Students enjoy exciting practical spring tasks | Bridgwater & Taunton College

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Charlotte Scott with a young herd replacement.

In our student diary this month our students talk about the practical activities they are taking part in for example field work, lambing, calving, crop walks and trips they are going on. We are an OFSTED 'outstanding' college and it's not hard to see why we are recognised as one of the to 10% colleges in the country.

Ben Roberts

The last month has been a manic one for me to say the least. My families tender for a farm has just gone through and we have just had our interview so all fingers are crossed hoping for good news. Having the opportunity to farm on a larger scale would be a dream come true as farming is all I’ve ever wanted to do for many years now.

At home I have just started lambing my few pedigree Texel’s and so far all the lambing has been very successful. We have also started lambing on the college farm so lambing duties is now underway. Lamb duties are the night lambing between the hours of 6:30pm-6:30am and is covered by all agriculture students studying at the college. This gives students who have no hands on experience with sheep the chance to care for and lamb the sheep whilst being supervised by a trusty second year.

Adrian Netherway

During the last month at college the farm has purchased a Lely Juno robotic silage pusher, which is helping to increase the technology on the farm. In our workshop practices our practical teaching has now been competed, leaving time for us to design and make a service trailer to help with any breakdowns that may occur when working out in the fields. This also applies to some of our theory work, as teaching is coming to an end therefore catching up on assignments has now become a priority to enable us to finish our course to a good standard.

Half term has also been within the last month and enabled me to help out our contractor with verge ploughing for our local council, as well as helping out in the work shop when the weather was poor. At home we have picked out 50 store lambs to go to slaughter which have thinned them out with only a few left to finish the stubble turnips. All of our crops are looking good however, they are in need of some dry weather to allow us to apply the first fertiliser application of the season.

Charlotte Scott

Over the last few weeks I have completed my second farm duties, in this case afternoon and weekend duties. The routine included yard work, which involved scraping out the cubicles of both the milking cows and heifers. I also needed to ensure all the calves had their milk whether it be colostrum or milk powder.

March is a very busy month for the college, as it’s when the majority of the ewes are due to lamb. With students being given the opportunity to carry out 12hour lambing shifts, either over night or during the day at weekends. We are also preparing for Lambing Fun Day on Sunday 13th March, where the farm will see approximately 4,000 visitors pass through the gates.

Outside of college I have just come back from a trip to London, representing the National Federation of Young Farmers Youth Forum, at a British Youth Council meeting. This gave me the opportunity to explain to other youth organisations, how much of a life line Young Farmers can be for young people living in rural areas.

Beth Toogood

So, the end of February I have just completed my third set of duties where I managed to get top marks which I am so pleased about.

March is going to be a busy month as we have just finished preparing for lambing. All the ewes have been separated into pens depending on how many lambs they will be expecting.

Practical’s have been good where we have been hauling out dung to the fields in our mechanisation practical’s and our livestock practical’s have involved weighing, castrating, spraying and tagging the lambs that have been born so far.

I look forward to doing my lambing duties at the end of the month and seeing what opportunities are ahead of me.

Katie Vincent

Well spring is now upon us and we are welcoming the arrival of new born lambs. We have begun our lambing duties which requires us to keep a watchful eye on the ewes for 12 hours. Now it’s beginning to 'dry up' we are taking dung out into field to prepare for the spreading of it to plant the new crops.

I'm finding this term really challenging but I am learning so much I have amazing friends and family to keep me going. My next goal is to achieve my telehandler tickets and hopefully get my full car licence. Let’s hope the sun keeps shining so we can get on and do some ground work.

If you would like to know more about studying Agriculture at Bridgwater College’s Cannington Centre please contact our Information and Guidance team on 01278 441234.

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