For over 10 years students from the 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 a dynamic, living teaching environment that offers students a wide range of learning opportunities.
Commencing in Year 8, students gain an insight into the Australian Agricultural industry with topics covered such as, farm safety, budgeting, planning, river systems and the importance of sustainability in agriculture.
Year 9 and 10 provides students with unique hands on experience in the safe operation of brush cutters, fencing and are given the opportunity to gain a MCC AgCentre tractor licence. Students cover topics such as equine husbandry, poultry production, dairy industry, biotechnology, chemical use and safety.
Students who enrol in Senior Agricultural Science or Agricultural and Horticultural Studies for Years 11 and 12, cover topics and issues such as plant science, cropping, sugar production, the beef feedlot industry and 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 feed lot program where students collect, synthesise and evaluate data. The cattle are entered into led steer and fat cattle competitions at local and regional shows with many ribbons to account for a high level of success.
The Mackay Christian College Agricultural Centre of Excellence incorporates ‘Quarry Hill Droughtmaster Stud’. The stud allows students to gain specialised insight into beef cattle genetics and breeding programs within the cattle industry.
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 Cattle Show Team (CST). The CST trains, prepares and exhibits our own stud cattle and steers as well as cattle from local cattle studs. This 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.
While not large in area the Mackay Christian College Agricultural Centre of Excellence punches above its weight, demonstrated by students successfully completing the Senior Agricultural Science curriculum and going onto further studies at agricultural colleges and universities or gaining employment in the agricultural sector.