Stu­dents lend a crop­ping hand

Narrogin Observer - - Front Page - Michael Traill

Seed­ing is in full swing at the WA Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture, Nar­ro­gin, giv­ing stu­dents hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence in pre­par­ing, plant­ing, main­tain and har­vest­ing crops.

Prin­ci­pal Stephen Watt says that be­tween 450-500ha were ded­i­cated each year to crops such as canola and oats on the col­lege grounds.

“Stu­dents are in­volved in all stages of the seed­ing pro­gram, from prepa­ra­tion of the pad­docks to stub­ble burn­ing, spray­ing and seed­ing. Through­out the sea­son they’re fer­til­is­ing and har­vest at the end,” he said.

“They get to see the whole process from prepa­ra­tion of the ground all the way through to stor­age and mar­ket­ing of the grain.”

The­o­ret­i­cal and prac­ti­cal knowl­edge are cru­cial for the stu­dents’ learn­ing of the process, which gives them valu­able in­te­grated learn­ing in prepa­ra­tion of join­ing the work force, he said.

Mr Watt says that us­ing new tech­nolo­gies was a sig­nif­i­cant part of this process. “We’re about ex­pos­ing stu­dents to it, mak­ing sure that what­ever new tech­nol­ogy we’ve got is as close to in­dus­try stan­dards as pos­si­ble,” he said.

“That way when stu­dents go out into in­dus­try, they know what a GPS is, they know what auto-steer is, they have some ex­po­sure to all of those things.”

Pic­ture: Michael Traill

An­drew Jones, Vince Don­ald­son and Daniel Schilling dur­ing a les­son in the pad­dock.

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