Model Farms High School Archibull Prize 2011 Entry Dairy
Building a bridge between the rural and urban divide
It takes 90 000 cows to produce 1.3 million litres of milk that Sydney consumes every day. 390 146 cows= 1817315 kg of dairy. Urbanisation and population growth are two main concerns challengingIf all countries consumed the resources ecological sustainability. that Australian do, it would take three earths to support their lifestyle.
Sustainability is the ability to maintain a certain status or process in existing systems. Sustainability is important because all the choices andactions that we make today will affect everything in the future. We need to make wise decisions in order to avoid restraining the choices of generations to come in the future years.
We as Australians need to manage our resources carefully. We tend to think that there will be a continuous supply, but reality is there isn’t and we are not to take them for granted. We need to be able to sustain our resourcesso we can encourage manufacturing businesses and agriculture for the future.
How much land and sea we need to do all meet our basic human needs is our ecological footprint. The planets bio capacity is how much suitable productive land and sea there is available. Our ability to live sustainably (without the resource base collapsing catastrophically depends on the balance between the two.)Australians are passionate about their food but are not so keen on theamount of food that we throw out. In fact research has found that Australians waste an estimated 3 million tonnes of food every year.
Australia currently relies on non-renewable energy for 95% of its energy needs, yet Australia has up to 25% of the worlds solar power expertise.Each year Australia burdens the atmosphere with as much carbon dioxide and other green house gases as the average American due to our high standard of living.
Since methane can be used asfuel, there are several possibilitiesfor recycling the gas and using itas energy. Even though this might produce some carbon dioxide, the overall contribution to climate change would be less then if the methane wasn’t used. If the average Australian cut their emissions by 10% it would save 55 million tonnes a year.
Australian farmers feed and cloth 60 million people, if they were doctors or nurses or fireman there would be a moment in most peoples lives when they would be reminded just how important thoseprofessions are. Farmers are less than 1% of the Australian population and are almost invisible. With food in abundance in this country, there is little opportunity to remind Australians just how important our farmers are.
Approximately 80% of Australia’sland area is managed by farmers, indigenous communities and other private land managers. Of this approximately 60% of Australia’s land mass is used for grazing and cropping. Our social, economic and environmental wellbeing depends on the sustainable management and gradual improvement of natural resources.
In dairy farming, the biggest environmental challenges are managing soil health and nutrientbalances, this means minimising the escape of nutrients into majorwaterways, protecting on farm water ways and remaining bushland, and avoiding excessive on farm water use. Dairy farmers are constantly finding, more efficient and environmentally friendly ways to manage there land, there animals, and there business.
Many people are unaware of the “paddock to plate” environmental impact of food. There seems to be a real disconnect between the food we buy and the impact that it has on the environment when we throwit away. People no longer understand that when you throw out food, youralso throwing out all of the resources, fuel and energy that was used to get that food to your plate. This lack of knowledge about the wider impact of food is one of the reason why we waste so much of it.
Educating and improving the bond between farmers and our society, will help improve our knowledge about the “paddock to plate” concept and make people more aware of their wastage. Events such as the Royal Easter Show,help bring farmers and the rural side to the city, where city people can enjoyand learn about their lifestyle and how hard they work for our wellbeing.
Every single day, Sydney goes through enormous quantities of goods produced by Australian farmers and here are just some of the goods that Sydney consumes on a daily basis. Product Groups Kilograms consumed each Commodities used to day in Sydney supply Sydney Pork 303 726 kg 10 847 Pigs Bees (Honey) 12 603 kg 82 191 781 Bees Meat and Livestock 577 205 kg 9014 Beasts Poultry 1295 562 kg 1423 832 Hens Dairy 1817 315 kg 390 146 Dairy Cows Grain 693 151 kg 31 543 Loaves of Bread Horticulture 2090 795 kg 8 664 032 Fruit and Vegetables Rice 163 836 kg 8 191 780 822 Grains of Rice Cotton 1854 bails= 420 858 kg 30 Hectares of land
The health and sustainability of our water ecosystems are critical toour continent (money and jobs) environment, (land, air and living things) and society (people and communities). Agriculture accounts for around 65% of Australia’s agriculture use and nearly all of Sydney’s water issupplied from storages on the Hawkesbury-Nepean and Woronora rivers. Approximately one third of people said water supply and conservation and management was the most important issue for the government in protecting the environment.
Water is abundant but rare at the same time. Only 3% of all water on earth is only freshwater and only a tiny percentage of this is available for human use. Australia is the driest inhabited continent, yet we are one of the world’s largest consumers of water. A sustainable water supply needs a longterm balance between the supply of water and the demand of uses. In Sydney, fluctuations in supply caused by rainfall variations and the potential for large increases in demandfrom the rapid growth in population are effecting this balance.
Water Plan 21. Sydney water is thesupplier of water services for Sydneyand the Blue mountains and Illawarra regions. In 2002, Sydney water released water plan 21 a review for sustainable water services. The goals were to have clean safe drinking water, sustainable water supplies, clean beaches, ocean rivers andharbours, wise resource use and smart growth.
Model Farms is a part of the Every Drop Counts program which offers support to identify ways of reducing waterconsumption and costs. The program is very sensitive and can display water consumption in blocks as short as 15 minutes, meaning that the graphs showsudden peaks at intervals during the school day.
Model Farms daily consumption of water for the week Monday 24th October to Monday 31st October 2011. The Maximum consumption of water forthe week reached16 350 Litres while our minimum consumption was 2370 Litres.
Sometimes we ask ourselves, what can we do? An answer to this could be think globally, act locally. Some problems need globalagreement and action but each of us can also make a difference to ecological sustainability by cooperating with each other and by considering changes in our own lifestyles.
As a small community, our school, Model Farms, observe and monitor ourschool’s resources, waste and physical surroundings and take on activities to protect and improve our school and local environment. At Model Farms, we participate in the (water plan) and take action by having water tanks set up around the school. This allows us to collect rainwater and recycle it for toilets and the agriculture plot.
At the Agriculture plot, we learn how to grow fruitand vegetables and how to sustain our gardens. Our chickens produce eggs, which we then sell to our teachers at the school. We also recycle food scraps from the cooking rooms in Our school also home economic and use has many solarthem as a fertilizer for our panels on top of soil. the library that convert solar energy into electrical energy for use at our school, which reduces the amount of energy consumption and our reliance of fossil fuels.
A very special thank you to:Mrs MunroeAshleigh LaneSteph MurphyMaddison KerneyAnd many Thanks to:Vienna Rose- SimianaAmy ThayreEmma OrchardBrooke RyanshawMary DaroyErica ZhangSashini HewagamaCaitlin MansonMitchell HaroldIsaac RossiChris RejiJiacheng GuMatthew Brokenbrough