Study Animal Husbandry
- A great foundation course for a professional career in agriculture; working on a farm or providing services to the industry
- Start study any time and work at your own pace
- Great support from qualified and experienced agriculture experts who have decades of industry experience
Note that each module in the Qualification - Associate Diploma in Animal Husbandry is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
NEW FARM ENTERPRISES
Farmers look increasingly for new things to grow, and new ways to grow them.
There can be a distinct advantage in getting in first with potentially valuable products. At the same time there can often be a disadvantage in that the country does not have an infrastructure developed to deal with the product. For example, some countries may farm certain "niche" animals (eg emus and ostriches), but may not have developed facilities to value add to the produce (eg. few abattoir facilities developed to kill and process the meat, leather, feathers, etc).
Advantages and Disadvantages Of New Industries
* Getting In First. This can allow you to:
- Develop a market niche.
- Develop a reputation, and a level of expertise that you can market to future
industry members, for example by provide startup or breeding stock for the next wave
* Starting later - It may be hard to break into the market in the face of established
producers, but you may be able to bypass mistakes made by the earlier people (pioneers
in the industry).
* High prices are generally obtained for stock/produce at first, particularly if they are in high demand as breeding stock, but once numbers increase then price drops rapidly. You can
lose a lot of money buying expensive stock, only to see prices plummet in a short time.
Timing your entry into developing industries is crucial.
* You can often get extensive help, advice, support from various government agencies
(e.g. agriculture departments) who are keen to develop new industries in conjunction with
* Some new products require more sophisticated facilities for processing than others, while
others can utilise existing facilities for other crops or animals. You need to be aware of
what is needed and ensure you have reliable access to such facilities (or an ability to
develop suitable processing facilities), before making a commitment to grow something
new or different.
* Markets - may already be established, or you may need to develop market opportunities.
* New industries often have additional tourism potential, for example, uncommon animals
will attract interest as an oddity to be looked at, not just for meat, fleece, or milk,
WHICH NEW ENTERPRISE TO CHOOSE?
Careful selection of which new enterprise/s too undertake is extremely important. Choosing the wrong enterprise can result in expensive outlays for little return, a lot of work to produce a marketable crop or service, poor yields, poor quality product, or even total failure of the enterprise.
HOW THEN DO YOU DECIDE WHICH ENTERPRISE/S TO TRY?
A simple process to get you started is to consider, on a BROAD SCALE, all the possibilities for potential enterprises. This could be done as a brainstorming session, perhaps with relatives, staff members, and/or fellow farmers. Don't limit yourself at this stage - no idea is too silly. You may want to do a little research to give you a few more ideas. What products or services are being trialled in Australia, or which are being grown overseas successfully, but not yet trialled in Australia, that you might be interested in?
A little research, even a visit overseas, could extend the range of possibilities to consider.
List all the ideas you come up with. A list of possible enterprises/activities to give you a good head start is included later in this chapter.
List all of the things that you already have, or could readily get hold of, that could be potentially utilised as part of a new enterprise. Once again don't limit yourself. Items to be listed could include, such things as:
* Land - how much, where is it located (e.g. next to a major highway or near a big town),
topography, soils, climate, etc.
* Water - how much, from what sources, cost, quality, reliability, etc.
* Established infrastructure - do you have sheds, buildings, dams, fences, roads, etc. on
* What services do you have access too (mains water, power, telephone, etc.)?
* What equipment do you have, or can readily get access too (e.g. tractors, harvesting
equipment, cultivating equipment, sprayers, irrigation equipment, vehicles, etc? What
enterprises are these resources suited to, or could be readily adapted to.
* What skills and knowledge do you have - don't just consider farm production skills, also
consider computer skills, marketing skills, cooking skills, handyman skills, business skills,
etc. Some crops and animals are very difficult to grow; others are easy. Some services
are easy to provide, others may be more difficult. If you are inexperienced, it is often best
to start with the easy ones, even though profit margins may not be as high as for other
products or services.
* What are your personal interests? You will put much more effort into something you are
really interested in.
* Can you get extra, suitably trained staff easily if required?
What things would limit you from doing certain enterprises. List these. Could these limitations be readily overcome. You might, for example, have a water shortage problem, or your property may be well off the beaten track, or your property is subject to heavy frost.
Go through each of the potential enterprises on your first list and cross check them with your other two lists. Put a tick or an asterisk against those enterprises that you feel you could do given the list of resources you have or could readily get hold of. Put a cross next to those enterprises where you feel you wouldn't have the necessary resources to carry out that enterprise. Also put a cross against those enterprises where the items from your limitations list would make the undertaking of that enterprise difficult, for example, if you have water shortages, then trying to produce a crop or animal with high water demand (e.g. water chestnuts, aquaculture) is not likely to succeed.
Start to carry out some initial research into the items that you have asterisked or ticked. You may limit this step to those enterprises that particularly interest you, especially if your list of possible is still a long one. Don't throw away your original list though. As conditions change (e.g. finances improve, irrigation channels are supplied to your area) you might want to later on reconsider some of the enterprises you have at first rejected.
Some of the following points might help you further cut down your list of possible enterprises.
Are you producing for your own needs, for commercial production, or for both?
A. IF PRODUCING FOR YOUR OWN NEEDS:
Your market is assured here. It is difficult to go wrong provided you do the following:
Ensure that you have or develop the skills required to produce the product or service you
- Ensure that you have the right equipment, materials, etc. to produce the product or
Check and be sure that you can grow or produce or deliver each particular product or
service cheaper than you might buy the product for ...
BEWARE, even though it may seem ridiculous, it is often possible to buy something for
less, or hire someone to provide a service, than it might cost you to grow it or provide a
B. IF PRODUCING A PRODUCT OR SERVICE TO SELL:
Your market is rarely assured, and when it is (e.g. contract growing), there are generally disadvantages involved. Choosing which product or service to grow or provide might include:
Studying the demand of alternative products or services under consideration and select
high demand ones.
If you choose a crop or animal, then how suitable is that crop or animal to the soil &
climate of your area. Would expensive site modifications need to be made to allow that
crop or animal to be grown successfully (e.g. greenhouse installation, windbreaks, soil
- Could you borrow, lease, hire any other equipment you might need on a short term
basis, while you have a try out producing a new crop, animal, service, etc.
- What is the cost, and availability, of planting material, breeding stock, specialist
equipment? Can you get it, and/or can you afford it?
Consider the keeping quality of any products. Those which only keep for short periods
only are more of a risk than ones which keep well.
- Can the products you might be considering growing be processed to give them a much
- Could processing be used to increase the value of the products you are considering (this
is known as value adding)?
Consider when the product or service will be sold/supplied and the likely changes in
demand throughout the year.
Consider the relationship between cost outlay & return. Some enterprises require large
capital outlay before any return can be obtained (eg: Walnut orchard ... property & labour,
etc. can be tied up for up to 10 years before reasonable crops start to be obtained from
Consider the scale on which that product or service is normally grown or delivered
commercially. Crops grown on large scales (eg: Wheat) are subject to scale economies
(ie: they need to be grown on large scales to achieve a reasonable cost efficiency).
Consider how well established the particular sector of the industry your are considering
is, and study what other people growing that crop or providing that service are doing. If
everyone grows a particular crop or animal, or decides to provide a particular service
because there has recently been a high demand ... next year may result in an over
supply of that crop, animal, or service, and very cheap prices.
Consider the likely transportation & marketing requirements of the products or services.
Consider the time that particular crops or animals take to mature and the length of
production of that particular crop or animal.
Some crop bearing trees, for example, can take four or more years before you get a
worthwhile crop, but will keep bearing, if well maintained, for decades.
Consider market presentation & preferences before beginning a venture. Some products
or services require a larger capital outlay to package & present at market than others.
- For "new" or experimental crops or animals, determine what information is available on
their culture, and what grower support (e.g. Dept. of Agriculture). Trying crops or animals
that are new to your area, or are experimental can be costly if results are poor, but also
have the potential to be very rewarding if results are good. Researching overseas efforts
with such (or similar) crops can often provide important information.
ACS follows the old fashioned idea that “the student comes first”. Our staff are told to treat every student as an individual and respond promptly to their enquiries; and the facilities we have developed and continue to develop, are all focused on that goal. Facilities include:
- Offices in two time zones (UK and Australia) –which means an international team of academics are responding to students 5 days a week and 16 hours a day.
- An online student room with unique resources that are only available to students studying our courses, including online library.
- Bookshop offering quality downloadable e books
- A data base of 20 million words of unique information written by our staff over 3 decades that can be drawn upon if needed by academics for use in supporting our students.
- Systems that ensure assignments are tracked, marked and returned to students, fast -commonly within a round 1 week & rarely more than 2 weeks (note: many other colleges take longer).
- The school is active in social networking and encourages students to connect with us and each other.
- No automated handling of student phone enquiries. When you call you get a real person; or leave a message and a real person will call you back within a day, but more commonly within an hour or two.
- No additional charges for extra tutor support over the phone or email.
- Free careers advice for graduates –It is our policy to provide support and advice to our students even after they graduate. If a graduate needs help with getting a CV together, or advice on setting up a business or looking for work; they only need ask.
- The quality of academic staff is higher than many other colleges.
How our Courses Differ
- Courses are continually improved –we invite feedback from all graduates and change courses immediately the need is detected.
- Courses are relevant to the whole world –we try hard to teach make the learning transferable to any region or country because the world is increasingly a global economy
- Courses written by our staff, teach different skills to standard courses; giving a unique mix of skills and knowledge to provide a career advantage. Do you want an accredited certificate and the same skills as 100 other job applicants; or one of our courses with skills that no other applicants have?
- Certificates and diplomas are longer. They teach you more, and our qualifications have built a reputation amongst academics and industry as being a very high standard for this reason.
- We are focused on helping you learn in a way that improves your capacity to understand your discipline, apply knowledge, and continue learning and developing your capabilities beyond your course.
These things cannot be always said of other colleges.
Study alone can never guarantee career success; but a good education is an important starting point.
Success in a career depends upon many things. A course like this is an excellent starting point because it provides a foundation for continued learning, and the means of understanding and dealing with issues you encounter in the workplace.
When you have completed an ACS course, you will have not only learnt about the subject, but you will have been prompted to start networking with experts in the discipline and shown how to approach problems that confront you in this field.
This and every other industry in today’s world is developing in unforeseen ways; and while that is unsettling for anyone who wants to be guaranteed a particular job at the end of a particular course; for others, this rapidly changing career environment is offering new and exciting opportunities almost every month.
If you want to do the best that you can in this industry, you need to recognise that the opportunities that confront you at the end of a course, are probably different to anything that has even been thought of when you commence a course.
Visit our School bookshop at www.acsebook.com
- Downloadable ebooks that can be read on ipads, PC’s, Laptops, or readers like a Kindle.
- Titles are written by our principal and staff.
- Anyone can purchase books –ACS students are offered a student discount
We hope that we have answered your questions, but if not, please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing us at [email protected]