Twin sisters Ashlin and Shawna Swann are boosting their skills on a handpiece thanks to on-farm training and online videos through Agricademy’s WOMOlife courses. They’re also earning good money while they learn.
At 14, the Wairoa College teens are already competent shearers, encouraged by their family, and they’re keen to upskill further. They mostly work in the school holidays, and lambing season is when the work really kicks in. They shear their own pet lambs, as well as helping their dad with his lambs, and earn extra money crutching too.
The sisters recently attended a three-day in-shed WOMOlife training course at Tautane Station, Herbertville, where they learnt new skills to add to their toolkit, and how to use a grinder – vital for any budding young shearer.
The training covered all aspects of working in a shed, including pressing, grinding and sweeping. They are using the online video content to learn more, including the different positions used in shearing, and the importance of exercise and healthy eating.
Mum Sonya was keen for them to attend the course, after hearing about it from another student. “Shearing is our background. We’re farmers and we all shear. It’s a good after-school, holiday or weekend money maker. The feedback I got from Tautane was awesome. They learnt new skills to add to what they have already, it was definitely a bonus.”
Said Ashlin: “You can make lots of money, it’s cool and it’s a good skill to know.”
Agricademy is currently running an offer for all high schools to purchase specific online content in wool and dairy, for an unlimited number of students for just $1000 + GST.
Students can get a head start in ag watching the online bite-sized videos.
Housed under the Agricademy brand are two “stalls”: Get Milking, for dairy, and WOMOlife, for wool.
Waikato farm advisor Regan McCorquindale encourages those new to the dairy industry to watch the online training.
“The online component is essential and would help you feel more comfortable when you get to a farm and you’re familiar with the way that the cow shed works, the cupping works, the whole process from start to finish.”
Each student will have access to over 50 videos introducing them to roles on farm and in shed.
Videos can be watched at any time and from anywhere, or a school may decide to make the content part of inquiry learning or classroom learning.
Students would have access to the resources for a single school year.
Learn more by visiting Agricademy.co.nz
Disclaimer: Dean Williamson, CEO of AgriHQ, is an Agricademy shareholder