Mentoring Students Pays Off

Field day success for student team and their Landcare 'client'

Mentoring Students Pays Off

Field day success for student team and their Landcare 'client'

Reaching Out -


The issue

During the 2017 Landcare Adventure, a group of participants indicated strong interest in further investigating the 'Fodder Solutions' sprouted barley production technology they saw demonstrated. Soon after, Southern New England Landcare was approached by University of New England (UNE) to see if we could play the role of 'client' for a group of Agricultural Extension students for their major assessment item.

The solution

It seemed a natural fit to put the two desires together and have the students facilitate a 'Sprouted Barley' field day.

After negotiating a memorandum of understanding with the students, SNELandcare approached members, Derek and Fiona Smith of Working With Nature and secured their support to host the field day in August 2017. The calling question was 'Can sprouted barley enable landholders to increase their herd size while reducing environmental impacts, increase food security, and even drought-proof a farm?'

The students organised promotional content, catering, speakers, logistics, an MC, the programa, and sourced sponsorship for the catering. They photographed and filmed the event, formulated and analysed an evaluation, and presented us with a comprehensive final report.

The impact

The 49 field day participants were impressed with the speakers and the new knowledge they gained. The day ran without a hitch and evaluations indicated it was useful and well-run.

The students successfully completed their assessment with good results, and Southern New England Landcare facilitated a field day that would not have otherwise occurred.


It was important to:

  • have a clear Memorandum of Understanding with the student group about expectations.
  • stay in regular contact with the students via a nominated member of their group.
  • manage personalities among the group - they have not necessarily worked together as a group before.

Key facts

  • Mentoring university students to run a field day creates a win-win situation.
  • A team of 6 students gained practical experience and successfully fulfilled their assessment requirements.

Project Partners