Esperance SHS has two farms: The Esperance Farm Training Centre and the "Demo" Block.
Esperance Farm Training Centre
The High School is most fortunate to have an 800 hectare fully operating school farm, 35 kilometres out of town, the Esperance SHS Farm Training Centre, and a four hectare agricultural demonstration block (the 'demo' block) attached to the main school.
The Farm Training Centre is a fully commercial operating farm, with a number of successful enterprises, including broad acre wheat, barley, oats and lupin production, sheep and cattle raising.
Agricultural students compete at many local and rural agricultural shows and are consistently high achievers at the annual Perth Agricultural Royal Show and the Esperance and other regional shows held annually.
The Esperance Senior High School Farm Training Centre is part of the Western Australian College of Agriculture. Students can undertake agricultural traineeships whilst still at school, giving them vital industry experience. Students gain dual accreditation at the end of their schooling that includes TAFE certification and the Western Australian Certificate of Education.
Farm Training Centre
Dempster Rd NERIDUP
PO Box 465
ESPERANCE WA 6450
"Excellence and Innovation in Agricultural Education"
The "Demo" Block
The Demo Block is an on-site farm covering six acres. The Demo Block is home to poultry, cattle, sheep, fish and rabbits. Fresh produce is also grown, including: fruit trees, vegetables, herbs and a soon to be developed bush tucker garden. Students at the demo block may also choose to be part of the cattle team that goes to the local show or the Perth Royal Show. Students are encouraged to enter growing categories at the local show.
All year 7 students are provided the opportunity to do Agriculture as taster unit for 1 term. Year 9 and 10 Options include agriculture or fork to fork. Both courses feature large amounts of practical work complemented by a theoretical component.
Students learn about many aspects of agriculture at the Demo Block including:
- Animal care: design a rabbit hutch for backyard, caring for the animals - cleaning pens, yard work, feeding, weighing.
- Growing fruit, vegetable and herbs: organic, sustainable, best plants for local conditions, health and nutrition.
- Running a produce shop
- Cooking produce, eggs
- Showmanship skills and showing stock or produce at agricultural shows
- Worm farming
- Understanding agriculture: weeds, soil, fertilizers, chemicals, watering, history of ag in Esperance, stock diseases and parasites, plant/crop diseases and parasites, trees, permaculture and aquaculture.
- Aboriginal foods
- Farm safety
Overall the Demo block provides students a broad taste of agriculture so they can make informed choices about entering the field of agriculture as a career and/or furthering their education at the School Farm. For others the learnt knowledge and skills will allow them to utilise their backyards for sustainable production of organic food.