Highlights

 

THE GENESIS AND EVOLUTION OF THE GOVERNMENT
FARM SCHOOL,
THE PRECURSOR OF THE J.S.A., C.O.A., AND   C.A.S.E .
           PROMOTORS OF AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION IN JAMAICA.


Aston S. Wood, Agribusiness consultant,
(Former Principal, JSA 1971- 1976)
astonwood@cwjamaica.com



The genesis, history, growth and progress of tertiary agricultural education in Jamaica, through the institutional evolution of the Government Farm School, to the Jamaica School of Agriculture, the College of Agriculture and the College of Agriculture Science and Education, cannot be rightly presented without reference to the social dynamics of the environment within which the genesis occurred.
It was after two very engaging centuries (1650s’ to the 1850s’) when the sugar industry dominated the socio-cultural industrial environment, in terms of establishing the prejudices  of race, social class, access to land and land ownership, education for native youths, likewise the structure and deployment of the labour force. It was indeed an era of colonial domination with a class obsessed culture where snobbery was essentially elevated to an art.
The major sources of historical data for that era was derived from Bryan, J.

Presented at the Service of Thanksgiving by the JSA/COA/CASE Alumni Association at he Holiness Born Again Church, Hollywood, FL, Sunday, May 24, 2009.

(2000) ‘The Jamaican people 1830 to 1902’; Nuttall, E. Etal, (1899) Report of the Committee for the establishment of the Department of Agriculture and the Experimental Stations, and Orrett, W.H.(1892) ‘Suggestions relative to the Advancement of Agriculture’. These dissertations dealt with agriculture and agricultural education along with the issues of humanitarianism, religion and education.


According I shall attempt to pursue this presentation with a synopsis of the circumstances leading up to the founding of the Government Farm School. This should be followed by a description of developments by the respective institutions in response to changing sector needs and the expanded definition of ‘agriculture’ in the 21st century. However, time does not permit such glorious recall.


The evolution of technical agricultural education began taking form in the late nineteenth century, during the post- emancipation - period and the dismantling of the plantation system. With this era occurred an upsurge in the establishment of rural communities with small farmer operations amidst the lack of education and technical support for such agricultural undertakings.