Untapped Potential: The Neglected Urban Interest in Secondary Agriculture


  • Scott Mitchell Graham Barker College; Charles Sturt University




Agriculture in a secondary school context in Australia has had a poor reputation amongst students and parents. Consequently, there have been historically low enrolments for many decades. This has contrasted with the reality of well-paid, knowledge-intense and increasingly urban-based jobs in the sector. This disparity has led to a significant shortage of university agricultural graduates needed to fill vital jobs to support the economy and society. Through a case study at one high school, this paper demonstrates how the reputation of the subject in the view of students and parents can be changed to more closely align with the modern reality of jobs in the agriculture sector. It shows that urban high school students, who traditionally would not be expected to take roles in agriculture, are not only interested in the concept of ‘paddock to plate’ but are willing to devote their lives to a career in the industry in order to make a difference.

Author Biography

Scott Mitchell Graham, Barker College; Charles Sturt University

Head of Agriculture, Barker College






Curriculum development and innovation