Longerenong College students tour industries

LONGERENONG College students got a taste of different agriculture opportunities as part of an annual tour.

Teacher Bryan Matuschka said as part of the tour last week, students visited a range of different farming operations across the state.

“The first day we went to the western district and went to a sheep stud and an angus cattle stud,” he said.

“We went to a fruit and vegetable market in Melbourne, Genetics Australia and then MPH Agriculture, which is a sewerage treatment plant that has a broadacre cropping farm attached to it.

“We then went to Nufarm in Melbourne before we travelled up to Eildon and visited the Snob’s Creek Fish Hatchery.”

Students travelled to the Yarra Rangers and visited a cattle stud, before heading to Shepparton to tour a dairy.

“Finally on the last day we went to a Katunga Fresh Tomatoes and looked at the glasshouses there, before going to Rex James Stockfeeds,” Mr Matuschka said.

“We covered a lot of territory and the students were pretty tired at the end of it – it was pretty quiet in the dormitories on Thursday night.”

Mr Matuschka said the tour was beneficial for the college students. “We try to expose the students to areas of agriculture they haven’t had a lot to do with before,” he said.

“In the Wimmera we mostly have dryland broadacre crops and while we do animal subjects at the college too, it was good for them to experience different areas and see the large variety of options there are in agriculture.

“The message we got from a lot of the speakers was that they started somewhere else and ended up there.

“We got good feedback from the students as well.”

Mr Matuschka said the tour had visited the same places for the past few years, but he was always open to new ideas.

“We are looking at different suggestions and have a few things in the pipeline for next year, including a camel dairy for something that is completely different,” he said.

“It is the same tour for us, but it’s a new group of students each year.

“We also now have a reliable network of good speakers as well.

“The businesses are always happy to have the students there.

“The students are always really engaged in the tours and ask lots of questions, which is good.”