Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mad Cow Disease 28/10/11

It’s coming to an end. We suddenly realised that we only have a few weeks to finish. Now the rush begins. We stuck some more objects to Bessie: flying yoghurt tubs. We also added some tubes to Bessie’s udder to represent the milk going from udder to bottle. We madly run around filming for our video, collecting information for our blog and slideshow. One student remarks that she now has mad cow disease. Another, who is a technology lover, says that she’ll never touch a computer again after technical issues cause stress and frustration.

 But, we’re done. Finished. We’ve enjoyed the project, there have been ups and downs, but we have enjoyed the journey and learning about farming and the dairy industry.

Getting to the End 21/10/11

This week we made quite a bit of progress on decorating Bessie. We painted milk bottles to represent factories, and miniature toy trucks and cows to stick onto Bessie. Some of the bottles have legs, to make it look like they are walking. The urban side of Bessie has yoghurt tubs, mini trucks and buildings. We spray painted her feet to a golden gleam.

Dairy Profile 14/10/11

·         The dairy industry is one of Australia’s major rural industries.
·         Approximately 40 000 people are directly employed on dairy farms and manufacturing plants.
·         Related transport and distribution activities, research and development projects.
·         In 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip and the first fleet came ashore at Sydney Cove with 7 cows and 2 bulls bred to survive hostile environments
·         Pioneers such as John Macarthur imported dairy cattle to Parramatta Farm

Time to learn... 23/9/11

English is Bessie’s favourite subject so this week we took her to the English faculty to meet a couple of the teachers. Bessie really enjoyed meeting the teachers and their classes. She sat in while the year 12s were revising for their HSC. She really liked being able to meet new friends. Bessie is quite a popular student now!

A student holding Bessie's speech up for her to read

The Amoosing Visit 16/9/11

Today we had a special visitor, Naomi, our young farmer. She came to talk to use about the three Ps: purpose, passion and people. After some brief technical difficulties, the presentation started. First off, purpose. This one is pretty obvious. Dairy really is all around us. Think about the food you eat in a day. At breakfast you might have cereal with milk, or fruit with yoghurt, a glass of milk. Lunchtime you may have a salad and cheese sandwich, or some leftover cheese pizza. Dinner may consist of creamy pasta, or a lasagne. Dessert could be ice cream, custard or yoghurt. As you can see, dairy is everywhere. Dairy farmers have a great purpose; they give us the milk to create delicious ice cream, cheese and of course, chocolate!
The second P, passion, is a farmer’s love of the land they work on, the work they do, and the lifestyle that comes with a farmer’s job. Finally, there are the people. There is a strong stereotype of farmers. Most people think of farmers as old men, who are very uneducated and are covered in mud and poo. On the contrary, using Naomi as an example, this can be completely inaccurate. Naomi is young, female, is studying at University, and as seen in the pictures below, clearly does not wear clothes covered in mud.
Also, there are many jobs that make up the farming industry. These include agronomy (which is basically a plant doctor), sale of land, herd management, agricultural journalist, and machinery technician. There are so many different opportunities for agricultural jobs, no matter what your interests are, you could find an agricultural job that is right for you.
Naomi is a 4th generation dairy farmer, so farming really does run in her family. She is currently studying Agriculture and Business at University, and hopes to one day work as a rural lender, which means that she will help other farmers to reach their dream of running their own farm. She would also like to go into marketing, particularly that of agricultural products.
After Naomi’s presentation, and a bit of a photo opportunity with Bessie (who could forget her?), we showed Naomi our Ag plot (we took Bessie too, she really likes the Ag plot). Naomi and some students cuddled our rabbits, explored the greenhouses, stepped carefully through the chicken coop (avoiding the poo!) and went to chill out with the sheep and cows.
We enjoyed Naomi’s visit so much, and we really learnt first-hand how different our idea of a farmer is from the real thing!

Put Your Hooves Up 9/9/11

We had this idea for painting Bessie… one side would be painted to represent the rural side of dairy, like the cattle and farming. The other would represent the urban part of dairy, including factories and consumption. So with this in mind, we started to paint Bessie this week. The students enjoyed working together to paint green cows (yes, GREEN!) on rolling green hills with a beautiful clear blue sky. Following our ideas for merging rural with city, we painted trees... but not ordinary green trees! We created new species of trees, such as the Cheese Tree, which comes in two varieties, the Swiss and the Edam, and the Ice Cream Tree, which also comes in two types, the Paddle Pop and the Cone. Mmm, they look so delicious!
We also took Bessie to the office so she could meet some of the staff. Unfortunately she was wearing the wrong shoes, and she got in trouble with one of our deputies, Mr Anderson. I don’t think she’ll be wearing the wrong shoes again!
Bessie wanted to check out our library, so, after struggling to get her up the stairs, we took her there. She went straight to the computer to search for the books she wanted. After locating the agriculture books, she enjoyed reading about cows and other livestock. Then we introduced her to our librarians, who scanned the books for her to borrow them.



Oh no! Bessie's in trouble

The Moogical Mystery Tour 31/8/11

Wednesday the 31st of August, 2011. Our visual design class arrives for another lesson of showing Bessie around the school. First, we took her to the dance room, and she immediately joined in with the year 10 dance class. She enjoyed mooving to the beat and learning the class’ dance routine.
Dancing with the dance group

Next we led Bessie to another part of the Ag Plot. Here, she met our cows and sheep.
Chilling with the cows
After getting to know some of the cows, Bessie felt like doing PE. We led her up the basketball courts where she joined a year nine class in their game of basketball. After scoring a couple of goals, Bessie was quite tired and hungry, so we introduced her to some new friends. Soon, they we all chatting away and chilling out at their picnic table.

Our class

What are you looking at?


Hanging out with new friends