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Beyond the Bale : September 2014
ON FARM 51 Young people are being given the opportunity to learn the practical agricultural skills needed for them to get jobs on rural properties, thanks to a new hands-on educational course being run in the western Riverina district of NSW. Newly established Hay Incorporated has launched the Hay Rural Education Program in response to concerns about the decline in the traditional jackaroo system and the associated lack of stock and other essential rural skills being handed down to the younger generation. Hay Incorporated committee member Chris Bowman said the program aims to provide young people in the region with the skills that will make them more employable. “The demise of the jackaroo system since 1990 when a lot of properties were sold, in conjunction with the increased use of contract labour, has resulted in a lack of young people with the proper training to get a job,” Mr Bowman said. “The new program, with the help of properties around Hay, aims to help reverse this trend. We have had wonderful support from farmers in the district offering in-kind support like yards, stock and quarters; plus generous financial contributions from several individuals and organisations including AWI.” AWI is a major supporter of the establishment phase of the Hay Rural Education Program, with $24,500 provided to Hay Incorporated to help develop and deliver the program. The funding was announced in June by AWI CEO Stuart McCullough at the Hay Merino Sheep Show where the new initiative was launched by Hay Incorporated. The program will focus on wool and livestock production with the key aspects of production delivered in a practical setting in partnership with woolgrowers throughout the Hay district. It will be delivered by trainers who have many years of experience on extensive rural properties. Mr Bowman said a range of course modules, all based around the production calendar for sheep and wool production, are included in the program. “It will cover sheep handling and yard work, lamb marking, vaccinating and drenching, wet and drying ewes, Merino classing and pregnancy scanning, as well as wool harvesting and handling. Fence construction and maintenance, small engine and motorbike maintenance, sheep dog training, cattle handling, and rural workplace health and safety will also be included. “We are planning the program to be an 11 day course, with blocks of training, spread over approximately a 12 month period.” The program will be piloted with 12 participants aged 17 and older from the local area. Participants will receive accreditation and certificates for the various modules. MORE INFORMATION People interested in applying to join the program should contact Sandra Ireson Program Coordinator E firstname.lastname@example.org P 0439 938 119 WHILE SUN SHINES MAKING HAY A new rural training program in the Hay district of NSW has been launched to help young people gain agricultural skills, education and experience. Hay Incorporated committee members Chris Bowman and Sandy Symons who launched the Hay Rural Education Program at Hay Merino Sheep Show in June with AWI CEO Stuart McCullough (centre). PHOTO: The Land.