Chatter 26 July 2012: Unleash Nine... farmwork

Depends on the job. Ask on application. Also depends on you, if you show enthusiasm and interest you're likely to be involved. 

Many employers don't expect you to get involved with station work but ask you to give you a broad experience with the outback life. Many stations you are often expected to help kids with the house pets which can include anything from dogs to calves to camels :)

It gives your job depth, gives you an opportunity to experience the lifestyle and get involved.

Up my way they tend to help out with whatever animals the kids look after i.e dogs, cats, chooks, poddys. The 'house yard' pets. If you ride the horses, your most likely expected to look after the horse you ride.

I guess the answer is no however the kids love it when you help out and it adds something extra to the job. Helping out give a better understanding of the lifestyle and the work involved so try things out and I am sure you will be helped along the way. I help out with yard work (putting cattle through the yards, dipping them, branding them) in fact we are all off to help out today. We usually take time off school to do it and so to start with I just went along as well. Now I look foward to it as much as the kids. Just think of it this way school is important because they need to learn to read, write, add etc but so is the station work because that is their way of life. Talk to you boss and they will let you know what they expect. Mine didn't expect it but they sure are grateful for the extra hands as it is a family run place with no other workers.

And once you are going out and doing this sort of work, use it in your school work to make it more relevant to the kids.... like a reluctant writer might be keen to write about his/her poddy calf that they saved, or lets add up all the calves and cows figures and for older kids, how many cattle would be on the truck if there were this many to a deck or if there are this many cattle to load, how many decks will we need (just get a bit of expert info from mum or dad as to how many per deck and then you won't look like a goose in front of the kids, LOL)

As I have a background in farming that was the main attraction for heading out as a Govie, but I found in a previous job they much preferred I stayed at home and made smokos and cleaned. Now i'm in a job where i'm expected to work along side the family and as they are new to sheep my experience is being utilised. Plus, I am learning about cattle win win. Just make sure whichever opinion you have that everything is clear BEFORE taking on the job.

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