Agriculture

Agriculture is a core focus at Lucindale Area School, with curriculum being offered to students from Reception to Year 12. All agriculture classes are provided face-to -face and senior students regularly work with the Farm Manager.

Students in R – 6 are introduced to agriculture with 2 lessons a week covering the science and technology aspects of the Australian Curriculum through an agricultural lens. The preparation and showing of animals is a major component of studies for Years 8 – 10 and students in Years 8 – 12 are involved in a number of different agricultural shows.

A wide range of agricultural and horticultural experiences that are common to the Limestone Coast are covered within our program to equip students for a career in Agriculture or further studies in Agriculture. Lucindale Area School offers students Agricultural Systems, Agricultural Production and Flexible Pathways Agriculture.

· Agricultural Systems

· Agricultural Productions

The school farm is 19 ha farm, with an additional 23ha of land that the school leases from the local council. Onsite facilities include a 2 stand shearing shed adjoining the Agriculture classroom, newly redeveloped sheep yards, state of the art cattle yards, cattle herds, Merino and White Suffolk sheep flocks, vegetable garden and five soil pits to study soil profiles and soil science.

Students can run feedlots as a rural small business enterprise and prepare sheep, cattle and goats for showing at both local shows and the Royal Adelaide Show. All other animal husbandry operations take place on the school site using the modern sheep, cattle yards and parade area, and parade area where the students can participate and handle animals in a safe environment.

The agriculture curriculum covers a wide range of subjects including cattle handling, goat handling, poultry, pigs, sheep, organic survival unit, vegetable garden, soil, cattle/farm management and alpacas. There is some small scale cropping done, pasture management, pasture renovation, seed and pasture persistence trials as well as cattle, sheep, pig, poultry and goat production. The hay production program raises funds for the school agriculture program, as well as producing livestock feed. Some of the hay production is run in conjunction with seed company trials. This allows the school keep up with the latest seed varieties on the market.

Aquaculture is a major component of the agriculture facility. There is a hatchery, growing tanks and ponds used for growing rainbow trout that are sold at various stages of growth from fry and fingerling to plate size. Lucindale Area School strives to achieve excellence in all aspects of agriculture.

The School ensures current industry experience and networking is available for students as part of their learning, with the inclusion of regular excursions and expert guest speakers. There is fantastic contribution from local farmers including provision of animals for showing, provision of grain for stock feeds, hosting days of calf marking, lamb marking, dairy visits, winery visits, cropping and machinery demonstrations and other farming events to help further student’s practical experience.

There is not another facility in South Australia that can offer such diversity in agricultural experience for student learning.

VITICUTURE

The Lucindale Area School vineyard consists of Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir plantings. The vineyard is predominantly planted on Terra Rossa soil, made famous by the Coonawarra wine region. Students produce wine that is then sent off for judging in the Royal Adelaide Show.

The pinot noir and cabernet variety grapes are sold to local DiGiorgio Family Wines, where the pinot grapes are used as a base for sparkling pinot Chardonnay.

The school offers units in both vine pruning and wine making. This course begins in Year 10 with the students being taught pruning techniques to maximise quality and productivity, as well as canopy management. This aspect of the course is completed under the Certificate II in Rural Operations. Some of the cabernet grapes are kept on the farm to allow students to learn harvest techniques. This fruit is then used by the students to produce wine using open fermentation vats, an open basket press and wine is aged in oak barrels. The following year a selection of wine is bottled, which is cellared for 12 months, and then sent off for judging.

Viticulture and Winemaking can be undertaken as part of the Stage 1 & 2 Agricultural and Horticultural Studies course, or Certificate II in Rural Operations in partnership with TAFE SA. Along with well-established academic links, the school has strong and mutually beneficial arrangements with important industry links within the wine making and viticulture industry, which allows the school to remain at the forefront of current industry practice.

 

CERTIFICATE II AGRICULTURE

The Certificate II in Agriculture is available to students undertaking the Flexible Industry Pathway in Year 11 and continuing into Year 12. Students learn practical skills associated with farming in the local area that include animal handling, health and husbandry techniques,and many practical experiences. Students are required to complete 38 hours of workplace learning over a 2-year period. The course features external training opportunities and on-farm workdays.

The school is well equipped to offer a diverse learning environment for practical skills with modern animal handling facilities and access to a variety of technologies through the Vocational Education and Training trailers housed on site.

AQUACULTURE

Aquaculture is offered to the Year 11 and Year 12 students and forms part of the Stage 1 Agriculture Studies course. Students are able to select aquaculture as their Stage 2 Business and Enterprise project and run the enterprise as their Business project.

Students learn about the rainbow trout life cycle and hatch out eyed-up eggs purchased from Springfield hatchery in Tasmania. The students maintain the facility, test water quality and monitor feeding requirements. Students monitor weight gain and transfer fish to larger growing tanks. Students are required to investigate issues with land based aquaculture businesses and develop solutions to these problems.

The school boasts a hatchery (capacity 15,000 fry), four growing tank three aquaculture dams. The tanks have reticulation system to reduce water use and are a self-cleaning system.

EQUINE PROGRAM

The Lucindale Area School Equine Program was introduced in 2014. The program is offered to all students and is delivered within school and after school. The program covers the following areas;

General horse handling and safety
Hands on exposure to different breeds of horses
Care and maintenance
Natural Horsemanship
Games and novelties
Basic riding
Trail riding
Jumping and Cross Country

The program includes instruction from and interaction with a variety of guest speakers including a farrier, equine dentist, veterinary surgeon and riding instructors.

The program continues to raise great interest from the community and is an example of “school and community working together” with community members providing horses, time, equipment and expertise to the program.