A local farming family will start running Rodbaston College farm in Staffordshire – in a move tutors say will ensure first-class training for students.
Father and son Andrew and Matthew Wright have multiple livestock enterprises, with experience in dairying, suckled calf production, beef finishing and sheep.
The Wright family – who farm nearby at Dawtry Cottage Farm at Four Crosses, near Cannock – is also the “face of beef” for supermarket chain Aldi.
The farm at Rodbaston College will grow grass, silage and forage maize for the Wrights, as well as being the new home to the family’s beef cattle and sheep enterprise.
College commercial director Hannah James said students would continue to gain work experience on the farm, developing their learning through real-life activities.
“We’ve asked an external partner to come and run the farm commercially so the experience our students have is as real-life as possible,” she told Farmers Weekly.
“The idea is that they are learning from people who are experts in the industry – our whole ethos is about careers not courses.”
Rodbaston College has been a training and learning facility for more than 100 years, with specific expertise in delivering agriculture training.
Range of courses
In 1921, it became the Staffordshire County Farm Institute.
The farm was deliberately run on commercial lines – providing a model for local farmers – while trialling new farming techniques, seeds and fertilisers.
The college was renamed the Staffordshire College of Agriculture in 1967 before becoming Rodbaston College in 1994.
Today, it offers courses and apprenticeships in agriculture, countryside management, horticulture, animal care and management, veterinary care and nursing.