Camden Haven High School first Sydney Royal

Hi my name is Paige and I attend Camden Haven High School. I love my school and I want to tell you what makes it special. Agriculture that’s what!!!!.

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Agriculture is compulsory for years seven and eight. I think this is a great idea as it gives students who do not live rurally or who do not have the opportunity to live with animals and have agricultural knowledge the chance to experience and enjoy what agriculture has to offer young people of today.

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Our agricultural department focuses on a ‘paddock to plate’ experience giving the students in years nine and ten the option of electing two courses unique to Camden Haven High School; Vet studies and Agrifoods. From year nine to twelve, agriculture is also available for students to elect for study . In  years eleven and twelve we have the opportunity to do both primary industries and senior agriculture, along with a new horticulture course.

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The agricultural department not only has strong links with local farmers but also supports local businesses by buying their produce. The Camden Haven High School Agricultural Department has also formed a sub branch of the Camden Haven Show Society and we are are actively involved in preparing, organising, giving ideas and helping out with local events.

Agriculture has become so popular at our school the number of students who attend the agricultural plot before school, at recess and at lunch times has tripled in as many years. We have a very diverse range of animals that we care for including chickens, sheep, ducks, rabbits, turkeys, budgies, guinea-fowl, pigs, donkeys, cattle (including three breeding heifers), a water buffalo, guinea-pigs and two national park certified brumbies.

peter and friend

What is particularly special about the ‘ag plot’ is it is also a safe place for students who do not fit in with the rest of the school or are having a rough time or just enjoy the peace and quiet as there is always a great student/teacher support network to found in the agriculture department

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I am personally involved with the school cattle team. Being the leader/captain has helped with my personal development and taught me many life and team work skills.

It has improved my ability to speak publicly, organisational skills, give directions confidently and have learned that it is important to make the wisest decisions even if they are not the most popular.

Currently there are forty students actively involved in preparing and showing the school cattle for the Sydney Royal Easter Show. I must admit directing such a large team gives me a positive sense of satisfaction and confidence.

The animals we are showing come from our agricultural teacher Mr Hickson, he grows Limousin and Limousin cross steers and heifers. They are also donated to our school by our long-time supporter Robert Rule.

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We selected these animals as they both have the muscle development and fat coverage for their weight classes; they are also wide through the top line from the shoulders through to the rump. They are the pick of the animals from this year’s show team as they display the best attributes.

Students in the Sydney Show team this year are mainly year 10 students who have been constantly involved in showing cattle from year 7 onwards and they make up the bulk of the senior students in the team and basically run it.

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We have been preparing our animals since October 2011, when they were first brought in to be broken in. This involves daily walking, brushing, leading and feeding our animals.

They are also tied up daily to get used to long periods of being in one place; we also wash and blow-dry our animals to prepare them for cleaning at the show.

This is our first royal and it will be a new experience and all the students are so excited and highly appreciative of having this great opportunity.

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and to top it all off one of their students is a finalist in Cream of the Crop Competition with the winners presented with their prizes on April 14th at the Show in the RM Williams Stables 


How timely these photos came through late last night of Olympic Park preparations for the Royal Easter Show from an excited George Davey AM General Manager, Agriculture at Sydney Royal


The Beef Cattle Ring Hocker


The Beef Cattle Sheds


  1. Great to see you enjoying your studies and learing to love agriculture. It is a great profession and critical to a “food insecure” world. Keep up the good work. Love the shirt!! Good luck in the show ring!



  2. I simply love this! Look at all those amazing, special and happy young people enjoying Agriculture. This is the future for farming in Australia … let’s harness their enthusiasm and energy!


  3. This is truly wonderful! Thank you for enjoying Agriculture – we hope you go on to become farmers, graziers and Ag consultants or Vets!!


  4. Must say Camden Haven has come a long way since i finished last year. Good on ya i suppose ill see you down there this year and i wish you all the best there.


  5. A lovely blog Camden Haven. My son is also showing beef cattle this week and later dairy cattle. He is a boarder in year 8 at Hurlstone Ag High School and loves the Rural Youth activities and Ag classes. If I see you at the Easter Show I will be sure to come and say hello. Good luck, I hope you do well and have a great time and also good luck for getting enough sleep!


  6. I am very proud of Csmden Haven High students. The courses sound exciting! Well done to the Ag Dept for instilling such enthusiasm in their students. Paige, this is a great read.


  7. This is a indeed very exciting and I commend everyone involved. What a wonderful way to get our youth involved in outdoor activities involving animals and produce. The teachers involved do work tirelessly in the Ag plot and it is a wonderful place for visiting.

    Congratulations on the well written and presented blog….. its fantastic to see such enthusiam and passion for Agriculture and all it has to offer. Great piccies. I am proud to be associated with Camden Haven High School.


  8. I am so proud of you all! Will miss you in Maths this week but I know that you are all having an experience of a lifetime. Enjoy, and look after our 4 legged friends!


  9. Well done everyone. I know you have worked hard to get this far. I hope you enjoy your experiences down at the Royal Easter Show.

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. It was great how you combined text and photos to keep us reading right to the end. I look forward to reading the next entry.


  10. Well done everyone. I know how hard you have worked to get to the show. This is a great way to keep us all in touch. I love the way you combined text and photos to keep us reading right to the end.
    I know visitors to our school always enjoy seeing our amazing agriculture plot. Its like you have taken some of the ag plot to Sydney to share with a wider audience.

    Can’t wait to read the next installment.


  11. Congratulations! I love the way your blog captures the comraderie and enthusiasm of the Ag students at CHHS. Enjoy the show.


  12. Good Luck and best wishes to the Camden Haven High School team at the show. The Ag plot is a fabulous place for all and it is a wonderful example of the great things that occur in innovative schools like CHHS.


  13. You’ve done very well for yourselves and our school. It’s lovely to see how well you care for the animals and great to see kids being kids.
    Keep up the good work, have a fantastic time at the Show and as my mum always said, avoid eating any food that comes on a stick!!


  14. Students returned home yesterday (saturday), we had a great time down there, despite all the crowds everyone got around well, we all learnt heaps and enjoyed watching the other exhibits and the girls who presented our steer and heifer did a fantastic job although we didn’t place, we were all very proud of them. Our steer sold for $4.25 per kilo which was a real achievement. We met lots of interesting people and had a look at all the other cattle at the show (school and stud cattle), which came from all over. We’d all like to thank the Wingham High ag students and their teacher for helping us out while we were down there and also all those contributing to looking after our animals after we left. We are already looking forward to next year and are excited to improve our animals and display, hopefully next year will be just as good as this one or even better. Also thanks to our teacher Mr. Hickson for all the planning to get us down there and back, we really enjoyed ourselves.


  15. well done to all the CHHS cattle team and especially those girls who represented us so magnificently. I am very proud of you all and honored to be a part of such a fabulous group of kids and staff. your comments Paige are something I will treasure for the rest of my career. thank you Mr Hickson, without your hard work and dedication, even whilst on leave none of this could have happened. CHHS is very fortunate to have such a dedicated teacher on staff.


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