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St George State High School > Calendar and news > Blog
September 19
All Finished!

​Today is the final day of our 2014 Archibull quest and we have taken the photos of the finished product for you to see below........

IPM in Cotton side 1.PNG

And the other side.......

IPM in Cotton side 2.PNG

We will be off to Gundy for judging sometime in Term 4 and we will be letting you know the outcome as soon as possible!

We would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this project - it has been a great way to include kids from all subject areas. Not to mention that we now have something to show off at speech night!

If anyone would like to read our Artwork Analysis - please email our teacher at and she can email you a copy. We will be in our local newspaper, the Balonne Beacon, early next term - be sure to keep an eye out!

September 11
Archibull progress......

​Our Archibull is coming along slowly but surely with steady progress on the plane, the stems and leaves and the second coating of paint on the main body area. The paddocks are almost ready to have plants added to them and the houses and tractors will be added to the landscape by the end of the week.

Here is our first coat....

First coat of paint.PNG

Here is our second coat and cotton branches with the leaves that we have already made being constructed before they are inserted into the legs.

Cotton branches and painting second coat.PNG

Our teacher has arranged for us to be able to take our finished Archibul over to Goondiwindi for judging. It will be taken over in a gooseneck with a camera so that it can be watched from the inside of the car! We would really hate to see it break after all of our hard work.

Our next blog will be the Archibull all finished and ready to go and we are really excited about it!

September 05
Bringing our design to life........

​Over the past fortnight we have begun outlining and painting our design onto our cow. We are painting our cow with the design of a cotton farm and turning the legs into cotton bushes to represent conventional cotton and GM cotton varieties.

We have drilled into the fibreglass cow and added dowel to the legs to make the branches to stick the leaves to it. This will represent the damage that can be caused by insect destruction of crops

August 27
Archibull Progress!

As we are running up the the final weeks of our Archibull Quest, things are getting much busier. We are getting together in our Ag Science and Art classes in the afternoon to make all all the extra bits a pieces to go on our finished project.

The Lady Beetles took FOREVER to make! But they are all done now......

Finished Lady Beetles.PNG
We have also painted all of the branches for the cotton bushes, made the stand for the cow (with wheels), found a real life model crop duster to use and we are now making the leaves for our cotton bushes. Next on our list is making more beneficial bugs, beginning with Lace Wings! Mrs Brimblecome and Miss Stuart have sourced hand made paper for us to use.

With the end approaching, we can't wait to see what it looks like! 

Class making cotton leaves.PNG

July 24
Cotton Gin Field Trip

After our visit from Liz, we were able to go on an excursion to visit the local cotton gin on the Eastern side of St George. We were taken on a guided tour by the Beardmore Gin manager, Mr Nathan McKee, to see everything from the yard where the cotton modules are placed, right through the ginning process to the end product - 227kg bales of pure cotton.

We sat in the control room and watched the processing via monitors. It was interesting to see how potential problems are dealt with by the crew managing the gin. Blockages in the gin stands are removed with an air compressor and excess build up of raw cotton was removed using large booms and shovels.

Nathan told us how important it was for the cotton to be moved continuously so that it did not get too hot and catch fire. Some of the machinery was very large and used a lot of pressure to push the cotton into the required bales. below is a picture of a gin technician removing build up in a gin stand.

Cleaning Gin Stand.PNG

Overall, it was a great experience to see how a cotton gin works after learning about the different processes in class. We would like to thank the teachers, bus drivers and people at the cotton gin for taking the time to show us how it all works!

Cotton Gin 24-6-14.PNG

By Yr 10 Ag ​

July 17
Liz Lobsey - Young Farming Champion Visit

Our school was fortunate enough to have the experience of a personal visit by our Young Farming Champion - Liz Lobsey. Liz is an extremely keen and enthusiastic member of the agricultural community who really inspired us with her ideas and experiences.

We asked her a range of interview questions and Miss Stuart gave her a list of our questions and half of them she had already answered in the presentation that she had prepared for us! We were still able to ask her some of our questions, which we will detail below.

Liz is an agronomist from Dalby and she works for a private firm. The presentation that she prepared for us was linked very closely to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) which was a great help to us. Our Archibull theme is to represent the sustainability of the use of IPM to achieve maximum production.

Liz Lobsey and Pup.PNG

We found out that Liz went to the same university, the University of New England in Armidale and the same college, Robb College, as our Ag teacher. We also asked Liz the following questions:

Q1. Would you recommend agronomy to others?
Liz: Yes, if you don’t like sitting in an office, you like being outside and like working with many different people, I would definitely recommend agronomy.
Q2. Did you take a gap year before you went to university?
Liz: No, I didn’t take a gap year because I had her mind set on studying at university.
Q3. What other interests and hobbies do you have?
Liz: I love playing Netball and a I am a huge rugby union fan. I really enjoy anything that is active and in the outdoors.
Q4. How many years did you study agronomy? 
Liz: I studied business at uni for four years before agronomy, then I got a job for an accounting firm in Moree. After some time spent there, I realised that my heart was in Agriculture. I then went back and did two more years at uni to get a graduate diploma in Rural Science.
Liz also gave us a quick quiz about the different insects involved with cotton production and showed us the difference between beneficial insects and those that can potentially destroy the crop. It was a really fun and interactive activity for us to participate in.
We would like to especially thank Liz for taking the time to come and visit us and to Cotton Australia for sending Mrs Jane Hill to the afternoon. Our principal, Mr Rod Prior, also came over and was part of our group photo below, along with our teachers, Mrs Brimblecombe and Miss Stuart. We followed up this visit with a trip to one of our local cotton gins, we will update again shortly!
 Liz Lobsey Visit.PNG

By Year 10 Ag​
June 16
Undressing our Archibull!

There was much excitement at the camp when our Archibull arrived. It only took a quick trip to Gundy (Goondiwindi) with a horse float, and our Archibull had finally arrived!

Students flocked from all over the school to see the newest addition to the Ag Science classroom - the 'really big' fibreglass cow! The year 10 Ag class were given the honour of 'undressing' her and the senior class nicknamed her 'Cold Rock', or 'Coldie' for short. Coldie has proved to be a fantastic addition to the class room! Our Ag Assistant is busily making a moveable platform to stand Coldie on so that she will be easier to move around.
Class shot with Archibull.PNG
We have also received our resource pack from Cotton Australia which included cotton seeds and an instruction card on how to grow them. Each member of the class has planted two seeds each and some of the seeds have already germinated despite the cold weather (they usually require at least 3 days at a soil temperature above 14 degrees celcius before they will strike). This has worked out really well for us considering that our Young Farming Champion, Liz Lobsey, arrives this coming Monday!
Cotton Trial 2-6-14.PNG

As a class group, we have been preparing a list of questions for Liz and very much look forward to her answers! We will be updating you with them soon. In the meantime, here are a few pictures of our 'undressing'.....
Undressing our Archibull 1.PNG
Year 10 undressing ArchibullPNG.PNG
Contributed by Year 10 Ag

May 06
Integrated Pest Management in Cotton
What is IPM in Cotton?
IPM is the Integrated Pest Management of Cotton.  IPM is a sustainable technique that has been used to manage pests by combining biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools to reduce economic, health and environmental risks. 
Why did we start using IPM?
 Cotton pests IPM blog.PNG
IPM was introduced to stop the amount of pesticides and insecticides that farmers used. It was also used because many of the weeds and pests were becoming resistant to the chemicals.
What are the advantages of IPM?
1. The reduced amount of broad-spectrum pesticide use in the environment
2. A reduced chance of pests becoming resistant to specific pesticide
3. A reduced health risk for humans
4. Less harm for the environment
Overall Opinion of IPM
IPM is good for the Cotton industry because it is a sustainable technique that has a minimal risk to humans, animals and the environment. IPM has improved the use of insecticides in the Cotton industry by 80% in the past decade.  Since using biotechnology alone (e.g. Genetically Modified Cotton) the Cotton industry it has, on average, increased the overall income by $180 per hectare. It is an efficient way of prolonging the chance of pests developing a resistance to chemical treatments. 
By Emily, Jessie, Anna and Sam

April 07
Sustainability in Cotton
What is sustainability?
Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.
What Cotton Growers do to Become more Sustainable:
·         Biosecurity- management and control of pests and diseases.
·         Biotechnology- for GM cotton varieties.
·         Human resources- managing staff and contractors.
·         Soil health- ensuring healthy soil for the long term.
·         Water management- water qualities, efficiency of storage and distribution, dry land and irrigated farming practices.
By Emily Killen, Jessie Twidale and Anna WilsonKids in cotton trial 3-4-14PNG.PNG

March 21
About Our Team

The St George Archibull Prize team will include students from the Agriculture and Art classes as well as students who wish to nominate to be a part of the Archibull Team that will occur at nominated times outside of school. Teachers from the Ag and Art departments will help to facilitate the creation of the artwork and research of the industry - cotton.

The St George team has access to people from all walks of life and various levels of engagement within the cotton industry. We believe that this is what gives us the advantage in The Archibull Prize for 2014. As we have begun to delve into the rich history of cotton in the St George area we have uncovered families and individuals who can recall significant times and events for St George cotton. For example, the introduction of irrigation into the area and the impact it had on local cotton production.

Harvesting.PNGOur team reaches far beyond the boundaries of our school - we reach into our community! While we were preparing our Expression of Interest and speaking with our families and friends, we found out that our community was also keen to support us in this venture.


Then came the task of getting the letters of support together. And boy, did they flood in! Our quest has been supported by the following people and organisations: Thallon AgForce, Rural Skills Australia, St George Machinery Centre, Nindigully Landcare Group, Rogan Pastoral Company, St George Jockey Club, Landmark St George, Howard Hobbs - Member of Parliament for Warrego, Cooinda Cotton, Elders St George, Cotton Growers Services St George, Balonne Shire Council, AgForce Queensland, St George Artslink and the Gateway Schools for Agribusiness Program Southern Coordinator, Dianne Fullelove.

As you can see, we are utterly overwhelmed as a school community to be the recipients of such kind, generous and valuable support! We plan on working closely with all of our supporters to keep them informed and updated on our progress via emails and blogs. If you wish to be on our Archibull Prize 2014 mailing list, please email your details to and we will be sure to add you!

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 About this blog


Our blog aims to keep people informed about our progress in The Archibull Prize for 2014. Students and teachers from the Ag and Art departments will be working together to create an artwork that represents the history of our industry, cotton, in St George.
We plan on working closely with all of our supporters to keep them informed and updated on our progress via emails and blogs. If you wish to be on our Archibull Prize 2014 mailing list, please email your details to and we will be sure to add you!