Rotary Youth in Cotton (RYCOTT)

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ROTARY YOUTH IN COTTON (RYCOTT)

Last April (2015) the Rotary Club of Narromine held its fourth cotton camp. Teachers and students associated with the clubs very successful RYCAGS Camp suggested the cotton camp so a three day live-in camp was developed. Agriculture students in years 9 to 12 are invited to attend and the maximum intake is 16 students. The attendees arrive on Sunday afternoon and depart on Wednesday after lunch. Accommodation is at the Narromine Showground with the females and males well segregated. Supervision is 24/7 by two Rotarian couples. Meals are prepared by Rotarians from the Rotary Food Van. The cost is $120 per student.

Visits to two cotton farms, hopefully to see cotton being picked and baled, and the farmer to explain their operations in detail, covering  ground preparation, spraying, irrigation, pidgeon peas, defoliation, water storage and transport. We visit two cotton gins to see how seed and vegetable matter is extracted from the raw material and processed ready for clothing and household goods manufacture. Farm machinery retailers were also visited to inspect cotton pickers. Narromine Irrigation System, vital to the cotton industry was fully explained.
 
Professionals gave talks on genetic modification, finance and insurance, agronomy etc. Most of the students are from a farming background but their knowledge of cotton is very limited.
 
Local sponsorship from local businesses defrayed the parent’s costs and assisted the Rotarians run the camp.
 
The following testimonials are from former students, parents and teachers.
  • I had no idea about cotton farming so I learnt a lot.....Student
  • A great way to keep these kids on the land after school.....Ag teacher
  • I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for my daughter.....Parent
  • Congratulations for a well constructed ag camp.....PDG.
The 2016 camp will be run from 1 to 4 May at the Narromine Showground.
 
All enquiries to Geoff Smith 6889 5447 or rycott@rotary9670.org.au