Start of term has arrived for agricultural students - Bridgwater & Taunton College

September is always a very exciting month for those involved with the preparation and build up to the new academic year. It is also very important for us to provide our new students with thorough information before they arrive at College. By doing so it enables them to be organised and prepared to take part in the activities organised for them and it makes having fun and meeting new friends a whole lot easier.

By seeing and experiencing our excellent facilities and resources first hand, students are able to fully appreciate the benefits of the Cannington Centre experience. Few other colleges offer such wonderful surroundings and such caring, supportive and dedicated staff who will enable them to achieve their full potential.

We are very proud of the strong links we hold within the agricultural industry and that coupled with our specialist facilities and expert staff, will help our students to develop the skills and knowledge that will provide them with the best possible start in their agricultural career. Many of our former students tell us that their time at the College was not only enjoyable, but has changed their lives!

This year three new first year recruits Ben, Joe and Sol are going to contribute to the monthly column and Charlotte, Katie and Beth are now going in to their second year of study and have agreed to continue writing the column this year also.

Agriculture students Katie, Beth and Charlotte

Ben Peters

Hi, I am Ben Peters and I live on farm in East Devon. It is predominantly a dairy farm milking around two hundred Holstein Friesian cattle. However, we also keep around thirty sheep, a few hundred beef cattle and a dozen pigs. In total, we are farming six hundred and fifty acres; a mixture of grassland, maize, wheat, barley and also some fodder beat. I also work at Kenniford Farm near Exeter, they rear approximately 10,000 pigs a year. Which go to their own butchers as well as being sold normally.

I am very keen and passionate about agriculture and enjoy all aspects of it. I am always looking to learn more and am looking forward to doing this as I start my first year studying the Level 3 Agriculture here at Bridgwater and Taunton College.

Away from farming I am a keen sports player and play regularly, and have been doing so for many years. Playing football, cricket, rugby, tennis and also some hockey. I am also very keen on shooting and take part on a regular basis.

Joe Underwood

Hello, I am Joe. I live in Plymtree near Cullompton, I’ve spent the last year and a half working on an organic dairy unit, although I am not from a farming background I am keen to get involved and maybe own my own farm one day. I have played rugby since I was five and have applied to play for the College team. Hopefully we will have a good season, fingers crossed. I was Head Boy at Cullompton Community College.

I am also very keen on my sailing. I have been a part of Durleigh Sailing Club in Bridgwater for the best part of ten years and am hoping to be able to get more involved now I have moved in with my uncle in Shurton, to be closer to the College.

So far the College has been amazing, I’m only one week in and already everyone has made friends and inevitably we’ve received an assignment! I’m most looking forward to getting more involved in the practical lessons as being on the farm and outdoors is why I love farming.  From first impressions, I think the two years ahead of me are going to be amazing.

Sol Perry

My passion for farming came at a young age when I first got in a tractor with my dad, straight away I knew this is what I wanted to do when I was older. I have recently left Brymore Academy in Cannington, it is an agricultural school for boys aged 11-16 which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I have recently restored a County 7600 which I use to do jobs around the farm. During the holidays I have been helping out on a farm hauling the silage bales in with a TM 175 also helping turning the grass to make hay and other various jobs on the farm.

I have just started a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture at Bridgwater and Taunton College and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have already established a good group of friends and have learnt things I never knew before in our first week. My lecturers are really friendly and are willing to help. I would definitely recommend this College to anyone who is thinking of coming here.

Katie Vincent

Well after the break from college I am now back and ready for my second year. My goals for the year ahead is to keep up to date with my assignments and complete them to a distinction level, attend all my practical’s and work better in a team.

Throughout the summer I’ve experienced lots of new opportunities. I have been to Glastonbury festival and Board Masters which is a totally different scene to being on the farm. I also attended lots of young farmer’s events and won prizes at the Honiton Show. It was quite upsetting seeing all my friends showing their cows, but the future’s looking brighter as we’ve just got a clear TB test. 

Beth Toogood

I have had a very busy summer. Throughout the silage season I have been working for different contractors in the area where I learnt a lot and met some lovely people. I have also been very busy helping on a dairy farm next door to my home.

I am very much looking forward to getting back in to the swing of college, where I am going into my final year of the Level 3 Extended Diploma. I am looking forward to the many opportunities that will be presented to me, in particular the Mechanics option.

Charlotte Scott

Over the summer I have had various things going on. Firstly, we had the Royal Bath and West Show, which is the only four-day royal show left in the country. I spent two days at the show helping my younger brother show his school’s Kerry Hill sheep. He had an incredibly successful final day, winning the young handler class for his age group and then winning the overall young handler championship. This was an amazing achievement, this being his first season showing. So in October we will be heading off to Yorkshire for the National Finals.

The next event on my calendar was the south west area competitions day where I was competing in two competitions. The first being the Young Stockman of the Year competition, where I had to judge four groups of animals (beef, fat lambs, breeding ewes and dairy) and complete a veterinary questionnaire. This went very well for me, I came second overall and qualified for the national finals. The second competition of the day was the Ladies Tug of War competition, the rain was pouring but the teams carried on regardless. Haldon Ladies (Devon) were the eventual winners and West Group Ladies (Somerset) runners up, so we are heading off to nationals for the second consecutive year.

My attention was then back to Young Farmers again! The National Tug of War Final held at Tenbury Show in Worcestershire was fast approaching. The day came around and we all travelled up, and competed representing Somerset and the South West. It wasn’t our day, however, I am very proud of my team and myself for getting as far as we did.

The end of the summer was nearing meaning two things to me. Young Stockman Nationals and my 18th birthday which inconveniently fell the day before the competition. So the celebrations were brought forward a day so I could rest up before the long journey up to Harper Adams University for the finals. It was such a brilliant experience and I am so proud of Somerset Young Farmers, having six members, who had qualified, all up there competing.

I suppose now I should probably turned my attention to college, getting back into the routine. Trying to do my absolute best this year, in order to get the best grades possible.

Agriculture at Bridgwater and Taunton College

If you would like to know more about studying agriculture at Bridgwater and Taunton College please call 01278 441234 and speak with our Information and Guidance team.

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