More than 20 female students from across the North West swapped the classroom for a hands-on agricultural experience in the Moree Plains with Ag Camp New England.
From cotton and cattle to pecans and aviation, the five day camp exposed Armidale, Glen Innes and Baradine students to diverse employment opportunities available in the industry.
Lead by the Department of Education Training Services NSW Regional Industry Education Partnership (RIEP), the camp aims to further student's understanding of both traditional and emerging agricultural career pathways.
RIEP senior project officer Jane Keenan said the program also allows young female students to see women involved in a field which has been dominated by men.
"We want to open up the student's eyes to all of the possibilities available in ag because it is not just about farm and cattle work, there is a whole spread of industries within ag that you can work in," she said.
"Most of the students have never seen cotton or know much about it because they aren't exposed to it in their area.
"While the camp's cattle components have been popular, our tour of Tyrone Pastoral Company, Gurley, has been the biggest hit as it allowed the students to see how sheep, cattle and cropping can work together on a family farm."
Glen Innes High School student Chloe Klinger, Glenview Park, said growing up on the land ignited her passion for agriculture.
"There is definitely more opportunities for women in the industry and these camps are allowing us to get our foot in the door," she said.
"I had no idea that there were opportunities for me to come and work out here, I wouldn't have even known where to start.
O'Connor Catholic College student Emily Simpson, Armidale, discovered her passion for agriculture inside the show ring.
"I've always wanted to be vet and after visiting the Myola Feedlot, Croppa Creek, I rang my mother and told her I want to be the vet there one day," she said.
"If you are willing to chase your dreams it will work, you have to be determined and keep pushing yourself each day to get where you want to go."
Glenn Innes High School student, Lilly Cooke, has discovered an interest in machinery.
"I've always been pretty smart at school but I like to be hands on and the machinery side of ag really makes me think," she said.
"During the camp we visited WTC, Moree, and they have apprenticeships for diesel fitters and boiler makers which I will consider applying for."
O'Connor Catholic student Erica Menzies, Castlebrook, grew up on a commercial sheep and cattle property near Uralla.
"I've wanted to be a vet, then a zookeeper and a jillaroo, but now I'm stuck on agronomy," she said.
"This camp I've seen women both inside and outside of the office making their way up the chain so I think there is plenty of opportunities to get involved."
"This camp has really instilled that and it has been great to meet like minded young women from different areas."
Baradine Central School student Emily Hoffmann, Coonabarabran, said her love for ag was sparked inside the classroom.
"You don't have to come off a farm to be passionate about agriculture," she said.
"I grew up in town but I'm pursing a career in the industry because if you have a passion you just have to go for it."
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