and these Year 7s:
These girls from the Yr 9 AFO class have been helping to decorate Hidey today:
and these Year 7s:
by Olivia S. (Year 9)
- GiG is an award-winning program that has been helping secondary school students and teachers explore the use of gene technology in modern agriculture.
- GiG has been going on for 10 years, starting in SA in 2004 and Vic 2006.
- GiG Victorian team travelled to deliver workshops to schools in the Warrnambool and Timboon area.
- They offer different types of workshops like a DNA manipulation workshop and an Issues in Gene Technology workshop.
- A "Science Experience" for 75 South Australian High School students and 10 University Mentors was conducted at the University of Adelaide on January 15th, 2014.
- Real-life Australian research examples are discussed during Get into Genes, providing the ‘hook’ students need to grasp and remember concepts.
- Three students attending the Get into Genes activity appeared as a feature article in the South Australian newspaper, "the Advertiser".
- The GiG team consists of: Dr Monica Ogierman, Ms Belinda Griffiths, Ms Alison Wilson and Ms Sian Fitzpatrick.
- Their goals in the program are:
1. To increase understanding of secondary school students and their teachers of the applications of gene technology in agriculture.
2. To raise awareness of the benefits of modern agricultural research.
3. To generate informed decision makers within the general community with respect to agricultural biotechnology.
4. To stimulate an interest in careers in the agricultural biotechnology field.
5. To empower secondary school teachers with the knowledge and confidence to incorporate agricultural biotechnology into their school lessons.
These facts have been gathered from the following source:
Field to Food – Science at Work!
by Reanna C. (Year 9)
1. Multiple grains are grown in factories and paddocks around Australia each year. They grow naturally in winter and spring, but can be grown all throughout the year artificially.
2. There is a very rigorous grain selection done out in the field where many grains are tested for their health and use for making food and produce for animals. The grains with the best attributes are then shortlisted for a crossing line, where grains are mixed together.
3. The heads of some grains are removed in the factory. This is so the farmers and manufacturers are in total control and can change the male grains into females if they wish.
4. The grains have bags put over them to bring effects similar to birth control, where the “father” of the grain can be entirely controlled. The bags are put over the grains to stop pollination in certain plants.
5. F1 or F2 plants are the names given to plants in the first few generations after being crossed. Tests are run on these grains to ensure that the proper genes are still in their DNA. The ones that have changed too much or are not growing as they should be are discarded.
6. Thousands of 4sqm plots are maintained to test the many different varieties of grains. Thousands may be tested and only 2 or so released, as only the best quality and the most properly crossed grains are exported. Bags of grain are taken away from the plot and put into machines so they can eliminate the poorly grown ones.
7. There are plots in various places in Australia, so it can be ensured that these crossed grains can grow in different environments and climates.
8. Tens of thousands of grains are screened, and the ones that get through the tests are kept away to be tested once again a year later at different locations around Australia. Machinery is used to help load the grains, and so more complex patterns can be completed by robots that humans may be incapable of.
9. Different sites around Australia have different expectations for quality of grain, as these grains are all sent to different areas where the highest quality may not be necessary.
10. This can change the screening and testing process for certain farmers and manufacturers. There may be a smaller number of tests, fewer grains being tested or a stricter approach to how many are discarded and which grains should be able to pass through and exported.
These facts have been gathered from the following source:
by Joanna N. (Year 9)
Did you know...?
1. One frost can destroy an entire crop!
2. The annual economic impact of frost on wheat and barley production in Victoria and South Australia combined is estimated at $95.8million and $33.6 respectively. So even modest improvements in frost tolerance can deliver tens of millions of dollars of benefit to the industry.
3. ACPFG stands for “The Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics.”
4. IRIP proteins have been identified as one of the greater affinity with water.
5. Low temperatures of liquid inside plant cells freezes and forms ice crystals. These pierce the cell membranes causing tissue damage.
6. Frost damage is less severe in the leaves and stems of cereal crops in comparison to the flower because due to the presence of ice recrystallization inhibition proteins.
7. IRIPS are found in all cold tolerant cereals including wheat, barley and rye. They are not present in more temperate cereals such as maize and rice.
8. IRIPs act like antifreeze.
9. IRIPS sit outside the plant cells and bind with ice crystals as they form, inhibiting the growth of large ice crystals.
10. ACPFG has four nodes throughout Australia. The headquarters is at the University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus, the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland and the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) at La Trobe University.
These facts have been gathered from the following source:
The Art of Agriculture!
On Friday 8th August, our amazing Young Farmer Champion, Jessica Kirkpatrick visited our school and spoke to all of Year 9 during an assembly. Many of the students wrote up what they found interesting and what they learnt during the talk. Below are excerpts from some of those students.
I learnt many things from Jessica’s presentation about agriculture. She started her talk by making us close our eyes and picture what we had for breakfast. She explained to us that the slice of toast we had for breakfast didn’t just come from the store, a lot of hard work was put in to make it. I learnt that farmers work very long hours, they can start early in the morning and work late into the night. There are many steps to maintaining the crops, a few of these include: preparing the ground, soil tests, removing the weeds. Jessica’s speech really made me appreciate the food that we have and taught us all a lot.
During the talk today, I learnt about grain production in Australia. I learnt that an agronomist is someone who looks after crops and tests their health. Another word for an agronomist is a crop doctor. Jessica said that now is the time to get a job in agriculture because they can earn up to $80,000 a year, which is more than some veterinarians.
I learnt that there are a log of jobs to do with agriculture and some of those are ones you would not expect. Politicians, software developers, vets and teachers are just a few of them. You don’t have to grow up on a farm to work in agriculture.
Jessica came to our school to talk about grains and career paths to do with agriculture. She talked about the process of collecting the grains which was something I had never heard of before. I learnt about the different grains such as: wheat, barley, canola and others. This has opened my eyes to career possibilities as we begin to make our choices for subjects to come.
During Jessica’s speech I learnt that on her farm they own 12,000 sheep and have 3,000 acres of land. Jessica was never forced into agriculture, she thought that she would become a teacher like her mum, but she really enjoys agriculture now.
Bunkers are long rectangular containers and they can hold 20,000 tons of wheat grains. In summer Jessica works 10-14 hour long days, so that’s over 70 hours a week.
I learnt that at certain times of the year crops such as corn, wheat, barley and canola are sewn in the ground with big machines. Pesticides are sprayed; if they spray at the wrong time their crop will be ruined. The crop is harvested with big machines that collect them efficiently. They are then taken to the place where it is tested and distributed.
During this powerful and informative speech I learnt many things regarding agriculture and how it is a growing industry. Agriculture and farming is so much hard work, I don’t think I realized how appreciative I should be of the bread I eat thanks to the long hard hours farmers work each and every day. All so we have the best quality of food on our plates.
I found it interesting that they burn their crops for the new harvesting season, and how a lot of planning and big thinking goes into the structure of farming. I learnt a lot in this talk and began to think of what I want to do when I leave Kilbreda. Jess is an inspiration for all young people wanting to follow a dream.
Agriculture encompasses meat, grains, clothing, cereals and so much more. Benefits can include earning $80,000. But it’s well earned. Some farmers spend 10-14 hour days. 1700 grains go into one loaf of bread. 12,000 sheep can be found on a sheep farm. Jessica was very informative and good at her job.
During Jessica’s talk today it was interesting to learn that farmers often burn their paddocks after their crop is harvested. I also learnt how many tons of grains can be stored in the bunkers and how the silos are sorted into different qualities of grains.
Before Jessica spoke to us, I believed that to work in agriculture meant you owned a farm. Now, I have learnt that you don’t have to work on a farm to pursue this career. Agriculture needs teachers, scientists, vets, journalists, artists and lots more. It doesn’t matter what job you wish to take there are options in agriculture for you.
Today Jessica came in and talked to us about agriculture. It was very interesting. I did not know much about farming and grains but after the presentation it really opened my eyes to see how lucky we are to have such good farmers to put food on our plates.
I gained a deeper understanding of the strenuous production process of grain, from the day the land is sewn, to when the grain is sent to silos for storage. Grains are harvested using large machines called headers which collect the grain (chopping the head off the crop) and are even able to continue harvesting at night.
Overall I gained a greater appreciation for the agricultural industry and the processes which lead to products provided for the greater population, us.
We learnt about the several job opportunities in the agricultural area. You don’t have to be brought up in a farming family to have these opportunities open to you. By choosing a path in agriculture you gain great, useful knowledge. All in all, everybody in the theatre walked away with a greater knowledge about something so important.
I learnt so much. I learnt that when producing the grains you need to plan out when and where because otherwise you could kill your crop. I also learnt that agriculture can lead to many jobs, like in teaching, science, farming technology, vet, journalism etc. I thought that Jessica’s presentation opened my eyes to new opportunities that I could have in the future.
On the 8th August, Jessica, a 19 year old agricultural student talked to us about her wheat farm and agricultural career. She showed us buckets of wheat and canola. It was great to see someone so passionate. It’s really important for us to learn about where our food comes from.
There are many things that go into agricultural farming such as such as harvesting, grain testing and quite a few other jobs. The steps that you do in order for laying the crops down and harvesting are: first, it starts in the office where you check and test the soil for weeks and any other bugs and pesticides. Then you prepare the soil and turn it. Once the grains get sewn, it gets continuously monitored and managed, checking for weeds and bugs. If the grain outgrows the weeds then the grain will kill the weed off by stealing all the sunlight.
The best way to keep a crop healthy is to have a really good management plan to keep the crops healthy.
Jessica lives in Wagga Wagga and she has a passion for agricultural education. She completed her degree in agricultural sciences. Her visit today gave me an insight into the many career pathways that agricultural work provides. It also helped me, personally, to pick subjects that have many open opportunities.
Those grains on Hidey are looking really great. Big thanks to our latest artists in residence, Yr 8s:
And the following Year 9s:
With the decorating progressing nicely, it was time for Hidey to make her first whole school appearance at a school assembly. The last time the whole school saw her was at the unveiling back in June and she looks very different now. She wasn't a bit nervous getting up in front of the whole school; in fact she quite enjoyed all the attention.
Our art leaders did a wonderful job of telling the school about Hidey and the Archibull project. They didn't seem nervous either! Well done girls.
Here is the transcript of their speech:
Arts Leaders speech
Kilbreda has been successfully accepted to participate in the 2014 Archibull prize.
Some of you may have not heard of it yet, So what is the Archibull prize? It is an Art4Agriculture initiative delivered with the support of our project partners as an integrated curriculum program. It is all about engaging the community with agriculture!!
-Here is what we’ve been working on!
(Show pictures). The year 8’s and 9s have been helping out with designing the cow.
-On the 7th of August a guest speaker from the grain industry Jessica Kirkpatrick will be speaking to all the year 9s about more information.
Keep updated and add anything you like by emailing Ms Donoghue.
All you creative minds this is your opportunity to participate and get involved.
-THIS IS OUR COW
We’d like to congratulate CHARLOTTE H. in YEAR 8 for winning the competition on naming the cow.
And GEORGIA C. for having the best design chosen for “Hidey.”
-SO WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW?
As the theme for our cow is GRAINS, we are currently painting the cow before applying our design of the grains.
Below is the transcript of the interview that took place with Jessica Kirkpatrick our young farming champion.
Year 9 students involved in the interview:
Melanie, Emily, Eliesha, Olivia.
1. What is your daily routine for work? From getting up in the morning to going to sleep at night.
At 6 – 7.30 am I get ready for work. Then I test grain trucks to see the quality of the grain. I usually test 500 grain trucks per day with 3 other girls, for 70 hours a week during the harvest period.
2. Why did you want to become a wheat farmer?
I was always keen on helping farmers improve crop production, it very exciting as technology is changing all the time.
3. How long does it take for wheat to be produced?
It takes 5 – 9 months to grow wheat, but Winter wheat needs a cold period and it takes longer to be ready to harvest.
4. Do you only just farm wheat or do you also grow other grains or vegetables?
We only grow oats, barley and wheat. We are traditionally sheep farmers, so crops are part of the crop rotation, to help improve our pasture and grains.
5. What major companies do you sell your wheat to?
We get $290 per tonne for the wheat and a truck holds 16 tonnes. We usually sell it to companies which have the highest price. this might be places like Grain Corp, Viterra or Broadbent Grain.
6. Have you always wanted to be a wheat farmer? If not, what else did you want to do?
I have always been involved in operations on the family farmer. The thing that got me interested in Agriculture was doing a year 9 elective when I was at school.
7. Can you please outline a profile of your farm/your work in the agriculture sector?
I test grain from October to February, then I study for my agriculture degree and visit other farms.
8. What do you like most about living in rural Australia?
I love the animals, space and picturesque scenery. We have a good community where we know everyone..
9. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing agriculture in this country?
Some of the challenges we face are the rail transport from port to port around Australia.
There are ageing farmers, however there are more young people seeking employment opportunities in the sector.
10. Why did you want to become a Young Farming Champions
It is important to have agricultural education, to have the connection between farm and food. I love showing consumers how their food comes from paddock to plate.
11. Why do you think it’s important for urban and rural communities to work together?
Its important rural communities showcase what they have to offer to those from an urban background. I think people from urban areas have in invested interest in food and fibre- you can see this with community gardens.
12. How do you stop vermin getting into the grain when it is being stored on the ground in the bunkers?
To avoid the vermin eating the grain we spray insecticide in the bunker where the grain is stored. We put a tarp on the ground with the concrete barriers and it is tied up every day.
Live update from the textiles room: more students are busy decorating Hidey! These Yr 9 girls are
Gemma R and
Keep up the good work girls, Hidey is looking great.
We are very much looking forward to meeting our Young Farming Champion, Jessica Kirkpatrick, tomorrow when she visits the school. All of year 9 will have an opportunity to hear her speak and ask questions. Later she will be getting to know the team and meeting the real Hidey.
Watch this space for our reports on Jessica's visit.