Apprentices go on a study tour

Agricultural apprentices from Cornwall and Devon have headed off on a tour of Dorset, Berkshire and Gloucestershire visiting a variety of different farms.

Level 4 agricultural business management apprentices from Duchy College had an action-packed time visiting Orchid Dairy, a milking sheep unit where all milk is processed and sold via yoghurt and cheese.

They then visited the Open Air Dairy looking at the outside milking unit, milking 800 cows in two mobile milking units moved around the paddocks daily so cows don’t go to the parlour, the parlour goes to them.

Student, David Hoskin, who previously went to Bodmin Community College, said “it was great to see and experience other farming methods in different parts of the country.”

The second day saw them heading to Rooksnest Estate, a 3000 acre arable, beef and sheep unit.

Last stop was Beeswax Dyson beef unit, part of James Dysons Estate. It was great to hear the future plans of the Estate and see the 500 plus stabiliser beef unit, especially the new £1m beef unit being built.

“Listening to the farmers made me think about our business and ways to improve our own efficiency,” David added.

Level 4 Programme Manager, Peter Reed, said the students experienced a wide range of enterprises and farming methods, “which triggered some excellent questions to the farmers and farm managers”.

“The biggest take home message from the visits was monitoring their production costs and not be afraid to explore the possibilities of other enterprises,” he added.

Farm manager at Rooksnest Estate, Rob Price, said he thoroughly enjoyed the students visit “and I can say it was the best audience I have ever had in terms of engagement and interest”.

For more information on the range of agricultural apprenticeships available across The Cornwall College Group visit www.cornwall.ac.uk/apprenticeship-hub or call 0330 123 4785.