Sustainable agriculture a hot topic for youth at SA Sheep Expo

28 June 2021

Youth from the Northern and Yorke region who attended the SA Sheep Expo in April have returned to their family farms brimming with sustainable agriculture ideas to combat drought, control soil erosion and manage pastures.

Sponsored by the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board, six youth were among 100 young sheep enthusiasts aged between 12 and 23 years to attend the three-day educational forum at the Adelaide Showgrounds in the April school holidays.

Ellie Oster, who lives on a cropping farm near Maitland, said the event was an incredible learning experience. “I went in with the mindset that it was going to be good, but I don’t think I had any idea how much I was going to learn,” said Ms Oster.

“Soils and animal management was a topic I was surprised to find really interesting,” she admitted.  

“Learning about soils and different pastures to put your livestock on was really important to me…it gave me ideas to bring back to my family farm on how we can look towards different pasture techniques in the future. This includes grazing cells and rotation to improve growth of species in pasture and nutrition, and overgrazing.”

Ella-Rose Trayhern, who lives near Burra on her aunty and uncle’s pastoral property, was keen to learn more about caring for the land and livestock after seeing the impacts of drought first-hand. “After being through a three to four year drought here, farmers are struggling with water for their stock and for feed to grow,” she said.

The Northern and Yorke Landscape Board funded six scholarships for young people from the region to attend the event to help teach strong foundational land management practices and promote the benefits of sustainable agriculture.

Board member, local farmer and SA Sheep Expo committee member Peter Angus said it was an excellent opportunity for the recipients to participate in workshops, network and develop their confidence.

“They learnt about topics like ewe management, classing, nutrition, ringcraft, marketing and soils and animal management over the three days,” he said. “Bonding with sheep and honing their skills in the handling classes provided a spectacle on the final day.”

 

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