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Agriculture Students Gain A Broad Experience

Posted on 9th October 2013 in Agriculture

In addition to providing an outstanding level of education and training to our students, Hadlow College is also responsible for running several commercial businesses, including its three farms.  In total over 400 acres are farmed by the College, growing a mix of oil seed rape, maize and silage grasses.  These are harvested at different times of the year and then either sold on the open market or stored as fodder to feed our livestock.

To give our agriculture students the best possible experience, we have a variety of livestock including cattle, sheep (comprising Suffolk Mules, Kent Half-Bred and Charolais purebreds) and pigs, as well as a poultry unit producing eggs for the local farmers’ markets, farm shop and greengrocers.  These animals are usually bred, reared and then sold at market, with students involved every step of the way.  At the moment, our Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture students are ‘dagging-out’ (removing daggs - clumps of dried dung stuck to the wool of a sheep!) they will also be instrumental during tupping (the mating season).

Our farms are, as with all commercial enterprises, constantly changing and reacting to market conditions.  This year we have enjoyed an excellent summer resulting in bumper crops of silage, hay and straw.  We grow a variety of grasses including ‘red clover’, ‘mustard’, and ‘Italian Rye Grass’ – all of which is expected to do well again as they were sown in ideal conditions.

As well as studying livestock and crops, our agriculture students can also gain practical experience with all of the machinery, tractors, ploughs etc used throughout the year.  Our Agricultural Machinery students service and repair all of the College fleet, as well as external machinery used on neighbouring farms.

By studying a course in agriculture at Hadlow College you can become part of an industry which is key to the production of food, preservation of the countryside and the ongoing survival of the rural economy.

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