Plans to bring back outback Ag-school for farming future
The New South Wales Government will re-open a school that seeks to provide courses in one of Australia’s most neglected fields.
The Murrumbidgee College of Agriculture (MCA) at Yanco will open its doors again soon, after a pledge from the state government aimed at reinvigorating the farm school.
Full-time residential courses at the college closed at the end of 2003, and reports say while it will not be re-established as it was before, the facility will return in a new form.
Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli made the announcement this week, sang a reference group would be formed to find out recommendations from the Review into Agricultural Education and Training in NSW can be put in place.
The review looked at how agricultural education can remain relevant in the changing industry, and was conducted by Charles Sturt University researcher Professor Jim Pratley.
The NSW Government has agreed “in principle” to the recommendation that the MCA be re-opened.
“It's a vastly under-used facility that has huge potential,” Mr Piccoli said.
“The college will be using a different business model to what it did in the past ... it won't be reliant on government funding and it will operate independently of the Yanco Agricultural Institute.
“Part of our plan will be to establish this reference group that will create a business plan for the college.
“We estimate this will take up to six months ... the members of that committee haven't been decided on yet,” he said.
The Government says it hopes the college could be back up-and-running by 2015, but there is a large amount of work to be done before that date.
More information on the recent review of NSW’s agricultural education and training facilities is available from the Government website.