Self-driving tractors, mechanical milking mechanisms and welding workshops await schoolchildren from across the Three Counties as they get set to witness the future of farming at an Agri-Skills day at Hartpury College this week.
Friday, March 10th will see hundreds of 11 to 13 year olds descend upon Hartpury’s fully commercial Home Farm to get hands-on with all that the college’s agriculture department has to offer as they learn all about the science and maths behind cutting-edge agricultural technology.
The aim of the day is to give those year 7 to 9 students (Key Stage 3) in attendance a boost in their scientific and mathematical knowledge as well the opportunity to find out more about the technology behind some of the machines and processes being used in today’s modern-day agricultural world.
Students attending the event will be able to have a go at driving the college’s self-steering tractors as well as working with the aerial and satellite mapping technology in use by Hartpury’s farm machinery. Their maths skills will be put to the test as they hone in on hydraulics and find out more about how Hartpury use their electronic wand for weighing cattle.
For those students keen on science, a demonstration of the mechanism of breathing to move air in and out of a cow’s lungs will be available alongside the chance to explore sheep reproduction using the college’s lambing simulator as well as Home Farm’s real-life lambs.
Welding, soil and milk testing will also be on offer during the day as students get split into groups to ensure that they get a taste of as much as they can during their time with the college.
Hartpury’s Director of Agriculture, Janatha Stout, said: “This is a great opportunity for local schoolchildren to come and get involved in a really important area of industry which they might not otherwise be involved in. Some of the science and technology behind what goes into making the agricultural industry tick is really fascinating and we can’t wait to show off some of the best kit we have on offer here at Hartpury.
“For those outside of the industry, agriculture is perhaps viewed as being not the most agile but the technology on offer is outstanding and it’s really helping to drive the future of farming and increase profitable production. We’ve recently launched a brand new Applied Agriculture degree aimed at giving more young farmers the opportunity to put into practice what they’ve learnt across the globe and I’m sure that more events like this will open more young people’s eyes to the importance of farming in the UK and around the world.”