The group pose with Smithfield representatives at the gates to the Proston feedlot (Photo: Smithfield)

July 15, 2021

Agriculture teachers and ag assistants from schools across the Wide Bay region had the opportunity on Thursday to visit a working feedlot when they toured Smithfield, near Proston.

The visitors, from about 20 schools, gained a first-hand look at what is involved in running a feedlot and learned how feedlots play an important role in the beef supply chain.

Smithfield Feedlot celebrated its 35th anniversary earlier this month.

It has the capacity to accommodate about 18,500 head of cattle at any one time.

Proston P-10 State School, which hosted the networking event, has a long-standing partnership with Smithfield, spanning generations.

Three generations of the Shearer-Smith family having been educated at the school.

“Smithfield sees the important connection our feedlot business has with our local community,” a Smithfield spokesperson said.

“Almost two decades ago, Smithfield helped establish the Proston State School’s rural studies program, which enables students to study subjects directly related to the agriculture sector.

“Smithfield sees providing students with an opportunity to learn more about agriculture and where their food comes as being very important.  

“The partnership combines classroom learning with real industry experience; the combination allows students to understand agriculture both in theory and in practice, which cements learning outcomes for the children.”

The Wide Bay Ag Teachers network brings together teachers and assistants from Bundaberg and Monto, west to Mundubbera, and east to Kilcoy, Gympie and Noosa.

Most of the schools participate in an annual Hoof and Hook event, which travels around the Wide Bay region every year.

The 2022 Hook and Hoof is scheduled to be held in the South Burnett which is why Proston P-10 hosted this year’s networking event.

“The visit is about giving practical business exposure to teachers, who for many will be seeing a feedlot for the first time,” Proston P-10 Ag Science teacher Katrina Hayward said.

“They want to gain an understanding of the business production systems, the skills required to work at a feedlot and career opportunities for school leavers.”

Smithfield were excited to showcase their feedlot to promote the career opportunities available to students within the feedlot industry.

The agriculture teachers and ag assistants toured Smithfield’s feedlot operation near Proston (Photo: Smithfield)

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