Yangan farmer Peter Mikklelsen shows Gold Coast students (front) Aaron Hughes, Benjie Thorton, Jet the dog, Milo Ross, Keebra Park State School teacher Geoff Richardson and (back) Coby Garland, Charei Smith and Ashmore PCYC activities manager Dan Mulherin around his property.
Yangan farmer Peter Mikklelsen shows Gold Coast students (front) Aaron Hughes, Benjie Thorton, Jet the dog, Milo Ross, Keebra Park State School teacher Geoff Richardson and (back) Coby Garland, Charei Smith and Ashmore PCYC activities manager Dan Mulherin around his property.

Teens taking in farm life

GROWING up in the hustle and bustle of Gold Coast life, five teenagers are getting the opportunity of a lifetime to refocus and find direction by surrounding themselves within our region.

Fourteen-year-old Aaron Hughes is enjoying the fresh new experiences he has been partaking in since arriving on the Southern Downs on Monday.

“It is a lot better here than it is at the Gold Coast,” Aaron said.

Their Keebra Park State High School teacher Geoff Richardson, who previously lived in the region, said the boys are from Keebra Park SHS and Benowa SHS and are involved in a program at the Ashmore PCYC.

“These kids have made some bad decisions at school and we wanted to bring them out here to broaden their horizons,” Mr Richardson said.

“Society has its problems and we want to help them.”

Throughout the week the students will get a full view of our region from our water supply at Leslie Dam to dragging themselves out of bed to experience all there is to know about a dairy farmer’s life.

Mr Richardson said through the goodwill of country people, like Yangan farmer Peter Mikklelsen who explained the workings of his property yesterday, these teenagers were able to get a different perspective on life.

“It will show them to respect other people, showing the coast kids the country life while educating and developing them,” Mr Richardson said.

A highlight for the teens was experiencing country life through a bonfire, and they all enjoyed the Warwick TAFE police and youth driving on Tuesday.

Throughout their week they will see the full workings of the beef industry, seeing how the farming works, to the saleyards and then to Carey Bros Abattoir to see how the meat gets to their plates at home.

“After this week they will appreciate other people’s lives more, and by building their knowledge source maybe they can make better decisions,” Mr Richardson said.

Aaron found it hard to name one thing they had done so far as the most interesting, but couldn’t forget the fun ride he had in a new truck after a Fraser’s Livestock Transport visit on Tuesday.

“I am having a lot of fun and have a lot of new knowledge,” Aaron said.

“We have been learning a lot of stuff about farming and crops and everything.”

This is the first time the program has been held through the help of the PCYC and other organisations and Mr Richardson hopes it becomes an annual event, as there are a lot of children who need help.

By the reactions of the teenagers it is definitely a benefiting factor, as Aaron has already set his sights on the possibility of a future in the countryside.

“For 75 per cent of the population who live in the cities and along the coast they don’t appreciate this country life, and now these kids have a different view of things,” Mr Richardson said.



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