ONE Central West school is taking agricultural education to the next level, conducting a paddock to plate learning program and event with their sheep and pigs this year.
Lake Cargelligo Central School (LCCS) is bringing together students within the technology and applied studies area, including agriculture and food technology, in a series of learning experiences that will culminate in one big cook up.
In particular, students in year 9 and 10 who are taking part in the agriculture subject are currently completing a pig industry topic that will contribute to the event.
Every two years the school run a pig topic as part of their term one agriculture curriculum to give students a chance to experience a range of livestock industries.
"This year we have two Landrace pigs, one gilt and one boar called Peppa and George, from a local breeder in Lake (Cargelligo)," LCCS agriculture teacher Tara Ireland said.
Last year they borrowed and returned pigs to local breeders, but this year LCCS registered with PigPass, a national tracking system of real time information and movements of pigs within the industry, so they will keep the pigs and show them before they are processed.
"The students weigh the pigs weekly, and have formulated a ration that the pigs are on," she said.
"They soak the grain morning and night, and a grower pellet with meat meal and canola meal is fed."
Attending the Forbes Stud Pig Sale educational day on May 8 and learning about the industry and skills relevant to pig handling and live assessment, Ms Ireland said the students were keen to see the final product once the animals were processed.
"The pigs will go to the Dubbo Show (this weekend), along with the purebred White Suffolk lambs in the prime lamb hoof and hook competition," she said."Following Dubbo they will be taken to the abattoir at Cowra for processing."
Students in the food technology classes will then join the journey as they create a meal using the meat from pigs and lambs in term four. It will conclude a year of hands-on learning and experiencing what agriculture is all about - producing food to feed consumers.