The College operates a side rapid exit dairy, milking approximately 125 Holstein Friesian cows. Full production figures are maintained with computer controlled supplementary feeding and integrated identification systems, activity meters have been introduced to help in heat detection to aid the breeding programs. Females are inseminated both naturally and artificially and the dairy complex provides the perfect opportunity for training purposes. The Dairy operates two centre pivot, which cover 26ha, plus an additional 8ha under surface irrigation for summer fodder crops.
The Holstein Stud is involved in preparing and showing heifers at the Harvey, Brunswick and Perth Royal Shows.
Each year approximately 120 dairy calves are reared. All females from this enterprise are kept for replacements of the dairy herd and all males are sold at approximately two months of age.
The beef herd consists of approximately 290 Angus base breeders. The progeny of the commercial herd is sold to various markets. A feed-lot trial occurs during Term 1. The Angus stud consists of 35 females, with bulls bred and selected to be used in the commercial herd. Students are involved in the preparing and showing of stud and commercial cattle at different venues throughout the year.
The College comprises of a 550 self-replacing fine wool Merino flock which includes a Fine Wool Poll Merino Stud and ewes mated to Poll Dorset rams for prime lamb production. Students are trained in general sheep husbandry, shearing and wool handling. Students are involved in various shows and competitions throughout the year including wool and ram judging at Wagin Woolorama and shearer/shed hand courses.
The viticulture section includes several table grape varieties, 18 vines of Flame Seedless and 90 vines of Crimson, all these grapes are grown under nets and used to supply the kitchen or sold at Open Day. Wokalup houses a unique source of grape root stock and wine varieties.
The wine grapes provide the foundation for a relationship between local wine makers and the College. The College grows 700 vines of Shiraz as a commercial crop and at times is sold to Harvey River Bridge Estate for production of port. 90 vines of Chardonnay and 90 of Cabernet Sauvignon are grown plus 90 different varieties of Merlot, Santa Vesi Tempranillo owned by the Ag Department.
Students are taught all aspects of vine management including pruning, budding and grafting. The Department of Agriculture and Food WA has six rows of research table grape vines which are maintained by the College.
College staff provide opportunity at horticulture where students learn the basics of propagation and maintenance. Seedlings are grown in a nursery facility and used in garden areas. The College has a hothouse where students learn to grow a wide range of plants, vegetables and tree seedlings. Cut flowers are grown for sale at Open Day and Mother's Day which provides exposure of floriculture processes to students.
An extensive citrus orchard involving 300 Late Lanes Navels, 100 Navellina Navels exist with the fruit being sold loose or packed on site for the commercial arena. The College also grows approximately 500 Imperial Mandarins and 300 Mystique mandarin trees. The horticulture site is utilised by industry field days as a best practice management site.
Students are involved in pasture establishment and renovation, silage and meadow hay production and summer cropping. Dry land and irrigation fodder cropping techniques are demonstrated. Harvey Water utilises the College’s resources to trial alternative summer fodder crop under irrigation.
The equine section is situated close to residence, enabling students to attend to their horses after hours. Horse agistment facilities are available for students wishing to have their horse on site, the facilities can house up to 10 horses, plus 6 College horses. Students have access to an arena and allocated paddocks on the Farm.
The College butchershop processes farm grown beef, sheep and pigs and packs ready for kitchen use. Students receive instruction in breaking down carcasses, manufacturing small goods and using techniques such as cryovacing and smoking etc.
POULTRY - Approximately 200 Hyline chickens living in deep litter facilities at the Eco-Shelter, producing eggs for the kitchen.
AQUACULTURE - Not in use at the present time.
PIGS - The College has a small piggery which is used to breed piglets to provide rations for the kitchen. This section is an intensive operation where students regularly weigh and monitor pig health for the market.
SHEEP - The section has a small amount of Dorper sheep bred to supply meat to the kitchen
EXTRA FARM ACTIVITIES
During the year students are involved in numerous activities during and after school hours. These events give the students an opportunity to gain experience in specific areas of interest.
This annual event is held in Wagin at the end of Term 1 over several days. Students compete in various events ranging in sheep judging, wool grading, shearing, cattle leading and judging.
DOWERIN FIELD DAY
In Term 3, the College takes a fencing team from each year over to Dowerin to compete against other schools and teams. This event is used for students to put into practice the fencing skills they have learnt at the College over the three years.
FARM SKILLS—PERTH ROYAL SHOW
At the end of Term 3 a contingent of students from all years’ head off to the Perth Royal Show to compete in a Farm Skills competition run prior to the commencement of the official opening.
The Agricultural College and School Competition assists students studying agricultural subjects to develop their skills and gain confidence and experience whilst competing in events such as fence construction, pressing and branding a bale of wool, tractor driving obstacle course and safety, wool appraisal, cutting steel plate, chemical safety and first aid.
The Cattle Club was formed for students to work with show cattle after school. Students who participate are taught to halter train, lead and prepare for shows. Students are then given the opportunity to show their heifers at the Perth Royal and numerous South West shows.
The College is involved in other farm courses and activities throughout the year.
These may include:
Gate 2 Plate
Katanning Expo Agriculture School Challenge
Interschool Equine Challenge at Narrogin Ag
Dairy Innovation Day
Youth Cattle Handlers Camp
Low Stress Stock Handling Course