MAPP in Action

12 December 2022
Senior School

The MAPP commenced in Term 3 this year with five carefully selected students in Year 7 who piloted the program by attending school one day a week on the Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) pastoral arm property, Grandale, located at Toongi.

Congratulations to students Lachlan Hooper, Charlie Lockyer, George Mitchell, Nellie Spencer and Darcie Watts, who presented their individual projects to their families and members of the Executive team this week at the MAPP Dinner. The projects were chosen by the students in negotiation with Mr Fergus Job, Senior Manager ASM, Farming and Business Operations, Mrs Marina Simcox, Head of Teaching and Learning, and Mr Brett Haddon, Macquarie Academic Leader for Science. The students’ projects were:

Lachlan Hooper - The effects of supplementary hay: the influence of supplementary hay on short-term weight gain in cattle grazing oats.
Charlie Lockyer - The influence of cattle breed on short term weight gain: A study between Wagyu Cross and Shorthorn yearlings.
Nellie Spencer - Fertilizer Yes or No? To investigate the effect plant fertiliser has on the growth of Oats.
Darcie Watts - The effect of Beachport Minerals on sheep.
George Mitchell - A guide to feeding sheep: Hay or no hay?

The students also spoke about what a typical day on the farm would involve. Here is an extract of what they had to say: "A typical Toongi day would involve meeting at school in the morning, loading up the Everest, and heading out to either Grandale or the Site office where we would meet Mr Job and make a plan for the day. We would always have a Tool Box Talk in which we would discuss the safety requirements and make a list of the equipment we would need for the day. Once we were organised, we would get to work.

Some of the jobs we have done have been fencing, drafting sheep and cattle, marking calves, drenching and checking crops. In doing this work, we have come to realise and value the importance of Mathematics, Science and English in the agricultural world. For example, we would not have been able to do any fencing without first calculating the amount of wire and posts we would need.

We have had some interesting, new and fun experiences in our time at Toongi. Charlie has enjoyed working with the cattle and learning the Low Stress Stock handling method. George’s favourite day was a muddy one in the yards drafting some fresh cattle. Lachlan got really involved in mustering cattle and doing sheep work. Darcie has enjoyed any work that we have done with the sheep and cattle. Nellie’s highlight has been walking through the pine forest, or as she called it, the fairy trees. And we all had a fun time playing hide and seek in the crop.

We are really grateful that we were chosen to be the first students in this program and we wish to thank Toongi Pastoral Company, ASM and Macquarie Anglican Grammar School for giving us this opportunity. We are looking forward to the years to come at Toongi."

Well done and congratulations to our Year 7 MAPP students and all staff involved in this exciting Agricultural Pathways initiative.

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