Curricular - Agriculture

Studying Agriculture at the College provides students with a deep knowledge and understanding of Australian agricultural systems. Students learn about historical agricultural development, today’s agricultural industry (both domestically and in export trade), and the future direction of the industry. Students enter a field of study that currently feeds an industry with a national skills shortage; where for every university graduate, there are 8 to 10 jobs on offer. Students learn about a primary industry that is driven by the increasing demand of a growing population (which they are part of), increased requirement for innovation and technology, and an innate understanding of the importance of sustainable farming and consumer choices.

Stage 5 Agricultural Technology (50% practical)

Year 9 – students learn about Australian agriculture through the investigation of three farming enterprise based units of study:

  1. Vegetable production
  2. Sheep for meat and wool (incorporates preparation and exhibition of the schools registered poll dorset stud – “Barooma Trac” at the Holbrook Sheep and Wool Fair)
  3. Chickens for meat and eggs

Year 10

  1. Cereal crop production
  2. Beef production
  3. Pasture and Fodder production

Stage 6 Agriculture (30% practical)  


For students who continue on from Stage 5 Agricultural Technology, or start fresh with the subject in Year 11, Preliminary Agriculture will take their understanding of Australian agriculture to a deeper and broader level. The course is comprised of four NESA syllabus sections. At the College the order is changed to enable scaffolded learning of agricultural concepts.

  1. Overview - the history of agriculture and the current state of affairs
  2. Plant production - soils, plants, and their environment and products
  3. Animal production - the care, feeding, products, welfare and markets
  4. Farm Case Study - now students have a theoretical understanding of agriculture they put it all together with an investigative visit to a local farm of interest.*

HSC Agriculture

The HSC course takes students deeper into the interactions between the living and non-living farm environment. Students learn how agriculture has developed management systems to minimise environmental limitations on farm production, and also how consumer preference (both domestically and overseas) essentially drive management decisions at the farm level.

The course comprises of three units:

  1. Plant and animal production – understanding plants, animals and the environment to effectively manage for profitable and sustainable production.
  2. Farm Product Study – essentially this unit allows students to investigate the production, management, marketing and profitability of a farm product from paddock to plate – both in Australia and oversees.
  3. * Elective – Agrifood, fibre and fuel technology.

In order to engage the whole class this unit was chosen because it allows just that. Students learn (with passion) about current and coming food and fibre technologies (including genetic engineering), and the inevitable tension caused by farming to produce fuel as opposed to food.

Agriculture is not about becoming a farmer! It is about realising that each agricultural student has a plethora of career paths on offer; and also has the ability to positively affect the quantity and quality of agricultural products and natural resources that they and their own children will access in the future.

* The Preliminary Farm Case Study and the HSC Farm Product Study contain the same farm product enterprise. They units are designed to give each class the ability to choose the farm product they wish to study in the HSC course, which will then determine the type of farm they will study in the Preliminary Course, thus synchronising and streamlining the units across the two courses.