Agriculture Centre of Excellence

learning through life, preparing for your future.

For over 10 years students from Mackay Christian College Agricultural Centre of Excellence have successfully completed the Senior Agricultural Science curriculum and continued onto further studies at agricultural colleges and universities or have gained employment in the agricultural sector. The Centre is fully equipped, and is a dynamic, living, teaching environment that offers students a wide range of learning opportunities.

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Our main goals are:

  • Teaching students where their food comes from and how much time, effort and money it took to get the food onto their plate
  • Building resilience in young adults
  • Preparing students for workforce and further study
  • Providing practical opportunities wherever possible to apply agricultural theories and practices.
  • Inspiring students to enter the Agricultural Industry
  • Creating awareness of the vast opportunities in the Agricultural Industry

Program Structure

Certificate II in Rural Operations

In students Senior years (11 &12), they may choose to study and complete a Certificate II in Rural Operations. Using our fully equipped Agricultural Centre, students gain hands on experience at industry standard. Competencies include: OH&S, Assisting with crop establishment and maintenance, fencing operations, monitoring production systems, operating tractors, maintenance on machinery and much more. This gives the student recognition of the practical nature of the course we run here at Mackay Christian College.

Year 7

Commencing in Year 7, students gain an insight into the Australian Agricultural industry with topics covered such as:

  • Farm safety
  • Budgeting
  • Planning
  • River systems
  • The importance of sustainability

Year 8

Year 8 begins with students learning about:

  • Where their food comes from
  • The Australian Pork Industry and Housing Regulations on Pigs
  • Growing vegetables
  • Working dogs

Year 9

Year 9 provides students with:

  • Hands on experience in the safe operation of brush cutters
  • An insight into robotics and technology in agriculture
  • The opportunity to gain an MCC Ag Centre tractor licence
  • Machinery and maintenance
  • The Cotton Industry
  • The Dairy Industry with an excursion to Eungella learning firsthand milking techniques

Year 10

Students cover topics such as:

  • Chemicals & chemical safety
  • Fencing (including practical hands on fencing project)
  • Beef Cattle / animal husbandry techniques
  • Horse husbandry (including horse riding excursion)
  • Poultry Industry (raising chickens)
  • Australian Goat Industry (including practical husbandry techniques)

Year 11 & 12

Senior Agricultural Science (OP/Authority subject). MCC offers a fully resourced Senior Agricultural Science subject whereby students cover topics like:

  • Plant science & broad acre cropping
  • Sugar production
  • The Beef feedlot Industry
  • Animal reproduction

Field trips to curriculum related farms and industries provide students with opportunities to witness and experience industry best practice. Integrated into the Senior Ag course students run a miniature feedlot program where students collect, synthesise and evaluate data. The cattle are also entered into led steer competitions at local and regional shows with many ribbons to account for a high level of success.

Cattle Show Team


Participation in extra-curricular activities is encouraged with the opportunity to join the Mackay Christian College Agricultural Centre of Excellence Cattle Show Team. Membership is open to all Year 10, 11 & 12 students. No prior experience is required as students from all backgrounds can join. The CST trains, prepares and exhibits our own stud cattle and steers as well as cattle from local cattle studs.

The challenging yet rewarding extra-curricular activity provides students with opportunities to participate in ‘Junior Parading’ and ‘Junior Judging’ competitions at the local and regional shows with students regularly winning or placing in all competitions. The CST allows students to learn personal skills such as animal handling, personal grooming, public speaking, time management and the opportunity to participate in overnight camping excursions.

How to Enrol?

Students can join the Agricultural Centre of Excellence once they have enrolled at Mackay Christian College. You can select Agriculture as part of your subject load when you enrol.