Agricultural Science explores the ways people sustainably manage natural resources such as plants, animals, climate, soil and water to meet their basic needs. These management practices derive from current understanding about science, food and fibre production systems, sustainable farming practices, agricultural technologies, consumer-driven economics and effective product marketing.
The scope of the subject if thus very broad. As agriculture is of fundamental importance to humans, this subject is relevant to all students, not just those from a rural background.Students who complete a course of study in this subject become more informed about and sensitive to issues such as the environment and sustainable agriculture, animal welfare, the use of technology, the position of agriculture in the Australian economy and the role management plays in the care of natural resources. Students learn to apply the processes and principles of science, economics, climate and business, as well as use technological and scientific systems to develop solutions to these real life issues. Thus, they become more effective citizens, able to understand and solve the challenges inherent in growing food and fibre for human use.
Subject Overview and Structure
Agricultural Science is a compulsory course in Years 7 and 8 and is offered as an optional elective from Years 9 to 12. Over the duration of the course of study at Tully State High School, students engage in ‘real world’ agricultural experiences to develop the knowledge and skills required to prepare them for tertiary study or more practical work on the farm and in related trades.
Year 7 Agricultural Science - Introduction to agriculture, history of agriculture, importance of agriculture, sustainable vegetable production and dairy production.
Year 8 Agricultural Science - Animal welfare, poultry egg production and beef cattle production.
Year 9 Agricultural Science (Animal Husbandry) – Cattle handling and safety, anatomy and physiology, digestion and nutrition and reproduction.
Year 10 Agricultural Science (Animal Husbandry) – Breeding and genetics, animal health, broiler poultry production and alternative enterprises.
Years 11/12 Agricultural Science – Animal science, plant science, agribusiness and sustainable resource management.
Years 11/12 Certificate II in Rural Operations – A competency based course, focused on occupational health and safety, beef cattle production, small crop production, fencing and machinery operation.
Facilities and Resources
The school’s agricultural facility encompasses 30 hectares of productive agricultural land, which incorporates a number of agricultural enterprises which are managed to industry standard.
The enterprises include:
- A Droughtmaster cattle stud, which is a self-sustaining enterprise of 50 cattle, managed primarily by the students. The award winning cattle are regularly exhibited by the students at regional shows.
- Poultry enterprises, consisting of a Wyandotte chicken stud and layer/broiler chickens, used in various nutrition trials.
- Organic vegetable plots, managed by the year 7 students, with the purpose of teaching self-sufficiency.
- Small crops, including pumpkins and watermelons, which are produced by the Certificate II students.
A strong emphasis is placed on ‘real world’ experiential learning, whereby all enterprises are managed to industry standard, highlighting the importance of animal welfare and sustainability, to feed the world. Future projects include the establishment of a pawpaw plantation and a greenhouse.
The study of Agricultural Science at Tully State High School provide students with a strong foundation for careers in areas such as Veterinary Science, Agribusiness, Animal and Plant Science. Students completing Certificate II in Rural Operations are well prepared to pursue careers at the farm level and in agricultural related trades.