FOR many teenagers, planting their own canola crop would be a pipedream, but Natimuk 14-year-old Cassie Hateley decided to take on the challenge. Cassie lives with her family on a 3000 acre cropping farm.
“We grow canola, lentils, barley, wheat, vetch and beans,” she said.
The Horsham College student has been helping out on the farm for many years and even sometimes helps drive the header. This year she decided get her hands truly dirty and plant her own canola crop.
“At my old school (Holy Trinity Lutheran College) this year we were doing this little project. I decided to have my own paddock for the whole season,” she said.
“So I’ve sown it and helped dad with the spraying, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to harvest it because it’s been frosted.
“But it would have been harvested at the end of the season.”
Cassie said she facing problems such as frost and lack of rainfall helped her see the challenges farmers had everyday.
“It’s been a good experience; other kids who live on farms should do it if they can. This would help them get used to understanding what actually happens,” she said.
Although she has a passion for farming, Cassie said she wasn’t sure if it was the career path she wanted to follow.
“I’m not sure yet; I’m just enjoying helping out when I can,” she said.
Unfortunately the canola crop was too damaged by frost to be harvested and baled.
“Dad’s not sure what we’re going to do with it; we’ll probably just leave it and at the end of season we’ll probably mow it down,” Cassie said.
Cassie’s mum Jo Hateley said she was proud of what her daughter had achieved.
“I think it’s a good experience for kids to do and see if farming is something they would like to do,” she said.
“Sadly, it’s been really good to show her that farmers do have good and bad years.
“Although nothing is going to come of it, it shows her just what real farming life is like.”