In the School Farm, we breed individual species and categories of the most important livestock, with an emphasis on breeding animals included in the genetic animal resources.
This unique educational complex allows students of the Faculty of Agriculture, and especially students of Animal Husbandry Sciences, to acquire knowledge of breeding of all critical specifies of livestock, but most of all, they will gain hands-on experience in animal breeding, life manifestations of animals and the way of handling such animals: a necessary condition for the success of graduates from the Faculty of Agriculture.
The excellent location of the purpose-built facility (5 minutes away from the Faculty) is appreciated by both teachers of the individual specialized subjects and students who participate in instruction and research or complete their professional training there. In addition, this facility is used by students to undertake their operational practical training and a part of professional practical training. Thus, students are given a precious opportunity to gain experience in breeding, animal care and feeding, as well as the organization and management of animal husbandry.
The year 2013 saw a significant change in the organization system of practical training carried out by students of Animal Husbandry Sciences, and thus, students now independently take care of the entire operation of the purpose-built facility, though under the supervision of the farm technician. Moreover, shelters for pastures have been installed and a group of animals (sheep and horses) is therefore freely kept in the out-of-door pastures on the campus of the University of South Bohemia, an outcome which has resulted in positive feedback from residents of České Budějovice and the adjacent housing estate in Čtyři Dvory, who are now able to introduce their children and grandchildren to horses and sheep in the paddocks.
The paddock with sheep and horses is also a part of the Working with Nature educational trail, which leads through the University campus.
Since livestock production forms an integral part of agriculture, students of certain fields of study at the Faculty of Agriculture and Technology have an opportunity to learn about livestock breeding from a hands-on perspective. The purpose-built facility (formerly a school farm) breeds mainly native Czech breeds included in the gene reserves (gene resource), especially for their resilience, undemanding care and demeanour.
These species are typical of the Czech Republic and represent the breeding heritage of previous generations; however, their utility-based performance does not meet requirements of the today’s intensive agriculture. Hence, their distribution among breeders is somewhat limited. One can encounter those species for example on smaller farms, organic farms and of course in our facility.
Currently, a total of 9 species of livestock (horses, sheep, goats, geese, chickens, rabbits, coypus and pigs) are kept in the purpose-built facility.
More details on selected breeds can be found in the Atlas of Livestock Breeds Kept in the Czech Republic.