Weston Agricultural College

Weston Agricultural College

Estate

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The Weston farm is almost 1 200 hectares (about 3 000 acres) in extent and lies in the Highland Sourveld bioclimatic zone of KwaZulu-Natal. This implies a short summer growing season with an annual average of 700 mm rainfall and veld grass that loses palatability in winter. Over 7 km (about 4.5 miles) of river frontage at the lower northern boundary of the farm allows for winter irrigation and is the primary source of water for the livestock. The school and its buildings are located almost halfway between the northern and southern boundaries. Camps, pastures and cultivated lands are named after Old Westonians and past staff members, and form the basis of “camps tests” that all learners at Weston must pass to ensure that they can find their way around the farm. 

Maize is grown for silage (and a little grain) for the livestock enterprises, mainly the dairy. Pastures consist of Eragrostis, grown for winter hay, and Italian Rye Grass (winter) and Kikuyu (summer) for grazing. The home-grown feed supports the dairy, beef and sheep enterprises. Poultry, pigs and the vegetable garden are smaller enterprises and are not aimed at making huge profits, but rather at breaking even while showing the learners how things should be done.

Supporting all the enterprises are the mechanics workshop, for servicing and maintaining the farm equipment, and the building construction workshop for maintaining and upgrading the farm and school buildings.

There are various farm sections each run by a Practical Instructor, who is responsible for making ends meet and educating the learners in the practical issues of the section. Learners may be required to operate machinery, such as tractors and implements, and are given responsibility for the care and feeding of livestock. In this way, most Weston learners soon come to “stand on their own two feet” and solve problems and make decisions based on sound judgement. The learners are divided into “section gangs”. Each gang has just over a dozen members, of which two or three will be in Grade 12 and appointed as gang monitors. Gangs rotate between sections every two weeks. Grade 12’s are involved with section work for the first three terms.

Next to the science block stands the Gerricke Bell, used to summon boys to section duties and in case of veld fires on the farm.

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The Info Booklet below will answer most of your questions.  Please contact our school should you have any further enquiries.