Finley High School will send a team of almost 50 students to the Royal Melbourne Show this year as part of its agricultural curriculum.
The school’s students are a regular sight at Melbourne and other agricultural shows, parading beef and dairy cattle and showing sheep.
The school has an ‘ag lot’ where the students raise, feed, groom and prepare the young stock as part of the school curriculum spanning from Years 7 to 11.
Agriculture teacher Robyn O’Leary said there would be about 35 students taking the three-hour trip with the beef shorthorn cattle to the Royal Melbourne Show, as well as a contingent taking the sheep and other stud cattle.
‘‘This is our biggest event for the year,’’ Ms O’Leary said.
‘‘We also go to the Benalla, Numurkah, Cobram, Albury and Yea shows.’’
The sale of sheep and cattle goes back into the agricultural program so most of the costs are covered.
Ms O’Leary said they were concerned about how the drought was going to affect their program.
‘‘We use quite a lot of feed because our ag lot is not that big.
‘‘We’ve been lucky because a lot of our fodder is donated, but that will get a lot more difficult if the drought continues.
‘‘During the last drought we had to buy in some hay, and that can be a big cost.’’
Part of the success of the school’s program has been the generous support of the district farmers who have provided stock, feed and quality genetics for breeding.