Ag College Advisory Group member Mike McCosker and AgForce president Ian Burnett.
Ag College Advisory Group member Mike McCosker and AgForce president Ian Burnett.

Ag industry leaders regain control of "lost" college

WITH student numbers consistently down at the region's agricultural colleges, industry leaders have stepped in to regain some control of operations, course content and even the day-to-day governance of the campuses.

A strong contingent of industry representatives recently held a Course Content Day at the Emerald campus to discuss how the college could best service industry and "regain some credibility" in its courses.

Emerald Ag College Advisory Group member Mike McCosker, a well-respected local land holder from Codenwarra, said the college needed to get back to basics.

"Basically they are training for us so they have got to understand what our training needs are. And unless we have that connection between the two - industry and education - then the college is basically lost," Mr McCosker said.

"A lot of the focus today has been on course content, but we've gone that step further and we're looking at the actual governance of the college, we're looking at going back to having industry directly involved in the governance of the college."

AgForce president Ian Burnett said rekindling that connection was vital to the success of the college and its students when they left.

"A plan will be put together that has the support of these representatives that is really credible," he said.

Mr McCosker said it was important students left the college well practised in the skills required for the workplace.

"We need to get back to the basics. A lot of the guys have been saying those basic production skills that we expect our employees to have need to be taught here and practised here," he said.


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