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TAS Country : December 2nd 2010
4 Tasmanian Country Friday, December 3, 2010 News Grace goes the A Tasmanian teenager is pursuing her passion for farming at an agricultural college in country New South Wales, reports Jennifer Crawley FIFTEEN-year-old Grace Cornish left her Midlands family farm at Pawtella to travel 1000 kilometres away in to Yanco, New South Wales, to follow her dream. Grace is a boarder at Yanco Agricultural High School, near Leeton in the NSW Riverina district. She was 14 when she started at Yanco, having rarely been off the family property, Cremorne. Grace left behind her mother, Dianne, father Daryl, her little sister Molly, and her animals. Grace said she cried a lot when she first left and she is still not used to being away from home. ''I missed home heaps but it becomes easier,'' Grace said. Grace comes home every five weeks for at least five days at a time. ''I love my animals,'' she said. ''I love coming home to my dog, my cat, the horses.'' Dianne said she hated it when Grace first went away. ''I had to be strong because it was pretty tough on Grace,'' Dianne said. ''There are four terms and it took Grace the first term to really settle into it and it got easier. She got a bit stronger each time she went back.'' She was a determined independent thinker, her mother said. ''Grace sold eggs on the road in front of the house to save for a helicopter ride at Agfest when she was four years old,'' Dianne said. The slightly built country girl from Pawtella has always been interested in the agricultural industry. It was her idea to go to agricultural college and her parents supported her. Grace researched Yanco on the internet, she sent away for the information booklet and travelled to Yanco for her interview. ''The heat's really hard on her but the facilities at the school are amaz- ing,'' Dianne said. Younger sister Molly, 11, said she likes it when Grace is away but admits she misses her big sister ''a bit''. Boarding school food is pretty good most of the time, Grace said. She said she has met lots of kids from farms, made lots of good friends but missed her friends from Oat- lands, especially her best friend Jocelyn Dudgeon who lives a few kilometres away along the same dusty country road. Grace and Jocelyn go horse riding across the Midlands plains each time Grace comes back. Grace studies English, maths, agri- cultural studies, primary industries, hospitality, science, geography and history. She intends to go through to Year 12 at Yanco where 350 children from around Australia study. And now Molly wants to do the same thing. ''It's been a good thing for Molly because she gets to be on her own and top dog,'' Dianne said. ''I think quietly she misses Grace but she enjoys the attention she gets on her own.'' Grace said she wanted to go to Yanco because of the opportunities it offered her. ''I've learned a lot and done a lot,'' Grace said. ''I did really well in my exams, I don't think I would have done as well if I wasn't trying hard to be there.'' Grace studies woolclassing at the local technical college and is keen to study paramedics and cheffing be- cause of her time at Yanco. Yanco is a public school, govern- ment funding subsidises airfares and parents pay boarding fees. ''Miss mum's cooking, she's a pretty good cook,'' Grace said. Mother and daughter speak every day, sometimes twice a day and Grace texts her friends when she's missing them. ''She's grown up a lot,'' Dianne said. ''If you asked me this time last year whether she would cope catch- ing planes from Griffith or Wagga to Melbourne, waiting in airports and then catching another one to Laun- ceston I would have said, no. Grace started a White Suffolk stud last year and Molly has shown the sheep at Longford and Campbell Town shows. Yanco has show teams who care for two cattle studs, White Suffolk sheep studs and horses. The college has a large indoor stables, swimming pool and horse arena. The Cornish 285ha property on Nala Rd supports sheep, cattle, bras- Welcome redress for MIS leasors TASMANIAN farmers who leased land to failed managed investment scheme Forest Enterprises Australia may receive some of the money owing to them thanks to grower investor Rob Burns. More than 300 landholders in Tasmania and NSW were affected by the FEA collapse. Sydneysider Rob Burns formed the FEA growers group to protect growers' investments. Mr Burns said farmers could benefit from investments being taken over rather than going into liqui- dation. ''I feel a lot of empathy for far- mers,'' Mr Burns said. ''Forestry investments are usually only a small part of investors port- folios but they are usually a 100 per cent of the farmers'. ''If we can get a new commercial party to come in, it will solve a lot of problems for a lot of people. ''We aim to get a commercial outcome for growers which will benefit farmers,'' he said. For more information go to www.feagg.com.au. Feathers fly as Coles shuts cage EGG producers let fly with their criticism of Coles' decision to phase out house-brand cage eggs by 2013 at this year's Australian Egg Corporation Limited annual meeting, held in Adelaide last week. AECL -- a producer-owned company -- labelled the decision as hasty and said the retail giant failed to consult with industry representatives and its own suppliers before committing to the 2013 deadline. AECL's managing director James Kellaway accused Coles of acting according to its ''own agenda rather than relying on fact and scientific reality'' at a time when the industry was already ''organically'' moving towards production systems favoured by consumers. Before Coles' announcement, free-range standards had been the hot talking point in the egg industry. However, that topic took a back seat at last week's forum and AGM. ''Here we have a major customer dictating to producers and consumers the kind of product they are going to sell,'' Mr Kellaway said. ''This is a hard and fast decision that has come down on an industry committed to producing a range of eggs at a range of price points.'' He said the decision would remove choice for consumers, drive up the cost of production for producers and create more greenhouse gases. ''Free-range eggs are more costly to produce and, as a result, egg- farming families are being squeezed and . . . while free-range egg farms do provide more space for birds, they have a higher carbon footprint,'' Mr Kellaway said. Coles maintains the decision was driven purely by consumer demand. The retail giant has reduced shelf prices on house-brand free-range eggs by at least 18 per cent following research that showed 95 per cent of shoppers would buy free-range eggs if the price was lower. The decision has sounded the death knell for caged-egg producers, with Coles acknowledging the price cuts would probably increase sales of free-range eggs and opportunities for free-range egg producers. Free Range Farmers Association spokesman Phil Westwood said the move might serve to water down industry standards. ''The major concern is, where are those eggs going to come from and are they free-range?'' Mr Westwood said. The Weekly Times Looking to harvest your native or plantation forest? Call SFM > Up to $100,000 deposit paid > Numerous strong markets > Certified forest managers > Friendly, trustworthy and local Call: Dan 0400 670 386 or Brett 0407 000 242 www.sfmes.com.au
November 25th 2010
December 9th 2010