Irrawang High School named 'people's choice' finalists in the Archibull Prize

It’s a case of third time lucky for students at Irrawang High School who have broken into the finals of the Archibull Prize in the people’s choice category.

The competition is designed to build stronger ties between farmers and their communities through a better understanding of agriculture’s challenges.

The Irrawang students this year embraced egg and poultry production as their theme applied skillfully to the fiberglass model.

“It’s a big achievement just to make the finals,” art teacher Grant Wyllie said.

“The students have loved it because it’s not painting on your traditional paper or canvas but a life size cow.”

Combining pop-culture with agriculture, the artwork features a rooster in the guise of James Bond.

On the rump, there’s also a fried egg with more eggs stashed within the yoke.

Nicola Green, 15, who worked on the project said it was a learning experience.

“I’d encourage students at other schools to have a go because it is a new experience and you learn a lot along the way,” she said.

The project was completed in lunch breaks, after school and during art club.

“It was challenging but we’d had that previous experience doing it which helped,” Delaya Johns, 15, said.

Through the process the students complete a blog about what they had learnt.

Delaya Johns said it had given her greater appreciation for food production.

“We’ve learnt it can be hard, we now know that the chickens can die from excessive heat and that farmers have to put cooling fans inside the barns,” she said. 

The 2017 Archibull Prize Awards will be announced at Sydney Showground on November 21.

To vote visit art4agriculturechat.wordpress.com.

This is the second year Hunter Local Land Services has been involved with The Archibull Prize and Hunter Local Land Services School engagement officer Jane Lloyd-Jones is excited by the ongoing partnership. 

“Hunter Local Land Services is extremely proud to support the Archibull Prize,” Ms Lloyd-Jones said. 

“The outcomes and the creativity of the program tie in beautifully with Local Land Services, in terms of the agricultural and biosecurity learnings the students receive.

“These kids are the future of farming.”

The Irrawang students were supported on their Archibull Journey by Young Farming Champion Tim Eyes who runs a small-scale farm and agricultural contracting business on the NSW Central Coast. Mr Eyes’ experience producing chickens and eggs was invaluable to the school as they designed their Archie entry.

Multiple cash prizes, up to $1000, will be presented to the winners as well as the coveted title of Grand Champion Archibull.