Strawberries provide students sweet opportunities

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L-R Ray Daniels of Berry Yummy marketing and owner of Sunray strawberries, Sunshine Coast Councillor Jenny McKay, Sunshine Coast Councillor Greg Rogerson, Nambour State College Principal Dr Wayne Troyahn , Nambour State College Head of Agriculture and Home Economics Sheldon Free.

Students at Nambour State College (NSC) are gaining valuable horticulture and agriculture skills, preparing them for a future that is healthy, smart and creative.

Division 10 Councillor Greg Rogerson and Division 5 Councillor Jenny McKay have donated divisional funds to assist the college with its Strawberry Patch Project, officially opened today (July 12).

The project was born when former students Ray Daniels, of Berry Yummy marketing and owner of Sunray strawberries, joined forces with Rod Spackman, another former student, now a local farmer and current parent of NSC students.

They decided to revisit their high school and teach students about farm management, marketing agricultural science and agribusiness through planting, maintaining, picking and distributing strawberries.

The aim was to plant a strawberry crop for the students to get hands-on experience and potentially spark future interest and career opportunities.

Cr Rogerson said it was great to see projects like this one take off.

“This type of real life project can spark interests they may wish to pursue later in life,” Cr Rogerson said.

“The Nambour State College students already have a unique agricultural department.

“They are the only Education Queensland school dairy farm and have a dairy cattle show team, equestrian team and miniature horse show team.

“It seemed only fitting they expand their agricultural interests to strawberries.”

Councillor McKay said students and staff had done a wonderful job looking after the strawberries and she and Cr Rogerson were more than happy to assist the school by funding stalls and equipment for local markets.

“It’s great to see a school being so proactive, with plentiful supply, the strawberries are being sold at the local Yandina market and Hinterland Harvest markets to help raise funds for a new farm shed, their cattle show team truck and more opportunities for students,” Cr McKay said.

“The strawberries are also being sold through the school’s tuckshop and being used in their home economics department.”

Nambour State College Head of Agriculture and Home Economics Sheldon Free said the Strawberry Patch Project showed students just how much work goes into producing, maintaining, distributing and also marketing a product.

The project has been a team effort, with support and donations by many parties.

Andrew Staszewski - Nambour State College (NSC) student

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