Burros break new ground

The Laidley State High School Show Team with its three donkeys, Magnus, Samson, and Humphrey. Picture: LAIDLEY SHS

Laidley State High School is breaking new ground in agricultural education by introducing some furry additions to their curriculum.

Forming an integral part of their Agriculture Program, students are being offered a niche opportunity to gain hands-on experience, having recently welcomed three donkeys into the school community.

Laidley SHS principal Michael Clarkson was enthusiastic for the innovative approach to bolstering students’ skills, as they linked the ongoing care of the donkeys to curriculum goals.

“An engaging approach to the comprehensive learning activities embedded in our Agriculture Program, we are extremely excited to be offering students a niche opportunity to gain hands-on experience in animal care and husbandry,” Mr Clarkson said.

“From grooming and handling to vaccinations and farriering, students are being exposed to all the elements of caring for donkeys – learning varied practical skills which extend far beyond the constraints of a classroom.”

Members of the Laidley SHS Show Team will also have the opportunity to handle, prepare and parade the donkeys, (Magnus, Samson, and Humphrey) at various agriculture shows throughout the year.

“The introduction of donkeys has opened up a world of opportunities for students, allowing them to participate in agriculture shows and further hone their skills in both animal handling and grooming,” Mr Clarkson said.

The program was spearheaded by senior teacher Dr Reece Wells.

It has been several years since Laidley SHS last had students donning polos and participating in a Show Team, but under his expert guidance, the school made a triumphant return to the ring at the 2024 Marburg Show.

“Having students attend the shows are an extension of our Ag Program – providing them with a unique platform to apply their knowledge in a real-world setting,” Dr Wells said.

“In their first outing, the students impressed everyone by securing top honours in various categories, including Junior Handling and Overall Reserve Champion.

“It was great to see the students prepare each donkey for their led class, and ensure their welfare was appropriately maintained throughout the event.

“The excitement and support of the school community has been uplifting, and we are eager to see what the students can achieve in this space through collaboration and teamwork.”

Next on the agenda is the annual Lowood Show, where students will again look to demonstrate their new skills and compete against other schools.