Agriculture and Horticulture
Australia is reliant on its primary industries. The sustainable management of Australia’s finite land and water resources is vital for the continued production and supply of food and fibre to local, national and global markets. VCE Agricultural and Horticultural Studies provides opportunities for students to experience and understand these primary industries.
VCE Agricultural and Horticultural Studies is designed to develop students’ understanding of the operations and practices involved with sustainable agricultural and horticultural systems within an economic, social and environmental context. This study allows students to develop and apply theoretical knowledge and skills to real world business and practices. An understanding of agribusiness operations involves a broad familiarity with interdisciplinary skills and knowledge of technology, science, economics and business management, marketing, geography and information and communications technology (ICT). Students apply their acquired knowledge and skills to design, develop and manage an agricultural and/or horticultural business as a project within this study.
The study provides a contextual overview of the scientific, management and operational skills and knowledge required to run a small agricultural and/or horticultural business. The study considers current and future practices within the Australian and international agribusiness sector. Students are expected to research change and innovation with regard to agricultural and/or horticultural businesses, responding to a range of drivers and demands.
The broad applied nature of the study of agribusiness operations prepares students to make decisions about career opportunities or further studies in agriculture, horticulture, land management, agricultural business practice and natural resource management. It complements the skills focus of competency-based training available through VET certificates in Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management.
Unit 1: Agricultural and horticultural operations
In this unit students study local agricultural and horticultural operations and the economic, social, environmental and historical factors that influence these operations. Students develop an understanding of how the biological and physical components of the environment and human resources influence the type of agribusinesses undertaken at particular locations. They consider the importance of using scientific methodology when investigating agricultural and horticultural systems.
Students apply their knowledge and skills in researching the feasibility and establishment of a small agricultural and/or horticultural business project. Students consider business opportunities and financial aspects, and growth and production of plants and animals. They use appropriate production skills, plan and use resources sustainably, and evaluate and report on the progress of the small business.
Unit 2: Production
This unit focuses on plant and animal nutrition, and growth and reproduction and their relationships within agribusiness systems. Students analyse agricultural and/or horticultural production systems in terms of timelines for production, taking into account physical, biological, economic, social and environmental factors. They consider the impacts of climate extremes on plant and animal production and use a scientific approach to investigating aspects of production.
Students use a small business project to explore the role of agribusiness in value adding to the product of an agricultural and/or a horticultural business. They consider business and production operations, production and environmental risks, sustainability of operations, and marketing. Students monitor and evaluate the outcomes of the small business project.
The award of satisfactory completion for a unit is based on a decision that the student has demonstrated achievement of the set of outcomes specified for the unit. This decision will be based on the teacher’s assessment of the student’s performance on assessment tasks designated for the unit