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    Yr 12 Agriculture 2014

    Agriculture provides people with food, fibre, shelter and the possibility of diverse lifestyles. Agriculture is a composite of rural and urban industries that are structured to produce both raw and value-added materials from plants and animals to meet identified consumer needs. Agriculture has a unique place in the history of human society. It underpins social structures and provides for basic human needs. It is fundamental to human progress. Agricultural industries make a significant contribution to Australia’s economy through investment, employment of skilled workers, consumption of products from other sectors of the economy and export. Agricultural products contribute significantly to Australia’s export income. The total chain, from the farm and the research laboratory to the processing plant, retail outlet and exporter, accounts for a major portion of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Australia’s agricultural industries must undergo significant and continuous change to maintain and possibly enhance this contribution to the Australian economy.

    Aim

    Agriculture Stage 6 is designed to develop students’ knowledge and understanding about the production and marketing of both animal and plant products. Students should also develop the associated skills and responsible attitudes that are necessary to manage and market these products in a sustainable manner.

    Objectives

    Students will develop:

    knowledge and understanding of the physical, chemical, biological, social, historical and economic factors that interact in agricultural production systems

    knowledge, understanding and skills required to manage agricultural production systems in a socially and environmentally responsible manner

    knowledge of, and skills in, decision-making and the evaluation of technology and management techniques used in sustainable agricultural production and marketing

    skills in effective research, experimentation and communication

    knowledge and understanding of the impact of innovation, ethics and current issues on Australian agricultural systems.

    Course Structure

    The Agriculture Stage 6 Syllabus has a Preliminary course and an HSC course.

    It is intended that students engage in and reflect upon practical experience relevant to all aspects of the physical, chemical, biological, economic and social sciences embodied within Agriculture Stage 6. Some of this experience will be in the laboratory, some in small plot work and some on commercial farms or other components of the industry. In all cases, students should use these practical experiences to develop design, practical, management, observation, recording, interpretation and communication skills. Practical experiences may also be used to achieve coverage of the content statements not specifically related to skills. The practical experiences should occupy a minimum of 30 per cent of allocated course time.

    HSC Course

    120 hours indicative time

    The Higher School Certificate course builds upon the Preliminary course. It examines the complexity and scientific principles of the components of agricultural production and places a greater emphasis on farm management to maximise productivity and environmental sustainability. The farm as a fundamental production unit provides a basis for analysing and addressing social, environmental and economic issues as they relate to sustainability, from both national and international perspectives. This is achieved through the farm product study. Australian agriculture faces many challenges and significant and continuous change is needed to address these challenges. New computer, satellite, robotic and biological technologies are being integrated into management systems. As farmers need to respond to changing economic, social and climatic conditions, the electives focus on innovations, issues and challenges facing Australian agriculture.

    Core (80%) (approximately 96 indicative hours)

    Plant/Animal production (50%)

    · Soil, nutrients and water

    · Factors contributing to the degradation of soil and water

    · Sustainable resource management

    · Plant production systems

    · Constraints on plant production

    · Managing plant production

    · Animal nutrition

    · Animal growth and development

    · Animal reproduction and genetics

    · Animal pests and diseases

    · Animal ethics and welfare

    · Experimental analysis and research in plant/animal systems

    Farm product study (30%)

    · The farm as a business

    · Decision-making processes and management strategies

    · Agricultural technology

    · Marketing of a specific farm product

    Elective (20%) (approximately 24 indicative hours)

    Choose ONE of the following electives to study.

    · Agri-food, Fibre and Fuel Technologies

    · Climate Challenge

    · Farming for the 21st Century

    Unit 1: Plant Production

    Unit 2 Animal Production

    Unit 3: Farm Product Study

    Agriculture provides people with food, fibre, shelter and the possibility of diverse lifestyles. Agriculture is a composite of rural and urban industries that are structured to produce both raw and value-added materials from plants and animals to meet identified consumer needs. This unit has been designed to allow students to develop knowledge and understanding in the general business principles and decision making processes involved in the sustainable production and marketing of beef. It allows students to assess technologies and technological innovations in beef production for the producers to the consumer.

    WHY DOES THIS LEARNING MATTER? It is essential that students are aware as to why producers produce certain types of products for marketing to consumers. Consumer demand will often dictate what the decisions farmers make in breeding programs and marketing of the their cattle. Students must be aware of the entire production chain and how stages along it impact on the final product and ultimately consumer satisfaction.

    SUGGESTED TOPIC LENGTH & TIMING: Approximately 40 periods each 45 minutes duration (8 weeks)

    Assessment

    There are 5 formal assessment tasks for this course. These will be held as per the assessment schedule found in the yr 12 handbook.

    There will also be informal assessment strategies which may include:

    · Topic tests

    · Practical tests

    · Plant and animal husbandry skills

    · Practical work / reports

    · Experimental work

    · Research assignments and projects

    Where does homework fit in here?

    Homework will be set periodically to reinforce what has been taught in class. Each unit will also have an assignment component which students would be expected to be working on throughout the unit.

    How can I assist my son?

    It would be beneficial to your sons learning to discuss aspects of the agriculture industry as you see them. As well exposing them to agriculture media is also encouraged.

    Unit 4: Climate Challenge Elective

    Australia has one of the most variable climates in the world. This presents particular challenges and opportunities for agricultural production. Recent research indicates that atmospheric changes could cause even more variation to climate in the future. This elective examines the variability of climate and some possible causes; the way farmers can manage their farms; and adaptation strategies to mitigate risk and maximise profitability and sustainability.

    WHY DOES THIS LEARNING MATTER? It is essential that students are aware as to why the climate is changing, the factors that are leading to climate change, implications for agriculture of climate change and the available research and strategies that farmers can use to assist in dealing with climate change to ensure production and sustainability into the future.

    SUGGESTED TOPIC LENGTH & TIMING: Approximately 30 periods each 45 minutes duration (6 weeks)

    Assessment

    There are 5 formal assessment tasks for this course. These will be held as per the assessment schedule found in the yr 12 handbook.

    There will also be informal assessment strategies which may include:

    · Topic tests

    · Practical tests

    · Plant and animal husbandry skills

    · Practical work / reports

    · Experimental work

    · Research assignments and projects

    Where does homework fit in here?

    Homework will be set periodically to reinforce what has been taught in class. Each unit will also have an assignment component which students would be expected to be working on throughout the unit.

    How can I assist my son?

    It would be beneficial to your sons learning to discuss aspects of the agriculture industry as you see them. As well exposing them to agriculture media is also encouraged.

    How can I give you feedback?

    You can email me at mball@as.edu.au or you can comment by clicking "Comment" on the bottom of this page.

    Optional: There is more information available here.


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