The pandemic has not stopped the agricultural industry and neither has it stopped us teaching the next generation of future farmers.
Matt and I have been teaching this year’s Duchy & Bicton College Level 4 Agricultural business Management students, this is the 3rd time we have taught year 1 of this 2 year course.
The first year of the course is about the practical aspect of their apprenticeship and covers:
- Grassland Management
- Forage Management and feeding
- Cow Signals
- Transition Management and Metabolic disorders
- Fertiliser Plans
- Metabolic disorders
After teaching the first group 3 years ago we decided to change the way we presented the year. Instead of having a different topic every week the students now ‘take on a farm’ . At the start of the year they are given a council farm particulars, we then digest this and go though the process and how we need to manage and run this particular farm, we then teach the subjects listed above inline with how we would do it if they had become new tenants or owners of the farm.
As homework we task the students to take what they learnt in college that day to challenge what they are doing on the farms they work on, getting them to look at where they are and is there things they could be doing differently . Is there room for improvement? Can we make the farms we work on more profitable? Or maybe they are doing it as well as they can but they have looked at it and justified it. We have tried to make the course as practical and applicable to real life as possible for the students to take the most away from it.
After this academic year the course is changing, however Matt has been given a brilliant opportunity to be on the National Steering Group for the new course coming out. We are really excited for this opportunity to help develop a course alongside farmers to help the future managers, herdsman’s/herd ladies , tenant farmers and farmers gain the relevant experience they need.
If you have any questions or interest in joining the group, or having an apprentice on farm please don’t hesitate to give myself a call and I can hopefully point you in the right direction.