Major improvements to farm and trade training facilities are almost finished at WA College of Agriculture - Cunderdin.

Principal, Bernard Beatty said the current upgrade costing about $4million was for a state of the art farm workshop, a major extension to the design and technology workshop and a new controlled environment weaner facility and grower shed  at the piggery. The work had taken 40 weeks to complete, he said.

"Extensions to the Design and Technology centre provided an area for the teaching of bricklaying, a machine room for woodwork and more space in the automotive and engineering bays," Mr Beatty said

"The farm now has a modern workshop to train students and big enough for  large machinery such as a self propelled header. "Included in the building are new offices for the farm manager, assistant farm manager and other farm staff. "It replaces buildings from the 1960's," he said.

"Work at the piggery provides facilities that meet animal welfare and international husbandry standards. "In addition it includes a water efficient 'bathtub' effluent handling system. "The controlled environment weaner facility will minimise stress for pigs at weaning and ensure optimum production,"  Mr Beatty said.

"A further $50,000 is currently being spent on an outdoor recreation area totalling 800 square metres with students doing most of the work as part of their building construction course. "The work includes outdoor chess, draughts and table tennis, installation of 'soft fall' around the trampolines and seating for social gatherings," he said.

In 2010 student accommodation at the college  was upgraded with the addition of two 16-bed dormitories along with a new medical centre. The existing brick dormitories were air-conditioned as part of the upgrade costing $3million.

Meanwhile students are actively involved in the college  cropping  program which includes spreading of gypsum and fertiliser, spraying, seeding as well as the maintenance and repair of seeding equipment. 

This year the college is sowing 440 hectares of wheat, 200 of barley, 110 of canola 82 of lupins and 36 hectares of oats. Another 40 hectares has been sown to clover and serradella.

ABOVE: Some of the students who will benefit from the improvements to the Design and Technology centre are year 11 students (L-R) Bayden Ley (Woorree), Kale Beilken (Merredin), Gemma Read and Brody Bauer (York), Ben Elliott (teacher) and Jessica  Herzer (Northam).