Rural Students Really Know the Meaning of "Field Trip"
8 October 2012
The new group of students on the MSc Rural Land and Business Management degree set out from Reading a 2-day visit to Gloucestershire.
The new group of students on the MSc Rural Land and Business Management degree set out from Reading a 2-day visit to Gloucestershire. The visit was organised and hosted by the Ernest Cook Trust, a land-owning educational charity (www.ernestcooktrust.org.uk)
The students visited some of the Trust's tenanted farms at Fairford on Thursday and at Slimbridge on Friday, staying in Bristol city centre on Thursday night to meet up with students from the masters planning courses.
Although all of the students have some sort of experience of agriculture, all admitted that there were aspects of modern agricultural management that they knew nothing about.
The weather held up for both days and the students were introduced (amongst other things) to robotic dairying, a multi-million pound anaerobic digester, pedigree dairy and award winning beef herds, a new breed of cattle ("stabilisers"), intensive poultry farming, crimped maize, a haylage business, and even diversification in the form of handbag making!
The students were clearly bowled over by the enthusiasm, intelligence and entrepreneurial flair of the farmers involved (Tom & Susie Paton, James Hart, Jeremy Isles, John & Gerry Wildy and Ken & Dan Moss), remarking "I don't know how he does it.....does he ever sleep?!"
The tenants were all exceptionally generous with their time and candour and we extend out thanks to them for hosting this visit.
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