Agricultural Choice

Downlands lies at the gateway to the Darling Downs and was founded with special commitment to country families and those facing the challenges of remoteness and distance.


This commitment to the importance of rural industries has significantly influenced the Downlands curriculum. Most obvious, perhaps, is the school’s agricultural program.

The Downlands Agricultural curriculum sets high standards, continually challenging and inspiring agricultural students both in the pursuit of Agricultural Science and the Vocational educational program. The extracurricular program also provides students with opportunities to demonstrate their wide range of skills in these fields.

There are opportunities for students of all ages to participate in a variety of projects at the 14 hectare on-site farm including: cattle handling and show preparation; beef, sheep and chicken feeding trials; beekeeping and honey extraction; vegetables and crop production; pasture management; fencing; egg production; citrus orchard; and an olive grove. Opportunities for aquaculture in redclaw, silver and jade perch production are also available.

Opportunities exist for students of all ages, including our Junior students, to participate in Judging, Paraders and Herdsman competition at all levels. Downlands students enjoy consistent success at national and international levels.

Beyond the school gates, the rural program:
  • attends and exhibits a variety of cattle breeds at local, regional and major Royal Agricultural Shows and specialist breeder shows
  • competes at Rockhampton Beef Week, held every three years.
  • maintains industry partnerships with AgForce, hosting agricultural days and the Moo Baa Munch event at Downlands.

Cattle Show Team

The Downlands College Cattle Show team attends local, regional and major Royal Agricultural Shows and specialist breeder shows, including the Rockhampton Beef Week held every three years.


Downlands College students prepare stud cattle across a range of breeds, along with an extensive commercial feeding and showing program to exhibit in carcase competitions. Furthermore, Downlands operates a small commercial herd to breed its own animals for hook and hoof competitions.

Opportunities exist for students of all ages, including our Junior students, to participate in Judging, Paraders and Herdsman competition at all levels. Downlands students enjoy consistent success at national and international levels.

Students are involved in integrated beef production from choosing sires, artificial insemination, calving, animal husbandry (vaccinations, drenching, marking and weaning), monitoring growth rates and determining feed efficiencies, recognising market viability indicators and making decisions on which beasts are suitable for breeding or market. Students follow cattle from conception through to calving, to the show ring then to the carcass competition and are able to observe, first hand, the results of breeding and feeding programs.

Team members are guided through cattle handling techniques from quietening to preparation to parading heifers and steers in the show ring. Small holding mustering and yard skills along with learning to observe and treat health issues of stock mean students are able to learn everything from the importance of a balanced feed regime to upholding WH&S standards.

 

 

Rural Centre Profile

The Downlands Rural Centre is a fully functioning farm located on our 38 hectare College campus.


There are opportunities for students of all ages to participate in a variety of projects at this flourishing 14 hectare Rural Centre, including:

  • Fencing
  • Cattle handling and show preparation
  • Beef, sheep and chicken feed trials
  • Beekeeping and honey extraction
  • Low input vegetables
  • Crop production
  • Rotation and pasture management
  • Egg production
  • Citrus and olive orchard management
  • Aquaculture

 

Curriculum Ag

Agricultural Science is an integral part of the Science curriculum.


A very hands-on subject, it provides opportunities for students of all ages to participate in a variety of projects at the 14 hectare on-site farm, including:

  • Fencing
  • Cattle handling and show preparation
  • Beef, sheep and chicken feed trials
  • Beekeeping and honey extraction
  • Low input vegetables
  • Crop production
  • Rotation and pasture management
  • Egg production
  • Citrus and olive orchard management
  • Aquaculture

Senior students may choose to obtain a Certificate II in Rural Operations or undertake Agricultural Science subjects to contribute to an OP score.

Downlands is a proud partner and a Gateway School to Agribusiness which aims to help young people make a successful transition from school into further education and/or employment. The project encourages partnerships between schools, training (VET), universities and industry to provide career opportunities for young people.

The program provides opportunities for students and school communities to engage in the diverse range of careers across businesses based on primary industries. Students are able to gain valuable experience in the industry while still at school, providing them with the tools and knowledge to make informed decisions about training and employment upon leaving school, by raising the profile of careers in the Agribusiness sector.