Here's an email sent to FW from Dr Robin Jackson, Deputy Director – Landbased, at Wiltshire College Lackham:
Lackham has a long and highly regarded record of delivering quality agricultural and farm mechanisation training and education.
Now part of Wiltshire College, the Lackham campus still retains the atmosphere of a traditional agriculture college, as the campus is principally given over to landbased courses.
This landbased focus for the campus, along with a dedicated team of staff who have a real passion for teaching agriculture and farm mechanisation, motivates and inspires students to come to Lackham.
However, we have not been complacent and whilst respecting the history at Lackham, we ensure that our students are able to develop skills and knowledge using the most modern resources, such as diagnostic engineering and GPS precision farming technologies, to enable them to successfully progress into employment within an innovative sector.
The Lackham campus is set in the heart of the College farm which covers 688 hectares. All our agriculture and farm mechanisation students significantly work on the farm throughout their courses.
They regularly participate in intensive fieldwork campaigns, such as the maize campaign and a 24-hour ploughing marathon, and also become involved in crop and research trials. The farm demonstrates good commercial practices, making a real profit, but is structured around the needs of students. This enables our students to learn about commercial production on a successful arable and livestock farm which experiences the same challenges as every other farm.
The farming enterprises include a dairy unit of 170 cows with replacements, pedigree Limousins and pedigree Hereford herds, finishing beef of approximately 250 head per year, 240 calves are reared in batches under contract, 800 ewe sheep units (organic and conventional), a small poultry unit, pigs raised under contract and a deer park with breeding herds of Fallow and Sika deer.
The arable/forage unit grows a wide range of crops for the animals and for sale. These include wheat, barley, oilseed rape, forage maize, crimped maize, grass for grazing and silage.
A full range of modern machinery and tractors is used and kept up to date to complement the farming practices; this ensures our agriculture and farm mechanisation students can be confident that they will enter employment or our Higher Education courses fully prepared.
As one of the many successful universities and colleges offering agriculture, we are pleased that so many students still choose Wiltshire College to secure their future.
For a round-up of quirky rural news see my blog Field Day