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AUSTRALIA GOOD NEWS STORY: Kindergarten Students Learn Lessons in Farming Wheat & Raise Funds

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Ace Press News From Cutting Room Floor: Published: Nov.28: 2022:

#AceNewsDesk – Hermidale Public School’s first wheat crop to sell for $50,000, fund excursions

When the students at Hermidale Public School in western New South Wales planted 85 hectares of wheat at the beginning of the year, harvest seemed a lifetime away.

8 students looking at a piece of farming equipment with a farmer
Hermidale students have made about $50,000 off a wheat crop.(Supplied: Lucy Dedman)none

The children dreamed of raising enough money to fund an excursion to the beach, but never thought they’d make enough money to send the whole school around the country.

“We can’t believe what we have been able to pull off,” teacher Rebekah Coddington said.

Seven students from kindergarten to Year 6 attend Hermidale Public School, more than 600 kilometres west of Sydney.

The town had endured an anxious few weeks as flooding has engulfed much of western NSW, but Hermidale was spared the worst and this week the headers rolled out for the harvest.

“As soon as we heard the headers rumbling down the road the kids raced out of the classroom,” Ms Coddington said.

“There was so much excitement.”

Seven primary school kids sit on a park bench in front of a timber school building
The students swapped their uniforms for work shirts and boots to tend to the wheat crop.(Landline: Olivia Ralph)none

Local farmers gave up time and machinery to strip the kids’ crop.

“We didn’t get bogged once, which was really great,” local farmer and parent Darren Mudford said.

Ms Coddington said the children had “been given the opportunity of a lifetime”.

“Every member of our small community has contributed in some way, whether it be small or large, and it’s been amazing to see it come together and to finally get the crop off,” she said.

Unique learning experience

For most of the year, students swapped their school uniforms for work shirts and boots to tend to the paddock.

The land was donated by a former student and while the students weren’t able to be operating the machines, they watched on as their hard work paid off.

“It was so exciting to get to come down and see the headers in the paddock and learn how they work and then watch our grain go off in the trucks,” Year 6 student Ruby Mudford said. 

The students were then able to visit the grain depot to see their grain being tested, graded and weighed.Local farmers donated equipment to help harvest the students’ crop.(Supplied: Lucy Dedman)none

Hard work pays off

The students’ wheat crop is expected to raise up to $50,000.

About 170 tonnes of prime hard wheat was taken to the local grain depot where it will be stored before it is sold.

Former student Elly Jeffery just happened to be working at the local grain depot when the students’ crop came in.

“It’s very high in protein, the protein went 13.9 and the grade of wheat went H2, which is a really good grade of wheat,” she said.About 170 tonnes of wheat will be sold to fund excursions for the children.(Supplied: Rebekah Coddington)none

About 1,700 loaves of bread can be made from 1 tonne of wheat, meaning the students at Hermidale Public School have effectively provided enough grain to make 290,000 loaves of bread. 

“We can’t believe the tonnage,” Ms Coddington said.

Funds from the wheat sale will be given to the school’s P&C for its educational, social and cultural immersion project, which sends students on excursions around the country.

The school hopes to travel to Newcastle early in the new year to see their wheat being loaded onto a ship at the port.

ABC GOOD NEWS STORY

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