Agriculture 101: Ag must be integrated into the curriculum

Knowledge hub: Melbourne University’s Dookie Campus. Photo by Vittorio

Agriculture and education can both benefit from an integrated approach, according to an associate professor at the University of Melbourne, who has experience in both areas.

Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching with the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences Ros Gall said that if agriculture was not present in the curriculum, there is a risk that students are not aware of it.

“It is not that we run education in production agriculture; ‘There are plenty of jobs available in the service sector for agriculture, especially in regional areas of Victoria,’ ‘Mrs Gall said.

“If there is no degree of inclusion in high schools, people are not aware of what is available in the industry.

“And a high level of skills is required in many of these support industries.

“Of course, the provision of specific skills training may be within the area of ​​TAFE colleges, but the subjects studied by secondary students may be extended to the field of agriculture,” Ms Gall said.

“I would think that if you taught biology, chemistry or physics, you could draw on examples in agriculture.

“Teaching of pH values ​​in e.g. chemistry; you could consider what options farmers have for managing alkalinity or acidity instead of testing swimming pools.

“And food production starts in the ground.”

Mrs Gall said in the study of climate change in geography, ” we can see how growth zones are moving south by about 100 km. Warmer weather has an impact on milk production in dairy farms. ”

Biology and chemistry help to find answers.

Ms. Gall believes that there may still be an unfortunate view of agricultural remnants from the old days when students struggling academically were led into agriculture.

“Still, we need smart, knowledgeable, technically skilled people moving into the industry.”

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