Rabo Client Council bring ag teachers to the Riverland

South Australian agricultural educators converged in the Riverland recently for Rabobank’s Teacher Farm Experience Program – a program that aims to increase the knowledge and confidence of educators to allow them to incorporate food and fibre production into their teaching programs.

Agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank, funded the two-day program for South Australian-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), digital technology and agriculture teachers to learn first-hand about the latest technology and processes used to produce food and fibre on farms across the Riverland.

Rabo Client Council chair for South Australia & North West Victoria Claire Catford said the client councils – groups of the bank’s farming clients who volunteer their time implementing programs that contribute to the sustainability of rural communities – recognise the importance of supporting and investing in ag education and educators.

“The teachers, from a range of schools across South Australia, told us the program was a valuable experience, allowing them to take real life examples back to their students in an engaging and exciting way,” Ms Catford said.

And the program also allowed the teachers to strengthen their own teacher networks, she said.

The program included visits to Banrock Station – Wine & Wetland Centre, The Almond Centre of Excellence, Biological Services, Loxton Ag High School Facilities, PIRSA’s Loxton Research Centre, Ingerson Citrus, Bella Lavender Estate and Accolade Wines’ Berri Estate.

Ms Catford said the visit to the Loxton High School’s Ag Block was invaluable to many of the teachers, showcasing how they can expand and improve their own ag facilities in their schools.

“Justine Fogden has been leading the ag department at Loxton High School for 25 years and demonstrated to the visiting teachers that if they start small, they can achieve big things. Justine has taught her students that by growing vegetables, caring for poultry and livestock and then selling these products into the local community, the kids not only learn about farming but also teaching them commercial and financial skills,” she said.

Rabobank regional manager for South Australia & North West Victoria Roger Matthews said South Australia is home to some of the most dynamic, successful and sustainable food and agribusiness organisations, with huge growth opportunities – but also challenges – ahead in helping to sustainably feed and clothe the world. The role of ag educators has never been more important in harnessing these opportunities and meeting these challenges.

“There are so many teachers doing amazing things with students already, and frequently with very limited resources other than grit and determination from the teachers themselves,” Mr Matthews said.

“To see these teachers come together and learn from each other, as well as from the visits, will continue to build capability within the schools themselves, and in turn with students alike is awesome to see. Their enthusiasm is infectious, and hopefully that can inspire the next generation.”

Teachers participating in the program came from the following schools: Blair Athol North B-6 School, Clare High School, Gawler & District College B-12, Goolwa Secondary College, Investigator College, Keith Area School, Lameroo Regional Community School, Meningie Area School, Prince Alfred College, SA Department of Education, Trinity College Gawler, Tipperary Station School, Westminster School, University of New England and Yorketown Area School.

Rabobank partnered with South Australia’s lead ag teacher Sue Pratt and the AgCommunicators team to develop and deliver the program.

 

 

Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group is a part of the international Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 120 years’ experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank is structured as a cooperative and operates in 38 countries, servicing the needs of more than nine million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1000 offices and branches. Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group is one of Australasia’s leading agricultural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the region’s food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 90 branches throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Media contacts:

Denise Shaw
Head of Media Relations
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand
Phone: 02 8115 2744 or 0439 603 525
Email: denise.shaw@rabobank.com

Will Banks
Media Relations Manager
Rabobank Australia
Phone: 0418 216 103
Email: will.banks@rabobank.com