Agriculture, Farm and Land Management Courses

Advanced Certificate in Agriculture (Farm Management) VAG057

Learn to Manage Farms

  • Open Learning Course -flexible, self paced
  • Lots of options to specialise
  • Start with a single module if you prefer, then transfer into the learning bundle after you are sure this is where you want to study
  • Opportunity for personal mentoring from international experts providing a unique international flavour to your education

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Advanced Certificate in Urban Farming

Explore Opportunities for Urban Farming

As major cities around the world become more densely populated the need for urban farms has increased. Some of these are developed inside disused buildings, but others may be purpose built inside greenhouses or on allotments within built-up areas. Urban farming can also include making use of green walls and roof gardens for productive plants. As well as crops, dairy produce, livestock, eggs and fish in aquaponics systems may be farmed in city environments.   

Having farm produce readily available within cities not only saves on transport costs and thereby reduces the carbon footprint but it can also offer opportunities to produce crops which may be out of season or not usually grown in a particular location.  

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Agricultural Irrigation BAG213

 Farm Irrigation

A foundation course for water management on the farm.

Knowledge of irrigation is more than just knowing how to install a system many factors influence what, when and how we irrigate: Understanding that soil texture and structure influences the way that way that the soil absorbs water; Knowing the fundamental plant functions that allow the uptake of water from the roots to the leaves and how this influences photosynthesis and transpiration; knowing how much to irrigation and when. All these things are important in choosing the right irrigation system and its management. This course covers these fundamentals and more and is an ideal for:

  • Farmers 
  • Irrigation sales and marketing staff
  • Irrigation installers

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Agricultural Marketing BAG304

Study Agricultural Marketing - Home Study Course

The impact of climate and the environment requires the rural manager to continually consider, evaluate, and reassess (often on a daily or even hourly basis) the numerous changes and types of information that affect his or her business. The successful rural manager must understand his or her unique markets and how to capitalise on market forces to maximise business profit.

Learn about: marketing plans and market analysis as well as other aspects of the farm marketing process. This course will help you to develop your ability to understand, analyse and manage marketing problems in an agricultural enterprise.

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Agricultural Soil Management BAG103

Good Soil Can Make All the Difference to a Farm

Good agriculture needs above all else, good soil. The quality of a soil can be judged in terms of both physical and chemical characteristics; and before you manage a soil you must first gain a sound understanding of the theoretical principles of soil chemistry and physics.  This course provides that foundation as well as a familiarity with soil types in your region, and how to apply that understanding to achieve better outcomes on a farm.

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Agriculture 2100 hour Learning Bundle

Put Your Business or Career on Track in Farming, Farm Services, Agricultural Supplies

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Agronomy BAG306

Learn broad acre farming of arable crops, broad leaf and cereal crops.

Agronomy is one of the main sectors of the farming industry. It encompasses the production of grain crops, oil and fibre crops, pasture and much more.
This course was developed by agricultural scientists and farmers with decades of practical experience and students are tutored by highly qualified and experienced tutors who understand plant science, agronomic techniques and farming practices. 

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Agronomy III -BAG310


Root crops provide sustenance for around a third of the world's population. The carbohydrates stored in the roots of these vegetables provide important nutrition for lower cost and lower time investment compared to many other crops.

Crops covered in this course include true root vegetables and culinary root vegetables across Solanaceae, Asteraceae, Apiaceae and Brassicaceae such as:

  • Carrots
  • Turnips
  • Yams
  • Potatoes
  • Kohlrabi
  • Celeriac
  • And a lot more

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Animal Anatomy and Physiology (Animal Husbandry I ) BAG101

Learn about Animal Structure and Function.  

Develop a sound foundation knowledge of animal anatomy and physiology, as a basis to understanding care and/or management of animals in domesticated or wild situations. Topics include: cells, tissues, digestive system, circulatory system, urinary system, respiration, reproduction, muscles, skeleton, endocrine system, growth, etc. This is the starting point for working with animals in any situation (farms, pets, zoos, wildlife, animal protection, etc.)

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Animal Behaviour BAG203

Learn How to Control Animals

An understanding of animal behaviour is important in any situation where a person works with animals, from farmers to animal keepers at zoos, and from horse trainers to kennel owners. This is an excellent foundation course, and relevant to working with animals in any situation.

Graduate Comment

I found the course to be well written and explained. Any queries I had were answered quickly, and the staff to be very friendly and helpful. In all, the course has been invaluable. I am a little sad it is near the end as i have enjoyed the whole course.   
S. Crosbie Ross

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Animal Breeding BAG301

Want to Breed Animals?

ACS Student Comment: "Yes [the course is a valuable learning experience], I am loving it, it relates to all the things I am presently doing with our dogs and sheep and I am finding it extremely useful and have learnt a lot. Love getting my assignments back to see how I went always an exciting moment and then shared around the dinner table that night!! Zoe Crouch, Aust - Animal Breeding course.

Plan and implement animal breeding programs using genetic theory, practical applications to daily husbandry practice, and management of animal breeding programs. This course includes a sound introduction to genetics. Relevant to any type of animal. Personal guidance from highly qualified and experienced animal scientists and practitioners. Topics covered include: introduction to genetics; selection; pure breeding; introduction to cross breeding; cross breeding and livestock improvement. using genetic theory, practical applications to daily husbandry practice, and management of animal breeding programs. Animal breeding can be anything from a serious hobby or part time business (eg. breeding and selling pets, or horses), through to a very serious and possibly highly sophisticated profession. This course provides an excellent starting point whatever level you plan to operate at.

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Animal Feed and Nutrition (Animal Husbandry III) BAG202

Home study - online distance education

Evaluate feedstuffs and design production rations

Learn the composition of a range of feeds, including pasture, fodder crops, grasses, cereals, seed, and other edible plants. This course also explains the role of proteins, vitamins and minerals in animal diets. It equips you with the skills required to evaluate feeding and select appropriate feeds - for digestibility and nutritional content - applicable to real life farming situation

Learn to manage food and nutrition for pets, farm animals or wildlife in zoos.

Comment from a student in this course:

“I think it is absolutely brilliant. I have never come across such a friendly, helpful staff and am so enjoying my course. I will definitely recommend A.C.S to anybody who wants to study over the net.”   T. Sadler

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Animal Health Care - VAG100

Work in Animal Health Care, Veterinary Support or Animal Welfare.

Learn to care for the health of any type of animal (focus is on mammals and birds) and understand the scope of animal care services (eg. in a farm, zoo, veterinary practices, breeder, pet shop, wildlife reserve, etc).

Topics covered include: signs of ill health, symptoms, diagnosis, animal behaviour, first aid, safety, prevention, rehabilitation, euthenasia, desexing, veterinary services, animal insurance,  health administration, etc.

ACS Student Comments

1. Yes [I found the course valuable]. I have animals, I am a dog training instructor. I am planning to commence a business providing in-home care to a variety of animals. So I wanted to upgrade my knowledge of animal health. I enjoyed the course and feel I have learned a lot. Beverley Bell, Australia, Animal Health Care course.

2. "I have found the course to be a great deal of help with trying to get into the animal industry. I have also found my tutors comments of great help. Would highly recommend this course for anyone wanting to get into the animal industry or for anyone wanting to learn more about our furry friends." Dyane Haubus, Australia - Animal Health Care course. 

3. "I cannot praise the animal health care course highly enough. I have learned a great deal, far beyond my expectations". G. Kite, Maldives - Animal Health Care course.

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Animal Husbandry 1500 hours Learning Bundle

Take Your Knowledge of Livestock to the Next Level

Learn about

  • Cattle, Sheep, Pigs, Horses, Goats, Poultry
  • Production of meat, dairy, eggs and other produce
  • Animal health care, feeding, breeding and more

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Aquaculture BAG211

Learn Fish Farming Online

Fresh Water Fish Farming is a growth industry and is likely to remain so for a long time into the future. Over the past 20 years aquaculture has grown into a very profitable business for large operations farming salmon and trout, and a few other selected species. The reason for this strong development has been the over exploitation of fisheries around the world resulting in lower numbers of catches in most of the classic fisheries (fishing grounds), coinciding with an increased demand for protein foods from fish and other water animals (crustaceans). According to the FAO report on global aquaculture:

“Aquaculture, probably the fastest growing food-producing sector, now accounts for almost 50 percent of the world’s food fish and is perceived as having the greatest potential to meet the growing demand for aquatic food. Given the projected population growth over the next two decades, it is estimated that at least an additional 40 million tones of aquatic food will be required by 2030 to maintain the current per capita consumption”.

This timely course is primarily concerned with culture and care of fresh water fish and crayfish. Topics covered include production systems, water (e.g. source, purity, flow, temperature, dissolved oxygen), species (especially trout, barramundi and bass), stocking rates, spawning, checking stock, stripping, fertilization, hatching, growth stages, feeding, harvesting and more.

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Beef Cattle BAG206

Learn to Manage the requirements of Beef Cattle.

Beef cattle have a useful and necessary role in agricultural production. Beef provides protein and some minerals and vitamins which are necessary to human health and which balance other nutrients that are obtained from plant foods. Animal protein (meat) contains amino acids which are essential to the growth and development of humans. Beef cattle convert grass and roughage (which can't be eaten by humans) into high quality human food. Develop your abilities to analyse and make decisions about the management requirements of beef cattle. 

The course is a comprehensive introduction to beef cattle production covering such things as Cattle Breeds; Beef Cattle Production Systems; Cattle Breeding; Diseases in Beef Cattle; Nutrition for Beef Cattle; Commercial Herd Management; Feed Lot Management; Stud Herd Management; Management, Economics and Marketing .

Student Comment:   "I find that I can apply my knowledge directly on the property. All assignments are relative to real life" C. Rowland Jones

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Calf Rearing BAG207

Avoid costly losses - learn correct calf management procedures

Properly managing the pregnancy, birth and raising of a new animal will inevitably result in less cost for the farmer, healther adult cattle; and ultimately a more profitable farm.

This is a course for farmers, farm hands, breeders or anyone contemplating a future in the dairy or beef industries.

ACS Student Comment:  

"I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to raise calves!!" R. Beitlich, Aust - Calf Rearing course.

By studying this course you will learn to select and raise calves for specific purposes such as: dairy replacement heifers, veal and stud breeding. Identify and deal with health and other problems. On successful completion of this course you will be able to independently analyse and make decisions about the requirements of calves. Lessons cover: calving and culling; calving management; health management; rearing systems and calf housing; weaning and post weaning care.

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Certificate in Agriculture VAG001

A flexible entry level qualification. The Certificate in Agriculture is a 600 hour course comprising 3 core modules and 3 electives.  This certificate is a sound foundation for either a career or higher qualification.  This course is accredited by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council.

On completing this course you may:

  • Gain employment on a farm or in a related industry
  • Use this as credit and a stepping stone toward an Associate Diploma or higher qualification through ACS or an affiliate college. 

Special Offer
Two reference books ("Farm Management" and "Profitable Farming") by our principal John Mason
(published by Kangaroo Press). A great supplement to this course.
Click here to order and save


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Certificate in Alternative Farming VSS003

Explore the Options for Alternative Farming
  • For farmers wanting to explore alternatives
  • For new Hobby Farmers
  • For a foundation in the Agricultural Services Industry
This course provides a foundation for dealing with those changes, whether on your own farm, or in a broader sense. It allows you to develop skills and knowledge in alternative farming methods using materials which have a minimal impact on the environment. The compulsory modules cover sustainable methods of agriculture and organic farming (livestock, pasture, pest and disease management, soil management and crop nutrition). The elective modules cover a range of subjects specific to alternative farming including: aquaculture, herb production, hydroponics, vertical growing, viticulture and other niche options.

This course is relevant worldwide!

Accreditedby International Accreditation and Recognition Council

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Certificate in Cattle Production VAG029


This is a specialty course, covering all aspects of cattle production, including:

  • Beef Cattle
  • Dairy Cattle
  • Calf Rearing
  • Pasture Management
  • Farm Management



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Certificate in Equine Property Management

Do you own an adjustment or horse livery property and need to develop skills to care for the property, the horses and the people using the property?
This is one of the best courses to develop a range of skills and knowledge relating to horses and property management.

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Certificate in Fish Farming VAG115

Study Fish and Applications for Fish Management:

  • Fish Farming -salt and fresh water
  • Aquaponic Production
  • Keeping Fish in a pond or Aquarium
  • Marine Life in the wild



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Certificate in Permaculture Consulting - VHT037

Reinvent yourself as a Permaculture Consultant

Permaculture Consultants understand how to optimise land productivity without causing land degradation.

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Certificate in Small Acreage Farming (Crops)

The ideal course for people with small acreage or property who want to grow vegetables, fruits or crops for profit or pleasure.

This course has a fantastic range of electives which means you can work through modules to suit your needs and wants!


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Certificate in Small Acreage Farming (Livestock) VAG117

This is an ideal course small farm owners who want to run a small number of livestock for profit or pleasure!

Perhaps you are considering purchasing acreage with a business idea in mind or you could find a small farming enterprise always set up for sale just ready for you to move in and take over?

Develop the skills to manage livestock confidently whilst ensuring their safety and wellbeing on smaller properties. Raising and caring for livestock, even in small numbers, is challenging and rewarding. This course is ideal for the hobby farmer or enthusiast or for those seeking a change of pace or a country life...

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Dairy Cattle BAG205

This is a practical foundation course for you if you want to learn about:

  • Dairy breeds
  • Managing anything from one cow to a large herd
  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, cream butter etc)
  • Dairy health and health management
  • Dairy buildings and systems

ACS Student Comment: "The course was put together very well. It covered all the important aspects of dairy farming and offered some important practical hands-on information that other courses lacked. I thoroughly enjoyed it and feel now that I have equipped myself to work on a dairy farm." K Mackenzie, Dairy Cattle course.

The foundation course has been developed in collaboration with industry and by our team of experts (agricultural and animal scientists, veterinary surgeons etc). It is complements our course in Calf Rearing.

“A sound general course in Dairy cattle husbandry and management”M. Cullen - Dip. Landcare & Natural Resources, Assoc. Dip. SMI, B. Teaching - ACS Tutor

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Diagnosing Animal Diseases BAG219

Study this course and gain a foundation that allows you to systematically investigate and determine health issues in animals.

Routine disease investigations are based on clinical, pathological and epidemiological evidence. If there is a need for conclusive identification of a disease or condition, an accurate laboratory diagnosis should be obtained. It is particularly important, especially in the case of infectious diseases that the final diagnosis rests on adequate evidence. In most cases disease investigations are carried out by qualified government stock inspectors and/or veterinarians. It helps for animal owners to understand and be able to recognise diseases conditions that may affect their animals, so that timely intervention can occur.

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Engineering II - Engineering Applications BSC205


This course complements Engineering I. It helps the student develop the understanding and skills required to apply appropriate and innovative engineering solutions, to improve efficiency and productivity in agricultural and horticultural situations.

This course covers topics such as surveying, earthworks, water management, environmental control (heating, cooling, ventilation etc), fencing, chemical applications, mechanisation of manual tasks, improving engineering efficiency/operations and developing engineering solutions to different workplace tasks/problems.

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Farm Animal Health (Animal Husbandry II) BAG201

A solid foundation knowledge of animal health and husbandry is a credit to you.

Build your confidence and ability to work with animals with this comprehensive online course in Animal Health - the perfect accompaniment for anyone who cares for animals, works with animals or has goals and aspirations for a career encompassing animal husbandry.

A solid introduction to the subject of Animal Health...

  • Learn to assess animal health
  • Explain a variety of animal health conditions
  • Identify appropriate treatments or responses common illnesses.

Specific topics include:

  • Disease Symptoms
  • Disease Classification
  • Disease Causes
  • Inflammation
  • Fever and Immunity
  • Tissue Repair
  • Wounds
  • Types of Cell Changes

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Farm Management BAG104

Learn to Increase Farm Efficiency

Farming is just as much about management as it is about animal or crop production. Unfortunately in today's world, the ability to produce a good animal or crop is no guarantee of success!

Through this course, learn to analyse, diagnose and make decisions related to management of a farm business. The course relates to managing all resources, including; production, staff, physical resources, and natural resources. You learn strategic planning, whole farm planning, and how to prepare a business plan.

This course was developed by a team of experts from Australia and the UK, under the leadership of John Mason, author of three Farm Management books (published by imprints of Simon & Schuster and CSIRO)

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Goat Production BAG223


Keeping goats for pets is easy! They are hardy creatures who require basic health care, feed and shelter and they can benefit you greatly in reducing time spent on looking after acreage - no more mowing!

Additionally, goats are an easy to farm livestock animal with efficient production of meat and milk produce as examples. As a domestic farm animal they can be used to produce a variety of products, such as:

  • Dairy (milk, butter, yogurt)
  • Meat
  • Leather
  • Wool (fleece goats)
  • Soaps, body and hair care

Learn more about how to care for goats and how to farm them appropriately for a viable financial income.

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Grain Crop Production

Agronomy II

Learn to Grow Broad Acre Grain Crops

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Horse Care 1 BAG102

Introduction to Horse Care

Learn equine management for the daily requirements of a horse at grass, and how to handle horses using a range of different procedures Skills covered include: evaluation a horses conformation, understanding diet,  grooming procedures, developing appropriate management procedures for a specific situation, and knowledge of commercial opportunities in the horse industry (including how to buy and sell horses).

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Horse Care II BAG204

Study Stable Management Online

Learn about the care of the stabled horse. The course covers feeding, stabling, stable yard management, food care, bedding, tack and conditioning of the horse.


This is designed as a stand-alone course and may be taken without Horse Care I as a pre-requisite.

This is a good foundation course for anyone who aspires to work with horses; either in their own business or elsewhere; on a farm, stud, riding school or in an equine supplies business.

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Horse Care III BAG302

Learn to Manage the Health and well being of your horse

Manage the health and condition of horses in different situations. Learn to identify signs of poor condition and ill health, and address the problems appropriately. Understand the things that can stress a horse and increase susceptibility to problems. Learn how to manage situations to minimise risk factors. Also discuss: rugs, traveling to shows, showing, managing a horse event, and some issues involved in running a horse business.

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Invertebrate Zoology BEN218

Learn invertebrate zoology

Understand the biology and taxonomy of all sorts of animals without backbones - from the microscopic, to massive land insects, crustaceans and spiders.

These are very important animals to man. Bees pollinate our food crops and give us honey. Worms improve our soils. 70% of the world human population eat insects. Without invertebrates, many of the larger animals and plants could not survive. We need to understand and manage invertebrates well in order to have a sustainable global environment. You can begin to develop that understanding for yourself here. 

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Marine Aquaculture (Mariculture) BAG220

Marine Aquaculture (Mariculture)

Learn about the general selection and management for farming salt water species of plants and animals.

  • Deals with the farming of salt water species of fish, shellfish, seaweed and other marine products
  • Learn to plan and manage the farming of a wide variety of marine life
  • Self paced study, expert tutors, start anytime, 100 hours of learning to give you a sound foundation in marine aquaculture.New Course in Nov.2010 -enrolments now accepted

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Natural Health Care for Animals BAG218

Healthy, effective alternatives to synthetic chemicals do exist!

This course can help you to understand animal health, minimize the risk of ill health, and the make more informed decisions about a whole range of alternative treatments that can be considered in response to different types of health issues in pets, farm animals; and even wildlife.


Student comment: I would recommend this course to anybody who is interested in animals, has animals and/or likes to work with animals. This is something I can use for the rest of my life and I can also use this basic knowledge for further study. The course is very pleasant and the tutors are motivating and very fast. So all in all a great learning experience!
Gabriele Klinnert, Australia - Natural Health Care for Animals course.

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Organic Farming - BAG305

Natural ideas for farming

Organic farming has been adopted by some farmers for economic reasons, others for ethical or sustainability concerns. Whatever the reason though for going organic, there is no doubt this method of farming is here to stay. Learn to manage both plant and animal production in a more natural and envioronmentaly sensitive way. Develop a sound foundation for understanding how to set up an organic farm, or convert an existing farm to organic practices.

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Pasture Management BAG212

Online study - pasture management

 This is a suitable course for farmers, graziers, students of agriculture, seed producers, or farm supply company staff. Pastures are critical to farms; and with a sound understanding of pasture management it may be feasible to convert unprofitable farms into profitable enterprises. Whether a small or large property, this course provides a foundation for evaluating problems and generating solutions about the management of pasture for different purposes.

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Permaculture I VSS104

An introductory course in Permaculture

  • a foundation for designing permaculture systems.
  • A starting point, self paced serious study

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Permaculture Systems - BHT201

Learn to prepare plans for permaculture systems. 

A "permaculture system" is unique landscape where plants and animals live balanced in a self sustaining ecosystem.
It commonly involves developing a garden or farm where the plants and animals are put together in such a way that they support each others growth and development. The garden or farm may change over years, but always remains productive, requires little input once established, and is environmentally sound.

Comment from a student:
Thank you for your support and help with this course. I have really enjoyed the assignments and I have learned a lot about the principles of permaculture.   Ned -Permaculture Student

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Pig Husbandry BAG209

Pig management: for commercial production, self sufficiency or hobby

This course is relevant to all production systems 

Due to better breeding, stricter selection and scientific feeding the modern pig can produce good quality pork or bacon. The feeding system and age at slaughter will determine what the pig will produce.

By studying this course you will learn about pig biology and production.

You will cover topics such as: breeding and selection, feeding, diseases, boar management, managing the sow and litter, fattening pigs, record keeping and more. Follow the link for more detailed information on this course:

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Poultry BAG208

Study poultry online

Manage poultry on a small or large scale, for production of eggs, meat or young birds. This course covers all aspects of poultry care and management. Learn about: Terminology, Breeds , Nutrition, Diseases In Poultry, Layers, Broilers, Incubation, Brooding, Record Keeping, Economics & Marketing.

This is a very solid course appropriate for both for the amateur, or as a foundation study for anyone working in the poultry industry.

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Protected Plant Production - BHT223

Learn about Crop Production in a Greenhouse

Develop your broad understanding of practices and processes involved in successful plant cropping. It will develop a clear understanding of environmental control and plant growth within a protective environment, together with a practical knowledge of plant husbandry techniques.

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Refrigerating and Cooling Farm Produce

Study Post-Harvest Handling of Farm Produce

Learn to manage chilling through to freezing of horticultural and agricultural products:

  • The engineering you need to understand and manage refrigeration equipment
  • The post harvest horticulture and agriculture needed to manage fruit, vegetables, flowers, meat and other farm produce

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Sheep Husbandry

Learn to Farm Sheep

This valuable course aims to develop your ability to analyse and make decisions about sheep management. Dual purpose breeds can provide the farmer with two products - meat and wool. This spreads the farmers source of income should there be an overproduction one of the two products. Sheep can also be farmed for dairy and sheep cheese can be as popular as cows cheese in some parts of the world.

Learn about: Breeds, Selection and Breeding, Nutrition of Sheep, Diseases of Sheep, General Management of a Flock, Care of the Lamb, Wool, and the Marketing of Sheep and Sheep Products.

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Soil Management BAG103

Good Soil is the Start of Profitable Farming.

There are many things that can be wrong with soil (e.g. poor nutrition, chemical imbalance, structural problems such as drainage, lack of microbial life etc). Often minor and relatively inexpensive treatments can make a huge difference to productivity, but the problems need to be identified first, and that requires a solid understanding of soil theory and management practice.

Learn about soil properties and requirements in agriculture, and how to apply that knowledge at a management level.

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Sustainable Agriculture - BAG215

Established approaches to farming are changing. A modern farmer needs to be receptive to change to retain viability not only from a financial point of view, but environmentally. Develop your capacity to choose both what you farm and how you farm it, to have an improved long term viability. This course is relevant to any scale of farming, from small hobby farm to the largest enterprise.

Additional Reference Available:
Sustainable Agriculture  2nd edition   by John Mason Principal of this school, published by Landlinks Press/CSIRO

John Mason examines and explains the concepts and long term benefits of sustainable farming systems such as permaculture, biodynamics, organic farming, agroforestry, conservation tillage and integrated hydroponics.

Click to order a copy

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