Meet the Hermidale Future Farmers

Meet the Hermidale Future Farmers

Seven Students. 85 Hectares. Three Years. 170 tonnes of wheat. A cropping project like no other. That’s a short summary of a massive achievement for the Hermidale Future Farmers (HFF).

Based at the tiny Hermidale Public School located about 200 kilometres northwest of Dubbo, the HFF team harvested a 85-hectare crop of wheat last week.

Principal Skye Dedman said the wheat will be sold for around $50,000 to fund future HFF crops and school excursions as part of an overall paddock to plate agriculture learning program.

“One of the student’s dads coordinated the harvest. There were two headers going, two trucks, a chaser bin and field bin. It was all very exciting,” Skye said.

“The kids were able to watch the harvest in action, get up into the header at lunchtime and we took them to the grain receival to see the wheat being samples and ground into flour.”

Farmer Darren Mudford explaining the workings of a grain harvester to the Hermidale Future Farmers/

The land, which backs onto the school, was donated by farmers Craig and Sharon Crimmond for three years. The wheat was taken to a local receival depo and sold by one of HFF’s sponsors Arrow Commodities.

“The wheat came back as high protein, which was great, but the falling numbers did downgrade the quality a bit.”

“The kids also had a meeting with Arrow to learn about the logistical side of wheat marketing and exporting as part of learning about different types of wheat. We also had a focus on seed germination, the growing process and harvesting process.”

The Hermidale Public School- home of the Hermidale Future Farmers.

Skye said the project was the vision of classroom teacher Rebekah Coddington, who first pitched the idea in 2020.

“Rebekah has really been the driver and has done a fantastic job. I have just been nodding my head and saying yes because they are all such good ideas.

“The schools P&C are partners in the project and did all the initial fundraising, while we did the educational side. As with small communities, everyone jumped in to support and help run merchandise stands and raise funds.”

“The money raised from the wheat crop will go to the P&C and it has been earmarked to fund the project next year, which will focus on the paddock to plate journey for wheat.”

“That includes funding planting next year and we are looking at a school excursion down to Victoria via the Port of Newcastle and some rice farms in the Riverina.”

Happy harvest result. Hermidale farmer Darren Mudford helped out with the wheat harvest.

The HFF project is part of bigger scheme called Growing Our Future, which compliments learning about the food chain for wheat with educational tours focussed on other agricultural commodities.

“As part of the educational side last year, we took the seven students to the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory Farmers Association helped out and we got to see buffalo farms and fruit orchards.”

“It gives the students to opportunity to look at agriculture as a whole. Our school’s motto is Reach for the Stars, so we talk about how the students are only at the start of what they could achieve anywhere in the world.”

“We often bring out a map of the world and talk about the global markets where our wheat could end up. Our students can tell you what is happening in Ukraine and how it’s affecting the wheat market.”

Sarah said the number of Hermidale Future Farmers recently increased to 10.

“It’s very exciting for a small school like ours when a new family arrives.”

Other sponsors of the HFF project included Omni, Aeris Resources and Tritton Hermidale. 

The state’s grain harvest is underway, but worker shortages are hurting the sector for the third year in a row. Read more here  

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