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Apr 19

Lab work a boost to learning at Muresk

STUDENTS studying the Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management at Muresk have had their learning experience boosted with laboratory sessions relating to their plant and animal courses.
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A key feature of the three-year degree being delivered in a partnership between Charles Sturt University and C Y O’Connor Institute is its practical, hands on approach to learning.

The classes in the laboratory have focused on factors affecting production levels in both animal and plant systems. During one session, students dissected the female reproductive tracts of sheep and pigs, identified the component parts and related them back to classroom theory about function and factors affecting reproductive efficiency.

Hands on: Dr Kathryn Egerton-Warburton with students Mitchell Hutton (Morawa) and David Storer (Meckering) during an animal reproduction laboratory practical at Muresk.

The laboratory work was followed by a practical session in the sheep yards where the students were given a pen of merino rams and asked to do a reproductive soundness examination on them.

Using these results in conjunction with data on wool production, quality and body size, the students had to identify animals to cull from the flock.

Lecturer, Dr Kathryn Egerton-Warburton, said the exercises in the laboratory and sheep yard, gave students a clearer picture of the parts of the reproductive system and an understanding of factors that affected efficient reproduction.

In their study of soil and plants, the students visited a local farm to look at formation, structure and classification of soils.

They also carried out tests to determine texture and pH and used the data to decide the usefulness of each soil type for agriculture.

Lecturer James Fisher said in the laboratory, students measured water infiltration rates in different soil types. In another experiment they measured water usage of plants under a range of conditions including different temperatures, moving and still air, light and dark.

The students are also observing various summer and winter crops growing in the glasshouse.

“I’d like to acknowledge the effort of members of the Higher Education Project team in re-equipping the laboratory and thank DAFWA, Ballard Seeds, WANTFA and Landmark for donating the seed used by students,” Dr Fisher said.

Enrolments for 2015 are now open. To apply online or download and print a form go to csu.edu.au/apply.

For further assistance contact Daisy Bulloch on 9622 6789 or email agri [email protected]

Hands on: Dr Kathryn Egerton-Warburton with students Mitchell Hutton (Morawa) and David Storer (Meckering) during an animal reproduction laboratory practical at Muresk.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.