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.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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