Skip To Main Content

In September 2023, Olds College hosted a representative from Longerenong College to visit their college and farm. A vocational college much like Longerenong, Olds College has over 2,000 full-time students and offers diploma and bachelor’s degree programs in Agriculture, Agribusiness, and a new Bachelor of Digital Agriculture Degree. They have a 3,600-acre farm with broadacre cropping, equine, cattle, and sheep programs. The Longerenong DATA Farm was modelled on the Olds College Smart Farm.  An MOU signaling the intent to work together for the benefit of students, the Colleges and the agriculture industry has since been signed, between the two Colleges February 2024.

The intention of the relationship is to provide opportunities for both colleges’ student groups to engage in study exchanges and gain work experience in a different country. For research, opportunities exist to share production data from the Olds College Smart Farm and the Longerenong DATA Farm, as both farms grow similar crops and have cattle and sheep herds. Olds College recognises vocational training as the foundation of their bachelor’s program; therefore, Longerenong graduates from the Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness program now have a pathway to complete a Bachelor of Applied Science – Agribusiness, with 8 months in the classroom at Olds College and 8 months of in-field work experience. This will provide an international pathway for a Bachelor degree for Longerenong College alumni.

Both Olds and Longerenong have very close ties with the industry. Longerenong College has Case IH, UPL, and Nutrien as college sponsors. The BASF Southern Hemisphere Canola breeding site is located on the Longerenong Campus, as are Bayer and UPL trials. Olds has relationships with a huge number of industry partners. The hope is that multinational agriculture companies will view both colleges as high-value and innovative partners in advancing the global transferability of agriculture education and as a priority source of new graduates.

Avril Hogan, General Manager of Longerenong College, said: ‘No other college is as similar to Longerenong College as Olds College in terms of providing hands-on training, a commercial farm operating as part of the college, and the similarity of students. The majority of our students come from small-town agriculture areas, and they are passionate about agriculture, and are excited to be at a school with so many other students just like them. This experience will set them up for life with the sharing of agricultural knowledge among their peers, the commitment of staff who love agriculture, the on-farm learning environment, and the opportunity to make lifelong friends. The fact that we based our DATA Farm on the Olds design proves the applicability of the technology to both organisations and farming systems. The one difference is that Olds has a Rodeo Club on Tuesdays, which many of the Longerenong College students would envy, complete with horses, steer wrestling, and a riding arena. I look forward to working with the Olds team to explore every possible opportunity for our students.'”

Photo taken at the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology at Olds College, with the Dean Jay Steeves and Olds College Team, Avril Hogan General Manager of Longerenong College.