Salesian College Cattle Scholarship Program

ASPIRING agricultural workers are busy grooming Speckle Park stud cattle for the Royal Melbourne Show next month.

Salesian College Rupertswood Year 9 students Bianca Need, Jazmine Anderson and Matt Barkman were selected in March to take part in a scholarship program run by the school and Fish Creek Farm Speckle Park stud.

The scholarship is part of the school’s agricultural program, which has run since 1927, and teaches students to prepare cattle for shows.

The three heifers, Cyndy K1, Georgia K2 and Pia K3, were donated by Fish Creek Farm Speckle Park stud principal Jason Keays, who works at Salesian as school caterer.

“The school hasn’t run a cattle program since the early 1990s, and because of my ­association through catering, I saw an opportunity,” Mr Keays said.

“The amount of kids who showed interest in the program has been outstanding, which shows there’s a real passion and desire to learn about cattle.”

Salesian College Rupertswood agriculture program co-ordinator Matthew FitzGerald said the three students spent a week at a Stud Beef Victoria handlers’ camp in July to learn about the heifers.

“They’re taught everything to prepare them for the show — how to wash, groom, lead, feed and weigh the cattle,” Mr FitzGerald said.

Student and aspiring farmer Matt Barkman said the experience was “unreal”.

“The bond I’ve grown with Georgia has just been really special,” he said.

“I can’t wait to go to the show with her.

“I want to be a farmer, so this has been the best preparation I could ever get.”

The heifers will be shown in the 14-20 month beef cattle category at the Royal Melbourne Show, which runs from September 19-29.


Source: Weekly Times

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