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Photo by Marian Mehrtens

Gateway Profile - Abby O'Brien

Marian Mehrtens —

The industry I selected was dairy farming. My work placement for the year is with Phillips Farming where I go every Wednesday for work experience.

I met with Mrs Mehrtens, the Gateway Manager in Year 11 and went for a taster day on a sheep and beef farm. This confirmed my thoughts that I wanted to join Gateway in Year 12 to gain more farming experience. This year I have been on two tasters days: Real Milk (dairy farm) and Phillips Farming (dairy farm)

The job involves general farm hand activities eg milking, shifting fences, vaccinations, separating calves from cows and shifting cows from one paddock to another. I am registered with Primary ITO and they provide farming unit standards for me. I am working on standards that teach me about safe handling and health of dairy cows, shifting electric fences and assisting with milking. Assessments are both practical and theoretical, I keep a work diary and take photos to build up evidence of my practical experience which needs to be verified by the employer and I do the theory work in my gateway class at school. When the booklets are complete the school sends them off to a Primary ITO assessor be marked.  These units could lead to an apprenticeship..

My plans for when I leave school once I get my level two are to find a full time job on a dairy farm. For future gateway students I would recommend just getting stuck in because you will learn so much more than what you already know about the industry you choose.