Cunderdin ag college hosts open day

Cunderdin ag college hosts open day


Events
Year 11 students Jorja Downsborough and Brock Argent acted as tour guides on a bus ride around the college's facilities on the open day.

Year 11 students Jorja Downsborough and Brock Argent acted as tour guides on a bus ride around the college's facilities on the open day.

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No two days seem to be the same for students at Western Australia's College of Agriculture, Cunderdin, which held its open day last Friday.

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NO two days seem to be the same for students at Western Australia's College of Agriculture, Cunderdin, which held its open day last Friday.

Guests and prospective students were treated to a tour of the college's facilities, which includes a butcher shop, poultry shed, shearing shed, cattle yards, farm, furnishing and engineering workshops and mixed cropping enterprise.

Year 11 students Jorja Downsborough and Brock Argent, who acted as tour guides on a bus ride around the college's facilities, told Farm Weekly they enjoyed putting into practice what they learned in the classroom every day.

"Here, they incorporate agriculture and trade into our normal school weeks, so I'm only in class three days a week over a fortnight and the other days I'm doing farm work or working on my trades, automotives and engineering," Ms Downsborough said.

"You're never doing the same thing, you get so much variety.

"Once I finish here I'll probably further my studies at Curtin's Muresk Institute or UWA, as their courses are well aligned with ours and in the longer term I hope to run my family's sheep and cropping farm at Burracoppin one day."

Mr Argent said being at the school was helping him to take some time off his mechanics trade, so he could finish his apprenticeship earlier.

"After I finish here I plan to finish my apprenticeship and then head back to my family's 5000 hectacre wheat and sheep farm out west of Kulin," Mr Argent said.

The college's former assistant farm manager, Alex Fizzioli, who goes to the school's open day every year, said he had seen a lot of change over the 46 years he had worked there.

"The best change was when the school became co-ed in 1987," Mr Fizzioli said.

"It changed the whole tone of the place and it was really lovely."

The school, which has 133 boarding students in Years 11 and 12, celebrates its 60-year anniversary this year and principal Sally Panizza said the college was highly sort after for places.

"Students have to apply to get in and the hardest part of my job is saying no because we don't have enough room," Ms Panizza said.

"We are quite a unique setting in that the students here are treated as young adults in a real work environment and we have a range of courses to choose from.

"I think the passion of our staff and the fact that a lot of what they do here leads to real jobs and future training is the main reason students love to come here.

"We have a trade centre on site and have courses on engineering, automotives, furniture making and construction in the trade centre and we also offer certificates in agriculture in the farm workshops in wool handling, shearing, pork production and so on."

Largely self sufficient in providing food for its students, the school is also well resourced as a commercial enterprise, producing all of its own meat and eggs and growing different crop varieties.

"Last year was quite a profitable year for us from a farming point of view, so it all helps," Ms Panizza said.

"I think we are one of the only places where you get T-bone steaks in a boarding house."

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