College Farm

College Farm

The College farm comprises 560 hectares of prime agricultural land and operates a variety of enterprises for commercial and educational purposes.
All agricultural subjects are delivered using an Enterprise theme, integrated subjects and practical work.

Cattle

Dairy, Simmental Stud and a commercial beef herd.

Students gain experience of all aspects of cattle operations including beef production, dairy production, stud management and artificial insemination. Each year, students prepare livestock for agricultural shows such as the Perth Royal Show, where they compete in led steer and cattle judging competitions. Students also compete at a number of country shows.

Robotic Dairy

The College’s Automatic Milking System (robotic dairy) has two robot milkers that can handle 70 cows each, giving the College a 140 cow milking daily, an increase in 50 herd animals. The cows have free access to the Automatic Milking System (AMS) at any time of day and come up to milk themselves. Each cow is individually identified by the AMS via an ear tag, which can pick up if a cow has already been milked too recently and will lead that cow out via electronic gates; if not, the cow is allowed access and the robot cleans the udder and uses laser points to pick up where to attach each of the pumps.

Sheep

Fine wool Merino flock, Poll Dorset stud, Corriedale stud and Dohne x Merino flock.

Students gain experience in all aspects of fine wool production, prime lamb production and stud management. Artificial Insemination training occurs, fleece measurement is carried out with all Merino ewes and a shearing short course is provided. Students are trained in judging of all breeds and compete at Perth Royal and various country RAS shows.

Poultry

The College has sufficient laying hens housed in a free range barn to supply eggs for the College kitchen and sell in the local community.

Forestry

Students have planted some 10 hectares of  Eucalypt sawlog, Pinus Radiata and wood chip (Blue Gum) species in woodlots and shelter belts at strategic locations according to the farm plan.

All forestry operations are managed by students, and timber from the woodlots is utilised in the College farm fencing program.
The College works in partnership with the rapidly expanding plantation industry in the Great Southern region, providing industry specific training for students as a potential career path.

Landcare

The College farm is operated according to the best principles of sustainable agriculture, and students have been engaged in practical landcare projects in the school and in the community over a long period of time. Landcare plots are  developed and  maintained by students who elect Conservation and Land Management as a field of study. There are significant employment opportunities in this field with the national focus on revegetation and climate change.

Horticulture

Horticulture is a significant industry in the Great Southern and South West, and the College runs both traditional and organic commercial vegetable growing enterprises as the core of its Plant Production course, enabling students to obtain industry specific qualifications to follow pursuits in the horticulture, vicitculture and forestry industries. A variety of produce is grown ranging from broccoli, garlic, rhubarb and kale to flower production.

Vineyard/Wine Making

Students have planned, planted and now maintain a one hectare vineyard on College land. Planted to Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz and Chardonnay vines, the first commercial vintage took place in 2002.

The College has a link with a number of commercial vineyards with winemaking carried out under the instruction of Harewood  Estate. A number of outstanding wines have been produced, including a superb sparkling Pinot/Chardonnay (Champagne). A significant number of graduates from this course of study have successful careers in the viticulture/winemaking industry. College wine is available for purchase on occasions such as Graduation and Open Days.

Abattoir

Students gain butchering, food-handling and hygiene experience in a small meatworks, maintained to industry standards. Meat from the farm is processed for the College kitchen. Students make sausages, cure and smoke hams, cut and vacuum-pack meat cuts.

Aquaculture

The College has an aquaculture facility for educational purposes. Aquaculture activities are offered in Animal Production and Marketing classes as an optional enterprise for study in Year 12.

Equine Studies

The College has equine facilities including stables, tackroom, enclosures and handling facilities. Students work with College or their own horses during instructional and recreational time.  Students are able to achieve nationally accredited units of competency in Equine Studies.

 

Further Contact: Fred Knight, Farm Manager, 0428 480 205

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