Moo-ving into dairy careers

Asset Publisher

25 June 2024

Events and initiatives

Students at Coodanup College had a hands-on experience taking care of two calves to learn more about careers in the dairy industry.

Over three weeks, students from Year 7 to 10 took part in the national Cows Create Careers program, funded by Dairy Australia. It provides young people the opportunity to investigate and understand the range of careers available throughout the industry.

Coodanup College received two cows from a local dairy farmer as part of the Cows Create Careers program.

Aakanksha Barla, the school’s Agriculture Education teacher, said it was a great program to engage and educate students about careers they can pursue. 

“Projects like Cows Create Careers introduces students to opportunities at vocational and university level,” she said.  

During the program, students were visited by industry advocates and local farmers who shared information about the dairy industry in Australia. Wayne, a local farmer, provided two calves to the school and taught the students how to raise and care for them. 

“[Through the program] students are able to learn technical skills of raising calves, undertaking assessment task that aligns with curriculum,” Miss Barla said.  

“They also learn how to prepare feed for calves and develop a daily routine.” 

Year 10 student Shelby Hine said she learnt a lot about the Holstein-Friesian dairy cows. 

“It was a great dairy experience,” she said. 

“My favourite part was feeding and walking the cows. It was fun to help the cows learn to run and exercise. 

Students fed and raised the calves over three weeks.

“We learnt at a certain young age the calves needed to be fed a certain amount of powdered milk, and only twice a day.” 

Students also learnt the importance of biosecurity measures, such as washing the soles of their shoes with disinfectant and washing their hands before entering the cowshed.  

Miss Barla said there were other benefits other than just technical skills.

“From the program, it has also been noticed that it enhances the mental wellbeing of students when they feed the calves or walk them outside for a while,” she said. 

The final part of the program is a student assessment presentation about their journey with the two calves and what they learnt about the Australian diary industry, natural resources, farm safety and more. 

Find out more about the program on the Dairy Australia website.