10 May 2023

Students given a taste of farming

| Sarah Martin
Start the conversation

Cooktown State School students visited Swiss Farms to learn about the banana industry.

COOKTOWN students gained an insight into the agricultural industry, visiting six local farming properties on a three-day field trip.

The Ag Inspirations event took Cooktown State School Year 11 and 12 students to local properties Lily Creek Farm, Ninda Creek Cattle, Mt McLean Station, Swiss Farms, Lakeland Mushroom Farm and M&M Cropping.

It provided a behind-the-scenes look at operating a farm business.

Held in partnership with the AgForce School to Industry Partnership Program, Tropical North Queensland Drought Hub and Cape York Natural Resource Management, the trip provided students with an insight into the many career pathways in the industry, as well as innovations in the agri-business sector.

“It was a terrific three days, and the students were impressed with the variety of roles and innovation within the sector,” CYNRM project officer Sienna Thomason said.

AgForce’s general manager of community engagement Tanya Nagle said Lily Creek Farm, which is solar powered and operates with electric vehicles to produce crops of dragonfruit, rambutan, jackfruit and passionfruit, provided students with a great example of innovation in agriculture.

“The students learned about the growing and harvesting techniques and even got to taste test this delicious produce,” she said.

“It was the same at Ninda Creek Cattle, where the owners have actually designed and created a lot of the equipment to use on and off the property.”

As well as exotic fruit production, students got to see large-scale banana production, crops of maize, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, lablab and butterfly peas, as well as cattle and even exotic mushrooms.

Ms Nagle said the Ag Inspirations tour focused on the student and their talents, potential and aspirations, providing a look behind the scenes at the business side of an operation, and employer-led discussions about how careers unfold.

“From an industry perspective, it also exposes young people to the range and diversity of careers within the agriculture supply chain,” she said.

“It also lifts the image of the industry and sparks more interest in and demand for ag-related traineeships.”

Start the conversation

Cape York Weekly

Subscribe to get the latest edition of Cape York Weekly in your inbox each Monday.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Cape York Weekly's terms and conditions and privacy policy.