Students make friends while getting their hands dirty at UWS agriculture camp


Date: 09/08/2002

With crippling drought affecting the New South Wales farming community, agriculture would perhaps be the farthest thing from the minds of young teenagers thinking about their career prospects.

Not so for the 103 enthusiastic students who recently took part in the University of Western Sydney's 2002 Junior Agriculture Camp, held at the Hawkesbury Campus.

Organised by the University's School of Environment and Agriculture, Ag Camp allows students from across 30 schools to join in and experience the realities of farming life.

According to Mr Ken Langford, UWS Lecturer in Systems Agriculture, this year's Ag Camp was a great success, giving staff and students a chance to interact, network and enjoy themselves in a mutually beneficial weekend.

"This learning environment provides opportunities for the students, who may not have access to facilities at their school, to gain knowledge and develop practical skills in agriculture," said Mr Langford.

"Current UWS students also benefit by acting as mentors - taking these students under their wings for three days to help them make new friends and learn about farming activities."

This year's participants learnt about sheep shearing and drenching, shed management, deer husbandry, how to operate a cattle crush, horse husbandry and farm machinery safety and maintenance.

Students also took part in the Agricultural Mini-Olympics, where their skills, teamwork and creativity were put to the test in events such as fencing, cattle and sheep yard work, chemical safety gear relay, woolclassing and loading and securing bales of hay.

And once the hard work was over, there was time to enjoy the Ag camp Bush Dance!

"It was a fantastic camp this year - students had a great time, according to their feedback. Next year will be Ag Camp's Tenth Anniversary and we are planning a big reunion of previous staff and students," said Mr Langford.

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For more information or requests for interviews:
Asha Chand
Snr.Media Officer
Phone: 9678 7429
Email: a.chand@uws.edu.au

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