Gelli Aur (Coleg Sir Gar/Carmarthenshire College)
Gelli Aur College is a college based on a dairy, beef and sheep farm in Carmarthenshire, with one autumn and one spring herd, milking in two parlours side by side.
This gives the opportunity for students with different experience to learn to milk or to better their practises.
I started at Gelli Aur doing my National Diploma In Agriculture. Living on the farm, with a great interest in Agriculture. Gelli Aur was the closest option and the best in my opinion. Studying many different subjects, including animal science, grassland, and machinery.
For a girl, machinery never really excited me, But having the lecturers and the facilities made it a much more enjoyable experience. I now understand more than I did when I started.
Alongside the dairy herds, they also had a flock of sheep, where all student were taught how to look after them, and how to lamb. This was useful for any students that had no or very limited experience in handling sheep.
Studying at Gelli Aur gave me and many other students the opportunity to go on various different trips and tours, to see different farms with different systems and to see what their day consists of.
We also have the opportunities to go further, with a trip away, eg England, Ireland, Germany, France, New Zealand or America (with New Zealand and America being a tour of at least three weeks).
Gelli Aur also offers the opportunity to go out on work experience, two of my farms were a local dairy herd of 200, and the second year over the summer was working on the largest dairy unit in Wales. These opportunities give the student a hands-on experience and a chance to learn new things every time.
Gelli Aur also puts forward the best agricultural student of the year with the National Diploma to the ‘Student of the year’ at the Royal Welsh Show in Builth, this was an honour for me, as I had learnt so much more things through Gelli Aur, with new practises through the work experience and all the farms which we visited.
Having lecturers who were all from farming backgrounds made the experience much more enjoyable. Especially having them give us so much help as they knew what we were studying – they weren’t just text-book lecturers.
All in all, going to Gelli Aur is the best decision I have ever made, and I would encourage anyone with an interest in agricultural of any age, to consider going there.
writes Angharad Haf James