Pig industry educates agricultural students from across NSW

PROVIDING a platform for students to learn about the pig industry and develop hands-on skills, the Forbes Stud Pig Sale held their annual education day on May 8 at Bedgerabong showground.

Held in conjunction with the stud pig sale that kicked off in 2015, the youth event was introduced to create a learning experience that allowed participants to apply what they were learning in class to a practical environment, to value-add to their skills and knowledge.

Forbes Stud Pig Sale and youth show committee member Emma Baxter, Forbes, said the aim of bringing the event to the Central West was to bring quality genetics to the area to make them more accessible, and boost the industry.

"The pig industry is hidden and this educational event aims to shine a light on it and showcase all the good things that are happening within it," Mrs Baxter said.

With over 100 students from about six schools across NSW taking part, the exposure of the program is growing as it allows schools that don't have the chance to physically raise or house pigs to still get the most out of the topic.

Participants were exposed to a range of areas within the supply chain from conception through to the butcher's shelf including; semen collection and artificial insemination, ultrasound scanning, animal health and welfare, processing and butchering and the various cuts of pork, handling and on-farm production.

In particular students had the chance to test their skills weaving pigs through witches hat traffic cones using nothing but a square board - a tricky task considering pigs are rarely handled before they are shown or sold.