Threadrick is Complete!

We are excited to announce that our calf, Threadrick Bobbin, is officially complete. We have worked really hard this week to finalise all the finishing touches so that Threadrick looks his best. We are thrilled with the result and think he looks great.

P1010346

We would like to thank all the students involved for their dedication, team work and initiative. The project has been an awesome learning adventure which students have thoroughly enjoyed participating in. We would also like to thank Mrs Cousins (parent) for donating a generous amount of denim fabric and our school cleaner, Jackie, for putting up with our mess and clutter throughout the design and make process.

P1010321

Isabella gives our base a clear coat of varnish.

P1010322

Rose and Myra prepare our farming facts for decoupage.

P1010329

Ben trims frayed cotton from our cotton plant stems.

P1010326

Ella cuts strips of denim to wrap around our replica cotton plant.

P1010327

Roy wraps the stem of our cotton plant in denim.

Analysis of our Artwork

Our calf aims to celebrate and recognise the unsung heroes of the cotton industry by telling a story about the average Australian Cotton Farmer. Our theme focuses on the productivity and success of Australian cotton farmers.

After meeting our Young Farming Champion, Ben Eagan, the students were impressed by his wealth of knowledge and his fun, easy going nature. They loved listening to his presentation and learnt more about the cotton industry than any of them had expected. They were so impressed by the work that cotton farmers do in order to provide us with the clothes on our back, as well as many other products, and believed that the majority of people took the work they do for granted.

As a result, our calf, Threadrick Bobbin, represents a typical cotton farmer in Australia. We wanted him to illustrate the importance of Australia’s successful cotton industry as an integral component of their livelihood. Threadrick encompasses facets of the cotton industry such as the growth, harvest and export of Australia’s cotton as well as the types of products that can be made from a single bale of cotton.

By taking a look at our calf, we wanted individuals to learn about and appreciate the commitment and hard work of every cotton farmer in Australia. From the growth and change of the cotton plant throughout spring and summer, the harvesting of cotton in autumn and the export of cotton from Australia to countries around the world,  so that we can continue to enjoy the comforts of our current lifestyle and put clothes on our back.

P1010341

Front view

We wanted our calf, Theadrick Bobbin, to incorporate a combination of texture and paint.  As we wanted Threadrick to represent a typical Australian cotton farmer, we thought that a great way to incorporate this texture was to clothe him in a cotton shirt and a pair of denim jeans (one of the most popular cotton products around the world).  We only used these fabrics to cover the calf’s front and back legs as we wanted to illustrate aspects of the cotton industry in the centre of the calf’s body. The positioning of painted art and use of space implies that sustainable cotton crops are ‘central’ to a cotton farmer’s existence on the land, with the industry being the heart and soul of their livelihood.

The centre of the calf’s body has been carefully painted using a range of acrylic paint colours. It is divided into four quadrants. Each quadrant depicts the four seasons of cotton production:

Spring (top/front)- illustrates the growth and change of the cotton plant. Seeds are planted in evenly spaced furrows and watered regularly until they become leafy plants approximately one metre in height.

Summer (bottom/front) – illustrates the growth of cotton bolls from buds. This is how the cotton plant is most commonly perceived and viewed.

Autumn (top/back) – illustrates the spraying of defoliant which stops the growth process and causes the cotton plant to drop its leaves. It also illustrates the harvesting of the cotton using the most up to date machinery and techniques.

Autumn/Winter (bottom/back) – illustrates bales of cotton which are ready to be taken to the cotton gin and then exported to countries around the world.

The base that the cow stands on has been created using paper mache techniques and then painted with brown acrylic paint. It symbolises the Australian cotton farmer’s connection with the land and visually represents the furrows that cotton is grown in. Statistical facts obtained from Cotton Australia have been attached to the furrows using decoupage.  The use of facts on the base aims to educate individuals about the average Australian cotton farmer and strengthens one’s appreciation of the work that they do to sustainably clothe our nation.

The cotton situated near Threadrick’s front leg has been constructed using wire, denim and un-ginned cotton. It is partially wrapped around his leg to signify the ties that bind/root many cotton farmer’s have to their family farm. The average Australian cotton farm is family owned and run, with many farms having been in families for multiple generations.

P1010344

Back view

We wanted to illustrate the contribution that Australian cotton farmers make to the global market, exporting 94% of cotton to other countries such as China. As a result, a map of the world has also been attached to the base using decoupage. We have attached a small metal trolley to the base directly over the world map and placed a replica cotton bale inside it. The cotton bale has been sculptured using cardboard, newspaper, wire and plastic wrap. We wanted the cotton bale to have a realistic texture so we decided to glue cotton obtained from a plant that our Young Farming Champion gave us on his visit to our school. The cotton bolls were carefully pulled from the plant, teased apart and glue onto the top and bottom of the bale.  Images of cotton products have been attached to the bale and positioned inside the trolley. This represents the array of Australian cotton products consumers purchase and use on a daily basis around the world.

Threadrick is dressed for success in his cotton shirt and denim jeans. He’s not a calf; he is a farmer, with the cotton industry being his heart and soul. Threadrick is full of fun and adventure. With his child like appearance he not only represents today’s average cotton farmer but also future generations to come. His quirky appearance appeals to the young and old.

Advertisements

Team Challenges and Rewards

TEAM CHALLENGES

Our Archibull adventure would not be complete without unexpected challenges. Here are some of the challenges we faced along the way.

 

TECHNOLOGY:

  • Students do not have access to ‘WordPress’ as it is regarded as a blocked site. Students could not log on to our ‘WordPress’ blog site using their student user name and password. We could only log into our blog using a teacher’s login details therefore Mrs Potts needed to be present every time we wanted to work on our blog. As teachers need to fulfill many roles and duties this made finding an appropriate time to blog our research and progress difficult at first.
P1010266

Grace encounters one of our many technological challenges

  • A couple of weeks into our journey we experienced difficultly uploading photos to our blog. This basically happened overnight – one day we could upload photos and the next day we couldn’t. We sort out advice and even tried to contact the ‘WordPress’ help line but no one responded to our emails. After trying many different ideas to correct the problem we finally discovered that our browser no longer supported our blog site. We changed our browser to Google Chrome and the rest is history.

 

TIME:

  • Being so actively involved in our school community, our Year 6 Leadership Team struggled to find times to meet regularly. Many students were involved in sporting teams, debating, school performance practice, choir and public speaking competitions. Some days it was hard to get even three people to hold a meeting or complete research tasks or painting. It all worked out in the end through, with many of us giving up spare lunch time and setting aside special time in class in complete the project.
netballleadership
  • Year 6 needed to attend their scheduled excursion to Canberra in Week 10, Term 3. With a few finishing touches still to be done on the calf,  some of our Year 5 students offered to lend a helping hand.

ARTWORK:

  • Trying to dress our calf, Threadrick, in a cotton shirt and denim jeans was a lot harder than planned. We knew we would need to cut and patch the clothes so that they fitted him properly but cutting and gluing then preciously was really time consuming to say the least.
P1010284

 

SPACE:

  • With all classrooms currently occupied by classes there are not spare rooms to work on special projects such as this. Our calf lived in the staff room and office foyer for a few weeks while we conducted research and planned our design. Once we started painting though, we had to move it to Mrs Potts’ classroom. 5PL would regularly have to move the calf around the room in order to access their wet area, computer and storeroom. Nevertheless, Threadrick has been a welcome addition to the 5PL classroom, creating a buzz about the project every time something new was painted or constructed.
P1010275

 

TEAM REWARDS

We have certainly learnt a lot about the Australian Cotton Industry and enjoyed working as part of a team to complete the project. Here’s what some of our students had to say:

Eddie – “Before we entered the Archibull Prize I didn’t know much about cotton at all. I didn’t really consider where it came from and I think I took it for granted. Since our Young Farming Champion, Ben Egan, came to talk to us about cotton, I’ve learnt so much more. I enjoyed his visit and I also enjoyed making a slideshow/video about the field to fabric process”.

Amber: “By participating in the Archibull Prize I’ve learnt how farmers grow cotton. I now realise it doesn’t just take a day to grow cotton; it takes months. I also learnt a lot about the different types of equipment used to harvest the crops. I mostly enjoyed being able to assist in the design of our calf. I’ve enjoyed painting and learning about different techniques”.

Tyler: “By completing the research tasks and listening to Farmer Ben, I’ve learnt that cotton actually grows on a plant, not a sheep like I used to think. It takes a lot of time and effort to grow a crop of cotton. I think many people take cotton for granted and no one understands just how hard farmers work to produce it”.

Ethan: “I’ve learnt about the methods that farmers use to grow cotton in Australia. I enjoyed learning more about the pests that eat cotton plants and threaten our cotton crops. “

Nathan: “I really enjoyed meeting Ben Egan,our farming champion. I enjoyed listening to him tell us about his cotton farm near Warren. I also enjoyed presenting the calf to the whole school when it first arrived”.

Lexie: “ I learnt about how farmers grow cotton. I was surprised to find out that it takes more than a few weeks to grow a crop of cotton. I certainly didn’t know it took the best part of a year to grow and harvest it. I mostly enjoyed painting and designing our calf. I also enjoyed organising and delivering the presentation to introduce Threadrick to the whole school.”

Sustainable use of Water

Our school recently had a visit from Hunter Water. All students from Kindergarten to Year 6 watched their presentation  ‘Ship ‘o’ Fools’, learning many interesting ways we can conserve water at home. Students from 3L have written a recount about their experience which we would like to share with you.

P1050029

‘Ship ‘o’ Fools’ – Hunter Water school presentation

On Friday the 15th of August all students from Bolwarra Public School had a visit from Hunter Water’s Ship ‘o’ Fools in the school hall. This visit was used to develop Bolwarra students understanding of how to save water as New South Wales is currently in the biggest drought since settlement.

To begin the show, Super Squirt (the super water saving man) and Bubbles the Clown introduced themselves to the audience. Bubbles the Clown was struggling to save water and often used too much water each day. The audience and Super Squirt had to help Bubbles to change her bad habits. Once Bubbles understood how to save water in eight different situations she was given a water saving star. Have you ever seen water saving stars? Water saving stars are used on household appliances which use water, for example dishwashers and washing machines. The more stars on an appliance the better!

Here are eight tips that Bolwarra students learnt about water conservation:

  • Keep showers short
  • Use the correct button on the toilet- half button for a number one and full flush for a number two!
  • If you find a leak or a drip- get it fixed.
  • Always turn off the tap when you brush your teeth
  • Water the roots of a plant not the leaves
  • Don’t overfill the bath and share the water
  • Don’t hose the path use a broom
  • Wash the car using a bucket and sponge on the lawn, no water fights!

Through learning the above information Bolwarra students now have greater understanding of how farmers need to conserve water on their farms as well. Cotton farmers need water to grow their crops. If the drought continues and farmers have no water for their cotton crops their crops will fail. Do you think that cotton can make it through this drought? What can you do to help?

P1050037P1050056

This got the Leadership Team thinking. How do Australian Cotton Farmers use water sustainably on their farms? We decided to do some research to find out ways in which cotton farmers irrigate their crops and use water wisely. After all, Australian cotton farmers have a great reputation when it comes to the sustainable use of water on their farms. Did you know that Australia’s cotton industry is considered the most water-efficient in the world, producing “more crop per drop” than any other nation at two and a half times the world’s average yields (Cotton Australia)

 

Water Sustainability In Cotton Growth

Australia’s Cotton Industry is considered one of the most efficient water saving businesses. Cotton growers are using a range of techniques to constantly improve water use efficiency including in-field moisture monitoring, reducing evaporation, scheduling irrigations, improved soil health and new irrigation techniques such as overhead sprinklers and drip irrigation.

water 2

Centre pivot/ lateral move irrigation system

water 4

Drip irrigation system

Cotton Farmers have achieved a 40% increase in water productivity over the last decade and have improved their water use efficiency by 3-4% per year since 2003. In 2011-12 about 20% of a cotton crop was rain grown, the rest irrigated by 5.2 mega litres to a hectare.

Cotton is an ideal crop for Australia’s climate where in some years water is plentiful and other years suffer from drought.  A Cotton crop is heat tolerant and uses less water than rice, maize, soybeans, and many other vegetables. One type of irrigation used by many cotton farmers is known as flood furrows. This is when a cotton crop is grown and consists of a row of cotton seeds followed by a row of irrigation. This set-up ensures that cotton seeds on both sides of the irrigation row are watered.

 

water5

Flood furrow – Siphons

 

water6

Flood furrows in action

Water is critical to agriculture. Sustainable water use in Australia must encompass economic, environmental and community needs.

 

Cotton is the lifeblood of many regional communities; employing 8,000 Australian’s in Northern NSW and Southern QLD alone. A lot of businesses rely entirely on the delivery of cotton that is produced across NSW and QLD.

 

 

References:

Cotton Catchment Communities CRC – Towards Sustainable and Profitable Water Use in the Australian Cotton Industry

Cotton Australia – http://cottonaustralia.com.au/cotton-library/fact-sheets/cotton-fact-file-water

CSIRO- http://www.csiro.au/Outcomes/Food-and-Agriculture/Sustainable-Cotton-Industry/Cotton-and-water.aspx

Food Wastage in our Community

We put Stage 3 to the task of researching food wastage in Australia. We wanted to find out facts about the amount of food wasted in Australia each year. Our homework task at the beginning of Term 3 required students to view websites such as:

http://www.foodbank.org.au/

http://www.foodwise.com.au/foodwaste/food-waste-fast-facts/

http://www.ozharvest.org/

http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au/

The statistics that we found were astonishing .

image (11) image (10)image (9)image (8)image (7)

Did you know:

  • In NSW, food waste makes up to 38% of the total rubbish in household garbage bins.
  • It is estimated that the average NSW household throws out $1,036 of food every year.
  • Australia discards an estimated 4.06 million tonnes of food every year.
  • If you add up all the food that Australia wastes it’s enough to fill 450,000 garbage trucks.
  • An estimated 20-40% of fruit and vegetables are rejected even before they reach the supermarket simply because they don’t match the consumer’s high cosmetic standard.
  • When you throw out food you also waste the water, fuel and resources it took get the food from the paddock to your plate.
  • When food rots with other organics in landfill, it gives off a greenhouse gas called Methane which is 25 times more potent than the carbon pollution that comes from car exhausts.

Click on the link below to watch a video and learn more about food wastage in Australia.

BTN – FOOD WASTE

Grace and Amber created a slideshow to illustrate these facts.

P1010152

 

Laney (Year 5) also created a PowerPoint presentation to suggest ways in which we can reduce food wastage at home. We combined the two presentations and came up with the following video.

 

As part of the Stage 3 homework task, students were also required to survey their family on their food wastage habits. We brainstormed a list of possible questions that could be included in the food wastage survey. Sixteen of these questions were then selected to be included in the final copy of the survey that was sent home to approximately 120 families. You can view our food wastage survey by clicking on the link below:

2014 Archibull Prize food wastage

Once the surveys came back at the end of the week, students from each of the four Stage 3 classes collated the results.

P1010168

Daniel and Ellie (Year 5) collating results from our food wastage survey.

Here are some of our results:

  • Approximately 52% of families preferred to shop at the supermarket once week as opposed to only 5% who bought exactly what they needed by shopping everyday.
  • 27% of families threw out unused dairy desserts such as yoghurt as they were not eaten by their used by dates and 25% of families frequently discarded bread that was either stale or mouldy.
  • Apples, bananas and baby spinach/lettuce were the most commonly wasted fruits and vegetables.
  • Approximately 79% of families kept leftovers that could be eaten the next day for lunch if they prepared too much food for the evening meal.
  • 45% of families recycled food scraps in a compost heap or worm farm.
  • 68% of families grew vegetables or herbs in their own garden.

Students from 6L and 5/6D  used Microsoft Excel to publish the results in the form of graphs.

wasted food tablewaste chart 3waste chart6waste chart 2waste chart 5waste chart 4

 

The final homework task assigned to all Stage 3 students was to design a poster that encouraged others to cut back on their food wastage by suggesting ways in which individuals could buy, store and eat food wisely. Many students came up with a variety of interesting ways to reduce food wastage.

image (3) image (6)image (2)image (5)image (12)image (4)

 

Here are our top tips to reduce food wastage in your home:

1.       Write a shopping list

Make sure you don’t go shopping without a list, or even worse, when you’re hungry.

2.      Check the fridge and pantry before you shop

Do a quick check before you leave the house so you don’t over buy.

3.      Freeze your left overs

If you cook too much, freeze what’s left over and you’ll have a handy meal the next time you don’t feel like cooking.

4.      Ditch the bin and make compost

If food is off and it can’t be eaten, put it in the compost.

5.      Cook existing food before buying takeaway

Left overs can be turned into delicious meals or taken for lunch the next day. Try to use foods that are about to expire as part of your next recipe ingredient e.g  bananas = banana cake/bread, apples = apple crumble/pie, tomatoes = tomato relish. Check out

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/collections/leftovers

for great ideas on how to use leftovers.

6.       Read the use-by-date 

Check the use-by date when you purchase food to ensure it won’t go off if not eaten immediately, or focus on buying good quality local food that has a longer shelf life.

7.      Shop more, buy less

Purchase a small amount of fresh food every day, rather than heaps of food every week. That way you won’t end up with stuff at the end of the week that you haven’t used and don’t need.

8.      Store food properly

Ensure dairy and perishables are never left on the counter, and your fridge and freezer are checked and maintained to keep your produce in top condition.

Progress Report 3

Lucy, Jorja and Lexie gave up their lunch time to paper mache the baseP1010265P1010264 on which our calf, Threadrick, will stand. We screwed pieces of wood to the board and then placed layers of paper mache over the top in order to give the appearance of furrows. This job proved to be very messy but lots of fun.

 

 

 

Amber painted a clear coat of varnish over Threadrick’s body so that he was all glossy. We were a bit worried at first as the varnish seemed to change the appearance of the darker coloured paints and sometimes seemed to leave tiny bubbles on our artwork. There was nothing to worry about in the end though as it dried clear and shiny.

P1010268P1010270

 

P1010277Mrs Potts helped us to cut and glue the shirt to Threadrick’s body as this part was very fiddly and required the use of spray glue. Myra and Chloe gave up their lunch time to assist Mrs Potts to dress Threadrick in his jeans. The jeans were the hardest part of Threadrick’s clothing to put on, with many cuts and patches being made so that he could look his best.

P1010284P1010286

 

P1010295The Leadership Team worked together to paint over the paper mache with dark brown paint. This gave members of the Research Team the opportunity to work with the Arts Team and get their hands dirty at the same time.

 

 

P1010291P1010293

 

Jada helped to finish the painting of the base off as the Year 6 Leadership Team prepared for their trip to Canberra.

P1010317

Lily, Ella and Laney made a cotton bale which will be used in our Archi display. After making a cylinder using cardboard, newspaper and yellow plastic, the girls finished off the bale by sticking cotton to the ends. We pulled apart some of the cotton plants that Farmer Ben gave to us when he visited our school. We were really surprised by how much cotton was compacted into each boll. We only used 5 bolls to complete the project – a little bit of cotton went a long way.

P1010307P1010309P1010304P1010306P1010305P1010313P1010310

Wearing and Using Cotton

Cotton is known for its versatility, appearance, performance and natural comfort. It is a non-allergenic natural fibre that doesn’t irritate sensitive skin. Cotton easily blends with most other fibres including synthetics such as polyester and lycra and other natural fibres like wool. It is one of the easiest fabrics to dye, because it’s white in colour and very absorbent.

cotton jeans cotton sheets cotton shirts cotton spool cotton_seeds_oil

 

 

 

 

Well known cotton products include denim jeans, socks, towels, t-shirts, bed sheets and underwear.

Cotton seed is pressed to make cottonseed oil. This product can be used in a range of industrial products such as soap, margarine, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, rubber, paint, water proofing and candles.

Cottonseed can also be crushed and made into a meal. It is a popular feed for cattle and livestock as it’s a great source of energy.

Did you know?

  • Cotton has a high absorbency rate and holds up to 27 times its own weight in water .
  • Cotton keeps the body cool in summer and warm in winter because it is a good conductor of heat .
  • Almost all parts of the cotton plant are used in some way including the lint, cottonseed, linters, stalks and seed hulls.
  • About 60% of the world’s total cotton harvest is used to make clothing, with the rest used in home furnishings and industrial products.
  • The fibre from one 227kg cotton bale can produce 215 pairs of jeans, 250 single bed sheets, 1,200 t-shirts, 2,100 pairs of boxer shorts, 3,000 nappies, 4,300 pairs of socks or 680,000 cotton balls.

References:

Cotton Australia website: http://cottonaustralia.com.au/cotton-library/fact-sheets/cotton-fact-file-cotton-properties-and-products

Ruby And Morgan’s Cotton Rap.

P1010150

 

Cotton, cotton as soft as silk.

Cotton, cotton as white as milk.

Some cotton is dyed bright.

Cotton keeps me warm at night.

Cotton clothes,

Everyone knows,

Cotton is the best in the land.

Cotton gloves cover my hands.

A warm cotton singlet,

Hats that cover my ringlets,

A dry cotton nappy,

Makes a baby so happy.

Cotton keeps me cool,

Before dive in the pool.

Cotton is the best.

I love my cotton dress.

Cotton keeps me warm and cool.

My cotton uniform is what I wear to school!

Make a dressing for a feast.

A healthy option to say the least.

Cotton seed oil is versatile.

Cotton seed makes everyone smile.

Cattle munching on their feed.

We get so much from one little seed.

A colourful paint,

A shiny lip gloss,

Smooth smelly soap.

 Cotton’s such an amazing plant.

Cotton makes me want to dance.

Cotton, cotton is the best.

It’s my favourite I confess.

Progress Report 2

The first step towards getting ‘Threadrick’ the calf ready for painting was to prime him with a layer of undercoat. Maddi, Jacqui, Chloe and Stella gave up their recess time to make sure the job was done.

P1010159

Threadrick is primed with undercoat, ready for painting.

Our designs were then carefully transferred onto the calf’s body. This part was harder than we thought – drawing onto a three-dimensional fibre glass calf was totally different to drawing on a flat sheet of smooth paper.

P1010237 P1010236

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1010238P1010239

Our art team then excitedly (and a little nervously) started to add some colour to the calf. We found using the artist’s acrylic paints a bit different to the paints we usually use in class. We soon learnt that a little bit of paint went a long way. We are thrilled with how ‘Threadrick’ our calf is coming to life with colour.

P1010240P1010242P1010245 P1010246P1010249P1010254P1010247P1010256

The Field to Fabric Process

 

Ethan, Tyler and Edward took on the responsibility of researching the field to fabric process of the cotton plant. They learnt lots of interesting information about the process just by looking at ‘How to Grow a Pair of Jeans’ on the Cotton Australia website. The three boys have created a PowerPoint presentation that reflects what they have learnt about the field to fabric process. We hope you enjoy it!

 

  • Before the cotton seeds are planted, the soil has to be prepared and needs to be in top shape. The soil must be free from weeds so that the cotton seeds don’t have to compete for nutrients and water. The cotton seeds are planted straight into the soil which keeps all the nutrients and moisture in the soil.
  • In spring the seeds are planted into warm, rich soil (approximately 14 degrees celsius). The baby seeds start to grow in just a few days. Eventually these turn into a leafy green bush (approximately 1 metre in height). Pink and white flowers form and develop into cotton bolls.31879077
  • While the cotton seed grows, it needs to be watered several times, depending on the temperature and how it grows. Some of that water comes from rain, however, most cotton grown in Australia is irrigated using either flood furrows, drip irrigation or centre pivot/lateral move systems. Australian cotton farms are the most efficient in the world as they grow more cotton per drop of water than anywhere else in the world.
  • One of the last things that farmers want eating their crops is bugs or ‘pests’. Farmers use a clever combination of chemical and natural pest control methods, such as attracting insects like ladybugs that will attack the ‘baddies’.  CSIRO varieties of cotton seed have been modified to repel the ‘baddies’ and now Aussie cotton growers use over  80% less pesticides than 20 years ago.
  • Luckily summer comes once a year because it makes the cotton plants fill with lint and seeds. The buds  finally split open revealing the true kind of cotton bolls. Cotton crops are usually harvested in autumn with sophisticated  machinery picking the cotton in rows. The cotton is gathered and packed into big rectangular and circular bales so it can be processed at a gin. The leftover cotton plant is mulched back into the ground.452678_7760_762x458
  • Cotton bales arrive at a spinning mill where the ginned cotton is first combed out to disentangle the fibres. Then the cotton is twisted into a continuous thread to become different types of yarn. The yarn is then bleached and may be dyed any colour of the rainbow.
  • Cotton yarn can be either knitted or woven into  fabric. It is then sewn into products such as clothes, towels, sheets and denim jeans.
  • From a tiny seed, to a fashion statement, Cotton certainly makes a long journey from the field to a piece of fabric.

 

Progress Report 1

Students in Stage 3 put their creativity to the test at the beginning of Term 3, trying to think of a design for our calf. Many students created colourful and exciting designs, depicting features of the cotton industry in some way. These designs formed a starting point for further research and discussion amongst the Archibull Leadership Group.

P1010166

Students in 6L created some interesting designs.

The next phase involved the Leadership Team conducting numerous hours of research on aspects of the cotton industry, from the growth of the cotton plant throughout each season to the harvesting of cotton crops.  We considered the threats that pests pose to the cotton industry and the ginning process that turns raw cotton into the product we know and love. We looked at the endless list of products made from cotton and how it appears in our lives every day, without many of us thinking about the hard work that goes into producing it.

P1010153

Ziek and Nathan hard at work in the computer lab.

P1010151

Tyler and Ethan research the growth and harvest of cotton plants.

The Leadership Team agreed that we wanted to try to illustrate the energy, hard work, research and technology that goes into producing just one crop of cotton.

Our Art team got together and started working on our final design, discussing ideas and making them come to life through their creative sketches.

P1010164

Myra and Lexie working on the back design of our calf.

P1010163

Claudia and Abbie working on the front design of our calf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We wanted the calf to represent today’s cotton farmer, with the industry being the heart and soul of their livelihood. Our design has included the use of Denim (commonly used cotton product) on the rear of the calf. We also plan to use a cotton shirt to cover our calf’s front legs and chest.

The central design on the front of our calf depicts the cotton plant’s growth throughout Spring and Summer. It illustrates the changes the cotton plant goes through until it reaches maturity and is ready to harvest. The central design on the back of our calf depicts the harvesting process in Autumn, from the spraying of defoliant through to the use of sophisticated equipment to harvest and bale the cotton.

P1050092

Calf design – front

P1050093

Calf design – back

P1050098

Close up – front

P1050099

Close up – back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stayed tune for another progress report in the next few weeks. Our calf is coming to life as we speak with our colourful design. We are also planning some additional ‘add ons’ to illustrate the cotton industry even further.

Farming Heroes – People to look up to in the cotton industry

Sophie Gulliver – 2013 Chris Lehmann Trust Young Achiever of the Year

Sophie Gulliver is a young scientist with a passion for insects, agriculture and innovation. After finishing university, she headed to the Darling Downs in Queensland where she started her cotton and agricultural career.

Sophie’s main area of interest is the Heliothis caterpillar (the cotton industry’s number one pest). Sophie is involved in projects investigating new ways to control Heliothis and other pests using fewer pesticides.

Sophie has developed the ‘Caterpillar Classroom’ initiative which distributes Heliothis rearing kits to schools across the nation. She is also currently working on a website project called ‘Primary Roots’ to encourage young people to consider careers in agriculture.

 

Janelle Montgomery – 2013 CSD Researcher of the Year

Janelle Montgomery’s cotton industry career spans almost 20 years. She has made an outstanding contribution to the national cotton effort to improve water use efficiency.

Janelle is a great collaborator and has linked with groups across the cotton industry on projects such as water use efficiency benchmarking, consultant training, on farm energy assessments, alternate irrigation systems and deep drainage management. She has also written various magazine articles and industry publications such as WATERpak.

 

Glen and Julieanne Rogan  – 2013 AgriRisk High Achiever of the Year

Glen and Julieanne are owners of the Rogan Pastoral Company (an amalgamation of 3 properties located in the St George irrigation area in Queensland). Their first cotton crop was planted in 1978 and the family has been committed to cotton ever since, growing 400 to 800 hectares each year.

For the last 7 seasons, Glenn has been committed to growing long staple cotton varieties. The crops are pushed out for as long as possible to ensure the longer staple lengths required to secure a premium cotton price (as high as $100 per bale).

The long staple (fibre) length means you can create stronger garments or textile products out of less yarn. Fewer fibres mean softness and a more luxurious feel. The cotton feels very soft and silky, with a bit of a shine about it, similar to wool.

You can read more about Glen’s Australian Super Cotton brand by clicking the link below:

http://www.austsupercotton.com.au/

 

John and Ros Cameron – 2013 Monsanto Grower of the Year

The Cameron’s started farming nearly 25 years ago with little financial backing and experience. The Cameron’s have now expanded their original block to include three neighbouring properties.

‘Kintyre’ is located 20km North West of Pittsworth on Queensland’s Darling Downs. He applies a strict wheat and cotton rotation on his farm. Soil health is the main focus at ‘Kintyre’. Soil tests are conducted at regular intervals across the farm and nutrients are only added when and if they are needed. This limits the amount of money wasted on unnecessary fertilisers.

John Cameron is currently the chair of Cotton Australia’s Farming Systems Panel, where he contributes 80 unpaid hours of his time.

 

References

Cotton Australia – Australian Cotton Industry Awards 2013 – http://cottonaustralia.com.au/news/article/australian-cotton-industry-awards-recipients-announced

http://cottonaustralia.com.au/cotton-library/publications/cotton-industry-awards

http://www.austsupercotton.com.au/