Alan English is a Shepparton resident who taught agriculture — along with many other subjects — at North Technical School. Today he shares his experiences on teaching and speaks to today’s agriculture teacher Leigh Kildey from Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE.ALAN ENGLISH December 6, 2012 10:18am
The subject of agriculture started at North Technical Junior School about five years before I arrived in 1965. Students came off farms from as far as Numurkah, Dookie and Tatura.
Classes started at Year 9, with about 20 to 25 students, but by Year 11 numbers decreased to five or six.
I developed my own curriculum.
Animals and their needs were taught in Year 9, soils and botany, together with pastures, were taught in Year 10.
In Year 11, genetics and breeding were among subjects taught. There were many excursions to field days and research stations.
Each year, a trip to Melbourne embraced agricultural industries as well as the Royal Melbourne Show.
Parents helped with cars for transport.
I made a point of visiting many farms from where students came, usually on a Saturday.
In class, I had a cabinet of monthly Department of Agriculture magazines, from which students could seek information for sets of questionnaires I gave them as assignments.
By the time I retired, my knowledge was becoming dated.
A few years later, TAFE took over the teaching of agriculture and, as we have seen, has grown in a magnificent way.
Today, GOTAFE is led by Leigh Kildey, commercial manager for agricultural education.
His work is extensive, touching areas not only in north-eastern Victoria, but also as far away as Gippsland and Geelong.
It involves skills in farming and horticulture and certificate and diploma courses are provided.
Across the state, about 200 trainees are engaged in various courses.
In the the Goulburn Valley, the principal course is horticulture, but agricultural courses are taught at Dhurringile Prison.
Errant farmers — here is your big opportunity. Mr Kildey’s work allies him with the University of Melbourne at Dookie and Charles Sturt University.
Some work is contracted out to veterinarians, agronomists and the Department of Primary Industries.
The work of agriculture under Mr Kildey aims to lift standards of practice to as many sectors as possible.
Mr Kildey said enthusiasm and interest for courses augured well for the state of Victorian agriculture.
The sky is the limit for Wanganui Year 12 VCAL student Leigh Polan, 18, who decided to create two posters examining birdlife around the school.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
An ad for the Healthy Ageing Project will be filmed in Echuca, Rushworth and Rochester today.
More than $15,000 was raised at a family day on Sunday. The event was to raise money for the families of Barry Purtell and Dave Lobb.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
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