Geography farm visit
Geography trip to the farm
On a beautiful spring morning the students climbed aboard the school minivan (once we had found the keys and managed to get it started) and headed south to Carterton.
We were going to Ray Craigs farm to try and get our heads around the issues of sustainability on a dairy farm. This was required so that the students could attempt an NCEA standard to gain credits.
On arrival Ray gave us a run down on the farms Health and Safety policy – a requirement in any workplace these days – before telling us about what happens on his farm.
We started by the milking shed and discussed the amount of water used, where it comes from and where it ends up. The volumes were staggering and amazed the students as they previously had no idea. The waste treatment was also quite impressive, sorting the solids from the liquid to enable more efficient disposal around the farm in the form of fertilisers. The increased use of solar power on the farm was also quite impressive and apparently makes huge power savings for them.
We looked at breeding and why certain cows are favoured, the milking process, riparian planting to help protect the waterways and encourage wildlife, and the rotation of cows around the paddocks to help make them a sustainable resource.
At the end of the trip most of the students were reluctant to return to school as it was such a nice day and they had enjoyed the experience so much.