Live a life outdoors with Agriculture courses at Shuttleworth College
For many of us September marks two things; the end of the school holidays and the harvesting season. We see the fields turn from golden yellow to brown as this year’s crop is harvested and they are ploughed back over. It reminds us of collecting food for school harvest festivals and we become annoyingly used to getting stuck behind tractors on the road as farmers work late into the night!
Over the last few years there has been plenty of talk about where our food comes from – and it’s often closer than you think. Did you know the wheat in Weetabix is grown within a 50 mile radius of a small village in Northamptonshire? This helps the company reduce their food miles, so you may have spotted a field near you proudly promoting the Weetabix logo!
In order to keep up with demand, farming has changed rapidly over the last few decades and technology now plays a large part. Agriculture courses at Shuttleworth College enable you to study the science, art and business of cultivating soil, crops and livestock – everything you need for a successful career in modern day farming.
Our students are involved in the day-to-day running of Kingshill Farm, which is based on campus and run under the expertise of Head of Agriculture Education Anne-Marie Hamilton. Anne-Marie grew up on a beef farm and is keen to ensure that Shuttleworth College is seen as the “future of farming”.
Students carry out livestock management and practical exercises, cultivation, drilling, and haymaking, as well as participating in agricultural activities that reflect local farming practice. And there’s even some celebrity spotting now and again – Jamie Oliver visited the College in 2013 to film part of his Channel 4 series, Friday Night Feast!
The farm is the biggest – and busiest – classroom on campus and there’s no better time in farming than the lambing season in early spring. With over 250 ewes, as well as 25 cows to look after (Shuttleworth’s herd of Red Poll cattle), it’s all hands on deck to help with anything from arrivals to newborn lambs in need of a little TLC.
When they’re not hard at work on the farm or in the classroom, students can be spotted making scarecrows, attending the Bedfordshire Young Farmers Rally or even decorating silage bales for charity! They have also competed in Red Poll classes at Suffolk Show and been on trips to the Sugar Beet Factory at Bury St Edmunds and the JCB Factory and Marstons Brewery in Derbyshire, as well as visiting fellow agricultural colleges.
Shuttleworth welcomes students from farming and non-farming backgrounds. Advanced Level Agriculture student Abby Puddefoot says “I hadn’t studied Agriculture before but I really enjoy it and I’m looking forward to a work experience placement this September at a farm during the harvesting season. I’d love to go on to Harper Adams University when I finish here and hopefully pursue a career in farming.”
» Find out more about studying Agriculture at Shuttleworth College