A group of budding young dairy enthusiasts from Great Lakes College, Forster have been awarded a second prized in this year's Mid Coast region, Cows Create Careers-Farm Module Presentation Day.
One hundred excited students and teachers from eight schools attended the high-energy event at Wauchope late last month.
Students participated in industry-based games and prizes were awarded to the project's winning teams.
The presentation day recognised schools which had a completed the project, including Taree Christian College, Kempsey High School, Hastings Secondary College, Port Macquarie, Great Lakes College, Forster Campus, Hastings Secondary College, Westport, Melville High School, Taree High School and Camden Haven High School.
Over three weeks the students completed the innovative Dairy Australia project that aims to increase the awareness of dairy industry careers in a hands-on way: students rear and care for two three-week-old calves at their school.
Each school is provided with dairy industry curriculum, at no cost.
A local dairy farmer teaches the students how to care for the calves, while an industry advocate visits the students to speak about their career in the dairy industry.
Students are required to form teams to complete assessments based on the dairy industry.
Dairy Australia lead-people, Sally Roberts said it was encouraging to see secondary students passionate about Cows Create Careers and Australia's vibrant dairy industry.
"The aim of Cows Create Careers is to increase the students' awareness of the diversity of educational pathways and career opportunities in Australia's dairy industry," Ms Roberts said.
"Through the project, students learn about the different skills required in the dairy industry in a fun and hands-on way.
"It is great to see enthusiastic students getting involved and learning about the industry, while making important connections with their local dairy community.
"The presentation day is a great way to reward and celebrate the students' and schools' dedication to the project."
Cows Create Careers was originally established in 2004 with dairy farmers in the Strzelecki Lions Club in Victoria and nine Gippsland schools.
Since 2006 the project has been supported by Dairy Australia, Regional Development Programs, dairy farmers and sponsors.
It has now grown to 259 schools across Australia with 14,245 students completing the project in 2018.
Ms Roberts said the project had received strong support from dairy farmers and advocates across Australia.
Last year alone 535 volunteers gave 2675 hours of their time across 23 Australian dairying regions.
"The project's passionate volunteers are vital to the continued success of Cows Create Careers.
"They speak to the students about their experiences in the industry, they support student career decision making, and they have important links to education and employment sectors."
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