Agriculture a career for everyone: High school resources

Page last updated: Friday, 9 August 2019 - 11:19am

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An international career in wheat and grains

Lesson overview

Grain is one of Australia’s most important agricultural exports. Every winter, Western Australia has more land planted for grain crops than any other state. This means there are many jobs in wheat and grains research here in WA. The training and experience you achieve in WA can set you up for a global career.

Australian Curriculum: Humanities and Social Sciences

Geography: Biomes and Food Security
  • Year 9 - The challenges to food production, including land and water degradation, shortage of fresh water, competing land uses, and climate change, for Australia and other areas of the world (ACHGK063)
  • Year 9 - examining the effects of anticipated future population growth on global food production and security, and its implications for agriculture and agricultural innovation (ACHGK064)
Economics and Business Knowledge
  • Year 9 - Why and how participants in the global economy are dependent on each other (ACHEK039)
Science as a Human Endeavour
  • Year 9 - The values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE228)
  • Year 10 - Advances in science and emerging sciences and technologies can significantly affect people’s lives, including generating new career opportunities (ACSHE195)


  • Case study on the career of Dan Mullan
  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics provides insights on the agriculture industry, see the Australian Bureau of Statistics article 'Australian farming and farmers'  (Accessed 25 June 2015)
  • DAFWA ‘Careers cards’

Tuning In

Watch this video on Australian agriculture. It emphasises the role of research and innovation in farming. It was published in 2011 by Australia’s Year of the Farmer.

Whole class introduction

Australian farmers are part of a global effort to feed the world. Scientists collaborate with farmers to develop the agriculture industry.

As the National Farmers Federation (NFF) of Australia states:

‘The challenge for our farmers will be meeting the booming world need for food and fibre. This means we need to increase the amount of food and fibre we grow- with less land, less water, less impact on the environment, and with fewer people. This is why Australia spends $1.5 billion a year on agricultural development and why we need to continue to spend more’ (NFF presentation, 2012).

Agriculture offers an international career. Australian agricultural scientists are involved in many global collaborations to look at new and more efficient ways of producing food and fibre.

The vast Australian continent produces more food than our population can eat. Many farmers are focused on exporting their products. It is very important that farmers and agricultural scientists understand the markets available in other countries.

Did you know?

  • 60% of Australian farm produce is exported, helping to feed 40 million people around the world each day (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012).
  • In 2010-11, 14% of the total value of agricultural exports went to China. A further 13% went to Japan and 8% to Indonesia. Australian farmers also exported to countries beyond our immediate region such as those in the Middle East (10% of agricultural exports), the European Union (8%), and the United States (7%) (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012).


Nikki Poulish