Beaudesert State High School students learn ag reproduction technology

STUDENTS at Beaudesert State High School used advanced technology to enhance their cattle reproduction program yesterday thanks in part to a $3000 state government Gateway to Industry Schools program grant.

Head of Agriculture at BSHS Kate Bandrowski said students and staff were working with a range of technology related to an animal breeding system by offering an unprecedented opportunity for meeting the fast-growing meat and milk demand for humans.

With the help of Kerry dairy farmer Brian Cox, students and staff learned about the practicalities of the artificial insemination program.

Five of the school's heifers were artificially inseminated after being implanted with devices earlier this month to bring them all into heat at the same time.

Ms Bandrowski said all students in years 9 to 12 who studied agriculture were working together in order to collect production data around animal weights, oestrus (in heat) detection, monitoring and synchronisation.

"Data will be collected, collated and analysed in order to develop a plan around the use of the artificial insemination technology, this data will be recorded and analysed in order to monitor success and formulate a plan for future management of the school's breeders," she said.

"Students will be working with local producers who will form the knowledgeable others, they will support us through the use of the process for the first time, these include local vets and producers.

"The use of some technical equipment (cattle insemination endoscope and pregnancy scanner, veterinary drugs, indicators and support material) will support students in having a visual understanding of the processes associated with reproductive technologies in cattle."

Ms Bandrowski said staff and students would also take part in an embryo transfer program using the school's prime beef herd.

"This program will aim to promote this technology as a viable option in an area rich with both beef and dairy production, students will develop a strong understanding of the range of processes associated with cattle production," she said.

"Many of the students at Beaudesert State High School are potential industry participants of the future. Their involvement would potentially include managerial positions, where breeding regimes will be an important issue in improving herd outputs.

"The range of opportunities provided by this program aims not only to promote technical understanding but also to encourage students to engage with concepts around, career pathways within Agriculture.

"Through working with industry experts and local community representatives this will build confidence in communication, problem solving and working in teams."

Also present on the day was a group of student teachers from Griffith University.

One of their number, Adam Hartwig said it was a learning experience.

"This school is pretty special, what it does here," he said.