Kempsey High School Agricultural Program
Its 8.15am at Kempsey High and the Agricultural program is already in full swing. Cattle are being yarded and moved through the crush, head stalls are fitted, and like a well-oiled machine everyone works together to get the job done. The students from the Kempsey High Agricultural Student Association program (KHASA) work with confidence and a true sense of pride and self-direction.
“I have been in Ag since Year 7. I’m in Year 11 now and come here as a volunteer. I have handed over to the next KHASSA group, so I’m just here to support Sauly, he is amazing,” says student Drew Walsh. His mother, Jane Walsh, is just as positive about the program. “I’m here to support the school and students in this program. It’s good to be involved in your children’s education. My son has been in Ag since Year 7 and will be doing Ag at Uni. This is a great initiative.”
Much of KHASA’s success is due to the leadership and approach adopted by Gavin Saul, Head of the Kempsey High School Agricultural Program. Gavin has implemented a model that divides the farm into enterprises with students rotating through all the tasks and activities. Enterprise Leaders ensure that tasks are completed and reported to Gavin through the Executive Team which is also comprised of students.
The facility provides students with the opportunity to work with, and monitor the development of feed crops as well as a range of animals including pigs, sheep, rabbits, cattle, guinea pigs, goats and horses. There is also a maintenance shed for the machinery and equipment, and an equipment shed that houses the requirements for attending shows.
At the time of interview, there was an extra air of excitement onsite with preparations for Wingham Beef Week Show in full swing. A mixed breed steer is being taught to stand for the judge as Year 8 student Charlie Supple finalises preparations for the Show’s Hoof and Hook section.
“His name is Boofhead and I really want him to win. I’ll miss him, but it’s all part of the process and we understand that,” says Charlie.
The KHASA program is a self-directed student run model that enables participants to shine. It provides an environment where individual commitment and dedication is rewarded with results, and all students can contribute at their own level. The enterprise model’s team approach ensures that a diverse education is available to all involved. Congratulations to Gavin Saul, Shannon Dowling, the students and the Agriculture faculty of Kempsey High School.
Learning & Affiliations
For information on upcoming Agricultural Shows, Rules and Regulations for NSW visit the website.