto adding soap. Angela’s going to add some soap, the soap will start from the top line at the shoulder area and then just a small amount right through to the rump region and then we’ll have our scrubbers, they’ll come through with their curry combs and they will then start to move that soap down through the body of the animal, starting from the top and then working that soap all the way down along the side of the animal. So, by using a motion, a circular motion that’s getting the soap, it’s getting the little bristles right into the hide of the animal and that’s working all that soil and any other fragments that need to come out. It’s also a very good stimulation part for the animal’s body because it’s getting to improve circulation of the body particularly on a cold morning if we have to do this at a show.

And so that’s the mechanism we need to do here, you can see all the students are working on one side, the near side of the animal and the important thing there is the safety aspect because again if the animal is spooked it tends to move one side the students can get out of the road. Importantly, they’re working together as a team.

We’ve got that soap well lathered up, we then need to do work on the tail so we’ll have a student come in and work on the tail. The idea there is we put the tail in a bucket of water, soapy water, Jazaya will then work all that soap through the tail, get any dags of manure off the tail, use a comb and then sort of straighten through all the hair. Once that area’s been done and cleaned up effectively we then have Sally come back in with the hose and Sally can then start using the hose to wash the excess soap off. So, the scrubbers have sort of finished their job. Once the scrubbers are done we then move down towards the lower part of the animal through the claws of the feet. So, the claws of the feet we need to have people scrubbing the toes to get any mud, any manure out of that area. So, Sally’s going to wetten up those areas so that Mackenzie can work on that site. So, we need to remember that we’re cleaning the entire body.

So, once that area is done, Sally will move back up and remove a lot of that excess soap that’s sitting on the side of the animal. That area is now all sort of taken care of, we now move towards the front of the animal because at this stage that the head and around the muzzle is quite sensitive as I said before.

So, the animal’s quite used to the temperature of the water and people working with her, so we’re now at the point where we need to wash the face, we need to wash around the muzzle, the nostrils and also the mouth. We need to be careful at this point because the ears are very sensitive and Sally’s aware of the fact that we don’t need to apply a lot of water around the ears because once that enters the ear canal it can cause a bit of distress with the animal.

So, you can see James here, he’s got a reasonable amount of moisture in his sponge, he’s getting rid of all that sort of dried skin, any sort of muck that’s coming out of the animal’s eye and he’s cleaning those eyes up quite well. He needs to look also at the face of the animal.

Sally might move that water towards the front of the animal. Sally, towards the front and then pour it over the front of the face going from the pole region over the top and then down to the animal.

You can see how the animal is a bit … you know not too used to this, so we have to be sensitive at that point. But James will now continue to sponge around the eyes, the muzzle and also around the lower part of the chin, particularly under the straps.

And it’s important here that we use these rope halters because the rope halters in terms of being wet and put soap through it really is not going to affect the quality of them as if we use our leather straps, it can affect and we leave that for our show haltering. And the aspect there is that the actual leather is quite expensive to purchase.

[End of transcript]

Cattle handling – grooming

Watch Cattle handling – grooming. (2:10)

Demonstration of cattle grooming.

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

Okay, we’re up to the stage now where our students with sweat brushes will come in, they’ll wipe the side of the body of the animal to get any excess water off. This expediates the drying of the animal when we come towards the blowing part.

You’ll notice that the students are working from the top of the animal to the back line, right through to the bottom of the animal and also trying to get any of that excess water out underneath the belly of the animal or the barrel.

It’s important as I said to do that effectively and quickly because once that’s been done we can then bring in our students that have got the combs and this is also getting towards the end of the washing procedure.

At this stage once the sweat brushes have been done, people with combs will come in. And there’s an important technique here with that and the fact that these students will then start to brush from the shoulder, straight down with the combs and the idea here is to have all the hair of the animal’s body in one direction.

So, going from the top of the animal down towards the barrel of the animal, all the way back from the shoulder to the rump region. We then move and this is really an important aspect and the fact that you can see Sally starting on the rump, we’re working up from the base part of the rump, up towards the top part of the pin bones and then back towards the hip bones. We then work that comb towards the front of the animal along the side of the body.

So, the idea here is to express the muscle development along the animal’s body. And if we can sort of do that effectively, we can then have that hair standing up on end. And then our final thing that we actually do to that so that hair stays in that position is that we can actually put some special spray on that before the animal goes into the show ring. And that spray has some glistening and shine in it and when the judge actually sees this animal presented in the ring, the animal looks pretty smick.

And that’s the aim that we’re trying to do here is to present this animal the best way we can. And as you can see with this process all the students are working together as a team, there’s a lot involved, the safety aspect’s important because they’re all working on one side and the ultimate result is that we end up with an animal that’s ready to be judged.

[End of transcript]

Cattle handling – blow drying

Watch Cattle handling – blow drying. (1:54)

Demonstration of blow drying cattle.

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

Okay, the next stage in the preparation of these animals to show at our local show or the national show is the blow drying of these animals and this is an important skill that students need to learn, there’s quite a few safety things here to be aware of again.

First of all the students need to tie these animals up securely at the rail, they need to have all their equipment ready to go, they need to be very careful because this is actually a powered implement so they need to be aware that the power cord and also the actual blower machine is right away from the animal and also out of the danger of water. So, that’s just a couple of the safety things.

The next important thing is that in terms of the technique to get these animals dry. Importantly here is that if the students have used the sweat brushes efficiently in the washing procedure then we should have less water to dry off with this blower. So, we can start off with getting the animal used to the actual blower and the actual noise and the air on the animal’s body. Best way to do this is to start at the front of the animal, just move the end of the blower around in the air just so that the animal is familiar with what you’re going to do with this animal and then put the air onto the animal’s body and let the animal to settle down quite quickly.

Once the animal has settled down, importantly here you need to use the nozzle of the blower, face that towards the front of the animal and work back from the shoulder along the body of the animal, over the ribs towards the rump region and then down the hind leg. So, importantly here we need to just make sure that we’ve got the animal’s hair towards the front of the animal, we can check by doing that once more and then that then prepares the animal for the final movement with the comb to make sure that hair is in the right direction and then we can put some final sheen on this animal and the animal’s ready for the ring and hopefully present to the judge an animal that we are very proud of considering we’ve spent so much time preparing this.

[End of transcript]

Cattle handling – clipping

Watch Cattle handling – clipping. (1:55)

Demonstration of clipping cattle.

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

My name’s Steve Bellchambers, I’m here today to talk to you about clipping. Clipping animals or clipping cattle for show preparation is an important part of the show preparation process. The first thing we have to do is consider our own safety. Firstly, we need the animal secured in something like a crush as is behind me or a normal clipping chute which just stops the animal from moving around on top of us while we’re clipping them.

The second thing we have to realise is that we’re working with electricity and with a powered tool so we have to be aware that our cords are in an appropriate place and we’re using the tools appropriately.

When we clip an animal the aim is to present the animal as best as possible to the judge on the day. So, we’re looking to increase the positive attributes of the animal and to strengthen the areas where the animal is not as strong in.

When we clip, the basic principles are the same, we’re looking to increase the appearance of the width of the animal, increase the appearance of the depth of the animal and create an angularity in our animal with a heavier back end and a lighter front end. In order to achieve this we clip the top line of the animal and the underline of the animal. We remove the excess hair from the shoulders and neck and the head of the animal to give us that wedge shape.

In clipping cattle there are two types of hair that cattle have, the outer layer is called guard hairs. These guard hairs are removed during the clipping process to soften the animal and to give it its best appearance.

When we clip there are several types of clippers you can use. We use a flat head clipper or a goat head clipper. Both of these achieve the same purpose but cut in slightly different ways.

Once again the main reason we clip the animal is to present the animal on the day showing the most positive attributes and giving us our greatest chance for the judge to catch his attention to the animal and see it at its best.

[End of transcript]

Poultry – introduction

Watch Poultry – introduction. (0:22)

Introduction to the poultry enterprise.

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

Poultry enterprise is an important part of the Agriculture curriculum here at Tumut High School. Year 8 students study the production of broilers for a period of eight weeks and this is throughout Term 1. It’s an important part of their program because we teach these students importantly about housing of these animals, the nutrition of these animals and how to handle and care for these particular chickens.

[End of transcript]

Poultry – housing

Watch Poultry – housing. (0:58)

Description of poultry housing facilities.

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture reacher

We house these chickens in an enclosed environment. Importantly we need to reduce the amounts of drafts that go in underneath this building and that’s adequately done by using bricks or some sort of timber structure.

In terms of their actual housing of these chickens there are a couple of important requirements that we need to be very clear that we pass onto students, we make sure that this occurs with these animals as they go through that eight weeks.

The first one is obviously the temperature. The temperature itself is significant because at a day old these chickens are on a temperature regime of thirty six degrees Celsius. The reason for that is that chickens up to the age of five weeks do not have feathers so we need to main their body temperature at that level so that we don’t certainly lose them. And that’s critical to their growth and development in that early stage of their life. That temperature then is reduced back to a temperature of eighteen degrees at the end of the program which is eight weeks.

By five weeks these chickens have developed their feathers and they can maintain their own body temperature.

[End of transcript]

Poultry – food and water

Watch Poultry – food and water. (1:07)

Food and water requirements for poultry.

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

The next important aspect of their development is the food and water. In terms of the water, we need to make sure that they are adequately watered over that period of eight weeks.

In the early stage we can provide small containers to give these birds their water so they can actually adequately access that water. After about two or three weeks we can remove those containers and then use an automotive system. That system is adequate in terms of their further development for the period of the eight weeks.

Moving onto the next part of their regime is their feed. Their feed is important because they need to start off at a high protein percentage. That percentage is twenty one per cent, it’s referred to as broiler starter and that’s significant for their early part of muscle and growth development.

Once the chickens reach to five weeks of age, we then change that diet onto a lower protein of about eighteen per cent. That particular feed regime is then referred to as a broiler finisher.

By the time the birds finish their program at eight weeks, we then have a bird that’s highly muscled, the fat levels are quite minimal and obviously acceptable for the consumer.

[End of transcript]

Poultry – weighing and recording

Watch Poultry – weighing and recording. (1:34)

Keeping records of weights.

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

Okay, so once the students have collected these chickens, they then bring them down to the outdoor classroom area.

Here we have now a group of students who are going to safely weigh these chickens and keeping in mind we need to handle them correctly. And so one student will pass it onto the scales, the student will record the weight. They will then pass that weight back to the students at the blackboard. The students there will then record the results.

And so we as I mentioned before we’re only going to weigh a minimal number, in this case it’s three chickens to reduce the amount of stress. Once those chickens have then been weighed we’ll then carefully put them back into the box.

We have a group of students who brought the chickens down to the outdoor classroom area, they will then carefully take those chickens back in their container back to their location in the housing area. So, it’s really important that this part of the work is done quite quickly and efficiently because if we end up with a cool day, chickens’ temperature can be reduced dramatically and again once that can put a fair bit of stress on these chickens and therefore their overall production and weight and development can also be reduced. Students will then work out an average weight for those chickens.

Because we’ve only used three, the students will then work out that average, they will then multiply that by the total number of chickens that we have and as mentioned before we don’t need to have a great number of these chickens.

So, we have fourteen in this particular project so they simply multiply their average by the fourteen and that gives us a gross weight of the total fourteen chickens. The record management of this program is important to students because they can track the development of these chickens over that eight week period.

[End of transcript]

Poultry – handling

Watch Poultry – handling. (1:02)

How to handle poultry correctly.

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

Students now on a weekly basis will weigh and record these chickens, so it’s important to handle these chickens at this early stage. So, students will work in a group and collect these chickens at the proper standards.

It’s important that we do handle these chickens because they are quite fragile, as I mentioned they don’t have any feathers. So, it’s significant that we keep them quite warm. So, by placing them into deep containers reduces that ability for the outside temperature to affect them. The chickens are then collected and placed in a container, they are then taken down to the outdoor classroom area and then placed onto a bench, students will then weigh those chickens, they will record them onto the blackboard and then we will do their average growth for that particular week period. We’ll do an overall gross weight of these animals and then the students will record them in their broiler diary.

So, this is a program which continues for that eight week period and students will follow those animals’ growth patterns and also do some graphing work.

[End of transcript]

Farm assistant

Watch Farm assistant. (1:56)

Duties of the farm assistant.

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

Okay, so Ron how are the chickens going, the new chickens we’ve got? Good and got plenty of feed?

Farm assistants are a very valued important member of any school staff. At Tumut High School importantly to maintain our working relationship with that farm assistant we need to set guidelines and guidelines have been set and routines, expectations between the farm assistant and the Agriculture teacher have been met. Particular routines might be on a daily basis, could be on a weekly basis, it could also be on a monthly basis. Those routines and expectations are delivered across all staff members that work in the Agricultural farm. So we need to value that farm assistant enormously.

Once we’ve set all our expectations between the farm assistant and the Agriculture staff, we need to ensure that we then maintain our lines of communication. At Tumut we have a phone that’s located in the farm office. We have a diary, a daily diary that Ron can write notes in or Ag teachers can write notes into Ron. We have a diary that’s locate or wall calendar on the farm office wall where pertinent notes are put on a daily basis. Those notes are then put into our records and we have a good, solid bank of records on all chemicals that have been used within the farm, any sort of management activities that have occurred with machinery and also pastures.

In terms of fostering those communications it’s important that you spend time somewhere in the day to assist your farm assistant to maybe lock up sheds, put animals away, check water with the farm assistant and they’re ready to come in for the next day. We find that in the afternoon when we leave the farm hand and going back to the school is a good time, a valued time where our farm assistant and myself talk about the general day’s activities and what may be coming up within the scope of the school farm plan. So, it’s important to value that relationship and maintain that working with professional relationship and value their friendship.

[End of transcript]

Machinery – PPE

Watch Machinery – PPE. (1:18)

Importance of PPE when operating farm machinery.

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

When students learn to drive the tractor here at Tumut High School it’s important to instil in these students that they need the appropriate personal protective equipment, generally called PPE.

Jack is going to drive the tractor later on today and he’s wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment. He’s got his broad brimmed hat, which is protection against the Sun. He has his sunglasses on, protection for the eyes. He’s got his earmuffs. He’s also put on sun cream. He has his long sleeved shirt and long pants. And more importantly he has his good work boots to protect his feet.

Here at Tumut High School students learn to drive the tractor in Term 4. They use part of that term to obtain their confidence and skill in driving the tractor. The latter part of Term 4 all the students work as a team and the skills that they’ve learnt in driving the tractor to cultivate an area to be able to establish their Summer growing crop of sweet corn. So, students will cultivate that area, they’ll fertilise the area. They’ll set up the electric fence to inhibit the sheep from coming in and invading that area. They’ll also set up the automotive irrigation system so that over the Summer months the crop is growing for these students and when they come back into Year 10, Term 1 that middle part of that term the students will then harvest their sweet corn so they have an abundance of cobs to take home and enjoy the fruits of their hard labour.

[End of transcript]

Tractor maintenance

Watch Tractor maintenance. (2:53)

Regular maintenance of the farm tractor.

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

A very important part of teaching Agriculture at Tumut High School is the teaching of tractor driving to Year 9 students. And we do that important task in Term 4 of each year. The students are mentally prepared for this and while we’re doing that training in terms of the controls and the driving of the tractor, students learn very importantly the pre-operational checks.

We start with an acronym called ‘POWERA’ and students learn this in terms of maintenance of the tractor in pre-checking the tractor before they actually use that in the field. So, the ‘P’ stands for ‘power’. Obviously with the power to this particular machine is the diesel. So, we have diesel in this machine.

Moving onto the ‘O’, ‘O’ is the ‘oil’ and students need to use the dipstick to check the oil levels. If the tractor needs further oil added, then obviously we’ll add that to the container that’s required there.

We then move onto ‘W’ which stands for ‘water’. Water is significant in the fact that we have a holding container that has a coolant in it to reduce the temperature of the water as the tractor heats up that obviously then feeds to the radiator to cool down the machine while it’s being in use.

We then move onto ‘E’, ‘E’ stands for ‘electrics’ and that’s significant in the fact that students need to learn to be able to first of all identify where the battery is on the machine. To check those water levels and that then in turn is significant for the use of the lights and ensuring that things like the hazard lights, working lights are all in use when the students come to use this in the field.

We then move onto ‘R’, ‘R’ obviously is ‘rubber’ and students need to check the tread levels of the all four tyres because they need to be at industry standards in terms of safety for their own use and for the farm assistant in terms of using the tractor for his jobs.

We then move onto ‘A’ and ‘A’ is for the ‘air’ of the tractor and students need to check the air filter regularly in dusty conditions that either needs to be cleaned or replaced and using the operator’s manual to check all the specifications on that. Students are fully aware that these are a vital piece of equipment for the use of the tractor.

The other part of ‘A’ is the ‘air’ in the tyres to ensure that they are correctly inflated. Again the specifications of the tyres for this particular machine are located in the operator’s manual. So, students get a good overrun of first of all the parts of the tractor. They understand the significance and the importance of their own safety and in turn of maintaining the longevity of the machine.

This ‘POWERA’ acronym is significant in the fact that they need to look at the maintenance of the tractor before they actually use it in the field. And hopefully this instils in these students that when they purchase their own machines, whether it be a ute, a motorbike, all this sort of same sort of analogy that students are learning here in Year 9 will then transfer into their own later life.

[End of transcript]

Tractor operating

Watch Tractor operating. (1:32)

Operating the farm tractor.

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

It is essential that all students learn about the safety issues related to using any farm machinery. As teachers we have a fantastic opportunity to impart correct procedures onto these students. These procedures help to ensure safety for the operator, fellow students and workers as well as reducing the chance of damage to machinery. Students need to have the knowledge of what aspects of the machinery enhance safety for both the operator, fellow students and workers.

These features include the use of flashing lights, rollbar, earmuffs, safety boots and other personal protective equipment. All jobs require consideration of these features. Students need to understand the nature of the task to be completed in order to determine the most appropriate piece of equipment for that task.

The biggest issue with many students is that a little bit of knowledge could be dangerous. Some students have learnt incorrect procedures and are unaware of the danger this can place them in. Teachers need to make sure that the students are provided with the correct safety information to prevent serious injury whilst using any farm machinery.

[End of transcript]

The vineyard

Watch The vineyard. (0:40)

The vineyard section of the school farm..

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

Welcome to our family property which is called ‘The Vineyard Gilmore’ in the south west slopes of NSW. We’re fortunate to have this facility which is only located ten kilometres from Tumut High School. It allows the students studying Agriculture from Years 7 to 12 to come out here Wednesday afternoons all year instead of normal sport to be able to use and gain skills with cattle parading. The big advantages of doing all this at this facility is the fact that these students will gain confidence, they develop teamwork, they develop the skills of handling these animals, not only managing but also being able to parade these animals in front of a judge in a show.

[End of transcript]

Bonner fields

Watch Bonner fields. (0:18)

The Bonner fields section of the school farm.

Narrator: Tony Butler – agriculture teacher

Two blocks from the school, it’s referred to as Bonner field, it’s one point three hectares in size and that’s where we run our school cattle program where we have our three school cattle and also that’s very easy for students to walk up there as a group and work on those cattle at any time that we need to do that.

[End of transcript]


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