In fact, according to Agriculture Coordinator Bob Mitchell, approximately two-thirds of graduates have studied Agriculture at some stage during their time at Faith, and even more, have experienced involvement in one of the College’s three livestock clubs.
The Cattle, Sheep and Goat Club teams have become an integral part of College life. Livestock clubs form early in the year at Faith College, with students spending over six months of recess and lunchtimes tending to the animals in their club of choice. The animals are passionately cared for by students and the Agricultural team, while they learn how to prepare and handle the Steers, Wethers and Goats for the Royal Adelaide Show. Older students mentor younger students and the clubs become a close-knit team, which becomes undeniably evident during Show week.
The approach to the Clubs is much like any activity at the College – a community of people coming together to create something truly special. This includes the students and staff that work tirelessly over many months and a stream of volunteers and donors that loyally contribute to the College community. For over three decades the College has benefited from the support of many long-term partners. This year Faith Lutheran College exhibited four steers, generously donated by the following people:
- DC & RD Leese – Davelle South Devons, Jamestown
- Ken Modra – Limek Limousin Stud, Bordertown
- R.M. Wilson & Son – Oakwood Red Poll Stud, Birdwood
- John & Caroline Hassing – Carrical, Angaston
As is the community at Faith, the father and son team, Bruce and Craig Doecke of Angaston Transport transported the four steers to Adelaide, as they have done for the past 35 years. It’s the time and generosity of people like the Doecke’s that enables the smooth and safe arrival of the animals to the Show.
Early in the year Merino Wethers arrived at Faith. This year Sheep Club students sourced the animals and it was fantastic to be working with the wonderful bloodlines of the Collinsville Stud Merinos. Students learnt best practices in quiet handling and were checking these animals daily. Also learning about livestock selection, nutrition, fleeces and structure. Staff and students were impressed by the weight gains as the year progressed, and the gentle temperament of the sheep, which allowed the College to showcase these animals in the best possible way. Each year senior students with a passion for shearing are given the opportunity to assist in the team preparation with the crutching of the sheep, which is always appreciated. The knowledge that the students gain also helps them when they participate in the fleece and sheep judging competitions whilst at the Royal Adelaide Show.
The goats also have a story, with Faith alumni, Tracy Bonython of Bon Chevon supplying Boer Goat kids for students to work and prepare for show. Tracy and Owen Bonython donated goats to 4 schools and their bloodlines dominated throughout all classes of judging.
Travel, early mornings and hard work all feature at the Show, and the support of families are integral to enabling students to be involved. Whilst some may measure show success by the number of ribbons, for Bob Mitchell and his team including, Marianne Nelson, Craig Moore and Sean Johnson; it’s the energy, passion and teamwork displayed by students and the Faith community that is the real highlight of the Show competition. With several Alumni students dropping by to say hello and offer a helping hand, it is clear that the connections developed in Agriculture at Faith extend well beyond the classroom walls.
This year the Faith Lutheran College community was thrilled to receive the following ribbons:
- 1st Place Bon Chevon Riff
- 2nd Place Bon Chevon Raff
- 2nd Place Bon Chevon Nemo
- 2nd Bon Chevon Chester
- 3rd Bon Chevon Marcus
- 4th Bon Chevon Jerry
- 3rd Bon Chevon Popcorn
- Reserve Champion Wether Under 35Kg : Bon Chevon Riff
Sheep with 2 teams of wethers
- 1st Prize for Highest Weight Gain by a group (They achieved a whopping 161kg gain over the last 10 months!)
- 3rd prize for Best Presented pen of 3 wethers
- 2nd Prize for Highest Weight Gain by a group
- 8th prize for Best Presented pen of 3 wethers
- 2nd Place in the Junior Merino Sheep Judging Competition – Lacey-May
- 4th Place in the Junior Merino Sheep Judging Competition – Jessica
- Second Place: Export Led Steer Class
- Fourth Place: Export Carcase
- First Place TFI Team of 3 steers as a representative of the Limousin breed.