Bundy's future taste farm jobs
MORE than 250 students from Shalom College are in the middle of 10 days of touring local farms and supermarkets around Bundaberg.
Destinations among the excursions are Austchilli, Peirson Trust Farm and Redridge Produce, at the Alloway Farm Market.
Shalom College teacher Brett Parsons said the tour was part of the grade nine geography curriculum, where students would learn about different farming practices, soil and landscape care and careers available within agriculture.
"They are studying a unit on biomes and food security and this trip is a chance to see what challenges are happening in their local area and how farms and supermarkets are meeting these challenges in a number of ways," Mr Parsons said.
"It has really given students a chance to see why Bundaberg is a beautiful place to work and live and to see how it has a thriving adaptive farming community.
"Students are challenged to see beyond the myth of the old-school farmer and to see how they have a part to play in their local area as well."
Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Kylie Jackson helped to develop the program and said the farms were selected based on diversity, to demonstrate that professions in the industry can extend beyond packing and picking.
"The purpose of this activity is to broaden the knowledge of farm operations and identify career opportunities, with each enterprise chosen for their level of versatility," she said.
"Students have gained an insight into so many different areas of the business, from tractor operators, elevated tree pickers, plant specialists and farm managers, to sales, marketing, administration and technology."
Designed to offer just a taste of the agricultural industry, the tour will also touch on the importance of choosing healthier food options and enforcing bio security measures.
"Students were able to feel quality produce and were told why avocados on the ground won't be picked up, because they didn't go through the correct washing procedure and it may have residue chemicals on it, so it really shows the processes involved to ensure only safe food is placed on our shelves," Ms Jackson said.
"This also leads to further conversation and education, because all the students meet up back at school and talk to their friends about what they learnt and vice versa."
Ms Jackson said she wanted to encourage young people to choose the agricultural industry and show local professions that are available in Bundy, proving there is plenty of opportunity to stay local.
"CQUniversity is the perfect place for higher education because it offers great courses, like research development or soil sciences, but you don't always need a degree either," she said.
"It also comes down to what employers are looking for and that is people who are hungry, and not just hungry for food.
"Employers are looking for people that are hungry to learn, hungry to work and hungry to succeed in their own lives."