Sprigs of agricultural careers sprouted in school
Students at a WA high school have stepped way beyond the normal science class veggie patch.
While student-grown vegetable gardens are common in high schools nationwide, Pemberton District High School students have gone a step further and become a supplier to major local supermarkets.
The students were able to branch out into the wholesale and marketing parts of the ag industry after the Federal Government invested funding into the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden National Program in 2012.
A local family donated a plot of land across the road from the school in south-west WA, which students started using as a market garden in November 2014.
Less than a year later, students are selling wholesale produce at farmers' markets and at local supermarkets in Pemberton and Bridgetown.
Teachers say they are not only learning about growing and cooking food, but are getting valuable lessons in local industry and commerce as well.
Pemberton design and technology teacher, Charlie Chadorowski, told the ABC that the program had even prompted “huge interest” amongst the students in pursuing a career in agriculture.
“We need to ensure the students understand that this is our base and the employment opportunities are growing in that area,” he said.
“This is to get them interested and to develop skills in that area.
“And maybe point them towards tertiary studies in agricultural sciences.”