AGRICULTURAL AND HORTICULTURAL STUDIES

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Rationale

Agricultural and Horticultural Studies is designed to give greater understanding of the operations and practices of agricultural and horticultural systems. The focus is on human interaction with the earth and its organisms. The goal of this interaction is to develop an economically and ecologically sustainable system.
Throughout the study, students apply their acquired knowledge in managing an agricultural or horticultural enterprise.

Unit 1: Semester 1

Agricultural and Horticultural operations

In this unit students study local agricultural and horticultural operations and the factors that influence these enterprises. Students explore elements that constitute agricultural and horticultural systems; basic animal and plant biology, including identification, classification, structure and growth. They examine the environmental, economic, social and historical factors that influence the development of local agricultural and horticultural systems.

On completion of this unit students should be able to: describe and explain the make-up of agricultural and horticultural systems; identify the range of factors that influence the maintenance and distribution of these systems in this region of Victoria. They will then apply and justify the use of production skills involved in establishing a small agricultural/horticultural enterprise.

ASSESSMENT
1. Coursework (70%)
2. Examination (30%)

Unit 2: Semester 2

Production

This unit focuses on the analysis of production systems in terms of physical, biological, social and economic factors, sustainability and time. Students examine nutrition, reproduction and genetics in plants and animals. They consider the role of agribusiness and horticultural business in adding value to produce. This unit involves investigating the factors that influence the process of production. 

On completion of this unit students should be able to: explain the nutritive and reproductive processes of plants and animals within an agricultural and horticultural production system; discuss the role of these systems in adding value to agricultural and horticultural produce. They will then evaluate and report on the management of a small agricultural enterprise their group established in Unit.

ASSESSMENT
1. Coursework (70%)
2. Examination (30%)

Unit 3: Semester 1

Technology

Technology in this study refers to the equipment and processes that can be used to maintain and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of agricultural and horticultural systems. To achieve sustainable agricultural and horticultural systems, operators need to be aware of technology and its role in planning. This unit focuses on the impact of technology on agricultural/horticultural systems, including new methods of obtaining and processing information to improve efficiency in record-keeping and decision-making; production; marketing; and long-term planning. The development of new and improved technology associated with sustainable production, management and marketing will be investigated, and the impact of this production on the environment will be assessed.

Unit 4: Semester 2

Management

This unit focuses on the management of agricultural/horticultural systems within the context of ecological sustainability.

On completion of this unit students should be able to: compare a natural ecosystem with a managed ecosystem; apply appropriate production skills to the enterprise; evaluate the outcomes of a business plan; analyse financial performance. Students report on the conduct of an enterprise including factors influencing its productivity and sustainability and students give recommendations for improvement.

ASSESSMENT
1. Coursework - Unit 3 (33%)
2. Coursework – Unit 4 (33%)
3. Examination (34%)