National Farmers Union (NFU) President Meurig Raymond was on hand to help as Hartpury launched their new hands-on agriculture degree last night (April 25th) aimed at preparing the next generation of future farmers.
The official launch, for the programme, which kicks off with its first set of students this September, was attended by more than 40 people including representatives from the agricultural industry, governors and academic staff as well as students past and present.
Meurig said: ““Farm businesses need a complex mix of skills, so it’s vital we have the right people on the ground to keep pace with the fast pace of innovation in our industry. That’s why I am delighted to help launch this new BSc Applied Agriculture degree at Hartpury.”
“I can assure you there will be some great opportunities and exciting times for British agriculture in the coming years. And with students coming out of institutions like Hartpury with the right mix of experience and skills to bridge the gap between education and industry, I would say the future is very bright indeed.”
Before officially cutting the ribbon, Meurig treated attendees to a talk on the importance of agricultural graduates having employment ready skills and the opportunities that are available to those graduates in an ever-developing industry post-Brexit.
Current students and staff also used the event to show off their research to those in attendance as well as highlighting Hartpury’s Home Farm as a research facility ahead of Hartpury Principal Russell Marchant’s short introduction and Subject Manager Philip Watson’s talk on the structure of the new programme.
Phil said: “We’re really excited about this new programme as it’s not your average degree, it has a much more hands-on approach where we’ll aim to give our graduates the practical skills they need to succeed as the next generation of farmers.”
The new degree has specifically been designed to put practical learning at the forefront of it’s teaching by utilising various industry placements which will give students the skills they need to easily transition into the industry when they graduate. Students will also have the opportunity to study agriculture internationally by spending a term in partner universities in Canada and the USA or completing overseas work placements.
NFU Chief Poultry Adviser, Gary Ford, who was asked to input into the design of the degree course and attended the launch of the degree, commented: “I am really excited by this degree as it offers the opportunity for the next generation of young people to enter the agricultural industry.
“It equips them with the practical tools not only to be attractive to employers but also to pursue a successful career in the sector. The industry is short of young people and consequently there are good opportunities for the right candidates and this degree will ensure that Hartpury students will be valued when it comes to recruitment.”